Sunday, 23 March 2014

Fun, friends and four-legged folk...

As I mentioned, we were recently invited to spend a weekend in Norfolk with some pals. They had booked a holiday cottage up there and suggested we might like to join them for a few days - as the North Norfolk Coast is one of our very favourite areas, we jumped at the chance!

Travel was easily sorted - I wanted to be in Lincolnshire at Scampton during the day on the Friday, so we booked MrEH a cheap train ticket from London to Kings Lynn for after he finished work, and I collected him from there mid evening. We arrived at the village we were staying in just before 10pm, and weren't in the least surprised to find no signs of life at the cottage! A short walk to the pub found N, A and the two dogs - @UrbanGundog and @RuralGundog - it's not in the least unusual to find them in a pub! Once the chaos caused by two excitable Labradors and our arrival has abated, we settled to beer and chat before heading back to the cottage - and very sweet it was too! A traditionally built flint faced terrace,  beautifully kitted out and finished to a really good standard - we were all extremely impressed.

The following morning we jumped in to the car and drove the short distance around the coast to Blakeney - we'd intended to walk out to the point but somehow managed to park in the wrong car park so had to settle for walking a section of coast path - and the damage caused by the winter storms was very apparent...

...rather more clambering and detouring was required than the last time MrEH and I walked along this section - in places the water had come within a few feet of the top of the embankment with the path on it and it wasn't surprising that the structure had simply failed under the impact. They've begun making repairs but you get the impression that it's going to be quite a long job.

This is the view across to Cley Next The Sea - you may remember it was in the news a while back when a USAF helicopter crashed there during a night-flying exercise. No sign of such traumatic events now thankfully, just a rather lovely sleepy Norfolk Village. You can see further signs of the damaged path in that shot too. After returning to Blakeney and enjoying ice creams, we drove back round the coast to find a pub with local beer (well it would be rude not, to, surely?) and then back to the cottage for a while, before heading out in the evening for dinner. Another pub was selected - one in the Village this time, the Lifeboat Inn. Owned by Marco Pierre White, we were slightly unsure what to expect - although as N said "If they want £25 for fish & chips, we're going elsewhere!" - sensible sentiments indeed! On arriving though not only was the pub without question dog-friendly (our two furry hosts were welcomed and able to curl up next to the table) the prices were also extremely reasonable - four plates of fish & chips were duly ordered, and arrived a while later looking like this...

MrEH immediately jettisoned his mushy peas, but I decided to give mine a try and was glad I did - far from the usual image of them as so beloved of those from north of the Watford Gap, these were fresh peas, roughly pureed, and were delicious! Home made tartare sauce, and fabulously crispy chunky chips, along with a huge piece of haddock which must have been swimming about just a few hours before, it was so fresh. We've earmarked this as a definite place to visit again in the future when we're camping up in that area.

Sunday dawned so gorgeously sunny and astonishingly warm that there was only one thing for it - to head to the beach of course! Wells Next the Sea was the chosen location...

...a gorgeous expanse of sand and dunes - we walked a good two miles each way along, stopping to let the dogs paddle, and to watch birds, and a friendly inquisitive seal who seemed absolutely fascinated by all the dogs in and out of the water! We'd all elected to leave our coats in the car thankfully, and MrEH and I were wearing walking boots with wool-based socks so our feet were cool and comfy enough - N & A were both wearing wellies though (perfectly sensible beach-wear for March) and by the time we returned to the car they were both suffering rather!

Time for lunch then - more delicious food (we did feel that we'd spent the entire weekend either walking, eating or drinking, but equally we weren't complaining about this!) this time at the Wells beach cafe which serves up fare from the Holkham Estate of which the beach forms part. Tasty filled rolls and cake went down very well, and for good measure we had ice-cream at Holkham Hall itself later on!

A lovely weekend indeed then - and a huge thanks to N, A, Urbs and Rural (pictured above, looking thoughtful) for being kind enough to invite us!


ps - once again these pictures were all taken with the startlingly good Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. (Apart from the fish & chips - that was with the iPhone!)


Scarlet said...

Love the photo of Rural! It sounds like you had a great weekend - fresh air, good company and good food sounds perfect. We're hoping for much more of that ourselves in the near future!

dreamer said...

What a gorgeous dog photo!
There really are some beautiful places to visit in the UK, it's good to see some of them through the eyes (and lenses) of other bloggers.