Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Day Swim

Hunstanton, like many other places, celebrates Christmas with a swim. Whilst many people taking part hope to just go for a paddle, they hold a banner up and you are not allowed out until you have swum underneath it!

Herewith a few before and after pictures p Father Christmas in his little car:
 The tide was only out about 10' when we arrived (an hour early) but was quite choppy
DB wanting to take photographs only to find the battery was flat!
 A couple of chaps were hovering overhead in these
I think only 50 registered swimmers are allowed - I had to hold the camera above my head to try and get these photographs!

On the way back in:
This reindeer lucked like he had ducked beneath the banner, can't say I blame him, it was 5C on land with a stiff wind!
Some lady soldiers amongst Tetris blocks:
This is the banner they have to swim/duck under. This chap was taking dogs out to be photographed (don't worry, they didn't go in as all the dogs were a little elderly, but their tales were wagging once back on dry land)
Everyone rushed off to get changed and we walked back along the Prom before walking inland back to the car. We went through a playground, anyone remember these rides? We used to call it The Dragon:
We got back home around 2 hours after leaving - lovely:)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Walking around Hindringham

We parked at the lovely village hall, in their rather large car park. A chap was busy cutting down ivy and putting it into bags (for decorations rather than disposing of we reckoned). We had our usual coffee and biscuits and watched a lorry back up into the farm behind where we were standing, ready to be filled with sugar beet:
Despite being well wrapped up in the appropriate clothing we were freezing and our coffee went cold very quickly. Setting off at a quick pace to try and warm up, we walked out the village and came to this rather muddy track, up which we had to go for about a mile:
Turning off we crossed walked around fields, down lanes and eventually got rather warm and had to remove hats, gloves etc. On our way back into Hindringham, the wind was full force into our faces and whilst walking down a particular small road, we could not hear cars behind us until the last minute. Most drivers were fine, slowing down until we heard them (didn't even beep their horns which was nice) but one particular old chap, must have thought he owned the road and visibly shook his head at us in a despairing kind of way.

I considered giving him a piece of my mind and to explain but he drove off once he drew level with us, still shaking his head. We came back into the village past the rather lovely little church:
It could, with the addition of daffodils, almost have been a Spring day don't you think? Anyway, the walk took us 1.5 hours and we walked 4.5 miles. A good if cold walk. We had to drive to the cafe at The Walsingham Shrine for lunch, the nearest place. I had 3 rashers of bacon, an egg and chips, E and DB had sausage and chips and we all had latte coffee. Very nice and not at all expensive compared to some places we go and all food it cooked to order (except I imagine jacket potatoes) otherwise you would have a long wait!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Heacham Dam - a circular kind of walk!

We parked the car at the south beach, intending to go onto the beach initially. Then we saw just behind where we had parked, a grass bank with a walks post nearby and changed our minds.

Herewith some pictures. We were well wrapped up to begin with:
Then the clouds started to disappear and the sun came out:
Getting brighter and warmer:
The sea was out but this was the view of some inland lakes/streams standing on top of the dam:
Heading back to the car now, we walked through a near deserted caravan park. Many of the homes were built either onto or into old boats - most enterprising.
We walked around 4 miles in an hour and a half (quite a bit of climbing up and down), changed and drove off to have lunch at The Feathers in Dersingham. Very nice and not very expensive. We were certainly full.

E. had brought some mince pies for us all to enjoy with a cup of tea at our house with T.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Walking in the rain around Southery

Heavy rain greeted us on the morning of our walk but by the time we had driven to Southery, had coffee and biscuits it was down to a heavy drizzle. We were parked under the trees at the church rather than the pub car park as written on the map, aiming to do the walk in turquoise map

We got a little lost and ended up walking further along the Ten Foot Drain than intended. The walk should have been a sort of squared off figure of eight, with a larger and a smaller bit. Our large bit was bigger than intended so we missed out the smaller bit (if that makes sense).

Anyhow, we did just under 4 miles which in the wet and with mud clinging to the bottom of our boots from trudging along and across fields, it was quite enough.

Herewith a few pictures though not a lot to see due to the drizzle:

Water was pouring from the land drains into the ditches:
As we came back into Southery, we saw these remains of St. Mary's Church, such a shame to see the graveyard in this state:

The pub was open but E. wanted to go somewhere else for lunch as she was on the hunt for a particular present for her DiL. We ended up at Denver Mill where M. and E. had a large Cornish pasty, salad and chips. I had an English Breakfast with bubble and squeak (tasteless unfortunately).

They gave me 2 huge slices of bread as well which I couldn't eat so they and their butter, were brought home to have as our toast snack later in the evening.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Whissonsett to Godwick and back again

Our walk this week was a repeat of one we last did with B. E. hadn't been with us as she had broken her leg whilst on holiday!

We parked at Whissonsett Village Hall, had our coffee and chocolate biscuits and set off. It was a lovely day, cool but not too cool, with the sun popping out eventually after about 15 minutes from starting.

As you leave the village, you come across this memorial to a local lad, Ben, who died in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve:

Eventually you turn left and down a farm track to Godwick turkey farm, where they breed Norfolk Black turkey both free range and indoor reared:
After chatting to them for a little while (like you do), we turned right and crossed the meadows to reach the deserted village . Here is another memorial to Ben, so sad:
Surviving church tower/folly (hard to guess which from the description here
You have to walk through the farmyard to follow the track. Normally it was deserted but this time it was full of men so thought we had better ask if it was okay to carry on. We were asked whether we had walked in Yorkshire recently (avian flu) and when we said no, were okay to carry on:
The farmer who owns these couple of fields had kindly sprayed a yellow brick road for us to follow:
Eventually we returned, changed out of our very sticky muddy boots and went to The Mulberry Farm Shop at Stansfield for lunch. We all settled on a quiche and salad, it was a starter and was huge as it was accompanied by coleslaw and potato salad, plus we had order a shared bowl of chips which was the largest we had ever had for just £1.50.

All in all, a very good day.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hunstanton to Ringstead Downs and back

Our walk this week, took in part of this map

We missed out the part along the coast staying inland for all the walk. It took us 2 1/4 hours and was 5.5 miles, which with my sore feet from our visit to Norwich on Monday, could have been a little shorter!

Herewith a few photographs. This first one is the ruins of an church, taken whilst hiding under a tree from the first of two torrential downpours:
We had inadvisedly talked each other out of taking our waterproof trousers!

Second downpour and another tree:
I eventually joined them as their tree had a little more foliage than mine:)

Walking through a farmyard, we came across this old pram, still there from another walk:
Eventually we reached Ringstead Downs - see, not all of Norfolk is flat!
When we last did this walk it was late Spring and the whole place was filled with beautiful flowers.

By now my feet were really starting to hurt and we still had around 1.5 miles to go. When we visited Norwich to get a little more wedding shopping done, I had stupidly worn boots which I thought had been fully bedded in (they are narrower than I usually wear).

5 miles around Norwich and I was starting to limp. We had lunch at the Refectory in Norwich Cathedral which we both would have liked to walk around but couldn't:(

Anyhow, we did find the grave of Edith Cavell nearby:
It has just been awarded a grant to give her a new resting place although quite frankly, this one looks fine.

So there you have it, 10 miles in 3 days, too much for my poor old feet which have sore pads, sore little toes and nice blisters at the bottom of each big toe!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Walking around Colkirk

We have done this walk before so not so many photographs as usual. It was quite a cold start but we all got too warm and had to remove coats as we went along.

We bimbled down country lanes:
Poor DB was carrying a summer pair of walking boots for me as I was using my new walking boots for the first time on our walk after bedding them in!

We strode across country fields in the now warming sunshine:
Looked up to see an aircraft slowly meandering above us:
We could hear but not see, loads of pink footed geese - we recognise their call now. Getting back to near the car, we came across their lovely village hall:
Eventually we finished, 4 miles in about 1 hour 40 minutes. E. has had an injection in her right hip so we weren't quite as quick as normal.

After changing we drove to the local pub only to find it closed, say what! Ah well, we needed to pay our deposit for our Christmas meal so did so then had a light lunch at Sculthorpe Mill. DB had ham and piccalilli, E. and I had prawn and crab. Each came with a spoonful of salad and some home made vegetable crisps. All for £4.95 - the cheapest yet!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Around Bircham

This week we parked at Bircham Community Centre and set off on what should have been a 4 mile walk. Deep in conversation, we missed our second turning and didn't realise for a while. Once spotted, we back-tracked and carried on.

We were unsure where to eat later on, but the Bircham Windmill was already shut, so it was ruled out! Must admit, being the school holidays, we thought it might still be open.

Carrying on, we came out near this big pond, where a duck was making a huge amount of noise, almost none stop - can you spot it, just near the white lines:
Here are DB and E. taking a look:
We turned right here and carried on. After a while we realised we hadn't come out where we should have. We needed to come out of a field, across the road and carried on, our turning was nowhere to be seen. Quite a bit of map consulting ensued before we pick up the trail again.

Eventually we came back to the car, changed and drove to our eating place, The King William at Sedgeford. A sandwich lunch here is very good value as you get a metal pot of chips as part of the price. Everywhere else, seems to sell them separately!

We all chose toasted sandwiches, DB had chicken, pesto and mozzarella, E. had cheese and onion and I chose smoked bacon, brie and tomato. Each plate came with the pot of chips and a nice amount of side salad, the price varying from £5.50 to £6.99.

E. and I swapped one half of our sandwiches as we wanted to taste each others, ready for another visit sometime.

Friday, 24 October 2014

West Acre to Narford

Our walk this week comes from a pamphlet entitled "Footsteps through time, Walks in the Nar Valley". We did walk 3 originally 5 miles but we didn't walk up to St. Mary's Church behind Narford Hall, which cut out 1 mile.

It was slightly nippy when we started but soon warmed up. For a change, I was suitably dressed, a little cool to begin with but just right by the time we finished.

Herewith some photographs - view from the top of a slope, looking down on West Acre log place:
 E. and DB (he was double checking his map as this was the walk we got lost on last time)
We managed to do two lots of 'poo sticks' along small rivers. This one is as you enter West Acre from Narford:
The old Methodist Chapel converted into studios and where you go to the outside theatre:
New to us was this building to its side:
E. needed something for her garden so we popped into West Acre Garden Nursery where this chap was standing guard on the pasture to the rear of the hall:
 And a close up:
It took us just over an hour. We went to have lunch at the lovely Tea Room next to the Church in Castle Acre where this leaflet can be picked up. They will close November 16th and re-open late January early February. DB had sausage, bacon and egg pie, E. gammon sandwich and I had a prawn sandwich. All washed down with strong Builders tea for us and everyday tea for E, in tea pots and with strainers. Lovely jubbley!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wells next the Sea, Warham and Wighton

This whole official walk would normally be 8.5 miles long and take 4 hours. We did our own route which was approximately 4 miles and 2 hours long. After just coming back from our walking holiday, we were quite tired by the end!

We parked in the town and walked down the main shopping street to the harbour. Just for a change, the tide was in:
We turned right and followed the route, walking past the fishermen unloading their boats and cleaning out, then on past the Sailing Club. Here are DB and E. striding out, deep in conversation:
We were surprised by how many people were out and about. We initially took the Norfolk Coastal path to Stiffkey, walking along the coastal defences. There were quite a few marshland plants in full  Autumnal colour:
After that I forgot to take more photographs as it was such a glorious day, we wanted to walk, talk and enjoy the scenery. We didn't stay on the coastal path for long, turning inwards towards the countryside and generally, taking a slightly wiggly oblong shaped walk. No map as we were doing our own thing.

Eventually we returned to Wells via the old High Street, a street we hadn't seen before. This must once have been the main shopping area in days gone by. Each house in the street was painted a slightly different pastel shade. All seemed to be early 18th Century and quite obviously, most had once been shops. Here is a link to a photograph of the street The Old High Street

The cafe we normally eat at, near Holkham Hall is closed and being turned into 10 new bedrooms for the Victorian Pub. We drove to the Hall itself and had lunch in their main cafe - Sausage Baguettes, DB had chilli.

Arthur Howells Butchers in the main shopping street is renowned for his meat as mentioned previously on a post. They always have something on offer. First time it was half price beef joints, last time pork chops, this time sausages. Whenever you eat sausages at any of the Holkham cafes, these are the ones they serve, known as Wells mix.

They were on offer at 6 for £2. We bought 12 of the Wells variety, 6 of Wells Smuggler and 6 of Wells Old English:
We wrapped them into pairs, labelled and put them in the freezer. Each pack will normally serve as one meal for us both, usually in the form of Wartime Toad in the Hole. Yes, I know, one sausage each, blimey. On the odd occasions we fancy 2 each then we can have them.