An escape to the coast- Sea Palling, Norfolk

Gandalf the Campervan is back out on the road again after an extended break of non camping, due to increased work load, rising fuel costs, a trip of a lifetime to Peru and family commitments; but an opportunity came up this weekend for us to nip away for the night for a change of scenery. Providing Gandalf passed his MOT on Friday, which he did, with flying colours once again. Well done Gandalf!

Due to the dreaded scheduled mot, we left it very late to book somewhere, but we were also mindful of not wanting to travel too far or to somewhere too expensive. We’re currently chugging through around £130-£150 a week in diesel for work, so our down time miles are being very carefully planned out! And we’re using our electric bikes much more for non work leisure time.

I’d been thinking for a while about how we should perhaps give a Temporary Holiday Site (THS) a go this summer, so when I saw one happening this weekend near the sea in Norfolk, and the weather looked good, I gave the steward managing bookings a call. I couldn’t believe our luck when she said they had room for us- and even better- just £10 for the night.

THS’s are a cross between a pop up campsite and a rally field. They are part of the Camping and Caravanning club and tend to be large fields, with a water tap and an Elsan emptying point and not much else. Those who attend need to have their own facilities member of C&CC. They tend to last just a couple of weeks to a month and are all over the UK, especially in the summer. You can find a list here

We were a little apprehensive about our first try; we are burnt out from a hectic and stressful half term, and although we are normally fairly sociable people- this weekend we needed to sit and read and have some quiet time. We worried that by attending we would need to join in activities etc, and we just weren’t in the mood for that. Still, we decided to give it a whirl, a decision helped by the fact this particular THS was on the coast at picturesque Sea Palling, Norfolk.

We arrived just before lunch, and were greeted by a really friendly steward who checked us in, took our money and told us we were free to pitch up wherever we liked (as long as we were 10 paces from the next unit). No faffing about lining up to pitch markers. And no signs of groups of people sat round campfires.

We found a suitable corner of the field with a terrific view over the corn fields. The high sand dunes were just to our right and in the distance we could see the iconic red and white stripes of Happisburgh lighthouse, just 1 mile or so down the road or beach.

Set up was quick and we were soon saying cheers with a nice cold beer, feeling the stress if he previous weeks beginning to seep away.

We made our way the short distance to the beach and couldn’t get over our luck as we crossed the sand dune. The glorious Sandy beach was practically empty. The stony breakwaters in the sea ahead reminded us of being in Greece.

We settled on the beach for a couple of hours enjoying the lapping of the waves and a couple of cold drinks and our books.

Soon though our bellies started rumbling so we walked about half a mile along the beach towards the main resort of Sea Palling. A small but active seaside village with a bar, fish and chip shop, beach shop, one small amusement arcade and a donut shop. It was a bit fresh on the beach but glorious sunshine.

We enjoyed eating our fish and chip lunch on the beach, before a spot more people watching and reading before making our way back to Gandalf. Where I promptly fell into a deep nap! Perfect. The site was so quiet. All I could hear was the ripple of the corn in front of us in the breeze. Honestly it was just what we needed.

We grabbed showers using our 12v shower and gas kettle combo (no electric here- the so;at pane; was doing well as it was actually quite hot off the beach). Before cooking up delicious steaks and noddles whilst watching the sunset over the field.

Once the sun had set we went inside to continue reading before falling into a heavy slumber after lots of fresh air. The site still was oh so quiet.

Sunday dawned and we were allowed to ‘not rush off’. So we had a lie in, then a full cooked breakfast on the Cadac, before another hour or so on the now much busier beach.

I think we could have stayed all day but we had things to do at home, plus it was verging on a bit warm for Jazz, even with the slight sea breeze. So around midday we made our sad retreat back to Gandalf to pack away and make the short journey home. My goodness what s difference 24 hours can make. We really needed that escape.

We absolutely loved our THS experience. This particular one is located on a rally field of a certified campsite also part of the C&CC network. It’s called ‘Keith Farm’ and looked lovely. The campsite has electric hook ups too and a couple of hard standings too. But for our needs this weekend the THS was just what we needed.

This TMH can house 70 units over two large fields, but only 40 were on site this weekend.

You can find the list of this years THS’s here– but you do need to be a member to see it in full.

We’ve got two more weeks to work, including two days in school during the heatwave… , a family funeral to attend and then 5 weeks of summer fun ahead of us. Some of which will be spent in Gandalf of course. So we look forward to sharing our adventures with you soon.

Until next time

Lx

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Gandalf the VW is having a case of Deja- Vu. Regular followers may recognise our pitch for this weekend- this is our 4th stay here in 18 months.

It is of course, Sandy Gulls at Mundesley, North Norfolk. We are lucky, it’s only an hour away from our house, so ideal for a quick escape without having to remortgage to afford fuel to get there. We RARELY revisit campsites unless they are extra special or in a convenient location (Edinburgh/ London). I think we can all agree the location of this site is more than extra special.

We arrived at lunch time Friday and settled immediately into our chill zone- the sunshine was glorious and despite a chilly wind, we had a couple of hours sat outside enjoying the sea view and breeze! Keith set the cadac going and we enjoyed our first bbq of the year, a delicious fish bbq. Ooph it was GORGEOUS, good job Keefy!

He cooked raw king prawns in chilli and garlic as a starter, then we had cod, sea bass and salmon alongside jacket potatoes cooked in the Remoska and coleslaw. Mouth watering!

Unbelievably (for England haha!!!) we got to the end of the meal and the weather spectacularly turned. The pure blue skies had vanished and instead we got hit with rain, wind.. rain and wind. But we couldn’t have been happier, we’d managed a sea view bbq and we actually secretly wanted to just chill with our books. So we retreated inside, listened to the rain and the sea and spent the afternoon reading and snoozing. Perfect.

Saturday dawned and we were happy to see the return of the blue skies. We had a lazy morning enjoying the view from bed- and after a great shower, the facility block here is incredible- huge wet rooms and bags of hot water- we cooked up a fry up, again outside!

After this we had a leg stretch down the dog friendly beach (which is accessible from the site either by foot (10 mins) or car (1 min).

We walked right along the beach and followed it to Mundesley and a little beyond. We got tempted into one of the most scenic beer gardens in the country, enjoyed a pint each and made our way to Gandalf via the road.

At this point, we’d walked 4 miles, so put two mini pizzas in the Remoska for lunch, and settled into our books for the afternoon.

The next thing it was time for dinner- a Keralan Cod curry.

It was yummy even if I do say so myself. We followed this with chocolate fondue- oh yes we did!! (The first outing of my Christmas present from Keefy- a small porcelain bowl with a tea light below) we enjoyed dipping fresh fruit into the melted chocolate whilst watching a Rom com.. Husband points right there..

Before falling fast asleep with the wonderful sound of waves crashing below our feet.

Sunday came far too quickly and our weekend of rest was almost over. But not before another beach walk and oodles of tea watching the ever changing view.

We didn’t utilise the site for its tremendous location (other than to sit admiring the view!) this time as we were close to burn out and needed a reset. However if you are feeling more energetic than we were this is the most perfect location to base yourself as you have the coast hopper bus (dog friendly) right outside the campsite entrance, which links you with Cromer all the way through to Kings Lynn. You can also get to Norwich and North Walsham from here via bus. If you like cycling there are lots of country lanes. For walkers, you’re Literally ON the Norfolk Coast path and there are a couple of nice circular walks here too (here)

Sandy Gulls have really invested in this site since we first visited in Oct 2020. The website that you use to book onto the site is excellent- you use a map and pick your pitch at the point of booking. Pay a £10 deposit which is fair. They’ve built a road and hard standing pitches right at the front of the site last winter and invested in free decent WiFi this winter too. The facilities are EXCELLENT and although some of the pitches do require you to have levelling chocks, it’s a small price to pay for arguably one of the best sea view sites in the country. One important note- it’s adults only.

If you want to read what we got up to on our previous stays click:

Here

it seems that I’ve only ever blogged about this place once before! Bad blogger alert- to be fair, it’s because we use it as a place to sit and do absolutely toning but admire the sea view!

We’ll be back at some point for stay number 5!

Until next time

Lx

A weekend at Sandy Gulls Adults Only Caravan Park, Mundesley

Like many others in England, this week we managed to reclaim some of our freedom, as Covid restrictions began lifting, and campsites were allowed to reopen. We had a few days at work to get through, but they flew and before we knew it I was wide awake at 05.30 on Friday morning with excitement seeping through my veins at our impending departure to the North Norfolk Coast.

Our campsite of choice, booked way back at the start of the new year for the beginning of March and rescheduled, was Sandy Gulls, an adult only caravan park situated as close as close can be to the North Sea. We’d pre picked our pitch, a new feature I think for this year, and were bursting with excitement that we’d bagged a front row pitch, high upon the cliff top with uninterrupted sea views.

We set off from home relatively early; we wanted to make a stop at the Adnams shop in Norfolk to stock up on their delicious gin and also some of their Kobbold Lager. We then made our way to Mundesley in time for the seafood van not to close, so that we could buy some fresh fish for a bbq later that evening. The Lobster Pot is situated in a trailer next to the butchers and we picked up two terrific looking cod tails and a pint of prawns to cook. We also grabbed some local sausages and bacon from the butcher and some local eggs, sausage rolls and scotch eggs. Yum, we were all set!

On arrival to the site, we got settled onto our stunning pitch- pinching ourselves that the weather God’s were shining down on us yet trying our best to remember how to set up our relatively new to us Campervan! The weather was glorious (if not a touch chilly) and the local paragliding club were out in abundance, soaring not that much higher that our vans. Life felt absolutely terrific, like others, we have missed this soooo much!

After a couple of drinks admiring the view, we walked along the coast path to Mundesley village. Here you can drop down onto the dog friendly beach, and then rejoin the promenade into the village centre. Mundesley is a small, relatively unspoilt Norfolk village/seaside location.

There are a couple of chippys, a couple of shops, a couple of tea rooms, and a pub. We opted for a pint in the beer garden of the ship, mainly because the beer garden is possibly one of the most scenic in the UK, again with uninterrupted views of the sea. Sadly the service was utterly dismal, and our potential pub lunch turned into a complete non event. It’s difficult to complain right now isn’t it, pubs have been so hard hit with the pandemic, but this one really needs to pull its socks up.

View from the beer garden.

Link to trip advisor review here for the full story if you’re interested. ( I do these so rarely, I hated having to this, but it was shocking.)

We wandered back to the campsite, via the Tesco express for a couple of bits we’d forgotten, mainly Jazz’s dog food Whoops! Before Keith gave the solar shower in our tailgate awning a whirl. He was pleasantly surprised, the awning cancelled out the wind chill and his shower experience was a good one despite the chilly air blowing off the sea.

We then set about our fish bbq, which had been eagerly awaited and planned to the finest detail. We served garlic chilli prawns as a starter, followed by cod tails served on creamed spinach, with cous cous. Yum.

And with this view! We were in heaven. We layered up, got the hot water bottles out and watched as the last rays of sunlight trickled down behind us and the twinkly lights of the boats at sea began to sparkle. I found a great app telling us what each boat was carrying and where it was heading from. I’m so nosey. Once the sky became ink black, the stars came out and we enjoyed a Jack Daniels honey as we watched for shooting stars. It couldn’t have been a better first day back camping and we slept like logs.

Saturday dawned brightly and we had a relatively lazy start to the day. Early on we peeled back the front curtains to reveal the sea ahead – watching the view as we had a couple of cups of tea. We then cooked a fry up on the cadac, again, not wanting to miss a moment of that staggering view, I even remained in my onesie in public much to the amusement of some of the passers by. Our pitch was practically on the coast path, so we had lots of opportunities for friendly hellos with passers by.

I then braved my shower- a far more pleasant experience than I had thought it may have been.

Around midday we walked the very short distance to the coast hopper bus stop, which conveniently stops almost right outside the site, and made our way to the lovely Cromer where we met up with my mum, who had caught the train to see us.

The coast hopper bus runs once an hour and is dog friendly.

Once in Cromer, we didn’t stray far from the Pier, enjoying watching passers by and the ever changing sea. We’ve all missed the seaside so much. We’d brought some drinks with us and just sat, in the sun, until our tummies started to remind us that it was almost time for fish and chips. No 1 Cromer was busy, but not as busy as I’ve seen it in the past, but those fish and chips are just delicious and well worth the wait.

As the sun lowered in the sky, we went our separate ways, waving mum off at the station before we caught our bus back to Mundesley. We had time for a cuppa and another sit outside before the temperature plummeted forcing us inside – but our view remained through the windows until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any more.

Sunday arrived all too quickly, and our departure was looming. Before we packed away we enjoyed another cooked breakfast outside- we loved the local sausages, trying two interesting flavours, a bourbon smoked sausage and a pork and black pudding Sausage.

The Cadac Safari Chef 2 has proven to be a welcome addition to our camping equipment. It’s dinky size and versatility in terms of mixing and matching with our own frying pan etc make cooking on it a dream.

Sandy Gulls Caravan Park is terrific, so good that I almost don’t want to share it! In fact, I realised this weekend, that I must have had the same feeling when we last visited in October, as I appear to have failed to write a blog post about our previous stay here in October.

Back in October

At £20 pn at this time of year, we consider it to be a bargain. Even at peak times it doesn’t raise higher than £32 pn. The site has been invested in heavily, with new roads and hard standing pitches having been introduced. Pitches are well spaced, flat and have decent electric hook up. The facilities (water and waste disposal) are well kept and well organised, especially during the time of covid, and there was sanitiser everywhere. Plus, it must be the most scenic waste disposal location in the country right? We haven’t used the toilets or showers here as both times we’ve stayed they’ve not legally been allowed to open them, but I’ve read terrific reviews about them. The touring park is adults only, so it’s nice and quiet and there is easy access to the beach, and miles upon miles of walks from the site. We will DEFINITELY we back.

We may have only managed two nights away, but we’ve returned home feeling recharged and raring to the start the week ahead. We’re almost back to fully face to face now and life in school is chaotic but really excellent to be back. We’ve got loads of trips lined up in the coming weeks, so we look forward to sharing them with you.

Have you been away this week? Where have you been? Where’s on your list?

Until next time, keep safe and happy camping to you all

Lx

Camping in the Forest – Norfolk camp and walk

For us when we arrive at a campsite, once we are set up, we don’t want to move the van if we can help it. I spend all week chasing around in between schools and gigs so once the journey is out of way, I want to hang up those car keys and embrace not having to drive. Because of this we are always on the look out for campsites with walks or bike rides from our pitch.

For the second year running Keith and I have signed up to “walk 1000 miles”. Last year we smashed it by walking over 1100 miles which we were thrilled about- crossing the 1000 mile mark in mid November.

As usual its been a busy start to the decade, and with some pretty rough weather and my lingering lurgy, the 40 odd miles walked so far this year by us have been mainly in the dark either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. But this weekend a welcome break in the weather arrived at the same time as a welcome day off.

As we only had the day spare we opted for a local walk just 5 miles away from our front door. However seeing as we have a really rather decent campsite in the middle of the walk and various attractions around us – we felt it was well worth a write up to add to our ‘Campsites with walks from the pitch’ list.

Campsite:

Dower House Camping About 7 miles away from Thetford, Norfolk. Easily accessible from the A11.

This campsite is right in the heart of the forest. The pitches are really pictuesque and there are decent facilities and even an outside pool for the summer months. It gets very busy, we even know neighbours who go there on holiday despite it being 3 miles from our front door. It is open from Mid march to mid October.

The Walk:

9 miles but many shorter (or longer) routes available.

Because we live so close obviously we didn’t camp. We parked Ruby at Knetttishall Heath which has two large and free carparks. Knettishall Heath also has miles of trails to follow and is the start of the Peddars Way.

Our route began in the main car park which we walked away from by turning left out of the main gates, following the road back towards the A1066. After about half a mile we took a small footpath towards Riddlesworth Hall Private School. The path goes behind the school and you get good views of Princess Diana’s former school – the impressive Riddlesworth Hall.

We then crossed the 1066 and took a quiet lane through the forest towards Dower House Campsite. We took the campsite entry road and followed it for the mile or so before breaking off to the left following the path towards Thorpe Woodlands (Forest Holidays). This is a good place for a refreshment stop as there is a pet and child friendly bar/cafe which serves decent food and is open to non residents.

We carried on to the Peddars Way National Trail which we followed all the way back to Knettishall Heath. Our route covered 9 miles and was really enjoyable.

If we were staying at the campsite we would head towards Riddlesworth Hall first then Knettishall Heath as that way you get the road walking (albeit quiet road) done first.

There are enough walks directly from the campsite to occupy you at least 2-3 days so it’s perfect for a weekend break.

East Harling is just about walkable from Dower House – or cyclable on a very quiet lane. There are two decent pubs, one that serves exceptional food – The Nags Head and one that is a drinkers pub, The Swan. There is also a traditional tea room, Peppers, a village store, fish and chip shop and post office. The 2 pubs and the tea room are all all dog friendly. If you don’t fancy the distance, there is a great cab service that is based in the village.

Just outside of East Harling is England’s oldest Whiskey Distillery. Its well worth a trip if you like Whiskey or Baileys – they do a very nice Norfolk Nog which is similar to Baileys. There is also a restaurant and cafe at the distillery too.

A little further afield but less than 10 miles away there is Snetterton Race circuit and also Banham Zoo, or Bressingham Steam Museum.

Did you know that the legendary actor James Stewart was stationed nearby to here in Old Buckenham, about 8 miles away during WW2? You can visit the small museum on the airfield and visit Jimmy’s cafe. Or perhaps come and watch the very popular and really great air show in July.

As you can see we are blessed with where we live. If you decide to come and try the campsite out do let us know, we’ve love to meet up! This truly is our stomping ground! In fact during this walk we bumped into two of our followers randomly! Great to meet you Eric and Pam!

We’re always on the look out for inspiration of where to visit for a night or two which requires no driving once on site. If you have any spots you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below.

Our next Ruby adventure is just 3 weeks away, we’re looking forward to seeing some hills in West Yorkshire.

Until next time

Lx

Adventures on the North Norfolk Coast at the turn of the Decade

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.

7 swans a swimming!

Salthouse

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!

Jazz thinks this is more like it!

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…

Here

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.

Picture not my own – belongs to North

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

Lx

Adventures on the Weavers Way, Norfolk

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!

Until next time

Lx

Adventures on the Marriott’s Way, Norfolk

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.

We may well be back sometime soon!

Until next time

Lx

Celebrating Fathers Day at Kelling Heath

It may only have been two weeks since our last adventure, but it’s been a fortnight of work, work and more work stress! Exam season is upon us and between Keith and I we’ve had nearly 60 students taking grade exams in this fortnight alone.

Luckily, we’d got a weekend of escapism to look forward to, celebrating Father’s Day with dad and Jenny – double van date so to speak. Our original location was supposed to be Ferry Meadows in Peterborough, however the recent bad weather resulted in a phone call from them on Thursday advising that they’d had to shut as they’d flooded. That left us precisely 24 hours to find somewhere else that accommodate not one but two vans.

Luckily Dad managed to get us on at Kelling Heath, Norfolk. This pleased me as despite recent bad weather, the coming weekend looked to be forecasted to be nice – and there is no place I’d rather be than or the seaside.

Kelling Heath has been on our list of sites to visit for a while. It didn’t disappoint- the showers were phenomenal, and the site layout user friendly and beautifully landscaped. The bar area and restaurant looked appealing, there was n outside pool should we feel brave, and we were on the train line to Sheringham (and Holt). It was slightly pricier than other sites we stay at but facility’s being so good meant we had no issue paying this.

Friday night was spent with a few drinks, and putting the world to rights. We took a wander to the on site bar (dog friendly) and I sampled some local gin.

Saturday morning dawned sunny and so we wasted no time, bacon rolls first then a wander to reception to buy tickets for the train. As it was Father’s Day, they’d ramped the prices up somewhat, it we didn’t mind paying £20 pp as it’s a heritage line, and someone’s got to fund it. We then realised the next train to Sheringham was imminent so legged it the half a mile down to the station arriving just in the nick of time for the scheduled time of arrival. Annoyingly, the timetable was running over half an hour latest actually we needn’t have rushed! Oh well! The views from the small request stop station were glorious and fields of Poppy’s surrounding us were appropriate not to mention beautiful, considering we were on the Poppy Line.

Eventually our train arrived and we enjoyed the short journey to nearby Sheringham.