A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘Beach’

Norfolk Holiday – Day 4 – Is Wells-next-to-the-sea?

Posted by Alan on October 9, 2010


Looking towards Wells

I beg to differ


We awoke to rain so very quickly abandoned any plans for cycling. Yes, it’s true we are still fair-weather cyclists! So, instead we opted for the coast-hopper bus for the 20 mile journey to Wells-next-to-the-sea.  A lovely ride through some very picturesque villages, including some so narrow it felt as if our bus had to breathe in to squeeze though.  We arrived into Wells at low tide, so it was very much Wells-about-a-mile-and-a-half-from-the-sea – see above! Down by the harbour (in shot above, but so far away you won’t make it out!) we managed to find a café for a cream tea, a favourite holiday treat.


Cream Tea, Norfolk style

Cream tea, Norfolk style


Anyone from Cornwall reading? I’d fully recommend you apply for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Unlike a real cream tea, the clotted cream was swapped for whipped. It’ s wrong, no two ways about it.  It probably didn’t help the girl serving behind the counter felt the need to put on a false voice/giggle every time someone ordered something yet talk normally to the other staff. Bit strange to say the least! From here we went for a walk to find the sea after about 1.5 mi (2.5 km) we eventually found this:


Beach huts, Wells

Beach huts


The actual sea was at least another mile away on the other side of a deep shipping canal carved into the sand!  It did at least look like at high tide this area became sea. Back into Wells again we trawled the charity shops looking for Tugs. No luck! We then took the bus back to Sheringham for fear of being stranded in Wells – being in the countryside proper here, all public transport stops at 6pm (the public don’t want to go anywhere after 6pm apparently). This gave us chance to wander around ‘The Mo’, Sheringham’s new lifeboat and fishing boat museum.


The Mo, Sheringham

The Mo


A stunning building with some interesting facts and figures (especially if you like boats). Friday night’s tea was provided by The Crown, a fairly large bog standard pub close to the sea front.  A full range of Greene King beers and for the price fairly average food.  (Note, before you accuse me of beer snobbery: I’d much rather live in a world dominated by a large brewery like GK than live in one devoid of ale, OK?).

We popped back to the Windham Arms for the 3rd and final time, this time managing to sample Woodforde’s Nog – something I tried to brew as a student. Needless to say, Woodforde’s version was much better. A proper ‘old ale’, dark but with a real sourness that is more like the Belgian lambics than a modern English bitter. Fantastic stuff.

And with the pint finished, it was time to wander home and pack for our final adventure.  Norwich and home.

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Transport Rant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Norfolk Holiday – Day 3 – Weybourne

Posted by Alan on September 27, 2010

Day 3 started a bit saddle sore, so we decided to have a much easier ride.  After the full breakfast, we took to the coastal road (A149) to Weybourne around 3 miles from Sheringham. Here we found a beach to relax on.


Weybourne Beach

But that didn’t last long – I am not really a beachy person and I wasn’t really in the mood to just stop.  So I left Ruth on the picnic blanket reading and cycled on up the coastal path a short way, where I came across these houses, very much epitome of Norfolk isolation.



I bet you could easily loose yourself  in the peaceful surroundings, though I can’t imagine it will be much longer before the sea claims these. Further to the left there was a windmill that had been converted to a house – good call, definitely somewhere to be envious of! We had tea in the garden of sort of house/shop/cafe on the road back into the Village before grabbing a quick half pint in the Ship. We’d been convinced by the cafe owner to try cycling back along the coastal path – much less busy – though I’m not sure Ruth’s bike was too suited to the job!


Ruth bearing the strain of off road cycling

It was nice to cycle alfresco as well.  I’m not going to take sides in the ‘great helmet debate’ but travelling along the coastal path slightly faster than walking speed (probably around 6 or 7 mph) it was nice to really feel the wind in your hair. The coastal path clings to the cliffs above the beaches and eventually we gave way to the temptation and went down to the pebbles. I know beaches and bikes are probably best kept apart, but I couldn’t help belting along the sand until we reached the busier beach at Sheringham!


Trek a la pebbles

Ruth, sensibly kept her bike off the sand.  Well, I figure mine probably needs replacing with something more useful next time the cycle to work scheme comes around.  Ruth pitched up on Sheringham beach with our bikes and I strolled up to the High St to find a garlic chip butty that Ruth had been hankering for since we had booked to visit Sheringham. And then unusually for me I went for a paddle in the sea.  All elements of a seaside holiday were now successfully ticked off.



This whole coast is very famous for seafood – and here’s one before it becomes someone’s dinner…


Sheringham (not Cromer) crab!

After the beach we headed back to the B&B taking a picnic home rather than eat out again – nice to slob about a bit and watch some TV with some tasty treats!

Total cycling distance – c. 6 miles (c. 9.5km)

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Cycling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Scilly Holiday

Posted by Alan on July 20, 2009

Probably last update for a little while, as the search for a new flat gets going – sorry… this is going to be a long one!

Our main summer holiday saw us abandon the UK mainland for the Scilly Isles. 30 miles off the end of Cornwall this delightful archipelago was a great choice. Good food, good atmosphere and always a lovely day for boating.

St Michael's Mount (Near Penzance, Cornwall)

St Michael's Mount (Near Penzance, Cornwall)

1st class rail travel put us in Penzance, where we stayed in a lovely B&B. If you ever feel the need to go west check them out! Our first proper holiday day, took us to St Ives and Lands End.

Cream Tea

Mmm....... Cream Tea

There’s nothing quite like a good cup of tea. Unless it comes with cakes and clotted cream of course!

Sennan Cove

Sennan Cove

299 Miles to Wallington

299 Miles to Wallington

Lands End is a bit of a non-event for those who haven’t been. The land stops and the sea starts. Just before the transition there are a few tacky shops and a bar. Still, I guess it’s good to have been. You can also pay a few quid and have your home town put into the sign – I spotted Wallington on the sign whilst having a cheeky half.

So… Scilly. Well, it’s a bloody lovely place. Very relaxed and generally friendly. Our first day we checked out St Mary’s and found Prince Charles.

The second day we headed out on a trip to see the puffins and seals on a glass bottomed boat. It was good fun though for the glass bottom to be any use you’d need clearer waters than the Scilly Isles. You can see tiny fish in the shallows but not a whole lot else bar seaweeds. However, the skipper (?) did take us up close and personal with the customs vessels moored off St Mary’s

La Douane Française

La Douane Française

The French one was a whole lot more impressive and really not bothered we came so close.

Our first smaller island to take in was Bryher. With a population of somewhere between 80 and 100 there isn’t much there…

Bryher Beach

Bryher Beach

…except of course the post office, local shop and the FRAGGLE ROCK BAR! Where we enjoyed a well deserved pint. In fact all of the islands still have a post office!

On Friday evening we took a trip out to St Agnes for tea at the Turks Head, the most Southwesterly pub in the British Isles. A couple of gig race boats left for the race that evening – can’t help but feel they were somewhat at a disadvantage having to row across to St Mary’s first…

Traditional Gig Race Boat

Traditional Gig Race Boat

Saturday took us to St Martin’s, famous (locally of course!) for it’s bakery and vineyard. Sadly the vineyard was closed but we did enjoy some good baked food, before relaxing on the beach for a while.

St Martins' Beach

St Martins' Beach

Sunday brought us to the last inhabited island- Tresco, proper famous for it’s gardens. But I don’t know much about plants and Ruth’s hay-fever was playing up a bit. So we just wandered the island. You’ll be pleased to learn there is no Tesco on Tresco.

Tresco Abbey

Tresco Abbey

The Tresco Channel

The Tresco Channel

Lastly… Monday brought us back to Penzance via chopper where we could board the sleeper for London – after a cream tea and a really good dinner of course. You really don’t get much space on the sleeper!

Sleeper Train

Sleeper Train

That’s all for now – another update soon with info on the really tame Scilly Wildlife.

Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Geek Streak, General Meh, Travelling around, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »