Category Archives: Norfolk

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

 

 

 

 

A lane with a funny name

‘Ok, hang on, I’ll need to step back into the road to get your feet in’.

Now that he had the camera in his hands Tim was risking life and limb to take this photo.  And it was such a brave thing to do with the tears of laughter in his eyes blurring his vision.  He could hardly keep the camera steady with his giggling.

Sometimes I could kick myself.  I’d been the one that had spotted this unusual street road sign and laughed saying ‘oh look isn’t that a strange name, ha, ha’.

Oh well.  Just give it your best old smile I thought.

We were on a long walk in North Norfolk on a boiling hot day.  Starting at Blakeney we walked the coast path to Cley then inland to Glandford over Wiveton Down and back to Blakeney.

Cley next the sea

Here are just a few photos of Cley – a village that used to have a thriving harbour but is now surrounded by marshland on its northern edge.  So it isn’t actually next to the sea anymore but occasionally gets threatened by it!

The sea has been replaced by marsh at Cley.

The main road (coast road) that runs through Cley – in the summer months it’s a bottleneck for traffic passing through.

An old trade still continues.

The Picnic Fayre Deli. Well worth a visit.

One of the lanes running up from the Main Street.

Cley Church dating back to 1320-1340

As you can see flint (cobbles or knapped) are used widely with brick in the buildings and walls throughout the village.

Finally here is a photo of what I always imagine when I think of a lane.  A small walkway between buildings.  I don’t know it’s name but there are a few of them in Cley and I love them.  More than the one I mentioned at the start of this post!

One of the lanes running up from the Main Street.

 

Word/Photo Challenge ‘The Street’

 

Signs of life under a white cloudy sky : 2020

‘Look at all that.   Looks like someone has dumped a load of rubbish next to the footpath?  That’s terrible’  I said.

Approaching the rubbish just off the path in Winterton Dunes

We got closer and then a small group of people appeared, all lounging on the ground amongst the heather below a few small trees.  They were drinking tea from flasks and dressed in scruffy clothes.  Scattered about them were colourful crates and sacks and heavy duty garden tools.

‘Hello, we thought we’d seen a whole pile of rubbish but now we can see you are actually people!’ Tim said.  Thankfully they seemed to find that amusing.

‘Have you seen any Rhodededrums?’ someone asked.  ‘Er, no I don’t think we have’, I said, looking back and hoping that was the right answer.  ‘That’s good – that’s what we are clearing….’ came a reply.

After a short (now we understand) pause we smiled, it seemed like we could all be friends!  Then, because we couldn’t think of anything else to say, we gave them a cheery goodbye and we carried on walking.

‘Didnt know Rhodededrums were a problem’ Tim said.  Neither did I.

You learn something every day.

Sunday 5th January 2020

Walking is how Tim and I got together.  Loving the outdoors, wherever we are, on foot.  It’s true that connecting with nature helps when other things in life are tough.

A walk we do often is a short drive from home and is the first walk we ever did together.  It’s about 5 miles long and can be enjoyed year round.  For blowing the Christmas and New Year cobwebs away this is perfect.  It’s a circular which usually starts at the small coastal village of Winterton.  Winterton is popular at weekends, especially with dog owners, so be warned….the parking can be tricky to say the least.

We parked outside of the village and walked a track through the Burnley Hall estate.  It’s easy, dry underfoot and very very quiet.  Eventually the concrete runs out and small footpaths are followed to the beach.  I noticed catkins appearing in the hedgerows. In mid winter, with some berries still in the shrubs, this might sound a bit crazy but I feel like this is the first sign of Spring.

There’s a small enclosure with two small lean two barns at either end protecting the animals from the weather where cattle are kept during the winter months.  These are beautiful beasts with short legs and brown or black coats – I have no idea what breed they are.  They were busy feeding but didn’t mind having their photo taken.  They are, as all cattle seem to be, very nosy.

Cattle eating

Cattle being nosy

On we went to the dunes and sea.

Track to the dunes

We stopped to have a bite to eat and drink and watched the seals on the beach.  Seal pup births have again been very high this year.  There were fewer today than a few weeks before Christmas.  Looking up the beach however we could see a huge mass of people on the beach at Winterton.  Out for a quiet stroll?

View along the coast to Winterton. Church just visible.

We took one of the many dune paths to the village and this is where we found our ‘rubbish’ people.  I have since found out that this group were volunteers working for the Norfolk Conservation Corps.  Doing some good work each weekend in some really special places in the Norfolk countryside.

Further along I photographed the path – here you can see small oaks and birch trees that skirt the dunes.

Through the village we passed through the church ground, past the allotments and onto a very muddy ‘low road’.

Winterton Church

Through the church yard

Allotments vegetables

Muddy path!

Though the village was busy we didnt see anyone along this bit!

Nearly back at the car the owners of these converted barns are in a wonderful spot with views out onto open countryside and a ten minute walk from the beach.  Not a bad spot.

Happy New Year.  Hoping for good walks, good health and good times.

 

 

Word/Photo Challenge White

Treasures and treasured memories

As a child I remember lovely summer holidays with my Dutch family who lived on the coast. All our days seemed to be spent on the beach, the sun shone warmly and we loved it.  The North Sea never seemed quite as cold as it does now!

Occasionally me and my brother and sister and cousins would go walking along the shore with my aunty and she would be on the look out for glass. Often she would pick up handfuls of freshly smashed pieces and dispose of them – saving our feet, and other beach goers, from very nasty injuries.

This was back in the 1970s and times have changed. Plastic has replaced glass in our lives – that’s another story and is now perhaps a much nastier issue.  When Tim and I walk the coastline I can’t help but pick up plastic or my particular pet hate – balloons, some with their colourful ties still attached. So many end up in the sea.

Shiny jagged glass these days is a much rarer sight.  What we usually find are small pieces that have been tumbled for a few years so that they are like smooth pebbles.  Jewels Infact.

We find so many that we fill old coffee jars and have ornaments that remind us of sand and sea and journeys.   Clear (white) and green are most common as can be seen in the jar below.

Blue glass is quite a rare find and we get quite excited when we find some.  They have pride of place in the lid of the jar.  The red one was such an amazing find. I think we found that one quite a long way from our local Norfolk beaches – it was on a small beach near Lyme Regis when we were searching for fossils.

I often wonder about the age of some of these and what bottle they came from.  Something that will always be a mystery.

Thanks to my Tante (aunty) I never walk along a beach without scanning the sand and thinking of her.  I am so pleased that I remember this time with her.

 

 

Weekly Prompts : Bottles

Tea and cake and darkening skies

We sat in the cafe and watched the grains of sand falling through the egg timer.  Never before have I waited for my tea to brew in this way. Tea time ticking slowly past.  Perhaps all tea making should be like this?  As long as it includes a large slice of lemon drizzle cake I don’t see why not!

Just up the coast from us in the village of Winterton a couple have set up a cafe joined to a post office.  It’s a revamped post office but a new cafe – both within the same building.  They have made a super job of this and I can highly recommend a visit.

The link below gives much more detail and photos of the inside.

About Poppy’s Cafe

As usual I couldn’t resist taking a few photos myself.  I had minutes to spare and just for once wasn’t running to catch up with Tim which is what usually happens when I stop to take photos.

Table decoration – crocheted flowers were a lovely touch.

The prices seem very reasonable too which is always a bonus.   The comfy chairs by the fireplace will be lovely and cosy in the winter.

Here’s how it looks from the outside.  For local readers and possible visitors who are wondering where it is.. The cobble and brick front is the cafe, the whitewash brick is the post office.  It’s just along from the fish & chip shop which is also a favourite of ours.

Unfortunately I left the camera on macro mode so it’s slightly blurry.

Turning around – this is the view of The Loke.  Nice soft focus with the macro still left on!

So, I mentioned dark clouds in the title of this post.  Once out of the cafe we headed for the beach.  It’s a two minute walk from here.

The Dune Cafe with car park and old Fishermans huts are all threatened by stormy seas as is most of our sandy coastline.  Fairly recently large rectangular blocks have been placed at the foot of the dune just below the cafe.  I’m not sure whether this will help.  Let’s hope so.

The photo below shows one of the Fishermans huts oh so close to the cliff edge.  The car park is just in front of it.

Five minutes later we looked back.  We were stood in sunshine but it looked a bit stormy south of Winterton – towards Scraty and Caister and Great Yarmouth.

By the way, you can just see some people stood at the edge of the sea in the photo below.  They had been flying a drone and it crashed into the sea.  Bye bye drone…..

 

We did this walk last weekend.  We had two heavy showers.  Today it hasn’t stopped raining and flooding has happened across the county….not so lovely out.

 

First line of defence

Two days of walking on our local beaches here in Norfolk has really made us worry about the state of our sea defences.

Our coast is made up of sand with dunes which leaves large stretches vulnerable and at risk of erosion – and the erosion seems to be happening more and more often and at quite a speed.  Cliffs crumble away and can be dangerous, often collapsing without warning.

Yesterday we walked from a small village called Walcott to another village called Happisburgh – out along the beach and back along the cliff. The two and a half mile stretch of beach is something we’ve never done.

This is what most of it looks like.  There’s quite a high cliff just here.

There are lots of groynes.  Some running into the sea and others (as above) running in lines parallel with the sea.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, after a few years the metal bolts start to become loose, the wood rots and bits break away.

Here is Happisburgh church just peeking over the cliff (see photo below).  It’s getting closer and closer to the edge.   Great chunks of land and homes have fallen into the sea.  The static caravan park between the church and the edge of the cliff has closed and the site has almost been cleared.

This all sounds a bit grim, which is unlike me, but it’s how it is.  The photo below shows an old pillbox – once a cliff top lookout during wartime now resting on the beach quite a way from the current cliff edge.

On a positive note the view from the path on the way back is still a nice view – with the church in the distance.  And the farmer is still watering the crops.  We had to do a strategic run to avoid the spray!

We will continue to walk the coastal path here and monitor any changes.

Today we did a longer walk along the beach from Waxham to Eccles on sea. Sea Palling beach is between the two and is well protected by man made reefs put in place in 1995.  As a result the small village is protected and visitors flock here to enjoy the wonderful sandy beach.

Seals love this place too.  However they are usually born during the winter so this youngster, in the photo below, was a surprise to us.

The line of reefs can be seen in the photo.  As you can see, the beach has some rocky groynes which will hopefully last a little bit longer than the wooden/metal structures.

A few miles on and we reached the lifeboat ramp at Eccles and our turn around point.

There are several newer looking groynes here in amongst some rusting old defences.

I think it would be far better if more reefs were built.   I know it means bringing in lots of rock but this seems to be working as our first line of defence.

 

 

Photo Challenge Line-Up

Getting close to cattle on footpaths

Just saying Good Morning

Once upon a time one of the biggest fears Tim and I had when out and about walking was meeting cattle.  We would scramble across stiles and edge our way around fields.

So many stories of walkers being chased or worse, trampled, when crossing fields played on our minds.

However, over the many years of walking, we have only once been really scared.  That was up in the Lake District when we had no where to go and a herd was heading along the same path as us.  We escaped up a steep rocky bank and they passed by.  Mooing loudly as they went!

Be careful if you have a dog and be respectful if they have young and you shouldn’t really have any problems.

Here are a few photos which show how brave we have managed to get.

Cattle – always curious. We admired this one more than most.

Some have lovely fluffy hair styles

Regular milking stock

Best of all are the Highland cattle.  Surprisingly at home in Norfolk and Cornwall.

Quite fearsome but just like teddy bears

Up close but friendly

Quite at home on the coast

Photo Challenge Close

 

Sailing away on a very warm day

Sunday 25th August 2019

It was almost 30 degrees and we had to leave our simmering garden for somewhere cooler.

Instead of heading to the beach (our nearest being about a mile away) to join the masses we went to our closest river, The Thurne, and took a slow stroll along it.   Here we found a gentle breeze.

Yes its been a warm couple of days and we really shouldn’t complain about that but it’s what happens in this country isn’t it?  We’ve always got the weather to talk about.

In full flow of the school summer holidays the population of Norfolk swells as the holiday makers come to enjoy beaches, waterways and open countryside.  It was certainly busy busy on the river bank at Potter Heigham.

Hire boats and privately owned boats of all shapes and sizes with assorted passengers are a fairly normal sight on the waterways in this part of the world but it was the bigger sailing yachts and their crews (just beyond the red sailed boat) that really caught my eye.

On board were several groups of teenagers who were probably doing something they had never done before – experiencing a bygone era when telephones were a luxury.  These wonderful wooden boats were from Hunters Yard, Ludham which is about 2 miles from this spot.  I’ve had a quick look at their website and they promote youth sailing which I think is fantastic.

Here they are a little closer before raising the sails.

A few set off from their moorings, heading in the same direction as us.  I couldn’t help but take a few photos as we travelled along.

The Thurne heads north to a large broad called Hickling.  The first of the large sailing yacht with the youngesters onboard, legs over the edge in the water, headed that way and we watched them disappear while sitting on the bank near the footpath.

Another came along shortly afterwards but the teacher (skipper) wasn’t sure whether to go straight on or left.  A frantic radio message finally had a reply that he needed which was just before I was about to shout out ‘left’. They circled and headed away…

How strange that he didn’t know the route.  Was he a teacher or a hired skipper I wondered.

The last to come past us before we left this spot was a small sail boat with a couple on board.  They appeared in the first photo.  They sailed straight on – to a quieter waterway with an air of experience.

Their boat was called ‘Serene’.

When comparing these boats which is best and which would you prefer, the large yachts or the smaller boat?

Size Matters