Upton Black Mill Circular Walk
- Location: Upton, Norfolk
If I ever need reminding how lucky I am to live on the Norfolk Broads, I steal an afternoon to myself
and escape to the wilderness of Upton marshes. Spring really is the best time to explore this
picturesque part of the world with vivid plant life and wildlife in abundance.
One of my favourite strolls is the circular route known locally as the Black Mill walk. It is an easy 4 to
5 km this time of year (unlike in the winter time when it can get extremely boggy underfoot) so it
also suits my Greyhound friend who is not really a long-distance companion!
What is great about this particular walk is that once you leave the village of Upton it is pretty much
all off-road walking inside the Upton Broad and Marshes Nature Reserve. It is a well-kept secret
amongst the local dog-walking community that if you choose the right time of day you are quite
likely to have the place to yourself!
A couple of kilometres in and you will be rewarded with a view of the Black Mill, with its white hat,
at the end of a long winding track. Owned by the same local family for generations, this beautiful old wind operated drainage mill dates from c.1800
and is a wonderful reminder of how life would have been then. Beyond the Mill you can wander
alongside the river Bure and enjoy the occasional passing sailboat, swans nesting in the banks and
perhaps even the odd fisherman taking advantage of the decks provided.
Of course, the wildlife you encounter will differ from one day to the next but you should be able to
spot cattle grazing in the distance and birdlife on the water – pause and you may spot a Brown Hare
or even a Chinese Water Deer. As we move into the summer months the vivid colours of dragonflies
and electric blue damselflies will appear in the reeds.
So, it is easy to see why this is one of my favourite places to escape to, coffee in hand, for a peaceful
afternoon in my own company. If you haven’t explored the marshes yet then do take the time to.
Just don’t tell anyone!