As the walk between Ely and Brandon was long and affected by traffic I wanted to try another way. This time I took the bus from Bury to Mildenhall. The church was busy with a friendly noticeboard packed with activities- most impressive.
The path took me behind the church past an old School House:
I wondered if there had been a girl’s school also? Also, having checked the dates, I wonder which Henry Bunbury? The one I had heard of was a caricaturist, but he died in 1811, making it more likely to be his son.
The path to Ely from Mildenhall is, in theory, straightforward- you just keep going along the northern bank of the Lark to Prickwillow, then turn West to Ely as before. Things were not quite as easy as that, though. Once away from Mildenhall the path was overgrown and very close to the bank at one point.
Then abruptly things improved! It was as if someone had come along with a mower and made a perfect job up to a point, then gone home again. Had I just crossed into Cambridgeshire?
Hoping this would be the end of my difficulties I carried on, but the undergrowth fought back and at one stage it was so tall there was no way the footpath could be seen and I wondered if it was safe to continue. I was pleased I remembered my stick. Towards Prickwillow things improved again and I was treated to wonderful views of both the fens and the cathedral.
Perhaps I was in better physical shape than the first time, but I arrived at Ely in good time and with a sense of elation. If the footpaths can be made visible then this would be the easiest route back to Bury. As it was I took the train and got going with a dye-pot using plants gathered over the last few days: a “fenland mix” of weld, horsetail fern and yarrow to produce a dazzling yellow!