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" Pin Mill with Cathy 2019 "


Date & start time:    Monday 8th to Friday 12th July, 2019. 

Location of Start :   By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :         Pin Mill, Wolverston, The Clamp, The Butt and Oyster Inn, and the rubbish tip.

Walk details :             Local walks around the village and riverside.

Walked with :             Cathy, Matthew, Alexander with dogs Boris and Bilbo.

                                     Ann and our dogs Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Very warm and humid with strong sunshine at times.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Time has shot by so quickly that it is mid-July and our planned visit to Cathy's house in Suffolk was upon us.

A day or so before we left there was a knock on the door and we had surprise guests, two friends who we had not seen for ages.

Jill and David were staying at Dockray Meadow, Lamplugh, in their caravan and called over to see us.

The weather was warm enough to enjoy sitting in the garden, though the sun was occasionally noticeable by its absence.

Having already had an early lunch, they passed on the bread and cheese . . . in favour of some tea and homemade Loweswater fruit cake.

The tables were reversed when we called on other friends during our drive south towards Suffolk.

Angie and David, also fell walking friends, entertained us to a sumptuous spread at their table in their Lincolnshire garden.

- - - o o o - - -

Angie and David live two thirds of the way down to Arthur Ransome Country . . . where Cathy and the boys have their home.

So by the end of the day we find ourselves at Pin Mill on the River Orwell estuary.

Our eldest daughter has a house adjacent to the boatyard and sailing club at the foot of the village.

After a relaxing evening we awoke to the warmth of a Suffolk summer heat wave.

She is currently having to replace her back garden fencing (and a few other jobs around the house) so our visit was timely

in that we could help remove the hedge waste and the old larch lap fencing, which took most of the first full day.

Seven trips to the local tip later (no photos 'cos we were too hot and busy) and the garden was looking a little more respectable.

The fence guys could once again see their raw material store !

The only problem was that our dogs and Cathy's dogs could also see the outside world from the garden.

The garden was no longer secure and they couldn't be outside without supervision . . . but it would only be for a few days at most.

- - - o o o - - -

Our stay wasn't all work of course, and on day two Cathy had arranged to meet a friend Sarah at Alton Water for a picnic lunch.

Sarah's son Tom and Alexander could also enjoy time on the water . . . so they hired canoes and went for a paddle . . . that's them on the left.

The local sailing school was out in force today but potentially unpleasant blue/green algae was starting to be a problem in the lake.

Alton Water had invested in building an Aqua World playground where participants can do circuits and get very wet !

Unfortunately the algae problem has closed the attraction for the present, much to the disappointment of both visitors and staff.

After lunch we took a stroll alongside the reservoir and across to the Royal Hospital School.

Sarah and Tom wanted to see the school where Cathy works and Alexander is a pupil.

We walked past some lovely wild flowers on our way across.

These are Common Mallow with lovely striped purple flowers.

Out of the gate from the reservoir and into the urban environment of the village and school.

Passing the Chapel and heading over to Collingwood, Alexander's boarding house for his mid-week nights.

He spends the weekend at home with Cathy but was a full time boarder here, before Cathy moved to Suffolk with her job.

We could only manage a brief view as the school was still active with summer school pupils and was not open to visitors.

- - - o o o - - -

Another day and another local walk for ourselves and the dogs.

We head down the river this time past the houseboats and down to The Clamp.

The tide is in and the dogs have a great time chasing an old frisbee in and out of the water.

- - - o o o - - -

Next day, once a little more gardening had been done, we walked the dogs up river towards the Wolverston Marina.

This was the view back to Pin Mill, with the boats, including several classic Thames Barges, secured on their moorings.

The Butt and Oyster Inn is the tall building on the riverside to the right, in front of the taller trees.

A short way along the riverside path, the owner of the old moored barge has given up trying to keep it habitable

and purchased a new floating holiday home which is now moored alongside.

The new boat is slightly smaller but no doubt more up to date and pleasant to stay in.

The superstructure of the old boat has been removed and it now serves as a landing stage, a seating area, games area and their back garden.

The walk to Wolverston passes through the farmer's fields . . . some of which this year have been planted with barley.

In with the crop is a wonderful array of bright red poppies.

I don't know how it will affect the economics of the crop

but it may give some entrepreneur a way of automatically creating "poppy seed" bread.

On the margins the grasses have outgrown both the poppies and the crop.

( The same has happened back home in my new paddock . . . but that's another story.)

Alongside the path further on there were michaelmas daisies to complement the bright red poppy blooms.

Tall poplars on the field margins and a view of the river beyond.
A more distant view now of Pin Mill.

The purple flowers, seen in the last photo, were unknown to us.


The English name is “Marsh Rosemary” and the plant exclusively grows in muddy salt marshes because it can stand high amounts of salt in the underground, so it is no surprise that you found it near the beach. It occurs all around England and Wales (coastal areas that are flooded sometimes by spring tides). Latin name of the plant is Limonium vulgare.  It is also known as "Sea Lavender"

German Wikipedia says that the plants contain about 3.000 “desalting glands” per cm2 each of them producing 0,5 ml of salty solution per hour. An interesting strategy to cope with the salt. It grows where only spring tides cover the ground.

Thanks a lot for showing me this very interesting and beautiful flower!  Helmut.

Thanks Helmut for this and your help with the earlier Common Mallow identification . . . RmH


Matt, Cathy and Ann stop for a photo along the way.

I also get persuaded to sit on the hot seat . . . temperatures in Suffolk today are in the high 20's centigrade.

Ahead is the Marina . . .

and in the distance the high level Orwell Bridge carrying the Ipswich southern bypass route over the River Orwell.

We reach the Marina . . . hopefully we may be able to purchase some ice cream on this rather hot day.

The boats masking . . . or should that be 'masting' the view of the bridge.

Lovely flowers outside the Wolverston Marina

They have a chandlery and shop which provided the excellent ice creams but sadly not the extra cup hooks that Cathy needed for her kitchen.

The Royal Harwich has a clubhouse alongside the Marina which explains the well maintained lawns.

A rare bird sighting for us . . .

"The little Egret is a small white heron with attractive white plumes on crest, back and chest, black legs and bill and yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. Its colonization followed naturally from a range expansion into western and northern France in previous decades. It is now at home on numerous south coast sites, both as a breeding species and as a winter visitor."

Information courtesy of the RSPB website

The Egret was accompanied by Oyster Catchers and the ever-present gulls.

Hedge Bindweed alongside the path on our return.
A study in dappled Cow Parsley !

Back to Pin Mill with camera in hand and sun in the sky.

The small stream in the village is called 'The Grindle' . . .
. . . and is a lovely non-muddy, fresh water place to cool down.

The Green seen through the melee of boats belonging to visitors, locals and the boatyard.

With the river being tidal the boat pontoon avoids a long walk out to the smaller boats through the mud.

Time for a little more re-hydration on this hot day . . . tea rather than alcohol I feel !

- - - o o o - - -

Later I went out for another short walk . . . once the tide had risen a little and the boats would be afloat.

The view through the arch where Cathy lives.
The sea wall in front of the sailing club and a private house.

Pin Mill and its two boatyards are famous for Thames Barges.

These used to be the classic coastal craft working the east and south coasts either side of London's busy port.

Now there are less than twenty still afloat . . . and several of them class Pin Mill as their home port.

Other barges have been converted to house-boats which are moored alongside the trees.

The dogs and I walk out on the floating pontoons . . .
. . . some a little less confidently than others.

Holiday makers enjoy the high water which covers the slip . . . and most days it extends right up to the pub walls.

The pub's (non-grassy) beer garden.

Someone seems to have left a boat trailer on the slipway . . . its wheels are now half covered by the tide.

This smaller pontoons is designed for the smaller boats, not the barges.
Dylan (behind Dougal) is happier, now he's made it to the end !

Harry King's is one of the boatyards.

Three Thames Barges and their classic red sails.

The classic view of the Butt and Oyster . . . you've got to take it !

Heading back home now . . . the square arch leads in to Cathy's house.

- - - o o o - - -

For diner we adjourned to the pub.

Alexander, Cathy, Matt, myself and Ann . . . taken by a colleague of Matt's.

We reciprocate with a photo of Shona in the frame this time.

Time flies . . . and so does the daylight.

- - - o o o - - -

On our last morning Matt was up early as the fencing gang had arrived.

No peace for the wicked . . . there are fence post holes to dig !

The washing line hand post have been removed and the garden is visually bigger.

A new rotary drier has been located in the lawn . . .but temporarily removed to the side for safe keeping.

The final panels are removed

and the new side fencing will hopefully be in place by the time Ann and I drive to Sheffield this evening.

- - - o o o - - -


After four nights in Pin Mill

we head up to Sheffield to stay a further two nights

with our youngest daughter Jenna.


Her older sister Paula,

our second daughter if your looking for a sequence,

will hopefully travel over the half hour from Tickhill to Sheffield

so that we can catch up with the ins and outs

of family life.


First a quick visit to the Suffolk Food Hall

close to the Orwell Bridge,

to pick up a  few speciality supplies

before we start the journey north.


- - - o o o - - -


A final picture of the graceful Orwell Bridge to end this half of our holiday photos.

- - - o o o - - -

POST SCRIPT . . . next day Cathy sent us a picture of the new fence on the boatyard side of the garden.

It looks like the contents of the shed have been temporarily transferred to the lawn.

It would appear that they needed to move the shed to complete the fence on that side . . . I'm glad I didn't have to pick it up and shift it !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

This site best viewed with . . . vegetarian Scotch Eggs from the Suffolk Food Hall.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 3rd July - Stickle Pike and Great Stickle

A previous time up here - 1st to 12th June 2018 - Pin Mill with Cathy 2019

Next walk - 12th July - Sheffield with Jenna and Paula 2019