Seeing as the weather forecast for this weekend was so good, we decided to jump into Ruby again for a cheeky night away on Saturday, two weekends away in a row – how lovely!
Our wheels we once again set towards North Norfolk, this time towards The Weavers Way at North Walsham. The Weavers Way is a 61 mile footpath – parts of which are disused railway lines – and it takes it name from the cloth industry that was once one of the areas major industries.
We were staying at another Caravan and Motorhome club CL site, this time with no facilities other than hook up, tap and disposal facilities. Old Bridge Farm is situated conveniently just off the Weavers Way- perfect for our weekend of walking and enjoying the weather.
After a quick lunch, which we enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine, we actually had a quick nap! Feeling much more rested, we don our boots and head towards Aylsham on the Weavers Way.
Less than a mile from the site we came across one of the most well preserved stations we’ve seen on these disused railways; Felmingham Station. Sadly it’s not in use- it would make a wonderful cafe.
The banks along the Weavers Way are steep in places and full of pretty butterflies. We really enjoyed our 3.5 miles stroll to Aylsham before doing an about turn and making our way back to Ruby.
Once again, Keefy found an appropriate blind spot to take a shower, although the wind was a bit fresher than last week so it was a bit cooler.
We sat for a while, enjoying the peace and quiet before moving inside for dinner- that wind was very fresh!
Dinner was teriyaki salmon, noodles and stir fry. I used the Remoska to cook the salmon and it was delicious.
We ended up going to bed at 8.45pm – what party animals lol! And slept soundly until 7am. Must have needed that! These CLs are wonderfully quiet though – a real place to relax and unwind.
The sunrise was spectacular
As we had woken up so early, and the forecast for later in the day was rain, we got up early and went for a walk in the opposite direction, to North Walsham. It was just over a mile, so we walked about 2.4 miles in total. The light was wonderful.
We really enjoyed our time exploring the Weavers Way and highly recommend this campsite – it’s location and serenity were perfect and at just £12pn, we felt a real bargain.
On the way back we stopped for some local potatoes at a nearby farm and then at a farm shop for some leeks. Leek and potato for lunch!
It’s been a busy couple of weeks back at school, stress levels have been high and I was itching to get away for a night for a change of scenery. We’ve been meaning to revisit the Marriott’s Way, a disused railway line now turned into recreational track, that runs 26 miles from Aylsham to Norwich. Last time we visited we stayed about half a mile off the Marriotts Way, but whilst cycling along spied a quirky little Caravan and Motorhome club certified site (5 van site) in an old station situated right ON the Marriott’s Way. We made a mental note to revisit sometime – it’s only taken us 4 years!
More info about the Marriott’s Way can be found here
We got a last minute pitch at The Station, Attlebridge, and on Saturday morning left ours around 10am, arriving at the campsite at 11am – we’d checked that we could arrive early. This CL has a small toilet, hookup, tap and emptying facilities, so we decided to make use of the solar shower. What we love about CLs is the flexibility to park however we wish, rather than the more regimented club sites. We took advantage of this and parked side-wards on, and within 5 minutes we were enjoying a cuppa and admiring the view.
The Station Campsite is host to the former platform and station buildings and has lovingly resorted signalling box and gates, and even a small stretch of railway line. It’s ever so quirky and it’s big grassy paddock is perfect for a small quiet campsite.
After lunch, we put our best foot forward, this time opting to walk the Marriotts Way.
We walked as far as the Whitwell and Reepham railway, where there is a museum and cafe/bar – a distance of around 4.5miles.
The trouble with walking the Marriotts Way is that it’s linear, so we retraced our steps back to the campsite, clocking up 9 miles in total. We absolutely loved it though – it’s flat and easy walking. There are some old bridges and railway banks to admire, and at this time of year the tree canopies are really pretty.
Back at the campsite and Keith found a blind spot at the back of Ruby for his solar shower, which had heated up nicely in the sun on the roof of Ruby! We enjoyed a couple of (non alcoholic as we are doing sober September) drinks in the late afternoon sunshine, before knocking up a delicious pasta carbonara with some left over gammon. It was great to be able to cook and eat outside- we do love Indian summers.
We sat outside until the last rays of lights dipped behind the trees, reading and keeping an eye out for owls. We heard two but didn’t see them- before turning in for a early night.
Sunday morning dawned as bright as the day before so we enjoyed breakfast al fresco before walking in the opposite direction towards Norwich.
We covered a further 3 miles reaching Drayton before turning back to Ruby and waving bye to our perfect spot to relax for the weekend.
This campsite is perfect location for the Marriotts Way and at just £14 was a bargain.
Ruby the VW campervan is parked up on the beautiful and idyllic ‘Tumbleweed’; a Camping and Motorhome Club certified location situated 4 miles outside of Orford on the Suffolk coast.
We decided to avoid the club sites during the August holidays this year as even during the May half term they were packed and fairly noisy. We’ve been quite busy doing gigs and a handful of teaching since returning from our Canada and Alaska and fancied some peace and quiet. Tumbleweed (£14 pn) had a space free despite our fairly late booking and even better, it had a shower (£1 for a 10 minute shower) and toilet on site.
We arrived just before 1200 and instantly relaxed. The site, despite only hosting 5 vans, is a relatively large and beautifully landscaped site, nestled just to the side of the owners house. There are a couple of hard standing pitches and the rest are grass. We chose the pitch closest to the small stream that runs alongside the site.
We wasted no time in getting the bikes off the back of Ruby and pointing our wheels in the direction of Orford, just 4.5 miles away along a small quiet lane.
Seeing as we’d arrived at lunchtime, and the pubs on this this stretch of coast weirdly stop serving food at around 2.30 despite it being the height of summer, we decided to have our fish and chips lunch before our walk so we didn’t run the risk of missing out!
Orford is very famous for its Castle, a unique and fantastically preserved polygonal tower keep, which stands proudly above the small village and is seen for miles along the coast on a clear day. It’s looked after now by English Heritage and worth a visit. We visited a few years ago so didn’t go inside today. Dogs are allowed in.
Orford is also famous for its fishing – it’s been a fishing port for years and years and as such you can find the famous Pinney’s of Orford smokehouse shop here. They still fish on two boats from Orford quay and have a large smokehouse just behind. It’s the place to buy your smoked fish from round here.
In the Jolly Sailors, our lunch venue, they were selling a pint of Pinney’s smoked prawns, something we’ve not seen before, so we of course ordered a pint to share followed by two battered fish and chips.
Both were delicious and washed down by the local Adnams lager. It took all my strength not to order the adnams gin which is fab, but I’ve got a bottle at home so resisted.
After lunch, we moved our bikes to the large car park where there was ample bike parking and began our country walking route.
We followed the estuary for a couple of miles following the Suffolk coastal path. And then cut inland before following a good path back to the castle.
We would have had a drink at the other pub in the village but it was closed – I told you, weird opening hours! – so grabbed some Suffolk gold cheese, and cycled back to Ruby. The return journey was a little easier on the legs.
Back at Ruby, we had a quick shower set our stall out and made the most of the sunshine and peace and quiet. We sat out until gone 8pm reading. It was perfection.
Once the sun had gone down, we moved inside and had a simple dinner made up of some leftovers from a Mexican bbq we cooked at the weekend and settled down to watch a film, but we didn’t even make 20 minutes before our eyelids became increasingly heavy, so we called an early night!
We slept like logs for over 12 hours! It was absolutely silent here- perfect for our weary bodies!
We had a simple al fresco breakfast before quickly packing up Ruby, saving goodbye to the site owners and heading down a mile or so to the large picnic car park (this has a height barrier so is not suitable for people in anything taller than 2m) just along the Iken road near Snape.
Here we picked up the coastal path for the mile or so to Snape Maltings, which as the title suggests is a converted Maltings that was built to malt barley, which was then sent on to make beer in London and Europe. It’s spot, right on the banks of the River Alde, made it a desirable and useful spot and it remained a busy Maltings right up to the 1960s. At this point, local but very famous composer, Benjamin Britten, had the vision or turn the derelict buildings of Snape Maltings into a concert hall and ever since the famous Aldeburgh Music Festival and much more has been held there. It’s now home to much more than just the concert hall, also an array of shops, boutiques and gallery’s and is worthy of a trip if you’ve not been before.
Our walk continued through Blaxhall common or Blaxhall Heath as it more resembles- we lost the path due to overgrown-ness a couple of times but we enjoyed the varied landscapes and all the beautiful purple heathers.
We were surprised to learn that we racked up 5 miles by the time we got back to Ruby – which brings our walk 1000miles target to 690 miles walked so far this year!
After a quick bite to eat, we turned our wheels back in the direction of home, but not before one last stop at the wonderful Friday Street Farm ship just before we turned onto the A12. We were exceptionally disciplined- we’re trying not to spend a fortune, but I stocked up on fresh fruit – much of which was harvested from High House fruit farm which was only a mile away from our campsite. Tomorrow has been declared a jam making day!
We absolutely loved Tumbleweed Cl, and thought the facilities were exceptional for a small site. We’re starting to prefer these quiet sites during the peak seasons, so finding one with such spotless and modern facilities is just wonderful.
Does anyone else have any recommendations for CL or CS sites with a decent shower? Please comment below if you do
The nights are drawing in and the leaves are turning golden brown. There is the faint smell of smoke lingering in the air and it feels acceptable to draw the curtains, get the Jim jams on and watch strictly back to back. Autumn is here and al out rolled into winter! I feel like I’ve blinked and lost 8 weeks- since returning from our epic Europe adventure, poor Bluebell the motorhome has been having a big rest in storage, whilst we have seemed to be non stop! I couldn’t believe it, 8 weeks since our last adventure in a motorhome, it was most certainly time to go and get Bluebell and hit the road for a few days to catch the last few days of this gorgeous autumn we are having.
Half term began for us at 7pm on Thursday, when we headed north in the car to Newark, where we dropped Jazz off for a weekend with my mum, then caught an early train up to Edinburgh- Keith had treated me to a weekend of non driving, and even so,asked out for first class- not that we will bother with that again, virgin east coast were diabolical and provided a disappointing start to my birthday weekend. We arrived in Edinburgh and had 3 great, booze fuelled nights staying with Simon, Keith’s cousin, in Leith. I set myself a target of trying every gin available in Scotland, and think I probably smashed it! A highlight was our visit to the Royal Britannia Yacht. Well worth a visit if you haven’t been, we loved it.
Monday, and my birthday, came and it was back on the train south to Newark to pick up Jazz and enjoy a birthday meal at Damon’s, famous for its ribs, in Lincoln with Mum and Alec. After a quick lunch with Dad on Tuesday it was back to Norfolk for a meal with friends Annie and Ash, before picking up Bluebell first thing Wednesday. We sure know how to cram things in!
Our destination was only an hour down the road, to Grafham Water, a reservoir near to Cambridge. We had booked onto the Caravan Club club site at Grafham- unusual for us, but given its close proximity to the water and not much other option we went for it, and actually we really enjoyed our stay. At £21.50 a night we thought it was good value for hard standing pitches serviced pitches. The site wasn’t as large as others we’d stayed on and the wardens not too overbearing. Phew. We also were hopeful that we would see Ollie the Owl whilst there, but sadly that wasn’t to be.
After a quick lunch and nap, we wandered the half a mile into the village over fields, visiting the community shop and also stopping at a house on Church Road who sold fresh trout, line caught from Grafham water. We got a massive fillet for £3!
We did several circuits of the site around dusk looking for Ollie, and even had a play on my drone, which was interesting as it highlighted how close we were to the water!
Next morning after a great sleep, I chucked some meat and veg into the slow cooker and Keith got the bikes ready. We were off on our bike ride around Grafham water by 10:30, promising to ourselves we would take it easy with lots of picture stops and even some geocaching.
The ride itself was great, a real mix of terrains, not too steep, but through woodland, waterside, across fields and even through a village, all off road.
If you’re into Geocaching, it’s a cacher’s paradise, I’ve never seen so many caches in one area. We managed 8- and didn’t even scrape the surface – as you can see! We were very lucky with the autumnal light, and we had a lovely day.
That night we tried to find Ollie the owl again,despite hearing him several times, didn’t catch a glimpse. Next time, and there definitely will be a next time.
On route home the next day we decided to have a stop at Wimpole National Trust site, where we were treated to another phenomenal dismay of Autumn leaves.
Bank Holiday Saturday Bluebell the motorhome is feeling like she’s experiencing a case of De-ja-vu, she parked up by the sea and she’s fairly sure she recognises the view!
She’s right, we have been here before, and unlike anything that we usually do, we’ve decided to come back to Flint House CL in Walcott, Norfolk less than three months after leaving here back in February!
As you may (or may not know) we are smack bang in the middle of buying our first house together. Our entire life is stuffed into boxes and we are in that horrible period between offer acceptance and completion. Feeling stressed, tired and fed up of clambering over boxes to get from one side of the room to other, we saw the weather forecast give something other than grey miserable wet and cold weather on Wednesday and not the phone looking for somewhere that could fit us in. Luck was in our side and Flint House had received cancellations so were able to accommodate. £13pn hard standing with electric. A bargain.
We arrived at lunchtime and after a quick sarnie we headed out into the glorious sunshine along the coast to Bacton on the Norfolk Coast Path. Last time we were here we had a glorious walk to Happisburgh, and although the views weren’t as spectacular as the journey to Happsibugh as it was a lower stretch of path, the beaches here were glorious.
We walked past the Kingfisher Fish Bar (10 mins from the site) and noticed they were selling local ice cream so stopped for a Norfolk ice cream which was yum. We carried on past the Poachers Pocket pub, and onto Bacton before coming off the coastal path and finding a couple of geocaches and having a look at the remains of Bacton Priory, before a quick pint and walk back to Bluebell. That evening I cooked an amazing cod curry, we had stopped at The Fair Maiden Shellfish shop in Happisburgh on our way to the site and bought ourselves some half of a fresh local cod. Fish curry overlooking the sea made for the most pleasant of evenings. All our stresses went out with the tide as we drifted into a 12 hour sleep!
Bank Holiday Sunday
We had a really deep sleep (apart from nipping out to watch sunrise!) and woke feeling refreshed. Waking up and hearing the waves is really something! Jazz had a good run on the beach ( dog friendly all year) and I cooked us a Full English before we packed up and moved on, to a Brit Stops stopover, no. 248 (2016) on the Norfolk Broads.
If you haven’t heard of Britstops, it’s a fantastic resource for motorhoming in Britain. You okay £25 for a handy glovebox sized guide which lists over 640 places in Britain that you can stay overnight (generally no facilities) in your van, for free as a guest.The idea is that you take an interest in their produce, and perhaps even spend a bit of money however there is no obligation to do so. We always do, not because we feel we have to, but more because we want to, I mean, we’re at a pub offering local ales, a delicious sounding reasonably priced menu, with a beer garden on the side of one of the Norfolk Broads. And it’s sunny. We’ve parked up for the day/night.. Who wouldn’t want to sample a few drinks, it’s hardly a hardship, and in actual fact, we probably would have gone there for a few drinks if we were staying down the road on the CL anyway! For us, and we hope, the owners of the stopover, it’s win win. Not all of the stopovers are pubs, there are vineyards, farm shops, you name it.
So, I suppose my paragraph above sets the scene of our Sunday. We had a wander the 20 metres or so to the beer garden, found a table in the sun, and had a couple of drinks. Had another small wander to man made beach, watched the paddle boarders and sailors. Wandered back to the beer garden. Had another drink. Had a doze in the sunshine back at the van. Went for dinner at the pub and before we knew it we’d had several pints of Dog Dancer (6.9% local cider) and not only was the dog dancing but the room was spinning and it was time to hit the sack! A real gem of a stop though, we will most certainly return, and we are secretly high giving how lucky we are that its only an hour from our front door!
Bank Holiday Monday dawned and thank goodness we had no visit from the hangover fairies. We had a fairly lazy morning before hitting the road back home, where we gave Bluebell a wash and a good clean before taking her back to her new storage yard.
What a lovely relaxing and impromptu weekend!
Until next time, which could be from Scotland at the end of May, it will be depend on house moving dates..
Bluebell the motorhome is parked up on a nice small little Certified Location in West Norfolk, near to Kings Lynn, called The Old Appleyard.
On Thursday morning we reluctantly packed up Bluebell the motorhome and moved from our sea view pitch at The Flint House, travelling about an hour or so around the coast towards Kings Lynn. The reason for the change of direction was Castle Rising, one of the finest preserved 12C keeps in the country. This site is about 5 miles away, and our plan was to cycle there on Friday.
On arriving at The Old Appleyard we were greeted by the friendly owner and instructed to keep on the top of the field as the lower ground was still a bit wet. A small little stream runs to the bottom of the Caravan field and there are lovely field views to enjoy right from your pitch. Noticing that the entrance to the field was on a slight slope, and with no rough to grab onto at the entrance , it was with trepidation I attempted to get Bluebell up onto the pitch. After 3 attempts I managed it, but not without causing some damage to their wonderfully neat grass, which I felt pretty bad about, but I suppose if you’re going to open all year round and not have hard standing then it’s to be expected! 😕 Still, I felt bad!
We had a chill for the remainder of the day, watching the sun set and re charging our batteries. Keith was busy preparing our walk for tomorrow, realising that a walk we have already done from our AA box of walks was only a mile away from us, so the decision was made to walk from Bluebell to encorporate this walk rather than cycle. We had a tawny owl very close to us, and were sent to sleep hearing it’s call. Lovely.
Luck was on our side on Friday morning, the day dawned beautifully so we got up promptly and had an early start. We were on the walk just before 10am, a rarity for us! The walk took us along a small road from Grimston to Roydon, and luckily there was a footpath alongside the road for the whole walk down to Roydon. We picked up our route at Roydon and the next thing we knew we were at Castle Rising.
If you’ve not visited Castle Rising, we really recommend it, it’s fantastically preserved by English Heritage and costs only £4 to go in. We decided not to this time, as we’ve visited before and we still had lots of miles to walk. It seemed that actually the start of the walk was a little bit further than we’d anticipated, more like 2.5 miles than the 1.5 that we’d previously thought. This meant an extra 5 miles onto the already 7 mile circular! Gulp!
After a quick flask of soup we carried on with our best foot forward. Sadly, the rest of the walk was disappointing and not how we’d remembered it, the highlight definitely is Castle Rising, there wasn’t a massive amount to see on the remainder of the walk. Annoyingly, the walk was nearly all on small roads, so in actual fact it would have lent itself better to a cycle. Never mind, we will know for next time.
After exactly 12 miles we hobbled back into our Caravan field, feeling very tired, that was more than we had walked for a long time! Nevertheless, despite feeling a bit disappointed with the walk, we were proud we’d managed such a distance, and within 5 hours too. Plenty of time for a nap and a chill for the remainder of day/evening!
Today (Saturday) and it’s time to head home. Boo! Although the weather has conveniently decided to deteriorate, so we’re leaving feeling chuffed to bits with how much good weather we’ve had! We’re planning on stopping at nearby Castle Acre for a leg stretch, and that’s all it will be, as we are both aching after yesterday’s near half marathon!!
(Pics from Castle Acre below)
We had a nice stroll around the castle, which is free to explore, however were left reeling at the fact that there were many children using these walls as a playground, climbing all over them whilst their parents egged them on. We couldn’t believe it, it’s our 3rd visit here and this has happened every single time. We decided to take a wander up to the Priory where we knew English Heritage have a manned reception to mention this. The warden was horrified and came back to the castle, and of course they’d all gone! Hopefully it will get flagged up, as this is one of the best preserved Norman Motte and Bailey castle earthworks in the country, to think of the damage that is being done as people climb them, and not to mention what would happen to the site if someone fell of and got injured. …
On this visit we popped into the church to see the medieval 14th century wooden Pulpit and screen panels. Worth a look.
So that brings us back up to date, as after our morning at Castle Acre we travelled home, unloaded, washing on, hoovered and cleaned Bluebell etc- we’ve had a brill week, and been especially lucky with the weather. We’ve done only 230 miles, walked 40 miles, and spent less than £200.
We’ve come home to our new copy of our BritStops bible, so are hoping to get away for a mini adventure sometime in March. In April we are nipping to Japan, like you do(!) sans Bluebell obviously, to see the Cherry Blossom festival, but in May we will be out for another adventure in Bluebell, 10 days in Scotland then a month in Germany and Austria in August! All of which we’re looking forward to!
Today dawned a stark contrast to yesterday, a gorgeous crisp winter’s morning with not a cloud in the sky. Today we were saying a reluctant goodbye to Topley Head Farm, and moving onwards, about 8 miles, to another Caravan Club CL- Flagg Hall. We really liked being at Topley Head Farm and cannot get over its price tag of £10 pn. The pitches were spacious, cracking views and all the facilities that we needed. We are stunned we were the only ones there for 4 days!
Bluebell the motorhome is all settled into our home for the next three nights, Topley Head CL site (Caravan Club, £10pn w/electric and hard standing), near Buxton, Derbyshire. We arrived here as the sun was setting but our whistle has been wet, and we are looking forward to daylight as the view looks promising!
We had an uneventful journey up to the Peak District, arriving at Eyam just in time for our turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich and sausage roll lunch to be devoured! The weather was dry albeit notably chillier than down in Norfolk, and we set off with Jazz for a wander around this fascinating village- a village in which during the summer of 1665, a parcel of damp cloth from London changed the course of its future, sadly carrying plague infested fleas which spread and went on to kill 260 people in just one small, sleepy village.
It’s such a pretty little place, right in the middle of a valley with hills surrounding and the typical white peak brickwork on all the houses. Most of the houses in the village have a plaque outside depicting who within those walls were killed. Some has as many as 9 family members who died in that one house – whole generations wiped out. Keith noticed that in many families the wife appeared to survive over the men and the children.
and I found the road where I should live, Lydgate 🙂
What was amazing was that all of these properties are now inhabited and are looking very cosy. Bet there are some serious ghost stories told in the pub these days…
There is a national trust property here, Eyam Hall, that was unfortunately closed today, but we are going to try and come back later in the week.
A short drive from Eyam and we found our campsite for the the next 3 days. It’s right on the Monsal Trail, which we hope to cycle on tomorrow. The drive was through Millers Dale and reminded Keith of Lord of The Rings scenery!
We are surprisingly the only ones on this site – amazing as it’s hard standing with electric and only £10 a night! It’s across the road from Beech Croft Farm campsite where we stayed a couple of years ago, a lovely site, but twice the price and looking very full from what we could see from the road!
Dawned a bright winters day, perfect for a bike ride, so we were up and out by 10am after a lovely brew and some brekkie whilst enjoying this view from our window.
The start of the Monsal trail was found just down the road from the campsite- walkers have access to a steep path at the end of the farm entrance down to the trail, but on the bikes, we opted for half a mile down the A6 to the Wyedale car park (it’s downhill meaning a rather steep incline on our return!)
The Monsal trail is an old industrial railway trail that goes from Wye Bridge to Bakewell covering a distance of about 8.5 miles. It cuts through some magnificent countryside, passing serveral interesting sites along the way, including Lime Kilns and mills, through several tunnels and over the impressive Monsal Head Viaduct. It’s a lovely way to spend a day- and it seemed like the whole world was too, it was packed! Nice to see lots of people out and about in the fresh air, but sometimes a challenge navigating around those who thinks its ok to walk 5 a side, leave their bikes mid track etc! Never rang my bell so many times in a day!
On arriving at Bakewell we assumed we would find bike parking, and spent a considerable amount of time trying and failing to find somewhere safe and unobstructive to leave them. Bakewell is such a pretty little town, home to the Bakewell pudding AND Bakewell tart, so it seemed rude not to buy two of each for a tasting later! Bakewell was even busier than the Monsal Trail, it was heaving!
We rejoined the Monsal trail and headed back to Bluebell, the return journey was hard work on our unfit legs, but we really enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. I was pleased that I remembered to pack my hip flask – getting back up that hill to the campsite was haaaarrrrrddd!
We’ve battened down the hatches as the wind is picking up and more rain in the name of Storm Frank is on the way, so we’re bracing ourselves for a blustery evening! We are warm and cozy though inside our home on wheels
Storm Frank passed overnight and during today and although we didn’t get hit badly, in fact we both slept through it (!), a day out during high winds and thrashing down rain was unappealing to us, so it was declared as a motorhome duvet day, where we literally stayed in bed til lunchtime watching Shogun, ate the leftovers in the fridge up, watched crappy tele, watched more Shogun, I read a book, then we went back to bed! We very rarely do this, at home or away, but enjoyed the chill enormously, and felt very rested, which is what holidays are for aren’t they, so will probably try and do more of this on subsequent trips!
Monday Bluebell the motorhome is parked on a working farm in Upper Hambleton, Rutland, where she is enjoying some fine views of Rutland Water. It’s very basic Caravan club CL but has all that we require and at only £13 a night is a bargain.
My birthday weekend has been fabulous. We had a good chill on Saturday morning before heading to Cley Beach, Norfolk for some sea air.
We then had a gentle walk around the very pretty village of Cley Next to Sea, enjoying the windmill, a pint in The George and some serious droolage and spending in the fantastic deli in the village. It took all the will power we had not to empty the shop, instead opting for a few bottles of Woodfordes Nog, some homemade lavender bread, local honey and chutney and some handmade fudge!
We then headed on round the coast to Blakeney, where we had another mooch and then a chill in harbour car park. Keith bought me a birthday cake complete with candles and we enjoyed watching the tide come in.
Around 6pm we moved on the short journey to Morston Hall, where the management had very kindly let us park up in their car park overnight. We both showered and got poshed up before heading inside for 7:30 for my first taste of Michelin Starred fine dining.
I was not disappointed, it was without doubt the best meal I have ever eaten- all 9 courses! We met the chef / owner Galton Blackiston as he bought our canapés to the table. The wine flight – an additional experience where they bring you a new wine to match each course (hic!) was right on the mark and the 60 day aged beef and Ox cheek was absolutely breathtakingly delicious.
After a great sleep in their back car park, we woke early and moved on, not wanting to overstay our welcome. We headed the short distance to Morston Quay, where there is a large national trust carpark which was a nice spot for breakfast- the homemade lavender bread and honey from yesterday’s splurge in Cley.
We hit the road at 9am and drove west on the A47 towards Rutland Water arriving at our certified site for midday. We quickly emptied and refilled, and by 12:15 were en route in a taxi towards the Wheatsheaf in Edith Weston, where we were meeting some of my best friends for Sunday lunch. The pub is very dog friendly and the food was lovely. We had a great catch up and got back to Bluebell late afternoon, where we caught up with Strictly before hitting the sack just after 8pm!
Monday dawned bright, despite the weather forecast saying otherwise, therefore after a quick 8 egg frittata for breakfast and getting the beef casserole in the slow cooker, we were on our bikes by 10am ready to tackle the circuit of Rutland Water. Our campsite is located on the peninsular so we ended up cycling the full 24 miles, but there is an option to cut out the peninsular if you don’t fancy that distance. However the route that goes around the peninsular is beautiful and we enjoyed it.
The weather was perfect, and at times we could have been forgiven for thinking we were in the Italian Lakes! The route itself was fairly challenging for us, it’s very up, down, up down etc, and usually we try to avoid hills if we can, so we found it hard, but massively satisfying and very enjoyable. The route took us 5 hours but we stopped for refreshments every hour or so.
Highlights were Normanton Church and also seeing all the sailing boats on the water. The colours of Autumn were in full abundance and it really was spectacular.
Next stop tomorrow, Market Harborough and Foxton Locks
Bluebell the motorhome is tucked away under the autumn leaves on The Caravan CL The Sheleig, on the outskirts of Cley next to Sea, North Norfolk. We have a sea view, we have 2 pubs within walking distance and life is feeling rather good. We arrived after a less than smooth journey- making the silly mistake of relying on google maps to get here and ignoring the roadmap. We squeezed down some tiny roads in a “sat nav effort” to save a couple of mins, but seem to have gained a couple of extra wear and tear scratches. We vow to consult the road map next time…!
The site is nice- on a slight grassy slope however luckily the owner didn’t mind us tearing up his grass to get onto our pitch! We have a slight sea view and it’s wonderfully quiet. After a quick soup lunch (I made a pumpkin soup earlier in the week-yum) we got our walking boots on and set about on a 4.5 6.6 mile walk.
The walk took us mainly on quiet lanes to Glandford and across its impressive ford, across Wiveton Down and into Wiveton where we had our first refreshment stop in The Wiveton Bell in front of the roaring log fire. I managed to polish off mostall of the Liquorice Allsorts on the bar tables!
We walked across the 13th Century medieval bridge into Newgate on the outskirts of Cley, where there was another inviting pub, The 3 Swallows, it seemed rude not to pop in for “one for the road”. It was a short journey back to the campsite and we surprised to realise we had actually walked 6.5 miles.
Since getting back, we’ve given my new DAB radio a whirl, a present for my birthday, and currently are waiting for my homemade chicken and pumpkin pie to finish cooking in the oven. Not a bad way at all to spend the last night of my twenties!!!
Itsmy 30th birthday!!!!!
I’ve had a lovely chill and been thoroughly spoilt!! Keefy’s cooked me a fry up and tonight he’s taking me for my first Michelin star meal, at nearby Morston Hall!