Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Postcard from Norfolk

The direction of the magical compass guided us North East last week, for a little spot of rest and relaxation. Our destination, just a few hours from London on the equable waterways and country lanes of Norfolk. I packed up my holdall and checked into a little spa hotel where I based myself for a zig-zagging week of garden visits, boating, bracing coastal activities and as many midnight swims as I could muster. I would like to take this opportunity to preempt the smarty pants who is about to ask if that's me in the rowing boat, I'm afraid not chums:)
 
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31 comments:

  1. All looking so idyllic Paul! It's been years since we've been to this lovely county.

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    1. There are plenty of reason why you guys in particular should visit Norfolk.

      Two gardens in particular spring to mind. One being Will Giles garden which is right up your street and the other...well, you'll have to watch the blog over the coming weeks to see the other. :)

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  2. Hello,Paul!

    Looks so peaceful and relax there....and SO beautiful lifely photos:)))*

    Enjoy your days,
    warm greetings,

    ***Violetta***

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    1. Thank you Miss Violetta. It was so relaxing although my kind of relaxing is tearing around like a teenager, running here, there and everywhere but relaxing all the same. :)

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  3. I love Norfolk, spent part of my honeymoon there. Thanks for taking me back!
    Di
    xoxo

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    1. What a smashing place to spend your honeymoon Di! Glad you enjoyed the post. X

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  4. Truly a magical place Mr. P. It's very relaxing and tranquil. Your friends on the photos even look very relaxed.

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    1. Ha Ha, I'm sure you don't mean the fishermen, cheeky! You know me though I am a friend of the animals, just call me Dr Doolittle!

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  5. You can be sure I AM THAT SMARTY PANTS who was going to ask! teehee....how did you know I'd be coming 'round the bend to see you?

    Paul, I want to go to England; I want to see these animals, these fields of beauty. Thank you for taking your holidays and sharing them with us. That white horse, OH MY...that is my dream animal to own.

    CHEERS! Anita

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    1. Anita I went round the beautiful bend years ago and I just knew you would be the one to pop that question you naughty minx you:)

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  6. Such a lovely set of "postcards"! And reading that you made midnight swims might almost induce me to leave my warm rain garments at home...

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    1. Oh Britta, I have images of you running down the beach like Bo Derek now!

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  7. Oh my what lovely photos! I love that little cottage by the water, the train shot and the hay bales. It looks like you had a wonderful break.

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  8. I haven't been to Norfolk for over twenty years ... the photos look beautiful. Surely not 'outdoor' midnight swims ... it would have been freezing!? M x

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    1. No madam, noooo! It was a lovely heated indoor pool at the spa, although I really do enjoy swimming outdoors. I spend as much time as I possibly can swimming, love it, love it, love it!

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  9. Paul, I don't know about Norfolk at all, but would like to go now. The homes on the river look so idyllic and peaceful. What a beautiful waterway. The train shot was very cool. Love the furry cow (is that a yak?) and the gorgeous horse. Hope you enjoyed the spa. Are you sure you aren't some old fisherman masquerading as my magical Paul?
    ;) xxKim

    p.s. I think the See Britain people need to be giving you some subsidies for all you are doing for them!!

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    1. Can you just repeat that last comment a little louder to the folks at See Britain Kim they might not have heard:)

      The horses were so beautiful. They are rescued and retired shire horses that reside at a sanctuary in Norfolk. I adore shire horses and when we saw a sign I insisted we did a major detour to spend the afternoon with them. Some of them were absolutely enormous but so gentle. The white one you see above had a little mark on his forehead right where his unicorn horn should have been:)

      The furry beast is a highland cow, isn't he terrific. Yaks would probably not fare too well on the lowlands of Norfolk living in the Himalayas and all Miss Kim although I suppose there is a similarity:)

      I'm afraid I'm not the greatest fisherman, I once caught a perch and squealed and screamed whilst trying to remove the hook from its mouth, deciding it wasn't really for me but I am tempted to give it a try again!

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  10. what precious photos...the face of that cute little bull...those ducks in a row...that house on the water? man I just loved this little spot!

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    1. I think you should step into that field and tell the Highland cow that he's cute. I'll stand here and watch:)

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  11. Like Vintage Jane, it's been about twenty years since I was in Norfolk too. I like your photos, especially that one of the house with the covered porch.
    You only took a holdall for a week away? I am impressed. I would have needed at least one large suitcase and one small one, plus another bag and perhaps a satchel!
    Kirk

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    1. I am well practiced in the art of packing Kirk I now like to take the minimum that I need without having to wear anything twice. Although I do cheat a little, as I have been known to take an extra bag to fill with new clothes whilst I'm away!

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  12. Your Norfolk post cards are a delight - I must return to Norfolk again sometime, but it is such a trek from the west of the country to the east.

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    1. With the London as a halfway mark between you and Norfolk you could make a few days of it Rosemary. I no longer try to shlep it across country either, only to get an afternoon at our chosen destination, I'd much prefer a long weekend of staggered short trips.

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  13. Dear Paul,

    I have driven along the road which, from Sheringham, follows the old steam train line, so many times! As you drive, you can see beautiful countryside on your left, and, on your right gentle hills, a few houses, a beautiful golf course and, right on the side of the road, a big windmill, home to a very lucky person.

    As you continue to drive, you come to marshy beaches, covered in large white pebbles, where you can pick samphire, take it home and taste the sea. A number of beautiful villages, including Clay, which I love, follow. Most houses built using flint, the local stone.

    Inland,on the opposite side, are the Norfolk Broads, with Coltishall, Wroxham, Horning and many more beautiful places, built by the water.

    This is my home... the place I love... this is where I go when I feel I need to be near water or I need to see "blue"

    I am glad you posted this little taste of Norfolk, though you have made me even more homesick for this wonderful County. My house is only a few miles from Cromer and, on the other side, Wroxham and the broads. Blickling Hall, which you may have seen, is not far. I could walk there, if I wanted to.

    In Autumn, you can walk round the woods and pick mushrooms and chestnuts. In Winter, down the lanes, covered in ice, you can gather holly for your house, at Christmas. Wild garlic, with huge, tulip like leaves, grows by a stream, at a secret place, in late Spring. In Summer, the little towns fill with people and the gardens with flowers and the hope that tomorrow it won't rain.

    Certain evenings, at seven thirty, you open your back door and all you hear is birds and the tune of "Coronation Street."

    Norwich,"A Fine City" is only a few miles away... just too beautiful for words! I love shopping!

    You made me so homesick! Last night I drank two cups of Yorkshire tea with milk, for the first time since we came here and... tea never tasted so good!

    Can't wait till the 10th! I am going to drive to Coltishall, then Wroham and finally land at The Swan Inn, Horning. I will park the car, walk by the riverside, look at the boats and the birds and finally, inside, I will sit by the fireplace, making sure I am not far from a window and enjoy some good Real Ale. Yes... I like it!

    Thank you for making me so homesick and sorry for a comment longer than your post. No songs this time, though!

    Enjoy your day!

    CIAO!

    ANNA x

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    1. Such a beautifully written post, sorry comment Anna :) I knew you would do a far better job than I of describing this wonderful county, I am almost tempted to swap the text:) I hope I managed to capture just a taste of Norfolk with my images.

      I think we visited all of the locations you mentioned apart from Bickling Hall which was on the list but there are so many fantastic distractions that we will save it for another visit.

      We jumped aboard that old steam train (with the bounciest seats in Norfolk) at Sheringham for the return journey to Holt to see the windmill, panoramic sea views, wind farms and horses grazing in their paddocks, absolutely magical!

      I had to taste the infamous fresh crab whilst we were in Norfolk so we visited Cromer and passed by your house with its spectacular roses. I had an extra portion of Cromer crab on your behalf, just delicious!

      I haven't quite finished my travelogue yet though Anna so keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks. I should be able to take you right up to the first week in October with visions of your county.

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    2. I will, Paul. I love your blog... You "make" it, with your pictures and your creative writing style
      ( a bit like my blog! Modest me! )
      I look forward to following your " travelogue " over the next couple of weeks.

      Thank you, amico!
      Anna

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  14. Sounds like the perfect weekend Paul! It's an area I have had a 'taste' of but want to visit properly. Have been reading about the 'Snape Maltings' near Aldeburgh? Looks like an interesting music and shopping destination?
    Anyway....glad you had a wonderful break!

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Sophia x

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    1. Ooh, I haven't heard of the 'Snape Maltings' Had I known, you know I would have made a sharp shopping detour, in the interests of investigative journalism of course:)
      Happy weekend Sophia. X

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  15. Dear Paul,

    Your post made me LOL! So it's not you in that rowing boat, uhhmm :-)! Your days there sound exciting: midnight swims, boating, coastal activities...It's good to hear you had fun. Your photo's of the Norfolk countryside look beautiful!

    A Happy weekend to you!

    Madelief x

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  16. You take THE absolute best vacations ever!! Every photo is magnificent-- between the waterway and the train and the rural setting-- it just screams pure relaxation, love love the photos of the animals--

    Take me with you --
    Vicki

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