Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Norfolk, cricket and round towers

Well, we enjoyed a long anticipated Summer holiday last month.  I've never been to Norfolk and anticipated marshy sea fronts, big skies, interesting local vernacular and flat countryside, I was correct on all counts and in small doses! Norfolk is indeed very diverse and we literally only scratched the surface of the north of the county.

Marshy sea front and flat countryside - check

Big skies - check

Interesting local vernacular - double check!

We stayed in a little brick built chalet in the village of Weybourne, on the North Norfolk coast. The chalet was semi detached but the neighbouring chalet and the one opposite were both empty for the whole week, so it was very, very quiet, blissful in fact.

We travelled on a Saturday, when I always think we will hit congestion and shoppers, we didn't!

Sheringham sea front

Our first full day, therefore, was a Sunday, and after a visit to the nearest supermarket in Sheringham, and a quick walk along the front where we watched a chap painting a mural for the lifeboat station we set off to find a Sunday lunch.

Sheringham lifeboats through the ages

Steering clear of the coast and associated tourist tat, we came across a beautiful church with a cylindrical tower.

Although this was a first for me, I've since found out there are lots and lots of round tower churches in Norfolk

Soon after stopping to visit the round tower, we stumbled upon a quintessentially English village green, with a pub at one corner. We were in Aldborough.

The pub, The Black Boys, was threatened with closure a few years ago but had a stay of execution and now serves traditional English food, roasts on a Sunday and fish and chips on Friday nights.

We were happy to indulge in not only a large roast lunch but puddings as well! 

 Afterwards, we waddled outside and sat on a bench under a tree to relax in the warm air.  The locals were setting up the cricket pitch and soon a steady stream of players arrived in their whites. So we settled back to watch.

 We stayed for what seemed like hours, in reality it was just one. I'm sure this little scene has taken place most Sundays in this village for many years.

Back to the car and map out, we looked for somewhere interesting close by to visit.  I spotted Baconsthorpe castle a previously fortified manor house now under the management of English Heritage and free to visit.

Baconsthorpe is a grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument, built by an ambitious local family in the late 1400's, headed at the time by John Heydon, who made his money in wool and switched his political allegiances during the War of the Roses as often as he changed his socks, it seems! 

Over the next 200 years the house grew to reflect the family wealth.  After the English civil war and a family row about ownership, the property was abandoned and fell into ruin.

There are no upper floors or decent remains of steps to be seen at Baconsthorpe, but it is still grand, even in it's present state of decay.

 There is still a lake to one side and a water filled ditch surrounds the outer walls, implying fortification.

Close up, and you can see why these late medieval walls are so strong, the flint is still as razor sharp as the day it was constructed over 500 years ago.

We had to run from Baconsthorpe, a sudden thunderstorm engulfed us and we fled back to the safety of the car and a flask of tea!

We drove back to the chalet through Holt, a rather posh little town with some ridiculously priced charity shops. One was open, well it was Sunday, and we couldn't resist having a look. £15 for a second hand jumper? no thank you! 

Never mind, Holt is very pretty and we meandered around the tangle of little streets for a while to amuse ourselves.

OH made this property look like a child's playhouse, he could reach the upstairs window!

Love the sign on this shop door, we went back when it was open and it just said... open!

This had us wondering, what was the connection with Nelson?  we found out later in the week!

Back at our cosy little chalet we had a light tea and wandered down to the beach, although it was pebbled and steeply sloping, it was fine to walk along (we both noticed aching knees and calves for a few days then got used to it)

I'm not overly fond of the sea but we came back to this little beach with its ever changing sunsets every night during our stay and loved every minute of it. 

More tales from Norfolk to follow soon...


  1. Hello Claire! Your blog post popping up in my reading list was a nice surprise! I love reading your travelogues. I have never been to this area, so this was a fascinating read. Your photos are wonderful, too. I especially love the one of the water filled ditch reflecting the dead tree. I'd never seen a church with a round tower either. Somehow it looks a bit incongruous with the rest of the church. And can there be anything more English than watching a game of cricket being played on a village green on a Sunday afternoon? xxx

  2. Norfolk certainly looks a fascinating county to visit. I always enjoy your excellent photos . The church with its round tower was a new one for me.Sunday roast in the pub and watching a game of cricket on the village green - traditional England at its best. Hope you are enjoying your Summer.

  3. Welcome back! I've never been to that part of the country. I think I know India better than the UK! North Norfolk looks lovely, I love the colour of the buildings and that chalet you stayed in was adorable. xxx

  4. That is such a comical picture of your OH reaching the second floor of that cottage! How tall is he exactly? The round tower is amazing! I just love round towers like that! So atmospheric! It looks a wonderful place to visit! x


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