Ten Mile Bank

We planned to walk along the flood bank between Ten Mile Bank and Ten Mile Bank River to Ten Mile Bank, then cross the Ten Mile Bank Bridge and walk back down the opposite flood bank between Ten Mile Bank River and the A10.

However, plans change.

At Ten Mile Bank, we stopped on a bench beside Ten Mile Bank Bridge overlooking Ten Mile Bank River for dinner/lunch.

We checked the website of the Jenyns Arms; the brief appearance of the Cloudflare status page should have warned us. This pub has been closed for ages because of subsidence, but Mr Pandammonium was convinced it was open; the version of their website cached by Cloudflare didn’t mention subsidence; only opening times that would coincide with our expected time of arrival.

Plans were changed: instead of walking back along the flood bank between Ten Mile Bank River and the A10, we’d continue to Denver Sluice, where the Jenyns Arms wasn’t subsiding any more, and pop in for a refreshment. Then we’d continue on to Downham Market and get the train home, perhaps after another refreshment.

We walked along the flood bank out of Ten Mile Bank between the River Great Ouse and Church Road then Ten Mile Bank/Sluice Bank all the way to Denver Sluice. This is where the River Great Ouse divides between being tidal and not tidal. It also has complicated confluences.

The Jenyns Arms was as shut as shut can be. We should’ve listened to Cloudflare.

We continued on, disappointed and unrefreshed, on the flood bank between the River Great Ouse and the River Great Ouse Relief Channel to Downham Market, where we crossed a road bridge over the River Great Ouse Relief Channel into Downham Market, and stopped in the first pub we came to.

The pub, somewhat serendipitously, was the one I’d hoped would be the first pub we came to after a previous visit to Downham Market, where the dogs don’t turn and stare at strangers.

In the beer garden, we became refreshed and our socks became dry and our shoes became almost dry.

Then it was time to head home.

I successfully and blisterlessly walked over fourteen miles in my new shoes, which don’t look new any more with all the mud and grass that became attached to them. I blame the sheep.

The sheep on the flood bank between Ten Mile Bank and Ten Mile Bank River churn up the mud with their hooves, making it slippery and sticky all at once. They mix their poo in it as well, especially by the gates, where it’s quite clarty enough, thank you very much.

Most of the sheep flocked together, but there was the occasional loner. One such loner, I realised, had entangled itself in the brambles at the bottom of the flood bank between Ten Mile Bank and Ten Mile Bank River. Its flailing efforts to release itself were failing. I couldn’t just leave it there.

‘Let’s go and rescue the sheep.’

‘Erm, how?’


We clambered down the flood bank and approached the sheep. As we approached the sheep, its flailing grew more and more frantic. I told it we weren’t going to hurt it, but it wouldn’t listen – probably because I still don’t speak Sheepish.

In its terror, the sheep flailed itself free and legged it back to the other sheep, where I hoped it drew comfort while it showed off the half a bramble bush it had dragged away with it.

‘We free the sheep by terrorising the poor thing so much it frees itself.’

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