Author Archives: Selina

About Selina

I love the outdoors. Getting out with my best friend and partner Tim we have spent many holidays and almost all of our free time exploring the countryside in the UK. Together we are passionate about walking, photography, cycling. We feel lucky to live in a lovely part of the country - The Norfolk Broads. Famous for big skies, beaches and waterways. Our special holidays will always be in the truly beautiful Lake District. I would always recommend simply getting outside as much as possible. With the right clothing you can enjoy it all year round. Don't forget to take a picnic!

A local walk from the doorstep

It’s great to see so many ‘new’ local faces but they do get in the way!  Trying to keep that social distancing close to home is so tricky at times, especially when others aren’t quite so respectful.  

For anyone that knows me and Tim or who has read my blog will know that we take getting out and exploring fairly seriously  – it’s our hobby and our life.  How far could we get with a drink and snack in our pack from the doorstep? We picked a nice day to try.

I will try and keep my comments brief and let the photos do the talking.

Heading west out of the village

Saturday 9th May 2020

I love this time of the year.  The leaves have just about appeared on the trees and the hedgerows and verges are full of new growth.  Mind you I seem to be affected by pollen this year (for the first time ever) no streaming eyes, just a dry cough.  A small price to pay for being outside.

Following the lane shown in the photo above a view of Ormesby Broad (or the waterway leading to the broad) can be see from the side of a cottage.  Note the treehouse being built on the left.

What a view

At the farm we turned onto meadows. Oh and just incase you missed the sign – keep dog on lead!

As we approached our neighbouring village we met some cattle.

Tim filming cows with calves and bull

I swiftly headed for the gate when I spotted the bull while Tim took his time!  The kissing gate is small and awkward and I wasn’t going to hang about – its survival of the fittest in some circumstances!  One of theses signs, on the other side of the bigger (locked) gate, mentions the ‘big bull’ but there wasn’t anything at the other end of this footpath.  Hmmm

The view from the otherside of the gate….

Onward we bypassed Hemsby village via a field.  After crossing the main road we continued north but taking smaller roads now as there are no footpaths at this point.

Thanks for (not) visiting Hemsby

We had a crazy idea to carry a bit of weight in our packs to feel like we usually do when we are away in the hills and mountains.  Here we are passing the sign of East Somerton and approaching the high point of the day – Blood Hills (about 70 feet above sea level).  So called because it was supposed to have been the place where Vikings and Saxons fought and the land turned blood red.

More recently it’s been used to place wind turbines.

The only car to pass us on the road over Blood Hills.

Over the top we followed farm tracks around Burnley Hall and out to the Staithe at West Somerton.  

The road here leads out to Horsey Mill but we followed a footpath just inland alongside the waterway at first then skirting the marsh.  The sound of birds in the reeds was constant.

Almost at the mill – this is a view I couldn’t resist taking a photo of.

Horsey Mill looking majestic

We did pause here for a drink and quick bite to eat.  We are not allowed to stop for long at this time – but we can have a little something just to keep us going.

At this point we turned east towards the dunes and sea.  It’s about a mile from here to the sea and inbetween there are meadows with lots of small waterways breaking up the land.  It’s really fragile as its so close to the sea and only really protected by sandy dunes.

Here is the coast path.  We headed straight through the gap in the sea wall to the sea.

Crossing the coast path

Thinking about my mum & dad and family – wish you were here

On the beach we had the biggest surprise.  Hundreds and hundreds of seals – all basking on the shore.  We’ve seen this before but there were many more this time – many more.  Tim did his best wildlife filming – I just stared in awe.

Oh and I took a few photos.

Seals heading for the water

So far, during the whole walk, we had only passed two people.

As we marched on the low tide sand we passed another couple.  Wow – it’s so quiet.

Marching along – heading south

We approached and passed the beach at Winterton.  The cafe is still hanging in there….only just.

The beach at Winterton

Further along we come to Hemsby beach.  We headed through a gap in the dunes to take the firmer walking in the area called ‘The Valley’.  

Through the gap into The Valley

Here we tipped the sand from our shoes.  This walking route is a sheltered alternative  to the sea/beach side and it felt very warm.

Hemsby is a village and holiday resort near the beach. Today the chalets and caravans are standing empty and amusements and cafes quiet.  Will it survive this I wondered.

Further along we reached Scratby.  Here we took our last look at the sea before turning inland to home.

 It’s a mile from the sea to our home.  We are so lucky – we can get to it on foot.  By pushing ourselves a bit we could get to our neighbouring villages too.

Weekend Challenge – Walkabout

 

New boots going nowhere for now…

In 2015 I wrote my 5th blog post about my walking boots.

These boots are made for…

I have loved these boots. Really lightweight, tough and with all the right qualities I needed.

To be honest I wasn’t sure about the colour at first – raspberry, pinky red?  Previous boots were traditional brown or grey blue.   But, they were comfy from the start and that’s what matters right?

Well time has passed and, as with all things (me included), these boots are showing their age. A bit worn, faded, creased and occasionally loosing their grip!

Old boots

Going every step of the way along my walking travels over all sorts of terrain and covering at least 3,000 miles – they have been wonderful.  The 3,000 miles is my rough guess – I have just questioned this with Tim and he thinks it’s more but hey, it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things….it’s a lot of miles.

This is what it’s all about (see photo below).  In this photo I have microspikes over my boots – pulled over the boot small metal spikes are connected to small chains for grip in snow or ice.

Well, about two years ago I thought I had better have a standby pair at the ready as I had a tiny leak in one boot after walking though snow while on holiday in The Lake District.   However, I was shocked to find that this particular style had been discontinued.  I continued to search online for months with the hope that somewhere a pair would pop up as old stock.  

Then, just when I was going to give up and try for something new, the makers reinstated the same style and I was able to get my upgrades.  Fantastic.

New and as yet (May 2020) unused

So here they are.  Don’t they look lovely?

And, as yet, I haven’t used them.  I’ve had them for six months as I have been saving them for this years adventures.  In fact, we should be walking in Scotland now, as I type.  But, of course, that is now on hold as is everything else in our lives.  

Waiting.  Just waiting and hoping and dreaming about walking a little bit further than our village and surrounding countryside in the Norfolk Broads.  Just hanging in there and waiting.  All good things come to those who wait so they say…..

I am linking this post into a Weekend Challenge where the word (colour) Razzmatazz has been given.  

Weekend Challenge – Razzmatazz

It could be that this colour matches my boots?  If not I think it definitely matches a rain jacket worn in the photo below – taken in Boscastle, Cornwall.  Eating the best strawberry ice cream ever!  

Boscastle, Cornwall

 

 

Cycling during challenging times

Cycling.  Once upon a time Tim and I used to do a lot of cycling – covering many miles for fun and the odd cycle event.  We thought now would be a good time to get back on the road and get our cycling legs back.  Certainly, with our quieter roads, cyclists are a lot less vulnerable.

Saturday 10th April 2020

Its been at least two or maybe three years since we have been out on our bikes.  Our walking/hiking adventures kind of took over.  Having had some time to reflect on happy carefree times we thought we should dust the bikes down and pump up the tyres.

A test ride out – close to home during the late afternoon

We had two mid-week test rides, just to get back into the swing of things, then off we went to go a bit further on Saturday.

Springtime in the sunshine. This field is full of oil seed rape.

Leaving the village we passed several families all on their bikes – some with small children.  They can experience cycling on the road for the first time in relative safety.  Go for it I say.  It may never be this peaceful again.

Close to the coast we can follow a ‘coast road’ all the way around our lovely county of Norfolk – where it meets the sea.  Usually at Easter everyone starts to get out and about and cycling can be hazardous.  Not so today.  It was so quiet.  All the small car parks which have access to the sea are closed.  All the waterways and scenic spots deserted.  We reached Horsey Mill and sat for a moment.  

Pausing at Horsey Mill (National Trust)

Onwards we cycled along the middle of the road (just because we could) to the seaside village of Sea Palling.  Normally a magnet for those wanting a bit of beach time…all year round.  Generally it’s heaving on sunny days.  We cycled through and spotted ‘Go Home’ signs on car windscreens.  The message was working – the place was deserted.

Inland we passed a field of highland cattle and other mixed breeds.  We couldn’t help but stop here to admire these animals – unfortunately for them they had no real shelter from the warm sun and looked a bit hot in their fur coats.

Cycling through the other villages on the way home we passed people sitting in their front gardens.  We waved, they waved back.  Happy to see other people.

The main road that we followed near the end of our journey is one we haven’t cycled on for years.  It’s just so busy and can be dangerous.  Less so at the moment.

So we managed to get a good bit of exercise.  

Everyday we thank our good fortune – for where we live and our good health.  We hope to do some more cycling over the next days, weeks, months…. 

Stay safe..

 

Wednesday Challenge – Vulnerability

 

 

 

 

Xanadu : Weekly Prompt Weekend Challenge

As close as I could get, not close enough for real.  Our favourite place, The Lake District.  

Oh my goodness it must be utterly peaceful now.  How we miss the chance to visit.  Here’s hoping for an opportunity by Autumn, when, hopefully this is all over.

I hope the colour on the wall meets the challenge to match the colour of Xanadu. 

 

Stone wall with sign pointing to Ambleside

Weekend Challenge – Xanadu

Our health is everything

Thursday 26th March 2020

A simple clapping of hands has brought me to tears.

Tonight at 8pm everyone in our street stood at their doorways and windows and clapped. A car horn somewhere beeped constantly. There were cheers. When we paused slightly, in the gloomy dark evening, you could hear distant clapping continuing. Our whole village seemed to be doing the same thing. All for the NHS workers and carers of this country.

This is my first blog post without photos. It doesn’t need any.

I feel happy and sad at the same time.

Wednesday Challenge – Daily Diary

Fireworks celebrate end of South West Coast Path

Dartmouth celebrates the end of a three day annual regatta every summer with a spectacular fireworks display.  The events take place on the River Dart (including the fireworks display) – all of which attracts thousands of visitors.

Fireworks on the river Dart

We just happened to be on holiday and staying just outside the town of Dartmouth in Devon early in September 2018, our final trip down to the West Country, which saw the end of our South West Coast Path challenge.

The fireworks on that warm evening of 1st September was a happy coincidence and one we will never forget.  Sea shanties and great food being sold from market stalls made the whole experience and visit something I can recommend.

More fireworks on the river Dart

Just in case anyone wonders whether the 630 mile trail finishes at Dartmouth – it doesn’t.  It’s just the way things worked for us as we did our walking in section hikes on different trips.  I really must make a start on documenting the whole thing – from start to finish!  The actual start is Minehead in Somerset, the finish is Poole in Dorset.

Oh and just in case anyone wants to see what the above night scene looks like in the day here are a couple of photos.

View of Kingswear from Dartmouth

Another view of Kingswear from Dartmouth

 

Weekend Challenge Celebration

Plots, Plagues and a Packhorse Bridge

17th century England – a turbulent time of gunpowder plots, plague and devastating fire.  Our history books are full of information from this era.

If you lived in the countryside you might think life would have been peaceful and safe.

The valley near Little Langdale, Cumbria as we approached Slaters Bridge

But areas like the Little Langdale Valley, shown in the above photo, included lots of copper and slate in its stoney ground and men worked long and hard in dangerous conditions to get to collect it. Initially this would have been farmers then quarrymen or miners.

Transporting it over rivers or streams would be done by mule or horse and bridges were built with local materials – low enough for the packs on the backs of the animals to miss the sides. Packhorse bridges can be found all over the county in remote areas and In other parts of the country.  They are now very useful for walkers and hikers.

Slaters Bridge, crossing the River Brathy between Tilberthwaite and Little Langdale, Cumbria – 17th Century

Slater bridge from one side of the river

Tim and I have explored the high fells of the Lake District in Cumbria over many years and we still appreciate the history of the place especially when we come across structures that have survived for over 400 years.  We often stop and think about the feet that would have crossed a path or bridge – horses and men.

Last year we spent a happy hour or so having our picnic lunch and taking photos around this bridge.  One side has several large slate slabs which crosses the water, the other side has the narrow arched bridge.

Slater Bridge – a large slab of slate smooth with age

Me half way across Slaters Bridge

Enjoying a picnic lunch in an amazing location

Of all the bridges we have crossed this one is a bit special.

W/P Challenge ‘The Bridge’