"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 14 March 2013

NORFOLK - Part 3

I've condensed the last two days of the holiday into one blog posting as to be quite honest the weather was that awful that we didn't exactly do a lot! In fact, during the four days away I took less photos than I normally take on a day out!

Saturday was absolutely freezing with a bitingly cold wind and heavy rain followed by heavy sleet. We visited a Craft Fair/Farmer's Market/Book Fayre in Blakeney in the morning which was very impressive. There were lots of food "goodies" and I spent a fortune on some delicious handmade cheeses from Lymn Bank Farm. The craft stalls were excellent with items ranging from paintings and prints, bird sculptures made from driftwood, handmade soaps, corn dollies to love spoons. The Book Fayre had its own hall and had a very good selection of second hand books. Books on Natural History included some rather nice Collins New Naturalist, Wayside and Woodland, Observer series and some signed Richard Mabey books. If I could have found a Mabey book I hadn't already got I would have tried to buy one of these when the family were looking the other way :)

In the afternoon Brian and I went to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Reserve at Cley. There's a huge viewing window that overlooks the marshes so we spent half an hour looking at the birds from there. We did drive along the road to the side of the Reserve to the Beach. But believe me the wind was that strong and cold that I just managed to climb up the shingle bank and look at the waves crashing on the shore before making a run back to the car. Sorry no photos I didn't even bother taking the camera out with me.

In the evening we went for a meal and it was a bit like a scene from "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" - some of the family are really rather fussy :) The first pub was too packed, the second too expensive, the 3rd too small and cramped. Finally we found a pub in Stiffkey called the Red Lion which seemed "just right" !The food was very good and I've made a mental note that they also offer accommodation as I am not sure I could persuade David and Emily to return and if Brian and I went for a weekend it could be the ideal place to stay. Brian was rather impressed with the huge choice of mussel dishes (yuk!) they offered when mussels are in season.

On Sunday the weather was, if possible, even colder with an even stronger cold wind accompanied by snow flurries.

Here's a photo of the house we stayed in at Blakeney (taken on the day we arrived)

It was lovely to see violets and daffodils in bloom as neither are flowering yet in our garden.

We stopped off at Blakeney Quay for a few minutes so I could try and take some photos. The light was dreadful and I was in and out of the car very quickly so not the best of pictures which is a shame as the place is so photogenic. The highlight for me was the sight of a couple of Turnstones.

Every village has a different sign. I would have liked to have taken photos of many more of these.

We stopped off briefly at Wells-next-the-Sea and then I persuaded Brian to drive up Lady Ann;s Drive to Holkham Gap as I had read so much about these places over the years. Again a very brief walk before dashing back to the car. A real shame about the weather as we could have had a lovely woodland and beach walk with the added bonus that I might have seen some birds!

We had all gone prepared for some cold weather but hadn't really taken the sort of clothes needed for "Arctic" type conditions!

Have to say that, despite, the weather, I really did like Norfolk and just hope we can visit again one day.


Em Parkinson said...

Arctic conditions is right. I'm surprised you didn't end up purchasing more clothing while you were there!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) I love your seaside photos especially the first 'classic' one, such an interesting read too. I feel so sorry that the weather let you down so badly. You certainly made the most of your break despite the weather but I'm sure it was terribly disappointing not to be able to do what you really wanted to especially after wanting to go there for so long. Such a shame that you couldn't make the most of Cley. The craft fayre etc. sounded lovely, I would have enjoyed that. I love cheese so definitely would have spent a fortune on that and probably other things to.

I had to laugh at the 'Goldilocks' pub experience, so glad you found the right one eventually. We have a similar problem with my friend who is beyond fussy. We always have to phone ahead to check whether they will do done to death steak with new pots or chips, strictly Birdseye garden peas and no trimmings or sauces not even gravy! That really is just about all she will eat!! I'm with you all the way on yuck to the mussels though ;-) I'm not a fish person at all.

Please do feel free to tell me to shut up Caroline ;-) I know my comments are always far too long but with you it's just like talking to my best friend :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson LOL :) I think we might have done if there had been a suitable shop :)

ShySongbird. Hi Jan :) Glad you liked the photos. It was a shame about the weather but I suppose its the one thing we can't plan for! :(

The cheeses are delicious and I've found out you can buy them online too :) I wish now I had bought more things at the Craft Fayre - could have got some early Christmas presents :)

I had to laugh about your friend :) She sounds just like Brian's brother :)

Oh goodness Jan I just love your comments :) Please keep them coming - the longer the better :) It was really nice of you to say it was like talking to your best friend :) I feel exactly the same - we do seem to have a lot in common :)

Toffeeapple said...

I did smile at your last comment as I confuse the two of you all the time. It's lovely to know that you feel like close friends.

What a shame about the weather and the lack of birds but at least you know that Norfolk is a lovely place to go.

I shall make a note of the pub with Mussel dishes, I can never get enough of them.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Many thanks for your lovely comment :)

Hopefully, I shall return :) If I keep going on about mussels for long enough Brian will agree to go back :)

The pub had about 12 different varieties of mussel dishes - I think they start re-serving them in September. They have a website too. I do hope you visit and enjoy them later in the year :)

Jerry said...

I've loved reading every word of these Norfolk posts; it's such a favourite area of ours and your pictures and descriptions make me feel I'm back up there (yet again). In fact we've been up there quite a bit lately resulting in a very exciting week this week - having an offer on a small bungalow accepted. It will be a bolt hole for us that we can adapt for our son's weelchair etc.Plus he could even live up there with a carer for weeks on end during his four month holiday from university.

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - Thank you so very much - am so glad you have enjoyed the posts :)

Norfolk is so beautiful and as I've said before it all seemed so familiar :)

That is really wonderful news about the bungalow :) I am so pleased for you all especially as it is so ideal for your son. I hope it all goes to plan and you have some lovely times there :)

Hope you get chance to do some blogging on Norfolk too - to remind me :)

Jerry said...

Yes I'll definitely be doing some Norfolk posts of my own. Also I'd love to do a painting of the reeds at Cley, perhaps with a Bittern or some Bearded Tits and the windmill and church in the background - perhaps to go in the bungalow - if I get round to it I'll put that up too.

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - That would be wonderful - I look forward to reading your posts and perhaps seeing some photos. It would be lovely to see the painting too :)

I bought a dvd from the Visitor Centre at Cley by Paul Doherty on Birdwatching in Norfolk. I am really looking forward to watching this and seeing what we missed and helping to plan possible further visits :)

Tricia said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip to Norfolk Caroline... lots of places I know and love... hopefully get back up there before toooo long.

Glad you've 'discovered' Norfolk 'for real' now and weren't disappointed :D

Ragged Robin said...

Tricia - Many thanks :) Hope we both return before to long :)

I knew I wouldn't be disappointed :) Even more beautiful than I expected :)

Rohrerbot said...

Ugh!!! That weather does not sound like fun at all. I hate freezing temps and like you, I'd be hopping in and out of the car for shots. Sorry that you had to spend much of it indoors as it looks like a cool place to check out.

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - Thanks Chris :) It really was absolutely freezing and the wind was dreadfully cold. No fun at all :( It was a shame about the weather as we had planned to do so much and these days I am not one to walk in heavy rain with camera and bins!!!

I am so hoping we can go back and visit some of the places I wanted to see as I have wanted to go to Norfolk for decades!!