Walks I

25th July 2012 - Weeting

We must have been mad! By the time we drove to where the walk started, changed shoes, had a coffee and biscuits it was 11.20am and the sun was almost at its full strength.

We had chosen to do this walk because the map said it was inside woods. Well, 90% of it wasn't. The route skirted alongside the edges of woods (which for the most part were MOD and closed to us) and down farm tracks in almost continuous sunshine. Where we were in woods, it again took us down open tracks.

I don't know how far we walked as we chopped some of the route down but we walked for 2 hours and 10 minutes – more than enough in the humidity and 29C temperature.Luckily the car was left in slight shade so we shifted it into full shade, opened all the doors to let out the heat and gratefully sat inside to have our packed lunches.

We would normally congregate back at either B's or our house for tea but were all so hot we decided to give it a miss to cool down in showers/baths.Now, cooled and watered, we are beginning to feel normal.

We parked outside the church at Weeting.
Detoured briefly to visit the tumbledown Weeting Castle (which was I believe a fortified manor).
DB checking it out and E. reading the information board in her lovely hat (which we both forgot to bring!)

Then we meandered down a track to a pig farm (very smelly on such a hot day and not the best kept we've seen). Didn't stop to take any photographs here, just wanted to get away.We gradually walked around woods and tracks, crossing the busy main road twice before returning past the pig farm (again) and back to the church.

18th July 2012 - Stiffkey

Our walk today began at St. John's Church in Stiffkey (pronounced Stukey!).We wandered through the village before taking a left turn, over a bridge, to begin walking through the countryside.

Some of it found us down leafy lanes, through fields of sheep and worst of all, so called permissive pathways that were so overgrown, we got prickled or stung by bramble and nettles. Most were around 5' tall and all but obliterated the path. However the views and wildlife when we could see, were lovely.

Eventually we emerged onto a busy road before finding the next permissive pathway which finished on the junction with the coastal path.

The tide was out but there were literally fields of what I think is sea lavender and newly growing samphire.

Samphire is a delicacy in Norfolk (which to our shame we haven't yet tried). You boil it then pull off the outer green parts from a kind of white skeleton inner. Some like to sprinkle it with vinegar or some serve it in sauce. It is very salty but full of iron. We have got to try some. We came across the remains of a WWII bunker.
Once back in the village we saw this lovely little house/hut?

This walk should have been around 4.5 miles but when we should have turned left we went straight on and ended up nearly 1 mile away from the car.

27th June 2012 - Burnham Thorpe 

It was the start of a warm and eventual humid day as we drove to Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk, birth place of Horatio Nelson. Little is left of the rectory where he was born (and his father Edmund the Rector) as it was demolished in 1803 I believe.

Anyhow, we set off at a reasonable pace after parking in a field near the church. Some of the walk was on road, some on grass but most on very sandy lanes. Being up and down dale, this was similar to walking miles on a beach and was quite tiring!

We saw fields of barley, poppies, ox eye daisies, potatoes, rape seed and sugar beet. Several birds of prey were spotted, along with sky larks, pheasants, partridge and a little owl sitting atop a fence post.

We also saw quite a lot of these.
We longed at stages to take our shoes off and paddle in the myriad of streams we came across but dare not, for fear of not being able to get them back on again. Isn't this forget-me-not, mimulus and watercress lovely?

Eventually we returned to the church, changed shoes and wandered inside. In the porch were plastic glasses and lemonade, left for visitors to drink (what a nice touch). The inside was full of Nelson memorabilia as well as the graves of his father Edmund, mother Catherine and brother Edmund. There was a copy of his baptism plus his signature as the witness on a marriage.

We drove the short distance to The Lord Nelson Inn for lunch. We all had open sandwiches and a cold drink. E. had ham and pickle, OH bacon and brie and B. and myself, chicken, bacon and mushroom. All bar the ham were served warm. Lovely.

We then drove to Creake Abbey to have a look at the ruins, plus a look around the craft rooms before having a drink and cake at the cafe there.

All in all a lovely day. We came back and sat steaming in the car whilst it underwent a hand wash. Not so nice but we soon cooled off on the drive home.

13th June 2012 - East Barsham to Walsingham

Today for our walk, it was our turn to drive over to East Barsham and walk to Walsingham and back, maybe 6 miles. By the time we got to Walsingham, we were very tired and hungry so stopped to eat lunch at the cafe at the R.C. Shrine in Walsingham. 

This was the first time we had visited here. It is very geared up to huge masses (both the service and people) and we found it a bit commercial and overwhelming even though it was nearly empty. Anyhow, can definitely recommend this little cafe as it does nice food and is very reasonably priced. OH had a chilli burger, salad and J2O. I had bacon, egg and chips plus a J2O then we finished off with a Tunnocks teacake each for less than £18. B. had a chicken burger, chips, drink and half a cake and coffee. E. had a prawn sandwich, 2 drinks and the other half of a cake - less than us we reckon.

Then we set off again and tried to follow an old path along a ridge but was beaten back by nature and had to detour down a very steep slope to get on a road. Then we attempted to walk along a designated footpath that the farmer had planted crops on. The final picture is of us struggling through said crop - rape seed. We were also aching and covered in a fine green oily mist when we emerged.

Herewith the scenery we walked through, which was beautiful. The first picture is of East Barsham Manor, circa 1520, now a private home.

This building seems to be associated with mass prayer as there are many benches in front of it.
Here is the garden in the courtyard complex (surrounded by the shop, chapels and cafe).
These two pictures are inside each little chapel. Luckily no one was around so I could get a clear picture.

Although none of us are Roman Catholic, some of us do have a faith. Either way, we all felt quite uncomfortable - possibly to do with the over commercialism of it. Other than that, we can't explain why. Now onto the flora pictures from yesterdays walk.
 Blackberries already in bloom - is that early?

This field (before ploughing through the field of rape) was full of poppies, daisies, buttercups and masses of Phacelia.

 7th June 2012 - Fring

Our walk today was around the countryside surrounding the village of Fring in Norfolk. Part of it was along Peddar's Way, and over a Roman Ford. We strolled up leafy lanes, alongside lovely green fields full of wheat and barley, potatoes and beans. Not sure how far it was, probably 3 - 4 miles (one of our shorter ones) and it took us 1 hour 40 minutes. We walked slightly slower than normal as B. was a little breathless with her asthma and I had again, forgotten to protect my toe. It was getting quite painful towards the end.

E. then drove us to Heacham Lavender where we had lunch. A lovely Chicken and Ham pie for me. OH, B. & E. had beef - a little expensive but very nice. Wandered around the plants (didn't buy any!) although I did buy a lavender and barley pond mat that I can cut in half to use in both ponds as algae is starting to get a hold.

Herewith the photographs:

We came across quite a few wildflowers, including bramble (very early to flower) but I only remembered to photograph two of them. The first was Speedwell and the second, none of us had ever seen but turned out to be Wild Mignonette - a lovely plant - just two clumps of it on the whole walk.

31st May 2012 - Sheringham Country Park Part II

Yesterday whilst walking around said park, I mentioned that we stopped at a very special place to have our sandwiches. Here we are approaching it. 

Standing on the bridge waiting for the steam engine to 'blow' up our imaginary skirts (memories of childhood), then into a small museum room.

This is the place we stopped at, sitting on the platform under the lovely canopy, admiring the trains and gardens.

Finally the signal box and waiting room.

30th May 2012 - Sheringham Country Park Part I

Today we drove to the above named place to walk around the area and take in the floral walk. The Azalea's and Rhododendron's are in bloom now and were fantastic. We didn't stay completely on this part of the trail as we wanted to do the 5 mile walk taking in a special part of it which I will show tomorrow.

The weather was around 19 Celsius when we started with a little high mist in the trees. This soon cleared and the temperature rose to 24 Celsius as we finished. By then we were hot and thirsty.

We had stopped for lunch at the 'special place' where we all had sandwiches and various drinks. It was lovely to just chill out in the shade, watch the world go by (including a school trip!) and realising how nice it was to now be free from being involved with such trips.

Herewith the photographs:

Here are the photographs after we left the place we had lunch:

These final three were taken from a viewing platform looking down on the forest of flowers:

23rd May 2012 - Hunstanton again

Although the sun was trying to come out at home, our walk today took us to Hunstanton – the only west facing resort and beach on the east coast! You might be thinking by now that we quite like Hunstanton and you would be right.

We had T. with us who can walk along a flat surface but very slowly. B. is still on holiday.

We were undecided what to wear coat wise when we arrived as the sea mist was still around, as well as a cool breeze. The temperature was 11 Celsius.

We parked near Searle's holiday camp and ambled along at a pace suitable for T.

By the time we arrived at the end of the main promenade, we were very cold so had some hot donuts between us. T. felt able to still walk so we carried along to the famous cliffs at the end of the promenade.

They are normally very bright rusty orange but the mist was taking the edge off them. In the last photograph, you can just see the waste pipe (now occupied by the proverbial pigeons) from a previous building that has long ago slipped into the sea.

T. still felt reasonable so we carried on up to Old Hunstanton and had an early lunch at The Beach Cafe. By the time we came out (around 1:30pm, the sun was burning through the mist and the temperature had risen to 15 degrees. On getting home, the sun was out and the temperature had risen to 19 degrees so we sat out, under our awning this time, and had a cup of tea before T. and E. departed.
17th May 2012 - Blickling

Yesterday was a different walking day as B. was on grand child duties. We went to Blickling Hall and meet them there. Although it was a slower walk than normal around the lake area (free as opposed to £8.50 for the gardens or £11.50 for the house and gardens - outrageous!), we enjoyed ourselves although it was tiring pushing the pushchair over all the molehills and grass.

It was initially a lovely sunny day, blue skies, barely a cloud at home. However, as we drove to Blickling, the clouds thickened and at times it was overcast. When the sun shone it was warmer, but generally there was a cool edge to the wind. Herewith the photographs.

14th May 2012 - Oxborough

Just realised that I had forgotten to put our walk on here. This week we walked on Friday around the Oxborough Hall area. We couldn't use the car park there as the hall was closed (would have been open had we gone on Wednesday) and B. is a member!

Anyway, we parked a little up the road, had coffee and biscuits and off we went.
 It was quite a reasonable day, cool to begin with but we soon warmed up. We left Oxborough village and walked up Eastmoor Road.
Eventually we turned right into Caldecote Fen and woods, then followed the road to Caldecote Farm.

We followed the road before taking a sharp right turn to Folly Barn, 

then turning right again down Clarks/Clarke's Lane (different spellings).

Eventually we came to Gooderstone village, walking through this long winding village before coming back to the car. The last part took us a little too close, (from a smell point of view)  to some outdoor pigs. The previous rainy days had created lots of mud. Combined with their poo, plus the wind blowing in our direction nearly made us retch. However, the pigs/piglets were friendly and ran up their side of the fence to say hello.
This particular walk was 5 miles which we completed in 1 1/2 hours. We had intended to eat in the pub across from the Hall's car park but it seemed rather upmarket to us so we drove off to The Twenty Churchwardens at Cockley Cley (photograph courtesy of Google Earth).
This was a real, local pub, all dark and old fashioned. Large range of beers and spirits. They didn't do sandwiches and we weren't sure about eating there either – how wrong we were.

The staff were very friendly and the pub's dog, a Yorkshire terrier named Daisy, came to say hello but without being a nuisance. We ordered our food - I had steak & mushroom pie, new potatoes and vegetables, OH and E. had Churchwardens Pie (sausage meat, minced pork, chilli and spices) with salads, and B. had a cheese and asparagus flan with salad and new potatoes.

The pastry just melted in your mouth, the new potatoes were beautifully flavoured and the vegetables nicely cooked. If I had one complaint it was that the gravy was not made using the meat juices. All in all though, a lovely meal, highly recommended and for just £6 each. They also did lovely puddings but we were full.

All in all, a lovely day.

2nd May 2012 - The Four Villages

Today was our weekly walk. We had a late start due to both OH and B. having doctor's appointments at 11:00 hrs. We were in West Norfolk today, just outside King's Lynn in the village complex of Grimston, Roydon, Pott Row and Congham.

We walked up a long path into some woods on the edge of Grimston (a keen dog-walking area). Good job B. was on the path otherwise might have lost her in amongst all that wheat and grass!
Once in we walked about 200 meters then took a left turn.
Eventually we left the woods behind and ambled alongside hedgerows bordering planted fields.

Crossing a road we walked up St. Andrew's Lane into the little village of Congham.
We had intended to do a detour around the church and more woods but were too hungry.

We stopped in a local pub called 'The Anvil'. It has just been taken over by new people and was empty.

Although there were some fantastic specials on the board, all we wanted were sandwiches as we fancied the look of some of the puddings.

We had 2 large slices of home made bread with nearly 1cm thick Beef & Horseradish, Local Ham and Mustard, Bacon and Prawns. The dinner plates came with a small side salad and thick cut crisps. All in for £3.95 each.

3 of us had room for a pudding (normally we don't bother). OH and myself had home made Chocolate & Cherry Gateaux and B. had Banoffee Pie.

We turn left once we came out the pub and after a short while, turned right onto a public footpath bordering a large concrete area.
On our left were lots of blossom and a field containing some donkeys and sheep. This donkey was a little too far away so sorry for the slightly blurred photograph.

We came out into the rear car park and abandoned orchard area at the back of Congham Hall Hotel, then cut across their cricket pitch. All in all, the walk was around 4.3 miles, short but enjoyable. 

We found the walk back to the car more difficult as we would normally finish our walk before we eat, so were tired after sitting for so long in the pub.

20th April 2012 - Foxley Wood

We drove to the wood which is situated between Bawdeswell and Reepham, to visit their bluebells. We think another week or so would have seen them en masse but there were still enough in flower to enjoy them. 

The walk took about an hour and we saw some beautiful woodland flowers and a butterfly.
There were still large amounts of primroses around, some individual others in drifts.
We found this solitary pink primula/primrose?
A lone speckled wood butterfly was dancing low to the ground and settled long enough for me to photograph it.
Quite a lot of wood anemone.
Some wood sorrel just beginning to flower.
This plant we couldn't identify until we looked it up on our return. It is a coltsfoot - its stem was so soft to stroke.
From a distance it looked like a dandelion but as soon as I saw its stem, realized it wasn't. I remember in TV costume drama's where people would make Coltsfoot Jelly to take the ill.

Being so wet and presumably usually damp, there were large amounts of moss around both on the ground and up the bases of trees. Fantastic sight! 
There were also lots of wood violets but didn't take a photograph otherwise we would never have finished our walk. Finally, some general pictures of the area. We were please to see almost all the bluebells seemed to be the English kind - stalks bent over to one side.

 Finally, a white bluebell (this may be a cross between a Spanish and English).

11th April 2012 - Old Hunstanton

As we had E's dog Bonny with us today we went to Old Hunstanton for a walk. She has really grown since we last saw her but still has her pretty face. The first thing she did was go for a swim.
We had taken gear for all weathers but didn't need most of it as it was a beautiful sunny day with a slightly cool wind. There must have been two very high tides recently as there were distinct lines of seaweed plus hundreds of razor shell fish shells. The tide was higher up the beach than we had ever seen it and there were many stranded starfish. I found them and B. put a bag over her hand to check which ones were still alive. Those that were, were picked up and put back into the sea. I reckon we must have saved at least 20.
Along this part of the walk, there are large area's of sea marsh. The water was still flowing from them at a fair pace.
Last winter we had noticed dozens of fleece like nests attached to the branches of Sea Buck-thorn. Not knowing what they were we left them alone. Today, the larvae/caterpillars were out. Having checked online, glad we didn't get too close. They are the caterpillars of the Brown Tailed Moth and if touched or inhaled, cause a severe itchy rash and can bring on an asthma attack.
They are considered pests by most councils who will destroy the thousands (quite literally) of these caterpillars given the chance. They will spill out onto other greenery given the opportunity. Think we'll steer clear for a while.

Finished off at the Beach Cafe with a snack and hot drinks. I had an egg and bacon butty, DB. a sausage, egg and bacon butty. B. had a sausage and egg one and E. had bubble & squeak, sausages, egg and beans!. Yum yum.

4th April 2012 - Sandringham - the long walk

No photographs on our walk again today due to the very wet weather, wind and general coldness. We walked for an hour and 15 minutes in the rain. I was wearing my new Goretex coat which kept me warm and dry. Some leggings did a similar job and I was also bedding in my new walking boots. We could have gone for longer but after an hour, my feet were beginning to ache. Luckily it was the kind of walk that included lots of interlocking circles so we were able to get back to the car easily enough. I need to invest in some waterproof gloves and probably a nice warm hat then my outfit will be complete.

A leisurely lunch and hot drinks ensured our outer garments were dry before driving home. If the weather next week is dry I will use my old boots until the new ones are more flexible but they will be very good once fully ready to wear.

28th March 2012 - Blickling

Our walk today started from one of the cars parks belonging to Blickling Hall. We were a couple of miles from home before I remembered I had forgotten the camera so no photographs I'm afraid. Anyway, it was getting warm when we started but after 1/2 an hour or so, I put my sun hat on. We had all brought water with us (still had a coffee and biscuit before we left), and we certainly needed it. I think the walk was around 5 miles and took us 2 hours. 

Sometimes we were in the woods, other times walking across fields. There was only one dodgy moment near the river when we had to make a couple of jumps across very muddy ground to reach the bridge that crosses the river. We went 'off piste' again for around 30 minutes or so but soon found our way again onto the route.

We stopped at Blickling Hall for a light snack (and the cost meant only a light lunch which was still very expensive) – really, there is no need to charge so much for a sandwich and a cold drink!

Once the warm weather proper gets here, we will be taking a packed lunch and drinks and using a rucksack. Hopefully we will find somewhere nice to sit and eat. The only problem with that, is it is very hard to get started again. Even getting out the car after driving home, we all go 'ouch' as our weary muscles kick into life!!Still, we all enjoy the walk, the chats and general camaraderie.

With Easter coming up we hope next week to keep away from the hoards but the following week, we may have E's dog Bonny with us so will go to the beach. By then, we hope our lovely little beach hut cafe will be open for a very nice bacon butty, the frying of which always sets off the smoke alarm.

21st March 2012 - Hunstanton to Ringstead

We drove to St. Mary's Church at Hunstanton and completed 3/4 of our walk, going to Ringstead, where we stopped for an ice cream before arriving back at the Church. We thought it best we cut this walk down as it was my first one after injuring my hip. All went well. It was cool and slightly misty when we started but before long, the sun came out and we had to remove our fleece jackets!
We came across a ruined chapel, St. Andrew's in the distance and several tractors tilling the soil.

Wandering through an old farm complex, we were greeted by barking dogs, cock a doodling cockerels, shrilling peacocks and chattering guinea fowl. In one of the old barns was this - did anyone 'live' in one of these as a baby? I know they were the sort of thing we eagerly looked out for to make our go-carts from!

Although we all know that winter can still pounce on us, Spring is really in the air. There were beautiful flowers everywhere, violets, primula's and bluebells (most of which I forgot to photograph) except for these Leucojam Aestivums growing in a little quarry we wandered through, somewhere near Ringstead Downs Nature Reserve.
When we returned to the car, two hours had passed. (We have measured the distance since getting home and have walked 5 1/2 miles so that was good) E. had a voucher for a 10% discount at Sandringham Restaurant so we went there to have a coffee and a toasted baguette. I had mature cheddar, red onion and chutney, DB. had bacon and brie. Very nice too.
7th March 2012 - Cley

It was a wild wet and windy day as we started our weekly 'walk'. Actually as B. and I couldn't walk far, we drove to the RSPB reserve at Cley. We wandered around the small shop inside, waiting until the viewing area in the cafe was free then sat down. This particular seat is one long bench and as there wasn't quite enough space to seat us all, my husband politely asked the guy sitting there if he would minding shifting up a bit. He didn't respond. Leaving them to it whilst I went to the loo, I returned to find them smiling, looking a little embarrassed in a '3 little girls from school are we' kind of look.

The reason he didn't respond was that on that particular side of his head, he didn't have an ear! Despite this, he didn't seem at all aware of us wanting to sit but moved simply because he had finished. Maybe he had something wrong with his eyesight as well, I don't know, because when he stood up, he seemed startled to see us.

Anyway, we had a light lunch watching a few birds. It was raining hard and a sea mist was drifting in. After we had eaten, the weather cleared enough for us just to walk around the outside of the centre. We then drove down the beach road to get a better look at two ships at sea. We think they were something to do with the wind farm being built. Although I didn't get any photographs of them, I did take some snaps of the view from the cafe windows.

29th February 2012 - Sandringham to Wolferton

Today we started our walk today from Sandringham and headed towards Wolferton. On the way we walked along the drivable scenic route at Sandringham.

Next we came to and walked around the Dersingham Nature Reserve. It was a good walk down to the protected and board walk of the bog area but a little steep coming back.

We carried on to Wolferton, home to the once Royal Station where royalty used to arrive before being driven to Sandringham. Once upon a time you could still wander freely around the station, a true back in time feel to it.

Then it was sold and the owners blocked all access to it. Now, the new owners have restored it and you are free to walk along the platform and around into the goods yard. The station itself (plus its signal box etc) are all private houses but you can walk freely around most of it. That was such a surprise and it brought back memories for most of us.

We carried on around the village coming back to Sandringham. It took us 2 1/2 hours and we think was around 6 miles. If anyone wishes to look at the history of this fascinating station, this web site offers quite a bit, Wolferton Station

22nd February 2012 - Babingley

Today was our weekly walk and we decided to start from Castle Rising Church and do the walk along the Babingley River, part of West Newton (where it started to rain!), along the main road although we were getting so wet from traffic spray we diverted through the woods and got slightly lost – again. Found our way eventually and ended back at Castle Rising after 2 1/4 hours. So we reckon we walked about 5 miles but it felt more due to tramping through the bracken in the woods. Herewith the photographs. (Forgot to photograph Castle Rising Church and couldn't get across to the ruins of St. Felix Church).

Came across an old Nissan Hut in the woods and this sheep's head?

To say I was soaked through was an understatement. I really must get a waterproof coat and shoes. Although after having lunch, we all left puddles on the floor from our wet coats. We were joined by a former colleague for lunch. She is on sick leave at the moment with a really bad back – possibly a broken vertebrae (awaiting an MRI scan and possible surgery) and obviously can barely walk. She is however, so cheesed off she's getting a lift to join us. Welcome T.!

17th February 2012 - Holme next the Sea.

Yesterday's walk was along some of the beach at Holme next the Sea. We started off in a car park by the golf course, and had our obligatory coffee, Tia Maria and biscuits before setting off. Bonny was with us and thoroughly enjoyed herself chasing a ball, a rolling stone, the waves and occasionally, trying to catch the seagulls. She soon gave up! She has really sprouted up - very rangy now!

We walked along the beach for 50 minutes, headed into the woods for a while, then returned via the coastal path.

Looking back towards the defunct light house at Hunstanton.

Drove back to Hunstanton for a 50% off lunch. Considering it is in the same chain as the other one we have visited, the food is nowhere near as good and more expensive. The price of a daily roast at the other place was £6.95 before discount, here it was £8.85. As the beach cafe was open, we would probably have enjoyed one of their lunches more.

Considering it was the half term break, there were not too many people around. For most of our walk, I reckon we saw less than 15 people. The wind was blowing off the sea making a sound similar to heavy traffic in the distance. This background bass noise was accompanied by the lovely tinkling sound of waves and wavelets breaking on the foreshore. Lovely. 

There were many sea birds around but all took flight before I could photograph them. We managed to make out Curlews, Knots, Oyster Catchers and a single Cormorant.

We came home and had a late tea of home made bread and black currant jam with a cup of tea.

8th February 2012 - Snettisham to Heacham

It was a cold, grey but dry day as we set off for our walk. We parked the car in the beach car park down in Snettisham. As you can see, the tide was well and truly out. Several inches of snow was still laying on the ground and many sea birds were foraging along the foreshore for food. We walked along the sea defence foot path as far as the first few beach huts at Heacham before turning around. We returned the other side of the defences, keeping us from the wind that was beginning to blow. The temperature was around -2 when we started and -1 when we finished 1 1/2 hours later. We don't know the number of miles we walked but probably around 4 miles.

Here are some of the pictures from the walk.

We drove off to the same eatery as last week as we still had a 50% off voucher and had another carvery lunch – five of us for £18, very good value. There was a choice of roast beef, pork or steak and ale pie plus all the trimmings. Although they served the meat side of things, you could help yourself to everything else. Came back to B's house, had a cup of tea then came home.

1st February 2012 - Marham Fen & Nar Valley Way

The average temperature today on our walk was between 3 – 4 celsius. It was sunny, with a clear blue sky but a cold biting wind was blowing where we weren't protected by hedgerows or trees.

Today was a circuit route of 5 1/2 miles, taking in towards its end, Narborough Potteries, Narborough Trout Farm and the disused Narborough Bone Mill.

Here are the photographs of our walk. The first one is of us walking along a 'contained path' between two fields. Never seen one of these before.

Some lovely snowdrops, too cold for them to be open!
This defunct water wheel once drove machinery on Hall Farm, part of the Narborough Hall Estate. Most people associate it with the Bone Mill, which ground up bones from the fishing fleet including whale bones as well as the deceased remains from Hamburg Cemeteries - apparently!
These lovely pink catkins belonging to the numerous Alder trees that lined the River Nar we were walking along, were just beginning to open. My camera just doesn't do them justice. In all the years we have lived in Norfolk, I have never seen Alder catkins.
These trees were the remnants of those blown over in the gales last November - still waiting to be fully processed.

As we had a 50% off voucher for a local pub, we stopped there at the end of our walk and had 4 roast carvery lunches for the grand total of £13!

25th January 2012 - The Burnhams

Today was our weekly walk. We were down from 4 to 3 of us as B. was having a hard time with a tight chest, thinks she may have an infection. Anyway, we called in to have a cup of tea with her afterwards and all had a good laugh – mainly at the tax man's expense. They really need to get a grip! Our walk was around 5.5 miles.

Here are some of the pictures I took as we walked. It was a grey overcast day but not too cold, even along the marshes. The sun started to come out then changed its mind! Anyway, we had a lovely walk and a nice meal to finish before calling in at B's for the cup of tea and chat.

 This must be one of the smallest dwellings in Norfolk!

19th January 2012

We all had quite a good walk yesterday, around 5.75 miles and it actually took us, just for a change, the nominated time to do it. We normally finish up to half an hour earlier than stated, but the extra time was due to a farmer letting his herd of cows loose along the designated walk. Even though they were not present, they had churned up and pooped over the entire sight to a depth of around 6”.

E. merrily ploughed through it but the rest of us, climbed to the hedgerow and hanging onto barbed wire, managed to bypass the worst of it. Despite our efforts, we still got quite a lot on the bottom of our trousers, so they have been washed today and are now outside. I was a little tardy getting the washing out as I had missed the weather forecast and looking at the clouds, thought we might have rain but so far, it has kept away.

11th January 2012 - Castle Acre and area

What fun! Our walk today ended up far longer than its supposed 5.75 miles as we got lost (just been told it was just under 8 miles!!). The instructions on the walk had more than one 'straight over the 3rd crossroads', as well as more than one 'go down the hill and walk under the pylons before turning and coming back uphill under the pylons'.

We obviously took the wrong ones and ended up near a village that wasn't anywhere near the walk itself. Luckily we knew where we were so were able to back track to finish up at the car.

Many groans were emitted by us as as we endeavoured to change out of our muddy shoes ready for lunch. There was only one pub open in the village and it was another example of one with ideas of faded grandeur with prices to match. Shan't be going there again nor recommending it to anyone.

Though as you can see by the photographs, it was a lovely sunny day, hardly any breeze and we were soon quite warm. Luckily for us, we had our usual Tia Maria coffee and biscuits before starting out.

5th January 2012 - Great Cressingham

Yesterday, was our weekly walk – we did the Great Cressingham walk, stopping at a lovely pub called The Olde Windmill Inn for a well earned light lunch and drink. It is a lovely 4* silver award place, very friendly and bigger than it looks from the outside.

Had our usual Tia Maria coffee before beginning. The wind was very strong and we were quite cold before we started. However, this particular walk is mainly along country lanes and we were, for the most part, protected by the thick hedgerows.

2nd January 2012 - Roydon Common

Yesterday was our last full day with DS., DDiL. and S. We went off to a local nature reserve/common as well as the local woods (managed to find some very recently fallen baby trees so sawed them up to make them 3 walking sticks).

The reserve has wild horses grazing on it to keep everything in balance.

There are a couple of WWII observation posts.
We took a detour by a deserted quarry and found this quietly rusting away.
In the woods we took a very long guided walk around the outskirts of it. Slowing walking up the track.
Here is S. having a brief rest.
S. being rescued after a bramble rugby tackled her through her collar. Even though she is a gun dog in training, she does on occasions come to a grinding halt amongst brambles and bracken.

30th December 2011 - Wells next the Sea & Sandringham

Today we had arranged to meet up with our walking friends and all go to Wells next the Sea. It was 4 celsius with a very brisk wind, many white horses.
 The lifeboat was sitting outside its building (towards the back right of this photo).
B. and S. had a great time – many dogs were running around enjoying themselves, at one time they were joined by two other dogs and a gorgeous cocker spaniel puppy. Come on S. in you go!

After this picture was taken, we cut back through the woods and stopped for a bap and hot drink. Had to sit outside though as the cafe was jam packed. As it was still early, we drove to Sandringham for another walk then back home. E. and Bonny went home, DS. DDiL. and S. went back to the house to give S. a hose down. We stopped for a cup of tea with B. to plan our next walk. She is coming around later for a games evening - looking forward to it.
29th December 2011 - Old Hunstanton

Decided to go out for a beach walk with DS, DDiL. and S. at Old Hunstanton. There was a 50' dead Sperm Whale on the beach – it was beginning to smell. In a few days it won't be very pleasant at all.

Carried on further around the beach and came across this, which we think is a deceased conger eel.
Anyway, the wind was blowing so hard the sand was hurtling along the beach to a height of about eight inches.
S. and the kite surfers were enjoying themselves.
We finally arrived back near the beach cafe to find it open (no doubt for all the hundred's of visitors to see the dead whale. Sausage or bacon baps and hots drinks were the order of the day!

26th December 2011 - Sandringham

Went for a quiet walk around Sandringham. It was a little muddy underfoot in places and a cool breeze was blowing but we enjoyed it. Needless to say, the TV stations were still there with their equipment, no doubt waiting for Prince Philip to come home!

Thought I would photograph any wooden statues we came across.This woodcutter is inside the playground.
These two, the bear and the raven atop his house, are on the track near it.

Next comes our hugging tree. It is obviously well traversed by the local squirrels as it no longer has its hard bark exterior but rather a coconut cushion effect. We have given this tree a hug since DS. was little. It just feels really lovely and soft.
This squirrel sits on the path leading from the restaurant, cafe and shop, back to the car parks.
There are more statues around but we couldn't find them.

22nd December 2011 - Old Hunstanton

Went to Old Hunstanton today for our walk – Bonny, E's dog was with us. We haven't seen her for quite a few weeks so she has grown but still has her lovely face.
The sky was blue, the beach full of amazing sea and wind sculpted sand, a few land surfer's were whizzing around and other than 2 more people walking their dogs, it was just us. An almost empty beach – fantastic.
The sea buckthorn has now lost its leaves but its spikes remain, waiting to catch the unwary who brush past unthinkingly. The river-lets of water, caught behind the main area of sand, were shimmering in the sun with miniature waves rushing along their length, generated by the breeze.

Time seemed to pass quickly and we ended up in a pub for a light lunch. Inside it was warm even though the fires weren't lit and we could feel our faces burning as they acclimatized to the warmth.

Came back, had a cup of tea and biscuit at B's, then walked home. A present we have been waiting for and had thought lost, was sitting in the letter box so now all have been delivered/bought. We shall light our fire later on and finish the last bit of spicy beetroot soup for tea.

16th December 2011 - Burnham Overy Staithe
Today was our weekly walk and we drove to and parked near the harbour at Burnham Overy Staithe. The rain and wind lashed at us as we struggled to get into our waterproof clothing and boots. Before setting off, we had our customary coffee with Tia Maria and biscuits.

After about 1/2 an hour my feet were squelching in my boots so looks like I will need new ones. After another hour, the rain had stopped, and fingers of sunlight attempted to push their way through the dark clouds.

To say it was invigorating was an understatement. We realised the map had been lost at one stage and had to back track to find it. Luckily, it hadn't blown very far into the undergrowth.

After 1 1/2 hours of walking we completed the walk and again struggled to change in the cold wind. I needed to wring my socks out but had brought clean socks and shoes thank goodness.

Drove back through several North Norfolk villages before trying out another dog friendly pub (Bonny wasn't with us – just checking). This one was in Holme next the Sea and was called The White Horse. As we were so cold and hungry, we decided to have a hot meal. Hubby had liver, bacon, onions, mash and peas. I had Steak and Mushroom Pie, chips and peas. B. had lasagne, garlic bread and salad and E. (who had to cook that night) had prawn sandwiches, crisps and salad. Very, very, very good!

Unfortunately, although I had thought to bring my camera, I changed coats at the last minute and left it at home so sorry, no photographs.

8th December 20-11 - Lynford Stag

We went out for our weekly walk, this time to Lynford Stag, a woodland walk near Thetford. The temperature was around 5C when we arrived but 11C when we finished. The trees sheltered us very well from the howling wind which got worse as the day went on.

Lynford Hall is now a posh restaurant and hotel, which needless to say, we didn't go into. We stopped off at what looked like a greasy spoon place just off the road and was greeted by a haughty waitress who enquired "have you booked a table?" Yes, you guessed it, it was a rather posh eating place with matching prices. Anyway us girls had an overpriced mediocre bacon sandwich with one shared miniature saucepan containing chips (about 10 in all). Hubby had a posh version of butter-nut squash, lime and coconut soup. We felt rather unwanted and the haughty waitress and the even haughtier cashier (posh family by the look of things) seemed pleased to see the back of us - didn't even say goodbye. Oh to be a food critic!

2nd December 2011 - Wells next the Sea

We had our weekly walk a day late due to one of us having a hair appointment they couldn't get out of and B. being ill with asthma. We all decided, as it was cold but sunny, to go off to Wells instead of one of our larger walks so we could stay in the sun.

The sky was blue but the temperature barely 6 Celsius. The photographs made it look like a summers day but it most certainly wasn't. We parked down by the beach and decided to walk along the flood defences towards the town. This is the lifeboat station.
This is a newly made harbour to house all the boats working on the wind turbines out at sea. The white boat is the duty guard boat.
A distance shot of the lifeboat station just before reaching the wind turbine harbour.
Halfway down the flood defences and this dredger was working hard to keep the deep waters open - it silts up very quickly as the tide has a tenancy to rush in. 
Approaching the town.  The ship with the tall masts is a Dutch cafe selling their own style of apple cakes and pancakes etc but we didn't realise this until we had already eaten. 
Although it was quite windy we were protected by the grass mound. Anyway, B's asthma wouldn't have appreciated the wind down on the beach.

Stopped off in a cafe for a hot drink and toasted sandwich before walking back to the car. It was already getting colder as the sun was rapidly disappearing behind banks of clouds. As we drove home, the temperature dropped down to 4 C so think we might have another frost tonight.

24th November 2011 - Denver Sluice

Today, we have just come back from our weekly walk. Still no Bonny but E, her owner came. We drove to and parked in Downham Market where the walk begins. This walk takes you along the Great Ouse to Denver Sluice. We stopped at Denver Windmill Tearooms for lunch. I had a fried breakfast, OH has a bacon & cheese sandwich, B had an egg & bacon sandwich and E a sausage sandwich. Their's all came with a side salad and crisps. Mine came with 2 slices of buttered toast. Yum.

We then walked for another 40 minutes to get back to Downham Market and the car. Here are a few photographs of what we saw on our slightly breezy walk.

17th November 2011 - Pingo Trail

We will shortly be going out on our weekly walk. Hopefully, if this mist and fog clear, I might get some photographs to show you where we end up.

Have just got in from our 5.75m walk along part of the the Pingo Trail - very tiring and not as interesting as normal due to not being able to see any landmarks from inside the woods. It was also very damp and quite cold for most of it although we had all put on too many clothes and had to remove coats.

Stopped off on the way home at a tea room and had roast beef and beetroot sandwiches and tea. The sandwiches were lovely, they had horseradish sauce on the beetroot and were served with a small salad - hit the spot nicely. We had all wanted soup but we were late getting in and it had all gone.

10th November 2011 - Wells next the Sea

We went to Wells next the sea today for our weekly walk. E's puppy Bonny, should have been with us but she was being spayed today – maybe next week.

Thought I'd take some photo's to show you what Wells looks like. It was still misty but the sun had come out by the time we left but we didn't feel like getting new photographs.

The first looks right towards the lifeboat station.The second left towards the beach huts (plus my husband and our two walking companions). The line of deep water in these first two shots is always present. On the second in the misty distance, is a dredger working to keep it open. The tide is so far out it is on the horizon!
The third and fourth are the rows of beach huts looking out to see.

On a sunny day it is beautiful. If you carry on turning right from the first picture it takes you towards the harbour where many large sailing boats moor up and in summer, children dangle lines over the harbour wall to fish for crabs and wild samphire grows along the water line (a Norfolk delicacy). Close by the beach is a large parking area with a lovely cafe which is now being run by the National Trust. The previous vendors closed it during winter but the NT have now invested in a wood burning stove, chairs, settee's etc so all visitors can enjoy a hot drink and light lunch - which we did today.

2nd November 2011 - Blakeney

Our weekly walk today was just the four of us and no dog – she was having an at home day with her dad. We travelled in one of our friend's cars, via the coast road to Blakeney and walked the 4 mile round trip stopping for a 'starter' at what turned out to be too posh/expensive a pub to have lunch in!

Another 30 minutes after eating and we were back at the car. Had planned to have a coffee but the cafe was shut so drove to Holkham Hall and had a coffee there.

27th October 2011 - Hunstanton 

Went for our weekly walk, with the usual friends plus 2 more, a child and another Labrador. Both the dog's enjoyed themselves greatly, zooming around the beach at high speed, in and out of large puddles and lakes of seawater. 

One disappeared underneath the water but popped up quickly. She shot out and stayed out after that, obviously thought she was only going to run through a puddle but it was about 3 feet deep. The same one later ran full pelt into the back of my legs bowling me over completely. I sort of collapsed sideways in a heap. Luckily, no great damage was done but I think a bruise will develop on my hip where I landed.

Walked and talked for about an hour then went to the pub for lunch. Someone had brought a 50% off voucher so we all ate for £27 – very good value. Stayed there for about 2 hours or so then departed. We came home via a garden centre to buy 3 bags of manure for the back garden. As we had a £10 gift voucher, they cost us just £4.97 for the 3 so quite a bargain.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dc, I have just begun to go for walks with a friend. Your blog is an excellent and very welcome resource! Lxx


I love hearing from you, will read all your comments and try and answer any questions you leave. Don't forget to come back and read my reply! All comments are moderated so if you try to link it to a commercial web site, it will not be published.