Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Norfolk: beach huts, woods and windmills


Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the photos of Norfolk and I have a few more from the second half of our week here. Some other highlights.....

:: Wells Next The Sea, where it was warm enough to buy fish and chips and eat them outside on the edge of the harbour. We watched people crabbing and strolling around eating ice creams. It all felt very summery, considering it was October. 


After lunch, we walked away from the town in the direction of the beach. At the end of a long, long path, with fields on the left and the harbour on the right, we turned a corner and were greeted by this sight:


A huge, wide expanse of sandy beach, full of families picnicking and relaxing in the sun.


And the beach huts. Oh, these beach huts. I wandered up and down for as long as I could, taking them all in, the different colours and styles.



Something about them reminded me of beach houses you see in Maine or New England, and also of those famous San Francisco houses called the Painted Ladies, all matching pastel shades and painted woodwork, very smart and in their Sunday best.


I was in heaven here, and if it wasn't for the soon to expire car parking ticket, we'd have spent all afternoon on this glorious beach.

:: Bewilderwood, a themed outdoor adventure area. We packed a picnic, put on our wellies and spent a day in the woods, climbing in tree trails, getting lost in the Sky Maze (it's very good!), exploring, getting muddy and generally having a good time. Bella and Angus, predictably, loved it there, especially the zip wires and slides.


I didn't want to carry my big camera around all day so took these photos on my phone. 


:: Cley Next The Sea, a little village with a big windmill and some lovely shops, including Made In Cley, which sells some beautiful pottery among other things, and another gem of a second hand bookshop. It's also the place to go if you're interested in bird watching, with the miles of marshes between land and sea. We saw a lot of people carrying cameras with long range lenses and big binoculars, and wearing those hats that birdwatchers always seem to wear.



:: Blakeney, where we had a delicious pub lunch and I wanted to go crabbing but everyone else said it was a bit too cold to stand on the quayside dangling a fishing line into the water.


::  West Runton Beach


Another wild and windy beach, known for it's fossils


We hunted. One of us hunted for quite a long time. He thinks he has found some amazing discoveries, and we're not going to tell him that they're just interesting shaped stones. He had so many in his pockets that they were pulling his coat off him, totally distorting the shape of it. I had to make him put some of them back. I mean, one "fossil" was the size of a large baked potato. 


So, there you have it. No theme parks, cinema, bowling or other exciting things. Just lots of beaches, walks, eating, pottering and enjoying being together as a family. No rushing around, and lots of time to crochet. I made myself a pair of socks - I'll show them to you soon. 

I treated myself to this mug from the pottery shop in Cley, and a bag of locally roasted and ground coffee. I'm in love with the mug - the colour, the smoothness of the curves, the comfortable handle. I'm very particular about mugs; they can't be too big or too small, too chunky or too thin, and I can't bear a tiny handle. I have favourites at home and in the staff room at work. I realise this is madness, but something tells me that a lot of you share my passion.


I mean, think about it - a mug is probably one of our most frequently used household items, one we touch with our hands, one we associate with something good, a hot cup of tea or coffee. I think It's ok to be a bit fanatical about them. 




28 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

The first one really was a beautiful day. The adventures in the trees looks like a lot of fun. What a great trip you had and you're right about no movies or theme parks, what you had was much, much better.

Melody A. said...

what a wonderful vacation !! and absolutely gorgeous photos ! Would love to come visit there. Your mug obsession I believe happens to many of us. I got a cup on my 50th birthday and am now 58 and have used it constantly for tea. So I think it is common since as you said, it is something most of use every day. Take care. from Iowa, USA

Kris Keena said...

I must have a big handle,too! and not to big of an edge.

Jennifer Hays said...

I love the mug, it's perfect. I wish I had nicer mugs, or at least more interesting ones. Most of mine are total junk; it's the drink inside I really care about, but still... I love the photos of the beach huts. I've long been fascinated by your beach huts over there, they look like something out of a storybook, which is probably how I first learned of them, come to think of it.

Librarian said...

Great pictures, and it was love at first sight for me with those wonderful, wonderful beach huts! You're right, there is something San-Francisco-ish about them.
Like you, I have my favourite mugs (doesn't everybody?) at home and at work. At work, we share the coffee/tea kitchen with dozens of other people and sometimes our personal mugs are not there. I always find this a little upsetting, as I would never take someone else's personal mug - there is a range of company-owned ones for visitors when someone does not have their own.

So good to have just family time together, no "special events" or theme parks needed, are there!

Liz said...

Ahh, I love Norfolk and go every year. The furthest east we go is Blakeney (my cousin lives there, lucky thing!) but I know Wells well, so it was lovely to see your photos.
We've not yet made it to Bewilderwood but I know the boys would love it ... maybe next year!

Gina said...

We've been to Norfolk at this time of year for the past few years and love it... The perfect place for long walks. Clay is one of our favourite places to visit.

CJ said...

Norfolk looks beautiful. Somewhere I've never been, but I know we'd love it. The birdwatcher would be in heaven (although I'm concerned that he doesn't have The Hat) and Bewilderwood looks brilliant. Mine would definitely be out there crabbing as well. I should like the bookshops I think. Glad you had such a lovely break, and what glorious weather. CJ xx

Debdor said...

I know what you mean about work mugs, we have had tears over mugs in the school I work in. I used to have one with my name on, and even that went missing, never to be seen again...

KirstenLN said...

I absolutely adore Angus' love of fossils! The baked potatoe one, too :-D It's without a doubt the start of a great collection.
I love to collect fossils too and a visit at the beach always means a sore neck to me. I can totally follow Angus's urge to actually find something extraordinary! Very swwet of you to let him beleive he actually did.

Life With The Crew said...

Gillian, actually the first thing that I thought when I saw those tiny beach huts was how unlike things are in the US. What do people do here? Build huge McMansions right on the beach - the Outer Banks in NC are full of them and if there are not ordinances against it, people do it in Maine too. The wonderful wild natural world outside their door doesn't seem to get much consideration.

Liz Jennens said...

We went to this part of Norfolk in 2010 after I had been in hospital for 3 weeks. It provided wonderful rest and recuperation. Cromer and Sheringham are like stepping gently back in time. Did you go to see the seals?

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
Oh it all looks and sounds pretty much ideal to me. Our half term was spent in much the same fashion. A well deserved break for you all. Olly brings 'fossils' home all the time....
Leanne xx

Life With The Crew said...

Oh, and I am a mug fanatic too, but it has to be a good hefty handmade one - no china for me!

Claire@homesweethome2015 said...

I totally agree, they are often the best holidays aren't they, the simple, outdoorsy ones. I also have a favourite mug and was very sad when it got a small chip on the rim, but I still have it as my favourite, go to mug even though we have a cupboard full of different ones xx

Jules said...

It looks like a delightful area and perfect for our kind of family holiday. And that beach! I want to feel the sand between my toes and breathe in the salty air just by looking at it. X

Vikki said...

I think the East Coast of the U.S. is different, but your pictures look very much like where I live on the Oregon Coast, the west edge of the U.S.A. We don't have many fossils, but hunting for agates is a big thing here (and crabbing). We have similar little shops, but our buildings are only 100 (or less) years old. Love seeing your pictures.

Susan Smith said...

Ooh, love those pics & days of exploring. I want to come back (sob). So much fun without all the high tech stuff, which is what I enjoy so much. As for mugs, I'm weird too, as I drink certain beverages out of certain mugs. Oh well, wouldn't it be a sad world if we were all the same(giggle). Take care.

Jo said...

Eeek! that is where we stayed at Wells-next-the-sea and we had a cottage with one of those beach huts, people kept strolling past trying to see in and then some were brave enough to ask us how much it cost us and then we said it wasn't ours so had no idea but we pretended it was to the others that looked on!!! Jo x

AnnieOBTextiles said...

Wonderful! The quality of light in Wells (and your photos) is stunning. Spent many holidays there as a child and would now like to return. Blakeney was another favourite too. Bewilderwood looks like great fun, simple pleasures are the best.

Penny said...

This looks like a perfect holiday to me and I would have enjoyed all the activities. Those beach huts look absolutely gorgeous, I can just imagine sitting in one on a chilly day, having a nice hot cup of tea watching the waves crashing on to the beach. Don't even start me on favourite mugs. I am beyond picky when it comes to mugs x

Louise said...

Another post tempting me into Norfolk! I really like the sound of Made in Cley and I have the Bewilderwood books on my reading list but haven't yet bought them. Bewilderwood itself sounds brilliant, I wonder if childless grown ups are allowed to play, haha!

Amy at love made my home said...

Lovely to see more of beautiful Norfolk! I love the beach huts and totally get the painted ladies analogy!

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

It all looks so lovely and almost unrecognisable from when went earlier this year. Wells looks so gorgeous, we didn't actually make it to the beach when we went, too cold! Seeing this though I know I have to go back one day.

S x

Ps On mugs - strongly agree!

Winwick Mum said...

My husband has just finished a packet of Grey Seal coffee, he really enjoyed it. I think a fossil the size of a baked potato sounds very exciting - if only it was! xx

mrsrobinson said...

Lovely to see this pics... I lived in Norfolk as a student, so lovely to revisit. We don't live too much further away now - you have inspired me to organise some weekends in Norfolk again. I can't believe we haven't taken P to Bewilderwood yet...

Gillian Roe said...

No, sadly not - the tide times just didn't quite fit with what we were doing each day. But I'd love to. We'll have to go back. :-)

Sarah said...

Oh I'm so glad you bought a Made in Clay mug. I bought one too (which is my son's favourite mug and still going strong despite three years at university) and a bowl which I use everyday for my morning porridge. We went to the magical Cley windmill for my daughter's 11th birthday dinner and I remember the Poppy line and the flinty villages and walking miles to see the seals and the endless sea and sky and the pristine beaches. Love Norfolk, always a favourite holiday destination when the children were small. You will have to take Angus to Dorset and Charmouth to hunt for fossils which really are just lying on the beach. The fossil museum at Lyme Regis is pretty good on a wet afternoon too. We often used to stay at a National Trust cottage at Golden Cap and leave straight after school on a Friday and come home late Sunday. Totally exhausting but totally worth it for the sea and cliff top walks. Thanks for sharing your wonderful holiday snaps Gillian - I loved them all!