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Hi Steve,

Hickling and Catfield dyke in particular, were one of my most favourite places on all of the broads.

Just so peaceful and away from the madding crowds.

If you were up there when the pics were taken, I would have been around in those times.

I used to love to moor up in the spot where your first pic was taken and sit fishing in the summer evenings...pure bliss!

Thanks very much for posting the pics....lovely!

Kind Regards.


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I was always moored at Martham, so the bridge didn't pose too much of a problem to me, but then water levels were generally lower than these times.

Is that your boat moored at the head of navigation?

If so, it looks real nice!! You are lucky to have it mate.

Kind Regards


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Water levels were low today, very low at Wroxham haven't seen them that low for a very long time.

North of Potter is a different world mate, Ive only ventured there once, there's lots of those rag and stick boats about though, as

it seems to be their territory :naughty::Sailing

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You mean to tell me that you've only been on Hickling once, with that lovely boat of yours....shame on you!! :-D :-D :-D :-D

You need to go to the head of navigation of Catfield Dyke, Waxham Cut and to Somerton Staithe and do some serious exploring.

Try the "Western Holes" and the "Cut" off Heigham Sound, get round the back channels off Deep Dyke / White Slea and to the far reaches of Hickling. Try mooring halfway along Meadow Dyke on a lovely summer afternoon in June and watch the Swallow Tail butterflies in the field that leads to the pump house. Pure Magic!!

Midway between Martham North and South Broads, drop a mud weight and sit tight for a while, glance over the side into mostly crystal clear water and if you're lucky you'll see big pike nosing through the cabbage weed.

Then you will see the Real Wild Norfolk Broads, not the M25 of Horning and Wroxham. :(:(

The sailys won't hurt you...just keep clear of 'em!! ;)

Go on, give it a go this year!!!



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Hi Trevor,

Apologies for the late reply.

Hope this will help, although with the Norman you would definitely be restricted from many of these places. A tender, with a small outboard would be ideal.

Over many years I have owned all sorts of boats, including the Norman 20..not quite the same as yours but with an outboard I was able to cruise to places most boats fail to reach.

One of the best boats I had for access to all areas, was a 13foot Fisherman with a small cuddy, the draft would be roughly 1foot, plus a lightweight 4hp Mariner...not the most comfortable of boats, but ideal, as it was easy to paddle or row, enabling me to explore every nook and cranny, so to speak. I used to spend countless hours on what most people loosely term as Hickling.

What they really mean is, from the upper end of Candle Dyke taking in Duck Broad, The South Western Holes, The Whole of Heigham Sound, The Cut, The Western Holes, Meadow Dyke, Horsey and of course Waxham Cut.

Through the back of Deep Dyke into the very shallows of White Slea.

Along the north eastern side of Hickling close to the Tower…don’t even think about it, you would be aground.

There are lots of dyke's that only a very small craft can navigate on, some have chains across, I used to go either, over, or under them. Round the west side of Pleasure Island, Rush Hill and close to Swim Coots and follow the reed beds going right into Heigham Corner as I called it…very, very, shallow…definitely not for cruisers! On Catfield dyke there is the crossroads, again my own description, two dyke's, one south, going into a wooded area with a small pond, to best describe the end of it.

When you get there on a summer afternoon, it’s pure Bliss!! The other dyke (chained), goes northerly and exits back into Hickling Broad, just south of Hickling Sailing Club. I would imagine that I have covered possibly every navigable watercourse in the Upper Thurne System and it took a hell of a lot of pluck to go into some of the places, especially when the area is deserted during the winter, as is often the case. The thought of getting stuck / stranded, concerned me at times, as I was always alone on the small boats. But explore we must!! Entering and exploring Martham north and south broads at times, when perhaps I should not have, taking great care not to disturb the wildfowl but I did no harm with the outboard lifted clear of the surface. At Dungeon Corner there is a dyke leading off to Somerton Holmes…it’s fenced off now but I went up it till the mud / silt warned me to turn around, trouble was the 13ft boat was too big to turn so I had to paddle it, stern first. Eelfleet dyke is another one, leading to Blackfleet Broad…canoe for this one.

You should now have some info to keep you going for a wee while!!

I hope this helps..

Enjoy The South …I’m a Northern fan myself!

Kind regards:


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I'm not too sure about the depth of Catfield Dyke, although there must be 3 - 4 feet. When I was last there, fishing from my Freeman 22, there were several hire craft that came past me on the way to the head of the dyke. Navigate it with caution!

I would not like to try turning a 40ft boat midway down the dyke. You would have to go as far as the moorings, where there is room to turn around. The trip is worthwhile, if you like peace and tranquility, away from the rat-race of the open Broads.

The stumbling block is PH bridge for most large hire craft theses days, it seems.

Hope you make it!



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