Tag Archives: Winterton

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

 

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

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.

 

Under big skies : Norfolk

Our home country of Norfolk is known for big skies. The land is generally flat so I suppose it gives you more sky to look at.  Nothing or not much to block the clouds or blue view!

This posting includes photographs taken only in Norfolk with, what I hope, are some nice looking skies.

This first one is a misty view of dunes and sky with the village if Winterton on Sea as a distant backdrop.  The church is the only thing visible as a silhouette.  It was taken on one of our regular ‘home’ walks back in January 2017.

Just last weekend we saw the sun setting at the end of a long walk near Waxham.  Once again taken from a dune which I had frantically scrambled up (through brambles!) from a lower footpath.  Not hugely dramatic but i was pleased with it after my efforts.

Sometimes it’s what’s moving through the sky that grabs your attention!  A lunch stop on the beach near Horsey. Had to be quick with the camera.

If we’re just out for a picnic we take our trusty Sportbrella and pitch it wherever we like.  That orange glow looks best under moody skies!  This is Weybourne in North Norfolk.

More often than not its that typical Norfolk scene that we love, it’s how Norfolk is recognised.  This is Horsey Mill recently renovated to its former glory.

Photo Challenge Sky

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

It’s all about the seals on the Norfolk coast

From November through to early February extraordinarily high number of visitors come to a relatively remote part of the Norfolk coast, to a place called Horsey.  The number increases year on year.  The beach is ‘closed’ and wardens position themselves in the dunes daily.  It’s an invasion, a huge gathering of people and seals – it’s incredible.

Sunday January 2017

Sat on the edge of the highest dune, we are eating our lunch.  Dunes behind us, beach and sea in front.  A couple approach from the dune side (behind us) with their dog.

Me : Excuse me, there’s a seal in the dune, just down there

Man : (dog not on lead) :  Oh, she won’t go near them

Me (thinking) oh sure (eyebrows raised)

Dog : Sniffing our sandwich boxes, flasks, bags

Woman calls dog away

Man  : Bloody seals, they’re ruining the fishing around here

Me (and Tim in unison) : oh really

Man : Yes.  You’re not into fishing then?  All along this coast, it’s dreadful.  Devastating.

Silence.

After putting the dog on the lead they made their way down to take a look at the ‘bloody seals’.  We watched them from our vantage point then carried on with our lunch.  Some people really get on my nerves.

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The seal pup in the dune

Grey Seals have been coming onto the beach at Horsey in the winter months to have their pups for years.  Their numbers have grown just recently and they have become a tourist attraction.   Horsey is ‘the place’ but they can spread themselves down as far south as Winterton and north as Sea Palling and who can blame them – the beaches are wonderful here.

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Winter walkers out on a normally empty beach

Today we were at Winterton, a small ancient fishing village 15 minute drive from home.  Many years ago Tim and I took a walk from this village – our very first walk together, just the two of us, so it has a special place in our hearts.

These days we regularly walk a 5 mile circuit from here.  Its close, convenient and at this time of the year it’s a mud free zone.  The beach here isn’t patrolled or closed here by ‘seal wardens’ so there’s every chance of getting a bit closer to them.

We set off just before lunch – an unusually late start for us.  As you can see Beach Road was looking a bit busy with parking on the verge, inside the double yellow lines, it gets really messy.  I didn’t like the way the Discovery was parked (below) but loved the old red triumph in front of it.  You can just see the tall 14th century church tower back in the village behind this scene.

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Parking on Beach Road, Winterton (1)

I turned around and took another photo.  More cars, some taking a chance and parking over the double yellows.

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Parking on Beach Road, Winterton (2)

Theres a good sized car park at the top of the road – it’s just not free (at any time of the year!).

Once on the sand we turned left and marched north towards Horsey.  The wind was off shore, the skies had a light cloud and there was  a faint smell of sea weed in the air.  A pinky red seaweed comes ashore here – looks quite pretty.  The photo below isn’t of the weed but of a small pile of bricks.  It’s a sign of how fragile this coast line is – houses simply disappear.

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Bricks on beach – heading north

This was our first pup sighting.  Almost ready to fend for itself by now – the white fur being replaced by grey.

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First pup

Tim took this one (below).  I have to let him keep his hand in every now & then. Ok, it’s a good shot, it might even be better than mine!

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Oh hello

Last but not least. This pup was just below the one in the dune. Right up against the sea wall (just below the over-the-top warning signs). It was asleep this one, dreaming  with its flippers twitching.  I imagine it was about all those fish it would be eating – the fish that it needs to stay alive.

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Do not disturb – Zzzzzzzzzzzz

We left the dunes and the seals and headed off to complete our walk, which I won’t describe as ‘it’s all about the seals’.

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Winterton – from the highest dune (our lunch stop)

Our local Little Terns

Twitching just sneaked up on us – fairly recently, perhaps over the last 5 years or so.  It’s the sort of thing that people don’t admit to or are embarrassed about but now that we are safely into middle age we just don’t care.

So, every now and again we grab our bins (binoculars) and head out in search for something to spot.  Sometimes to a wildlife reserve, other times when we are just walking in the countryside.  Not always to watch birds but other animals too and these may be totally unexpected or we go out on a mission !

Wednesday evening, out on a ‘mission’ to Winterton Beach we found our local Little Tern colony.  These tiny sea birds fly in from Africa every year and simply nest on the sand, amongst stones.  They are precious because their numbers have been declining rapidly so much so that they are often watched (day & night) by wardens in an effort to protect them while nesting.

The following photos include our approach to the beach with the information board, the fenced off nesting area.  Unfortunately no photos of the birds up close but it was a lovely evening.

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