Out and about in West Norfolk

We’ve managed to tear ourselves away from our chocolate box cottage this week to take a look around some of the nearby towns and villages.  How the other half live … it’s pure escapism up here … escape to the country, literally.  Pretty flint cottages and houses so wonderfully individual and tucked away, often interlinked with village ponds boasting numerous families of ducks and geese of many varieties.  And churches standing proudly at the heart of each community.


Just like being in a Constable painting


Stanhoe Village Church

On Tuesday we took a drive to Brancaster Beach.  Being southerners, and optimistic southerners at that, we took towels, suncream, picnic blankets, beach chairs etc. etc.  Now it’s a stunning beach but not the kind you’d probably swim at … you’d have to walk about a mile just to reach the shore …. and boy was it windy!    As an alternative I had a bracing 2 mile run while Steve sat sensibly resting his foot.  Surprisingly enough I was the only runner on the whole stretch – loads of dog walkers, in fact we were probably the only people without a dog, but no other runners …. the obsession clearly hasn’t reached these parts!   Then we drove on to the Brancaster Harbour area where we discovered the most delicious of crab sandwiches, and we had a little relax in our beach chairs admiring the many different seabirds in the ‘waterless’ harbour.  The life of the retired!!


Brancaster Beach


Our next stop was Wells-Next-the-Sea (seems like they missed a word out)!!  Another pretty little town which I spent a wee time exploring while Steve took another rest.  I left him in the sunshine with ice-cream so it’s not all bad!  Lots of arty shops and classy boutiques – all I bought was a tube of toothpaste!!


Wells-next-the-Sea, harbour area

Drove through lots of other villages that day including Holkham, Burnham Overy Staithe and Burnham Market.  Incredibly narrow roads but it all seems to work – me holding my breath and closing my eyes seems to work particularly well as wider vehicles pass us by!  Lucky I’m not driving!


Burnham Market


Weather-wise it’s been a bit mixed this week.  And of course there’s been lots of cricket on so some days the ‘foot resting’ is more essential than others!  On Saturday though we left the cottage again to take a look around the Holkham Hall estate.  Steve had booked us on a tractor and cart ride – he knows how to treat a lady!  Whilst a few of our friends are travelling around the country and the world abseiling, bungee jumping, white water rafting etc. – this is how we roll.


Our carriage awaits!

What a stunning place though and the ride was excellent – such a great tour guide.  Learnt all about antlers being seasonal and falling off (I never knew this) and also how the males groom themselves by whitening their antlers in order to attract the females.  Also that when you see hares standing up boxing, it’s the female letting the male know in no uncertain terms that she’s just not interested!  Also learnt about the history of Holkham Hall, ice-houses and pre-refrigeration, the estate’s renewable energy system, walled gardens and palladium style architecture.  So impressed – we’ll be back for more.  They even have a Parkrun here every Saturday so no doubt we’ll be visiting again.


Holkham Hall



Steve admiring the cricket pavilion. This was a 50th Birthday present to the Earl of Leicester (Estate owner) from the village folk. Pretty generous neighbours I’d say!


And so the week has flowed.  In between our little trips out we’ve enjoyed the tranquility of our temporary home – two ‘Townies’ learning to be inactive and relax.  We do have our chores which as well as the usual domestics include mowing the lawns, watering the plants, filling the bird feeders, chopping wood (Steve loves this … memories of childhood) and lighting the log burner.  Come to think of it, Steve does all those things …. well, I do have a blog to write!


“Relight my fire” (of Take That fame)


So lovely to snuggle up in front of the log burner after dinner each night whilst watching the latest Netflix Box Set … sometimes we even stay up till 10.00pm!!  So Rock and Roll.


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