On the conservatory wall we have a fair old sized map stuck to a cork notice board and this wonderful map is slowly filling up with a multitude of colourful pins, all depicting where we’ve been with Pod since we bought her 3 years ago. It’s hard to go a day without passing it, we can’t help but stop momentarily to remember our past adventures, plus make plans and dreams of future ones.
During these pauses are eyes are always drawn to certain areas which are void of these colourful little flags and the time had come to address it.
The east coast looked particularly barren so with 4 nights away we decided to head to Sandringham Caravan and Motorhome Club site.
The day arrived and with a 3 1/2hr drive ahead we set off just after 9am. Roads were dry all the way and no delays or road works, so we arrived a few minutes after 1pm, perfect.
Booked in easily enough and once through the gate we were amazed at how busy it was, there couldn’t have been more than half an dozen pitches left, but not to worry, we found one to our liking and soon had Pod and the awning up and looking very cosy.
All looked good so far and as the weather was with us, we jumped back into the car for a drive round the estate and to hunt down any local pubs and small shops. The surrounding area was beautiful, lots of dense woodland with small secluded roads running off in all directions. Most had large ‘do not enter’ signs and we could only presume they lead in some way back to Sandringham itself. Didn’t take long for us to find the shops and pubs in a car, but we wouldn’t recommend walking to any of them as they turned out to be around 2 miles away in any direction.
Back at Pod the temperature was starting to drop so our little electric fan heater went on and within minutes our little bubble was impervious to the outside, we reckoned we were in for a cold one as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and cold air was starting to bite. Temperature may have been 2 Deg outside, but inside we were a toasty 20.
Dinner was cooked in the ‘one-pot’ and consisted of prawn chilli/tomato tagliatelle and a glass or two of what tickled our fancy, once demolished and showers had we settled into Pods awning and set about planning the following days outing.
The weather forecast looked promising so the coastline was decided upon, we decided to start at Hunstanton and work our way round. Who said summer months were best for holidays? Not us.
Woke to a sunny but very frosty morning and once we stuck our heads up at the window, we discovered neighbours across the way were scraping the ice off car windows. We weren’t in any rush so settled back into bed with a nice hot cup of tea. Breakfast eaten and dishes done, we jumped into the car and headed off towards Hunstanton.
Paid £3.50 for 3 hours parking and headed towards the beach. Here we saw in the region of 20 kite surfers, most were already out on the sea but there were a few still setting up. Amazed us, mainly because the majority had nothing on their feet and what seemed to be thin wetsuits covering the rest of their bodies.
Up and down the shore line they went, the wind lifted the odd one up but not before they came crashing back down again. Must have been freezing, they were all wearing harnesses but goodness knows how they maintained their grip.
As we walked further along the cliff edge came into view, its colour was beautiful and you could see the multiple layers created over the centuries. It had crumbled in many places and its chalk compound was scattered along the beach. We passed the odd person hammering away on small chunks of rock, they looked very engrossed and we presumed they were endeavouring to find a fossil of some sort.
Lunch time arrived and once back on the sea front we walked along the front to find the ‘Salad Bowl Café’. If you managed to grab a table next to the windows the views from inside spanned the length of the sea front and beyond. Fish finger butties were ordered with a side order of chips and followed by two pieces of delicious cake. The sandwiches were awesome, big pieces of fresh chunky bread filled with fish goujons, delicious.
The sun was still out so once back in the car we headed off to Wells-next-the-Sea, only half an hour up the road and parking was easy enough, just outside the village. Another £3. Was handed over for parking, but on this occasion it was for 2 hours.
Very picturesque seaside village. The sea front itself wasn’t particularly large but well stocked with shops on one side and boats the other. We saw a steady queue of people coming and going from the sea wall and decided to follow suite, this seemed to take you up through the bay and towards what looked like open sea.
The sea was out and the sun was starting to drop behind us, this gave some wonderful light, which fell very dramatically onto the stranded boats and low cloud ahead of us. Once we reached the end of the wall we could see the sea through a small walkway down through the dunes, this we followed and crossed a small wooden bridge.
Once past the dunes we turned left towards the beach and were met with the most spectacular site. An extremely long row of wooden beach huts, all set back against the dunes and of every different conceivable shape, colour and size you could image, all were numbered, most were on stilts and some were quirkily named, which only seemed to add to their glamour.
The sand was also amazing, so soft, fine and extremely clean. People were still around, many with children at the waters edge and some with dogs, the huts were all closed up and no one appeared to be in residency, but we could just imagine in the summer what it must look like and would have loved a peek inside one but that wasn’t going to be happening today.
The sun was beginning to dip behind the dunes and we hadn’t even reached the end of the beach huts, we made the decision to turn back and once back at the entrance to the beach we turned for one last look to see a seal bobbing up, just at the water’s edge. The sea was on its way in and he/she must have been enjoying the current which was now whipping its way into the bay.
The drive back to Pod took us through the countryside, winding roads past villages in darkness but managed to spot the odd Christmas decoration and village fairs in the process of being constructed.
Dinner was eaten snuggled in the awning, another clear night was ahead so the temperature again dropped, but all was good as we climbed into bed which was now warm, as a hot water bottle had been secreted to keep bottoms warm.
Beautiful blue sky again greeted us as we woke and as the Christmas Market was on at Sandringham we decided to head off on foot in its direction, but not before a bit of a fry-up on the multi cooker.
No footpaths were to be had, luckily the deep, overgrown grass verge was dry enough for us to walk on most of the time, but on the odd occasion we had to walk part way along the road, have to say some drivers were not the most forgiving and many didn’t even slow as they passed, even when cars were coming in the opposite direction and road space was at its minimal.
Needless to say we made it to the market in one piece and joined the very long but fast moving queue to get into the event. £7 each was handed over and our trawl of the many stalls and displays began.
There was a huge variety of craft goods, the obvious Christmas ones and many others from clothing, soft furnishings, bags, toys and ornaments for both house and garden. Roast hog was on offer, as well as the usual burgers and of course we had to partake of a couple of cups of mulled wine, this we sat and enjoyed whilst listening ‘Bill Baileys Band’.
The sun had been out all day and we couldn’t have picked a better day, considering the amount of people, children and dogs that had passed through the grass field remained pretty firm, dread to think what it would have been like if the weather had taken a turn for the worse. People were beginning to leave and as there weren’t any street lights we also thought the time had come for us to do so too, so the perilous walk back to Pod along the grass took place and within half an hour we had our feet up with a nice cup of tea, bliss.
After dinner the weather was checked for the following day, wasn’t as good as we’d had so far but we decided to head off to Cromer to see what it had to offer.
Rained in the night, not that we noticed much as we’d slept pretty soundly, only evidence of it was the wet awning and surrounding ground. Nothing too major though, the site grounds seemed to have coped wonderfully.
Once in the car it was a 45 minute drive to Cromer, parking wasn’t an issue, plenty of ‘pay and display’ and all offered the same prices as those we’d visited the day before. A short walk along the streets, passed tall terraced houses brought us to the sea front.
Wasn’t particularly warm, but wouldn’t expect any different for November and the rain decided to make an appearance. The pier stretched out from the shore line and we could see all the restorative work that had taken place since the big storms of recent years.
We walked over the stone concourse area at the front of the pier, this was decorated with many metal strips detailing the history of the lifeboats and in some cases of lives lost. Up the steps we went and onto the pier itself.
A grand wooden structure supported my huge iron beams, we were extremely impressed with its condition and could imagine it in the height of summer; people with ice-creams, children with buckets in hand to get stuck into the crabbing which would have been on offer. Today though, it was just us and one loan surfer who was doing his best to glide along any quiver in the water that remotely looked like a wave. Brave man, it looked freezing.
At the end of the pier we found the RNLI boat housed in a purpose built structure, immaculately clean and poised to enter the cold seas should she and her crew, whoever they were, be called to do so. It always amazes us that a service such as this is funded from donations and the generosity of the public, awesome, but we do wonder why. But that’s a debate for another day, and not on here.
Time came again to hunt down a café or bar that would delight us with its offerings as lunch time had arrived. We struggled with this one, many had closed down for the season and we didn’t want to end up at McDonalds, not that there’s anything wrong with it, we’ve eaten plenty, just not today.
After walking in and out of a few places we fell across a little gem, hidden on a side street and partially blocked by a huge delivery van. ‘Hot Rocks’, from the outside the menu looked promising so in we went. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and told to pick a table that suited, we like to spread out so headed for one that was really for 4. The menu didn’t disappoint and we found out that the restaurant’s name referred to the cooking method of its steak.
Needless to say one had the steak and the other a huge Portobello mushroom/cheese burger, the steak arrived, slightly
seared on a hot slab of stone, the heat emanating from it was fierce and you didn’t want any fingers to get in the way.
Compliments were given to the staff and the chef bobbed out for a bit of a chat too, we discovered the restaurant was in its infancy but doing really well and all produce was local, always good in our books.
Feeling very satisfied we ventured outside to discover the rain had disappeared but there was still a bit of a chill blowing in from the sea. Once wrapped up we strolled along the front and noted that our lone surfer had left, do hope he managed to get the wave he had been after.
Darkness was starting to fill the sky so back to the car we went, traffic was pretty light and it wasn’t long before we were back at Pod, our last evening had arrived and we spent it going through our pictures from our stay at Sandringham, we’d crammed quite a bit in on our trip away.
Woke to a wet awning, not the best thing to have to pack away as many will testify, but better this than 4 days of rain, has to be a payoff somewhere doesn’t there.
Didn’t take long for us to be packed up and on the road as we’d made the decision to leave the bed made up, never done it before but we thought we’d give it a go and see how we go between trips. Done mainly as a trial for May 2018, our 16 night adventure of 9 sites round Scotland, 2 nights at each site and neither of us fancied remaking the bed every two days.
We digress.. Back on the road we went and were soon home, Pod was cleaned and put back in ‘Pods Place’ and the awning made an appearance in the conservatory, not ideal, but it needed to dry off properly and be ready for our next adventure.. but where ?