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Thread: Newark Priory and the Hoe Stream

  1. #1
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    Default Newark Priory and the Hoe Stream

    Monday was lovely, a calm day with the promise of afternoon sun. Time for a short paddle, and a bit of an exploration.


    I drove to Pyrford lock, having tipped of Maj (Silverbeard). Due to a mix up, he went to a different bridge...



    I headed upstream, hoping we'd eventually meet up. Initially, the route along the Wey Navigation is simply a quiet, rural canal scene.






    There were, though, a few noisy residents. This one seemed to take great exception to my presence, and gave me a right telling off.






    The best thing about the shortening days is the way that, when the sun shines, the afternoon light is utterly magical.









    After passing through the Walsham Gates by the weir, I was now on the river itself. This year, the dreaded floating pennywort is making itself well and truly known. I've never seen it on the Wey until this year, but now it is really getting hold.









    Nearing the Priory, and Newark Lock, it has completely blocked one of the backwaters.






    Having fought through and over a short section where the river was totally covered, I parked the canoe and wandered up beyond the lock to see if I could spot Maj.






    A few weeks back, I'd been chatting to someone who'd told me that the National Trust and EA were going to attack the pennywort salad soon. I was pleased, just above the bridge, to see that this has now started. I just hope they don't only do the navigation, as if they don't clear the backwaters too it will soon be back. They were just too far away to ask, without going back to fetch the canoe.






    Dropping back to the boat, I hopped in, though first I did actually turn the boat over and check there wasn't any caught up vegetation on the hull, as I was heading into waters I hoped the salad had not yet reached.









    The Hoe Stream joins the Wey below Newark Priory, as it reaches the edge of a wooded slope. Here it is also known as The Bourne. I turned up it, into a lovely woodland area.












    This utterly peaceful place was a joy to paddle through, one of those sublime, special, natural scenes where time no longer matters. With the canoe heeled right over, this was a place for silent Indian strokes, making slow and contented progress up the meandering stream.











    On a sunny autumn evening, there is no place I'd rather be.






    The woodland dropped away, as the brook turned this way and that, in no hurry to give up its own status and become part of the River Wey.






    It was now getting narrower as I got further upstream, to the extent that any retreat was going to be backwards, there was nowhere to turn. The forward paddling was easy enough though.






    I'd not expected to get this far, but the post-summer reeds have fallen back enough that there was only a short blockage between me and the road bridge at Newark Lane. It feels as if somebody has kept the lower part of the Hoe Stream clear deliberately this year, as before I've normally found choked parts that made me turn around before the end of the woods.







    Here, though, the route ahead was chocker with greenery. Progress could no doubt be made, I know Maj has been a bit further, but the sun was getting low, and I wanted to get back to the Priory for sunset.






    There was also room to turn under the bridge, a bonus. I now let the gentle flow tug my hull and drifted back down in the soft light of the lowering sun.









    Rounding a corner, a familar face hove into view. Maj and finally found me, after various forays up differing streams. He joined me heading back downstream.















    The conditions were, simply, incredible.



























    We'd reached the Wey again, but turned up the Abbey Stream rather than the navigation, to make the most of the last light at the Priory. Newark Priory has stood in ruins since the 16th century, after nearly 500 years as an Augustinian monastery.






    This is a wonderful, tranquil scene, one of those rare places in England where you are almost guaranteed to be alone with an ancient monument, as there is no public access across the fields.















    We hung around for a while, captivated by the magical scene despite the cooling temperatures.












    As the sun ducked behind the distant horizon, Maj had to head for home, but I lingered for another 20 minutes as the dusk closed around me.


















    The half hour paddle back to the car, through the last of the twilight, was a perfect end to a fabulous couple of hours on the mirror-like waters of England.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  2. #2

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    Superb stuff Mal

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    Quite a spellbinding account of a , clearly great, trip out.

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    Nice.

    England is a wonderful place.

    I particularly liked the digger boat, the fungus, and the jumper.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

    Crow Trip Log

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    This is the stuff of life. A great day out

    Nick

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    Absolutely lovely Mal....amazing light.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigyellowtractor View Post
    Superb stuff Mal
    Cheers. Hopefully you'll soon find these places too!


    Quote Originally Posted by Moomoo View Post
    Quite a spellbinding account of a , clearly great, trip out.
    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I particularly liked the digger boat, the fungus, and the jumper.
    Clearly Maj had his Christmas Jumper on a little early.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Nick View Post
    This is the stuff of life. A great day out

    Nick
    Cheers Nick, it were grand!


    Quote Originally Posted by Patterdale Paddler View Post
    Absolutely lovely Mal....amazing light.
    Thanks Dick. The light was amazing, and seeing it really cheered me up about the shorter and shorter days, as I remembered just how special paddles can be when the light is golden and the mists start rising from the water.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    very nice as always Mal lots of salad though!

    I've looked at the Bourne Stream (not that I knew it was called that) a few times. I'll have to have a nosey up it next time

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    Quote Originally Posted by aannddyyhh View Post
    very nice as always Mal lots of salad though!

    I've looked at the Bourne Stream (not that I knew it was called that) a few times. I'll have to have a nosey up it next time
    Ta.

    Been for a wander this afternoon, checking out options for the Hoe/Bourne. It may "go"...
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  10. #10

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    The silhouettes look great, well worth hanging about for.

  11. #11
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    Lovely trip Mal and you captured the wonderful golden light beautifully in your pics.

  12. #12

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    Fantastic pictures Mal, a very photogenic stretch of river.


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  13. #13
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    Some lovely shots there Mal. You could produce a few calendars from those.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

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