Location scouting: St Benet's Abbey
Whilst on the hunt for a riverside walk, Shey's dad came across some ruins marked on the map. Thinking it worth a look, Shey and her dad ventured out to Ludham Bridge, a hamlet on the Broads. A well-signed footpath took them from the village over fields, between two waterways and under some impressive Norfolk skies all the way to the remains of St Benet's Abbey. These ruins could historically only be reached on foot or by water, though now there is a well-maintained, level farm track with a car park a short walk away as well. The Abbey proved an interesting visit, as you'll see below, and the walk will provide the perfect backdrop for Episode 5 of the Badger Watching podcast.
Glorious clear early autumn day with the mist still just about rising from the reedbeds.
St Benet's Abbey appears on the skyline. Did we even need to bring a map?
Inside the remains of St Benet's Abbey. A Victorian landowner built a mill onto the abbey's main gate, using it as structural support. Now the two are inextricably linked and you have to step inside the shell of the mill to see the ornate, richly carved stone gate.
This huge, weatherbeaten wooden cross marks the spot where the altar used to be, back in the abbey's glory days pre-Henry VIII. It is studded with coins from previous visitors. Also a small blob of raspberry ice cream which Shey managed to sit in by accident.
Shey got jealous of the owner of the blob of raspberry ice cream that she sat in, and had to get her own from the little shop in Ludham Bridge once they had made it back to the car. It did not disappoint.