Perfect pilgrimage to Walsingham Abby, Norfolk

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up in the car park of BritStop number 220
Her owners have been drinking in Nelsons local tonight after a very pleasant pilgrimage to Walsingham Abby today.

When we left home the weather was gloomy and wet, but we hadn’t even gotten out the village before the sunshine peeped out and the rain stopped.

We’ve visited Walsingham twice Walsingham Abby before and today’s trip was with the intention of visiting the grounds (£4 per person and dogs allowed on lead)

The snowdrops were simply spectacular, there were literally MILLIONs over the large site, all in full bloom- a real treat to experience

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The weather was really behaving, so we enjoyed a picnic in the tranquil but chilly grounds and then set off on a little saunter round the pretty village, which is like a time capsule (apart from the shrine building which is in contrast very new looking and made from bricks!)

We’d got a map of a walk from the village off walk4life.com and this took in part of the Pilgrims Way- a very well made track that apparently is ancient. We really enjoyed the walk, the weather was great and it was good to stretch the legs without getting too muddy!

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After a good 4 mile circuit, we drove the van the 6 miles or so to our overnight stop for tonight. We visited here back in July and enjoyed it then, and it’s close proximity to both the coast and Walsingham, along with its homemade Nelson’s blood rum (hic) made sure we would return.

We are online using our new gadget- the motorhomewifi directional antenna, which has not only picked up the pubs wifi, but also several bt hotspots. Not bad for a tiny village, so we should get on brilliantly with it on our travels.

Keith’s new favourite thing at home is checking the speed of our newly installed fibre internet, and he’s in his element to discover he can check the connection speed we are getting through the antenna too!

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Our first taste of “Wild Camping” – North Norfolk Feb 2012

One of the things we were rather excited about when we picked up our new pride and joy (Bluebell) was the prospect of having a go at “wild camping” – since our leisure battery seemed to hold its charge more we figured we could occasionally last a night or so parked up somewhere other than a campsite.

Unfortunately England isn’t quite as geared up for Wild Camping as Scotland or even the Continent.. in fact technically it’s classed as not legal, but of course, there are all sorts of loopholes and as far as we were/are aware it is tolerated as long as you are not breaching any public order notices/traffic orders or similar, or blocking anyone’s view, on their land etc etc.

For us the appeal was to be able to park up where we like and when we like. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy staying on campsites, but sometimes we leave them thinking “flipping heck, that was a bit noisy for our liking” or “25 quid to stay for a night?!” We found ourselves sometimes paying up to £30 per night and then begrudging spending any more in the local pub for a meal or whatever, cos we aren’t made of money and if we’ve paid £30 to stay a night in an area it cuts into our holiday spends budget so are more likely not to spend as much money in that local area…

So after A LOT of research on the internet we found this website called http://www.wildcamping.co.uk. WHAT A FIND. We quickly joined for £15 and in return downloaded over 4000 gps coordinates of spots where you can park overnight to our trusty sat nav. We decided to give it a go one night at the end of February, and decided to head towards the North of the county. We visited Walsingham Abby to see the glorious snowdrops (my favourite!) and then headed north towards Wells Next to Sea. There was a spot in a little car park near to Wells that we had read about so headed straight there. When we arrived it was a fantastic location, right on the sea and in a harbour carpark. We spent the afternoon walking up to the main beach, chilling out and enjoying the view. It was glorious. But there was something niggling me. We had seen a small sign saying “no camping” and although we were fairly sure we would get away with it, we both decided that we would rather not risk it as we didn’t think we would be able to relax. So, we watched the sun set over the sea and decided to head into Wells Next to Sea. We found a quiet secluded road and parked up, then went for a walk around the town. We had a meal in the local pub and a few drinks around the town. We wandered back to Bluebell about 9pm and settled in for the night. We set the alarm for 7am and after a great nights sleep we just got straight up and left. We went and had bacon butties back at our spot from the day before and were thoroughly chilled out by the time we headed home to work that afternoon!

From our first experience, we took the following things..

1) If you don’t feel comfortable in a spot, don’t stay

2) Have more than one option of a spot to stay for each area you go.

3) We really enjoyed our wander around the Wells pubs, even though I didn’t have a drink “JUST IN CASE” we were moved on

All in all, we had a great time, and couldn’t wait until the next time.

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