Routine returns – walks, seals, crowds and an old bomb!

After an enjoyable family get together over Christmas we were back home and back to work before the start of 2018. But what did we do with the three days off before really getting back to normal on the 2nd January?

Writing this on the 6th it all seems such a long time ago…..

Saturday 30th December 2017 – Southwold, Suffolk

A winter walk. Wrap up and you can enjoy the outdoors all year round. So, once you’ve got to where you want to be, I recommend starting the day off with a delicious sausage roll and coffee.  Adnams, Southwold (Suffolk) was our destination and this was our second breakfast of the day.  Tried and tested (many times) we love this place.

Second breakfast in the cafe at Adnams, Southwold

Southwold beach huts

What started out as a bit of a casual stroll turned into a brisk march.  It’s easy to cover the miles from Southwold to Dunwich & back in the summer but daylight is short at this time of the year and we had almost bitten off more than we could chew!  We only had 15 minutes to eat our lunch at Dunwich and get back before dusk.

A serene beach scene at Dunwich – looking back towards Southwold

Thankfully, we made it back to the car before dark and didn’t have to use our head torch!

Sunday 31st December 2017 – Norwich, Norfolk

We took the plunge and risked a shopping trip on New Years Eve. Outdoor shops are, unsurprisingly, our favourites and we were there for their 10am opening.   I bought a mint green lightweight rain jacket – couldn’t resist adding another to my collection!  For some women it’s shoes and handbags for me it’s everything outdoorsy.

Evening meal with Tims parents and home before the clocks struck midnight.  We are really soooo old.

Monday 1st January 2018 – Winterton, Norfolk

Last minute decision to take a shortish walk at our local beach – Winterton.  Previous posts have mentioned the seal colony at Horsey which has seen a population explosion and now stretches all the way down to Winterton.  The crowds were certainly out today, taking advantage of the dry sunny(ish) weather.

Winterton Beach from the dunes

Amongst the lower dunes some pups were almost old enough to take to the sea.  First they have to get rid of their baby white fur.  This one was having a good scratch and you can see the sand covered in fur.

Getting rid of the fur

The crowds grew as we circled back to Winterton village at 3pm.  Why do people leave it so late in the day to get out?

These horse riders, who had been in the sea, had confidence in their horses to tackle steep sand banks.

So what about the bomb?  Well later in the week Tim was chatting with one of his clients who had also been walking on Winterton Beach the day after us, on 2nd January.

He had had an unusual find in the sand.  Apparently it was partially covered so he kicked it a few times to clear the sand and take a closer look, as you do. He then left it as it was too heavy to move.  This turned out to be an unexplored bomb from World War 2 and was destroyed by the proper authorities later that very day!  He recognised it from a television report.

Obviously it was unlikely to have gone off, due to the time spent rolling around in the sea, but can you imagine the news headlines if a member of the public or say one of those horses I photographed had detonated it!?

Heres to a Happy Healthy Safe New Year.

The bomb was briefly mentioned on the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-42579754

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WordPress Challenge : Growth

Happy New Year!

Rather sneakily I have pulled out a photo that I took almost a year ago for this challenge.  Back in February 2017 I added a post about a walk which included going through a wood carpeted with snowdrops.  The display, which we have seen more than once, makes you stop I your tracks, it’s quite something.

My post, from last year, about the walk is here:-

Hansel and Gretel with Snowdrops in Suffolk

For some reason I didn’t include a close up shot that I took which is strange because I was quite proud of it.  Anyway, it’s as if it’s been waiting for this challenge to make an appearance and I hope this is a good representation of the word Growth.

First sign of spring

Growth

WordPress Challenge : 2017 Favourites

To end the year we have been challenged with sharing our favourite photo/s of 2017 – a meaningful photo or gallery of photos.

Thats a challenge in itself isn’t it?  Generally I only ever add one photo when taking part in the WordPress challenges but this time, with the option to add more, I thought I would.  How about one photo for every season?

So this is a meaningful reflection of our year…

This first one may just be my favourite shot of the year.

Winter.  It was a lucky visit to one of our local beaches when we found large groups of seals just lounging about – officially known as a ‘haul out’.  This beach is now home to a very large colony of grey seals who use it as a safe place to give birth to their pups in November/December – the beach is roped off to avoid disturbing them.   At the end of January all the pups have disappeared from the beach and humans are allowed back onto the sand!   I crept as close as I dare and held my breath to take it.

Adult seals on Horsey Beach, Norfolk – January 2017

My second photo was taken in April while on holiday in Devon.  Having walked for several hours along the South West Coastal Path we found ‘our’ bench.  What a lucky find.  In warm spring sunshine we enjoyed our picnic lunch and felt so pleased with ourselves.  Not a sound except for bird song.  Ahead of us is Budleigh Salterton, a place that I’m sure we will visit again.

Our view of Budleigh Salterton, Devon – April 2017

Summer.  So many photos to choose from.  This one was taken on a rare day for me & Tim.  Too warm for walking we took our beach shelter and spent a few sleepy hours with our feet up, reading or just staring out at the unusually wave free North Sea.

In the shade on Walcott Beach, Norfolk – June 2017

Finally Autumn (or Fall – depending on where you live in the world).  A time that I never really used to appreciate.  Time it right and some of the best natural colours can be captured.  This photo was taken in the woods behind Felbrigg Hall, North Norfolk.  Even though some of the leaves in this shot hadn’t turned, oh my goodness it was beautiful.

The wood behind Felbrigg Hall – October 2017

Thank you to all those who are following my blog.

I hope everyone enjoys a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2017 Favorites

Padstow to Clovelly (Part 2) – Walking the South West Coastal Path

September is always special – the last days of summer.  It’s special for us as Tim celebrates his birthday mid-way through the month and we time our holidays around it – always keeping our fingers crossed for good weather for the actual day.

So here we were on this particular day pulling on our walking boots and packing our sandwich lunch into our backpacks once again for another trek. 

This post describes a section of the South West Coastal Path from our trip down to the West Country a few months ago.  If you’d like to read Part One click the link just below these words …

https://itslovelyout.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/padstow-to-clovelly-part-1-walking-the-south-west-coastal-path/

Tuesday 19th September 2017 : Polzeath to Port Isaac (Cornwall), 9 miles

We got on the early morning bus at Port Isaac with four others and (almost as if we were all on the same trip) all got off next to the car park at Polzeath. The car park being right on the beach at Polzeath.

Polzeath is a popular surfing resort with several small surfing schools, a few shops and cafes.  There were lots of people walking about in wet suits either coming from or going to the surf.  I suppose parking on the sand makes it all nice and close for surfers and other beach visitors but we didn’t fancy the idea of parking our car on the actual sand….not all day anyway.

There is a big broad open expanse of beach here.

Polzeath Beach at high tide.

Following the coastal path we soon left the town behind and headed to Pentire Point.   Along the way a colourful crowd of older (senior) walkers were coming towards us and we met them at a kissing gate.  Kissing gates usually only allow one person at a time through it and, as long as they are made properly, don’t allow animals to cross from one field to another.

So, because it was ‘one at a time’ we exchanged greetings, smiles, hellos and good mornings.  They had American accents and tagged with labels which included the curious words ‘Road Scholar’.  A quick Google search and I found this to be a walking holiday organisation.  It must be a requirement to wear the label which saves anyone getting lost I suppose!

Passing a big crowd of American walkers

A look back (into the sun) to Polzeath shows the whole bay.  It’s a wide bay.

Ahead of us now and out of sight from Polzeath was a impressive area with a less impressive name ‘The Rumps’.

Sideways on the bit of land that sticks out actually looks like the back of a slumbering dragon or dinosaur.  Can you see what I mean?

The Rumps

We got closer and rounded the headland. Paths could take you out onto the back of the ‘dinosaur’, as several people were doing, but we had to save that for another day/another holiday.

It was good to see so many people on the path and out and about today on foot but some had chosen to do their sight seeing by boat.  With such calm waters it was the perfect day for it.  It reminded me of boat trips we’ve had around the Spanish islands of Ibiza and Majorca.

Cruising around the coast in perfect conditions

We stopped for a quick snack and admired the view ourselves.

Further along we found that we had lost the crowds.  Looking at the map we could see that most people were doing a small circular walk from/to Polzeath – that explains it….

Next stop lunch, Lundy Beach.

Lundy Beach just in view

Before we stopped for lunch we passed Lundy Hole – a collapsed sea cave. Quite a sight but what was that buzzing sound?  Hedge trimming?  As we looked into Lundy Hole itself we could see a drone. We love drones so we gave it a friendly wave as its blinking red eye turned to ‘look’ at us.  The pilot obviously didn’t like what he/she saw as it flew away, super quick!  How rude!

Lundy Hole minus the drone

Around the corner we found more walkers all lounging about enjoying their picnic lunches in the sun. The tide was in and it was a bit of a scramble to get down to the sand so we found an elevated spot just next to the path and did some lounging about ourselves.

Our lunchtime view

We could have lingered here for the rest of the afternoon watching the strollers out for a picnic and those out for a swim (mad fools), but we had a few more miles to go.  So, we circled the bay, and the next smaller bay, and up onto a fairly level path heading towards Port Quin.

Along the way we passed a folly at Doyden Point which I thought was a castle. You could forgive me as it’s actually called Doyden Castle. I love a castle so it was a bit disappointing to see that firstly it wasn’t and secondly the national trust use it as a holiday home….good grief.  I didn’t bother photographing it.

We didn’t know what to expect at Port Quin.  We were hoping for a small bay with a scattering of houses and a cup of tea.  We got all three.

Approaching Port Quin

 

The ‘tea lady’ was quietly sat reading a book in the sun so we took a photo of her cafe (the Citroen van) before ordering our drinks.  Fionas cafe was parked at the back of the national trust car park – we almost missed it.

The cafe at Port Quin

We felt a bit awkward disturbing her from her reading but we really wanted our afternoon tea.  While making our drinks she told us the van was up for sale then promptly gave us the wrong change (five pounds too little change) Something was clearly on her mind.

We sat down with our drinks.  Then, rather oddly, the lady went around the van with a can of something and proceeded to spray underneath it. Tim, sat in full view this, sat with mouth open and a puzzled look. I took a sneaky ‘half selfie’ so that I could see what was going on.  Weird.

What on earth is going on? Very odd behaviour….

Anyway, drinks drunk we continued on our way, passing a few national trust properties all done up for holiday rentals.  Not a bad spot so spend a week or two – and you can make your own tea whenever you like!

Our next section of walk came as a bit of a surprise.  A narrow path up and away from Port Quin reached a turning point which we couldn’t see at first.  After hugging the cliff top we turned slightly inland where the way ahead twisted and turned and, with the ups and downs, it was impossible to pick up the pace. We passed a few couples coming the other way – all hot and shiny faced.

Then we had quite a steep climb up a stone stairway with a metal rail on one side.  The metal rail was the only thing between the path and a long  fall from the cliff face into the sea!  The photo I took really doesn’t do it justice.

Tim and the metal rail

From the top it we could almost see Port Isaac.  A level section then we said hello to this impressive beast.  Looked like he was wearing a mask and posed nicely for a photograph.

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

So, we thought our ups  and downs had finished for the day but oh no.  Look at those steps.

Just a few more steps….

Then at last – Port Isaac.

The TV programme Doc Martin (Doc Martin played  by Martin Clunes) has just finished filming series eight, all on location in and around Port Isaac.  It’s all about the life of a grumpy, abrasive and rude General Practitoner who somehow manages to be well respected by the villagers.  Tim and I have watched at least the first four series so we were quite keen to see the place in the flesh so to speak.

We had no idea how popular this programme was until we made our way down from the position I took the above photo to ‘Doc Martins Surgery/House’.  Crowds of people with cameras from all over the world come along to check it out.

We couldn’t resist doing the same – an Australian lady kindly took our photo.   Apparently this was her second visit !!

Outside Doc Martins house like propert tourists!

And so we finished our walk for the day.  Strolling amongst the crowds.  Unable to get into the pub we stopped for an ice cream before taking the steep slope up out of the village and back to the car.

A cracking walk.