Ruby the VW has made a return to the North Norfolk coast to help us celebrate the end of our first decade together. It’s a place that is special to us – convenient to get to and home to the biggest and most beautiful skies around. Each village has its own individual charm, a dog friendly pub and some really tasty local shellfish. A perfect place for us to retreat to!
Last year we spent a very happy NYE mini break at Deepdale Campsite – which we would have been more than happy to have revisited – but on enquiry they had more than doubled their prices up to over £40 pn. So we ended up trying a new site for us, a C&MC certified site called Foxhills, an adult only CL on the outskirts of Weybourne, North Norfolk.
We’ve had a crazy winter of work and it has caught up with me, so I travelled on Sunday with lurgy. I was adamant we would still go – my body crying out for some sea air and a change in scenery.
On arrival to Foxhills we got ourselves unpacked and had an acclimatisation wander down to the small but pretty village of Weybourne. First (and only) stop being the pub, the thin serpentine of smoke from the chimney luring us to the log fire in the bar inside.
A couple of drinks including a whiskey to help my cold later, and we made our way back to Ruby where we set the bed out, got our pjs on, put the heater up to max and dozed and read for the remainder of the evening. Dinner was a homemade turkey and brie pie, which I’d made at home – we reheated it in the Remoska oven and served with veg and the last of the Xmas spuds.
Monday (New Year’s Eve Eve) dawned a beautiful winters day. My cold was lingering and I was aching, but I was desperate to get some sea air. We picked up the Norfolk Coastal path at Weybourne beach and followed it North with the sea on our right towards Wells next sea.
We weren’t sure how far we’d get, and the answer turned out to be not too far! The surface underfoot was mainly pebbles on the beach and I found it really hard going. The sea breeze was icy and it was making me cough and cough. Jazz was windswept and I think Keefy just fancied a pint! So, after about a mile and a half along the sea we diverted off the seafront at Salthouse and found ourselves a lovely pub to warm up in.
Inland we found the small but pretty village of Salthouse, situated on the salt marshes. As the name suggests this charming little village was named as such because of the salt houses that used to store salt here- it’s even listed in the Doomsday book as such.
The Dun Cow at Salthouse was just a brilliant impromptu find- we bagged the last spot in front of the fire and even though we weren’t planning a pub lunch, couldn’t resist a starter of local mussels and a main of crab linguine to share. The food and atmosphere was lovely – a true North Norfolk gem of a pub, dog friendly thoughout and serving food all day until 9pm. We will absolutely be back!
We picked up the coast hopper bus on to Cley next the Sea where we enjoyed a wander before picking up the coastal path and walking a further 3 miles to Blakeney. We caught the last of the winter light – it was a spectacular sunset, the gold dripped down onto the path ahead and it was impossible not to feel recharged, despite starting to feel a bit rank!
We caught the bus back all the way to the campsite before heating up some chicken and pumpkin curry from the freezer and settling in for the evening. On the trip to the shower block we became aware of the most spectacular night sky we’ve seen whilst in the UK so layered up and did some star gazing. We saw the 60 satellites in formation called Starlink Constellation. They are 60 bright lights in a straight line going upward and really took our breath away – once we’d decided we weren’t being abducted by aliens. You can read about it…
What a fantastic sight!
Tuesday (New Years Eve)
We had a bit more of a lay in than planned as I was not feeling 100%. Instead of our planned walked to Sheringham along the sea, 2.75 miles, we caught the bus to Cromer instead and met up with mum who had her first day off since the day before Xmas Eve, for a fish and chips lunch. We had a beer in the dog friendly Wellington Inn before going for a fish and chip takeaway from No.1 fish bar – owned by Michelin starred Galton Blackiston.
They were delicious – we’ve eaten in their restaurant upstairs which is also marvellous if you’re passing – and we loved that they sold mini bottles of Prosecco and Galton’s lager to wash it down with, despite having a takeout. We popped to the butchers for some steak for dinner tonight, and venison for dinner tomorrow before waving ‘bye to mum onto her train and us picking up the last bus back to our site. We are so impressed with the Norfolk Coasthopper bus service – it’s dog friendly, reasonable in price and regular in service and the drivers have been friendly.
Once back at Ruby the VW we showered and got our NYE glad rags on. Otherwise known as our pyjamas- rock and roll! We cooked some party food nibbles and baked a Camembert in the Remoska, and fried up the steak to dip into the Camembert -all of which we washed down with a bottle or two of red and Keefy’s playlist serenading us. Perfect!
Around 11pm we stuck our head out the window to check on the stars – and couldn’t believe our eyes that we were being treated to an even more magnificent display of the night sky than last night. The mass of gas and dust that makes the inside ribbon of the of the Milky Way so spectacular was completely visible by eye and we saw a number of shooting stars. I always knew this area of North Norfolk is registered as a Dark Skies area, but whenever we’ve been visiting there has always been clouds above. What a treat. Unfortunately I didn’t have my SLR camera, as I had a tripod- that would have been a perfect opportunity for me and capture the sky. And because I was feeling ill I didn’t bother getting my telescope out either. Instead I settle for 6 layers and my hip flask!
I can’t remember a more perfect end of a year, let alone decade. As we watched the hands of Big Ben cross over into the new decade, our campsite was completely silent, which was bliss. We did a quiet Auld Lang Syne in Ruby before hitting the sack.
Wednesday (New Year’s Day)
Unfortunately I’d woken up feeling pretty rough – my lurgy was refusing to go away, and I had a really tickly and annoying cough, so a duvet morning was declared. We enjoyed a delicious New Years Day brunch of haddock, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on muffins, washed down with champers – yum – who says camping can’t be posh eh?
I then got the venison stew in the slow cooker on high as it’s was gone midday – before we went for a stroll along Muckleburgh Hill which was next to the campsite and backed onto the Muckleburgh collection of tanks and military guns and down to the beach.
We popped in for a departing drink at the pub, The Ship at Weybourne – our last pub visit for a while as we go dry for January. It’s a lovely pub and the staff were so friendly. Before dark we made our way back to Ruby to settle in – fresh Cromer crab salad and venison stew was our New Year’s Day menu and it was delicious.
This trip was really lovely despite feeling cranky – the sea air and huge blue Norfolk skies really cheered me up after a funny old couple of months.
The campsite; Foxhills Caravan and Motorhome CL – adults only – was a perfect escape for us. It had two showers (free) an outdoor but with hot water washing up area, two loos per sex and heaps of space. We paid £19pn with electric and hard standing which I thought was a bargain.
The coast hopper bus which links Wells next to Sea and Cromer everyday except NYD and public holidays had a stop just outside the entrance – (around 100 yards away). The North Norfolk Coastal path is accessed just down the road with miles upon miles of walks to be enjoyed. Next door is the largest private collection of Military memorabilia in the UK – sadly it was closed and doesn’t reopen until February so we will definitely be making a return visit. You can easily park up here for a week and not move your vehicle once.
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – The whole area is probably the most dog friendly place we’ve been to – every pub, restaurant, bus, even many shops seemed to welcome our furry friends in with open arms. The bars are laden with treat bowls, water bowls under every table, it’s just brilliant.
Also within Weybourne, the Sheringham to Holt steam railway passes through- there is even its own station stop, less than a mile away from the site entrance.
We were lucky enough to see their Christmas light special train every evening chugging through in the distance.
All through the stay we could hear the choo choo of the steam train. What a glorious sound.
As you can probably tell – we’ll be back to this hidden gem on the Norfolk coast that’s for sure!
Until next time and HAPPY NEW YEAR