North Norfolk- mini break to Thornham, Holkham and Burnham Thorpe

We had a fantastic couple of days away- I knew it would be a good un, as we planned it from the comfort of our………

Local! – in the beer garden…!

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We ended up picking one of our favourites- Holkham, North Norfolk. We used the BritStop guide, as we haven’t had chance to use it since our gaunt to a scotland earlier this year.
Sunday came and we set off on our way- our recent move means we can now park the motorhome right next to our back garden and therefore we can fill easily with water before we head off!

We had phoned in advance to both places to ask permission as they were both pubs…get in (!) and were warmly welcomed both on the phone and in person on arrival.

Our first stop- number 219 in the guide was 5 mins walk to a stunning beach. Shame the weather wasn’t as nice as it had forecasted, but nevertheless, we enjoyed a 4 mile or so wander, got the cobwebs blown well and truly away, and returned to the van to fall into a deep afternoon nap!

We had booked a table for dinner at the pub that was hosting us, we’d read rave reviews, and spent half an hour drooling at the menu earlier on! The meal did not disappoint. It was simply stunning. Best of all, we could relax knowing we were safe and welcome to park overnight, therefore the wine flowed freely and the whole evening was perfect. Despite being camped on the pub carpark, we were still treated to a lovely view from our rear view lounge.

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Next morning, and the cloud had thoroughly burned away, so we set off after thanking the staff at the pub. It promised to be a spectacular day weather wise, so we enjoyed a bacon sarnie over looking the harbour at Brancaster, bought some free prawns from the cabin there and set off the five miles or so to our next location, BritStop number 220, another pub 😉

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This pub was of interest to Keith (and not just because of the ale…!) as he is a history buff, and this pub is linked to Admiral Nelson. We once again were welcomed with such warmth and kindness from the staff, you’d struggle to replicate it on a campsite. We decided to walk to nearby (ish) Holkham, and take a picnic to eat on the beach. It was a lovely walk, which took us through the grounds of Holkham Hall, and on to the beach, which is thought to be one of the finest in the UK. The weather was not disappointing, it got up to 32degrees!

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We had a lazy afternoon on the beach and after a look on the memory map, we couldn’t believe it when it told us we had walked almost 7 miles!! Refusing to worry that we still had the walk back to manage, and feeling slightly sore and not fussed about trekking back, we nipped in for a quick pint at the Queen Victoria at Holkham to assess the best thing to do to get back to our home on wheels. After an unsuccessful ring round for cabs, and several encounters with unhelpful staff, we realised we could get the coast hopper the majority of the way back, which turned out to be our saving grace!

We enjoyed a couple of beers in the beer garden at our “digs”, which included sampling their infamous special spiced rum, made from a secret recipe handed down from landlord to landlord – and boy, was it good?!! We also were treated to some live music from a bunch of male singers rehearsing their sea shanty songs in the bar. We had a great time! The pub gave free info about a village walk that took in all the important sites linked to Nelson, so we wandered round at Dusk, enjoying the bird song and keeping an eye out for owls. We did see a barn owl we think, but not close enough to get a photo this time. 😦

We couldn’t quite slip past the pub towards Bluebell without one last nip into the pub for a sneaky night cap of spiced rum in their really cool snug bar. Unfortunately we didn’t drink enough to enable to us to sleep through the huge thunderstorm that hit around 5am! We had such a great time, we were only 40 miles from home, but it felt like a million miles away! We love Norfolk, we love motorhoming, we love mini breaks and we LOVE BritStops

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Glorious night in Cambridgeshire- 16th Feb

We have had a walk pinned to our notice board in the kitchen for ages now- the walk being a nice ramble around Devil’s Dyke in Cambridgeshire, and this weekend we finally managed to check it off the walks to do list..

We arrived at the start of Devil’s Dyke in Reach around midday, and poor Keith had a tight bit of manoeuvring to get Bluebell into the small car park. After a twenty point turn, and a team effort – him steering, me guiding and Jazz being generally nosey out the back window, we were in, our walking boots were on and we were off on our eagerly anticipated trot.

It was a nice fresh day and it was good to see lots of people out and about enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. We walked for nearly 6 miles, half of which was on the dyke itself- Devil’s Dyke is one of the finest remaining Anglo Saxon earthworks in the country, and is remarkably high!

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We passed through two very pretty villages Reach and Swaffham Priory- home to two windmills and two churches! Not bad for a tiny little village!!

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Once we’d finished our walk we headed off to our campsite for the night – we did debate wild camping, but as we only had the one night we wanted to be able to fully recharge our batteries and felt that the best way to do this was on a site, so we booked a night at The Missing Sock campsite. On arrival we filled with water, found our pitch and had a quick chat with the owner. We were very intrigued to nip for a pint later to see what the place was like inside- you know us, usually so reluctant to have a beer… Haha

We settled in for an afternoon nap which was Fab!! How I miss having an afternoon nap in our normal life! We woke feeling refreshed and decided it was time to try a beer out, so went to have a nosey. The bar was really funky, we loved the decor, it had a very worldy theme

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The menu looked interesting with food such as kangaroo burgers and things on! Otherwise though, it seemed a bit pretentious and we felt a bit out of place rolling in from the camping field!

After a rather strong pint of German lager we stumbled back to bluebell and I knocked up a delicious carbanara – I got the recipe from an app called Meals4wheels, an app designed for couples in campervans! It was yummy!

After a very quiet nights sleep (which we were relieved about as the site was very close to the A14) we awoke to a glorious day!

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We quickly decided on relaxing walk around Wicken Fen then a drive to Ely to have a wander along the riverfront. We enjoyed the walk at Wicken Fen and spent some time watching the deer feed. It was everso busy there! We headed over to Ely once we had finished our walk and found a cracking free spot to park. It was listed on the wild camping website and was a lovely quiet road overlooking the river and marina. We had a bite to eat, watched the world go by and had a wander round the historic streets of Ely. We managed to have a quick look inside the cathedral and were blown away by how grand it was. The symmetries inside were amazing.

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We reluctantly headed homewards about 3ish as Keith has a rehearsal tonight, but once again, we had a flipping awesome weekend and can’t wait to point Bluebell in the direction of the Cotswolds on Wednesday!

🙂

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Catching up with blogs….

I’m officially rubbish. I can’t believe how far behind I’ve managed to get on this blog!! It’s annoying me now, so in the next couple of posts I’m going to try and sum up the last 9 months or so of motor homing for us, so that I’m finished and up to date in time for our next jaunt- to the Cotswolds next week. Can’t wait.

Here goes….

May half term- Cambridgeshire
Highlights- catching up with my friends Mike and Catherine from Croydon and celebrating the jubilee weekend in style with a bbq feast in Ely

Catching up with Keith’s dad and Valerie in Cambridge – punting and watching evensong in Kings College chapel

Seeing Concorde in Duxford

Interesting moment…..
Fleeing a campsite at 10 at night due to the fact there were 3 random men driving around very close to the pitches WITH GUNS!!

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Weekend at end of June with Dad and Jenny- Norfolk Broads motor homing and a boat!

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Twixmas 2011 – Daisy’s finale voyage…

One of the drawbacks with being a musician is that November and December turn into absolutely CRAZY times! It was this, and the fact that Daisy was having a new water pump fitted, that following our October jolly, we weren’t able to get out again until in between Xmas and New Year. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was to become our finale voyage in dear old Daisy, as unbeknownst to us (until a particularly large amount of rain one afternoon) we discovered the thing that most motorhomers fear…. the DREADED LEAK! 😥 We were staying on a nice little site just outside of Cromer, Norfolk , with my Dad and Jen, and we started noticing the tell tale signs. We tried to justify it, saying it was condensation at first, but as time went on, and the walls got softer and softer, we soon realised we were dealing with the real macoy – a proper Talbot reknowned leak. Still, we managed to grin and bear it, and had a lovely time. The site was lovely – http://www.moorlandpark.co.uk/ and we had a great walk all the walk to Sheringham for fish and chips and a pint, then shared a taxi back. 🙂

Sun, Sea and…… ADNAMS…. It could only be “Southwold”- MAY 2011

We headed to Southwold for a weekend with my Dad and Jenny in May 2011. The weather was glorious and the Adnams was even better. Did you know that they did Adnams gin?? For me this was like a red rag to a bull.. Yum Yum.

We had a great weekend exploring the sophisticated seaside town and enjoyed some rather lavish fish and chips, washed down by some Broadside of course. Life doesn’t get much better than than IMHO

Heres some piccies…

Living the Norfolk life, innit

I can honestly say, we both flipping love living here in (sometimes) sunny ol’ Norfolk. We are so lucky, as we have some great places to nip off to for a night if we find ourselves free. If you draw a circle with an hours radius from where we live, we have 2 stretches of coast, broadlands, 2 lovely cities, fens, LOADS of cutie pie chocolate box villages, magical market towns, windmills.. you name it. We just can’t get enough.

This post is intended to touch on some of the spontaneous ‘mini- breaks’ that we went on over the Spring of 2011.

I think my favourite was Blakeney and Wells Nxt to Sea, Norfolk. We had a fab time going on a boat trip to see the Seals, and just wandering the sleepy, out of season streets. Wells is lovely- like a not so posh Southwold- we stayed on a great little CL for about £8 per night. We walked for miles in the countryside, saw a wealth of wildlife- Keith’s highlight was being treated to a magical display by a barn owl one evening.

Another highlight for me was visiting Snettisham Park during lambing season. We stayed on the onsite camping field, and had a wonderful time bottle feeding the newly born lambs.

Another highlight was Wolferton, Norfolk. This was a little time capsule village and had a really interesting history. The railway station that is there used to be the Royal Station when the Queen visited her Sandringham Estate, and although it is no longer in use, it’s owner had invested a lot of time and effort into restoring the station buildings to how they would have looked. It was really charming, and we had only stumbled on this little village during a walk, so it was nice surprise!

Places we were able to visit were:

Blakeney, Brancaster Straithe, Wells Nxt to Sea, Wolferton, Snettisham Park, Hunstanton, Castle Acre

 

Twixmas 2010/11 – Derbyshire and North Yorkshire

After numourous weekend jollies ere there and everywhere, we set about planning our Twixmas Break (Twixmas is the period in between Xmas and New Year, doncha know). Keith, being a “blaaaady saaaatherner” hadn’t explored much of Northern England before, so we decided to head to Derbyshire/North Yorks.

We set off on our travels a couple of days after Christmas, stopping again for an Ali BaBa’s with Krystle in Cov (well it’d be rude not to, and she needed a hand moving some furniture into her new house)

Our itinery was to go to Bakewell, home of the glorious tarts, then hook up with Dad and Jenny and their friends Simon, Emma and Selina for a night on a CL somewhere close by. We would then move onto a

different site near Goredale for NYE (we wanted a site where we could definitely have a TV signal to watch Jools Holland’s Hootenany! and this one promised on it’s website a tv aerial on each hook up) We then traveled onto a farm site somewhere near Malham (I love that place) and visited Malham and Asgarth, before finishing up near Wensleydale.

We had a lovely break, but would be lying if we said we didn’t encounter any problems at all…..

Firstly- pre setting off, the problem with taking a motorhome to Northern England in the middle of winter is that its a bit of a lottery with the weather. We prefer to stay on the small sites (Caravan and Camping Club certified sites only take 5 vans, generally only offer minimal services such as a water tap and a loo dump, sometimes some toilets or a shower, but definately no club houses and all for under a tenner usually..) As such, you tend to find that the sites tend to not want to commit to booking which is fair enough, as you really run the risk of being snowed in at the time of year. Therefore, we found ourselves a little up in the air about whether we would even get up there or not, and whether we would get on a site or not.

Secondly- on our first night we had rather a major leak in the bathroom! We ended up looking all our water from our tank and being stuck in a field not really sure what was happening. My mentality allows me to just think “Oh well, we will sort it in the morning..”. Keith’s mentality doesn’t allow him that luxury. Cue us packing up Daisy, to move it to the farmhouse courtyard (we were in a seperate field) in the pitch black, freezing cold, Keith having to borrow a tool from the farmer to take off all of the paneling in the bathroom to look at the pipes, do something to the pipes, reattach the paneling, re fill with water (the only tap in the field had frozen so we were instructed to use the tap in the cow shed), move back to the camping field, get all our stuff out again. To be fair to Keith and his “I must do this right now” attidude, we were both able to have a nice hot shower that night. Unfortunately during his morning shower the same thing happened again. So off we trotted to Matlock Bath to find his own tools, (number one

rule in a motorhome- don’t go anywhere without tools, you will need them!)

Matlock Bath- I love this place, I used to go regularly with Mum, Dad, Grandad, anyone who would take me really. I can’t tell you how often I have told Keith, we must go to Matlock Bath, you’d love it! So the compromise went like this.. Keith would buy his tools in Matlock Bath and whilst we were there we could explore. Luck didn’t want to be our side that day, clearly. We arrived in the most dense fog I’ve ever seen. You couldn’t see a bean. We went to Sainsburys to get the tools in the hope the fog would lift. When we came out we were planning on moving the van elsewhere so we could explore. Went to start the van. Nothing, nada, zilch, not a bean. We called the AA and were told they would be with us in an hour. We waited an hour. Nothing. Waited another hour. Nothing. Rang AA. Oh sorry Miss P we can’t get anyone to you within 8 HOURS! 8 HOURS!!!!! Bearing in mind we were very close to the M1 and even if they sent someone from London they could be here quicker than that. No Miss P, sorry, just the way it is. Ok. So we had a beer in Daisy (one advantage to a motorhome), Keith fixed his leak once and for all. And then an AA van turned up. He started looking at Daisy and couldn’t work it out. Next thing, another AA van turns up. The two mechanics were rather surprised to see each other there. The second guy straight away asks if we have a fuel pump switch on Daisy. We have no idea, naturally! He spends a minute inside the cab, and next thing Daisy fires up like a dream. Turns out there is this little switch by the leg of the driver. This controls the fuel going into the pump. It’d been switched off accidently as I got out of the drivers seat! The thing about motorhoming is you tend to learn something new every day!

By now, it was pitch black, pea soup foggy, we were tired, hungry and fed up. Back to the campsite, a nice hot shower and a glass of vino, and the world was ok again. But Keith still hasn’t seen Matlock Bath. We must go back!

After this incident, thankfully the rest of the trip went by without hitch. We had a lovely time, we ate well, we drank well, we slept well. All was great until we turned up at our campsite for NYE and found it to be a rather odd place. Too many statics for our liking, and then the guy parked us up in the car park. There was no TV signal, even though it was promised, so we couldn’t watch Jools. We did get electric eventually though, so we spent NYE watching back to back Sex in the City (I am so lucky, K not only tolerates the girly chick flicks, he actually enjoys them!)

Highlights:

DoveDale Stepping Stones

Malham Tarn, Mallam Cove. Awesome. Old Peculiar, Log fire- couldn’t have spent a few hours in the pub in Malham!

Asgarth Falls. Famous for the scene in Robin Hood where Kevin Costner has that sword fight in the water trying to cross to Nottingham- despite the dodgy accent

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