Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Long Weekend In Norfolk

I love Norfolk: not only is it a relatively quick drive from Leicester, but it's just so beautiful. Thomas and I have visited the North Norfolk coast together three times now, and especially enjoy the bleak and windswept beauty of the area off-season. As lovely as Norfolk is in summer, it can get overrun with visitors. In October (when we usually go) or February, on this trip, the roads are emptier, the pubs are quieter, and the beaches blissful expanses of sand.

Last weekend we were back on the A47 heading down to Stiffkey, a tiny village a few miles outside Wells-Next-The-Sea. Our cottage was the cutest, cosiest space we could have hoped for (although, as we realised when we were awoken at 7am on Friday, it directly abutted a building site - but that's another story!). Our plans were for plenty of relaxed walks, time spent with friends who live locally, and  lots of reading.
After a bracing but gloriously sunny walk along the coastal path, with stunning views across the saltmarsh, we headed into Wells on Friday for a mooch around the shops and a walk on the beach. I love Nomad & The Bowerbird in Wells, and always insist on a visit to eye up the vintage signs and lettering (this time I managed to escape without parting with my money).
Saturday dawned grey and rainy so we headed over to Norwich to visit the cathedral, which is one of my favourite in the UK (yes, I have a favourite cathedral. Yes, I'm a massive geek). The way they combine modern additions and stained glass work with the original building is wonderful; thanks to the pouring rain, I didn't take a photograph of the visitor centre, but it's so cleverly incorporated into the ancient stonework.
We had a delicious lunch at The Iron House (I'm still fantasising about their tofu katsu curry - oh my!) then, taking advantage of a break in the rain, poked around The Lanes admiring street art and sniggering like teenagers at road signs.
Thanks to the building work next door, we cut our holiday short by a couple of days and headed home on the Sunday after meeting friends for a walk along the marshes to Blakeney and a pub lunch. Luckily, super-negotiator Thomas has wangled us a full refund so we're already planning our visit to the area.

19 comments:

  1. My mother in law lives in Norfolk and I always love escaping London to spend a few days there. She's in a small village near Norwich but we're planning a wee trip to North Norfolk this Autumn, I'll be sure to pop Wells on the list. C x

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    1. North Norfolk is just stunning, the walk from Wells beach to Holkham through the pines is my favourite, and we also really loved the walk from Stiffkey marshes to Blakeney along the coastal path (followed by a hearty Sunday lunch in the White Horse).

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    2. Ooooh more good tips. What was the veg option(s) at the white horse? I'm staying in Wells next month.

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    3. Thomas had to suffice with hummus and bread and soup, as the veggie mains involved cheese, but there was a delicious sounding risotto when we were there (although risotto is the new veggie lasagne as the default option!). In Wells there's a nice pub/restaurant at the bottom of the main shopping street, facing the quay, that does amazing stone-baked pizzas, including lots of veggie options. And the Red Lion in Stiffkey had some good veggie options too (plus the most delicious mussels, if you eat seafood)

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    4. Great, thanks! I went to the golden fleece in Wells last time, they provided off-menu vegan choices - the Thai curry did not disappoint. I love fish & seafood! We're only there for a couple of days this time but have noted the food options and hope to report back :D

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  2. Did you just say, "tofu katsu curry"???????? OHHHHHHHHH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'd love to visit here! CBC and I had a lovely break to Norfolk and Suffolk a few years ago and I'd like to explore more!

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    1. It was SO freaking great! My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

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  3. I love a wander around a cathedral too and that stained glass is AMAZING! As for the sniggering at street signs, I'm definitely there with you on that one. Teenage boy humour for the win :)

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    1. Haha, I'm glad it's not just me who's puerile!

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  4. I've never made it down to Norfolk - I really need to though - it looks beautiful!

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    1. It's very much worth a visit - and as boring as it is, I enjoy going back to the same place each year (it makes my task of driving a lot easier, for one thing)

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  5. It's a beautiful area. Despite being only a short drive away I don't get there as often as I'd like. And I've never been to the cathedral, but it's now been pushed higher up the list :)
    Result on the refund (shame about the building site) but another visit yay!

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    1. I'm looking on it as a win - we basically got a free three day holiday!

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  6. Great post and pics. I went to Norfolk for the first time (as an adult) last year and returning this Spring. I loved it, the little towns and long beaches and cosy cottage. It reminded me that a holiday doesn't need to be abroad to feel like you're getting away. I hope to go to Norwich this time, may well check out the iron house, looks delish!

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    1. It's such a lovely place, I always feel very relaxed and chilled when we visit. I hope you enjoy your trip to Wells!

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  7. Looks lovely and relaxing, shame about the building work! :-( That shop looks like a treasure trove of goodness! So many English towns are so pretty, last week I was showing a friend and her daughter around Aberdeen (it can be pretty, but it looks horrendous in February gloom!) and the daughter kept moaning about how ugly it was (she was kind of a brat - another story!) ANYWAY I kept defending it, but it's hard sometimes!

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    1. Oh no, that's such a shame to have to defend your hometown (when you're probably thinking "well yes it us ugly but only I get to call it that!" Leicester is not the most beautiful corner of England ever so it's lovely to have somewhere like Norfolk close-ish at hand to visit.

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  8. The pictures are beautiful, and it looks like the place I could go to be peaceful and get detached from the 'real world'!
    Loved your blog btw :)

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