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TOPIC: The Shotley Peninsular


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The Shotley Peninsular


Today was an absolute Brahma of a day for photography, early this morning there was just the hint of some mist on The River Orwell, per chance a freighter passed under The Orwell Bridge, [the Paddle Steamer excursion had been cancelled], the tide in the estuary was low, there were many varieties of waders, duck and geese.

We then busied ourselves with a look at Woolverstone Hall [now a school] and a view of the River, we headed for Shotley Peninsular, arguably Suffolks best viewpoint. Clear skies lead to brilliant reflections within the Marina, huge container ships a quarter of a mile long were busy loading/offloading their colourful boxes. Three miles downstream I could spot the old Sunderland Aircraft Hangar [ex RNAS/RAF Felixstowe], Trinity Lighthouse ships were at anchor as too was a three master, two masters were moored up in the Marina.

We could see the new quayside being constructed at Bathside, Harwich, intermingled with all this activity was a Little Egret, many Canada and Brent Geese [no Greylags here though] Gulls by the thousands and we had this virtually to ourselves.

The Devils Elbow Mast at HMS Ganges was disappointing, I climbed the hill to see what was happening at this ex Boys Naval Training Base, the whole place looked derelict and one of the cross members was rotted and broken only being supported by a single wire. The button at the top of the mast was still intact.

Lunch, Bristol Arms and more photos of Harwich, Parkeston and the River Stour, not too much activity here though. Drove up the narrowest of lanes to Shotley Church, this has a commanding view of the River Orwell it is also a place where hundreds of sailors are buried, the youngest I spotted was a boy of 15, so young..........poignantly looking at The CWGC graveyard can be found German sailors buried next to British and Commonwealth sailors.........

Progressed on to Erwarton [sometimes pronounced and spelt Arwarton] took pictures of the gatehouse and Hall, this is where Anne Boleyn took some restful periods, it is claimed the remains of her heart was found in a casket in a nearby church wall after her execution.

Here we proceeded to the village of Harkstead with good views over the River Stour, we then arrived at Lower Holbrook carpark and took a half hour stroll via The Creek and Holbrook Bay with commanding views from the hillside. Looking west is The Royal Hospital School a magnificent school, moved from Greenwich, London in the Thirties to meet the needs of Naval ranks who were serving overseas and their own children given a very nautical education.

Just beyond is where Griff Rhys Jones lives, he can often be seen jogging along the riverbank..........through to Holbrook village with its lakes and Mill and on to Alton Waters, the reservoir that supplies East Suffolk with much of its water supplies, this looked absolutely resplendent with Mother Nature putting on her finest display.

Then on to Stutton and Brantham ending up at Lemons Hill Bridge, the far end of the Reservoir where there were again hundreds perhaps thousands of birds. Well that was our journey today, unforgettable with 215 photos in the bag.....!

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I visited here on Wednesday, because thedays are short at this time of the year I could only manage Pin Mill and Holbrook in the same day. At Pin Mill we walked through The National Trust Woodlands to Clamp House, one of my favourite walks, at this time of he year you walk through ankle deep of fallen leaves and see glimpses of The Orwell River. We then went on to Holbrook and did a circular walk from The Compasses Inn to the Reservoir and back again the afternoon was perfect



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