Our “weekend” is here one again and we were able to shoot of a bit early for a two and a half hours drive to the North Norfolk coast.
This was the area that we first ventured to for our first week away last September and was designed to get to know Catori the Comanche and relax and unwind after the stresses of selling up and moving out.
This time different reasons called us back. No 1 – was why not? It was within our 2.5 hr travel time distance that we had set for our weekends away and what’s more it is by the coast. No 2 – we had also selected this site as one of our five possibles for next year so we thought we should at least have a look at where we had asked to go, not that you get where you ask for mind. No 3 – Our Regional support Manager John Brown runs the site and gave us a glowing report of it and openly invited us to visit it at some point.
So here we are at the Camping and Caravaning Club site in West Runton.
Last night started well with a great little spot allowing us to soak up the last of the rays until about 8.30. Before partaking in the wine and cheese I took Molly for a quick wander. A small gate from the site takes you straight out onto the Heath with the gorse in purple cobweb like full bloom and an elevated 180 degree view over the sea, the village of West Runton and the town of Cromer. Looking down to the sea over the golf course with the villages in the background it felt like we were in North Devon. Molly loved her evening walk before settling down for the night. And WHAT A NIGHT!!!! thunderstorm after thunderstorm and lightning flashes all around however we felt safe and secure in the Dub with is rubber tyres proving one of the safest places to be in a storm.
When we woke this morning the site looked as though it had a real battering one of the shower facilities had to be closed due to standing water. It was amazing however how quickly a miserable wild morning turned into a stunner. Out came the sun and with it the heat. We decided to take the Dub into Cromer and on to Overstrand as the beach had been recommended to us. We pulled into the small car park and descended the very Steep path to the beach which was a lovely sandy beech with waves crashing onto the shore. Teenagers were jumping the white horses and a few people were sunbathing making the most of their day in the sun. The beach was only mared by the necessary sea defences that resembled the WWII coastal defences but not to deter would be invaders but to try to halt or al least slow down the massive erosion of the sandy sea cliffs. Molly swam and I paddled as I was not in swim wear and we spent a lovely hour walking the beech.
Hunger tapped on our tummies and we decided to drive along the coastal road towards Hunstanton, a route that we did on the Granny bus ( we were the only ones not using a bus pass) in September but this time we had the ability to stop off and see all the things that passed by the windows of the bus back then. First stop a pub. The Dun Cow at Salthouse looked lovely with a great beer garden overlooking the sea but the menu was a bit posh for a lunch time snack with a price tag to match and as we only wanted a snack we decided to just have a drink and elected to venture on in search of another watering hole.
Passing through a couple of hamlets and one that lay claim to having the winner of the Norfolk Pub of the year for 2016 (which we only saw on the return drive back to the site) we headed relentlessly towards Hunstanton and a diversion off of the road made me look down a side road to see The Kings Arms banner displayed in all its glory. We decided to explore turned the Dub round and stumbled on a quayside of summer activity. A quick Crab baguette for me and tuna sandwich for Angie plus a bowl of chips on the side put a stop to the hunger and we walked down to the quayside of Blakeney to investigate why it was so popular.
Swarms of children huddled by the water with line and bait and a bucket of salt water filled with differing levels of crabs desperately trying to claw their way out. Small pleasure boats putted past and canoe and dinghy alike were being rowed with gusto. Coloured bunting was strung between the lampposts and a car par that sloped to the gravel beach side was crammed with cars. People were walking in every direction and the queues for the ice cream shop was five deep. We too joined the throngs just milling about in the sun and it was very pleasant and relaxing. Apart from the picturesque location we did not know why it was so busy but it certainly had a feel good factor and some pretty massive flood markings up the walls. The most recent and nearly the highest was in 2014 and a good 8ft above the road we stood on.
We returned back to the campsite and said a thank you to John and his wife for the invite. Would we like to work on this site in 2018? – yes we think so, a great site full of holiday makers in a nice spot with some amazing walks and scenery around. On Thursday we return to Theobalds but before we do that we needed to enjoy our last day away.
Now I’m not a Steam freak by any means but as the weather looked inclement we decided that we would drive to Sheringham and take the North Norfolk line to Holt for a spot of lunch and then back again. A very very slow diesel took us to our destination only to find that the station was 1.5 miles from the town centre. We were in shorts and t shirts as expected the town to be ‘AT’ the station. We missed the bus by a minute so decided to walk. It started to rain en-route and we were very pleased to find a pub just as we got to the town. After a late lunch we had a quick but damp look around the town before jumping on the bus back to the station and a steam train ride back to the Dub. The sun came out and very pleasant it was too. I have made a decision though- that the station is the best part of the experience. The actual train ride could be on any train. It did however while away an afternoon and rounded off our visit to the North Norfolk coast.