Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A long weekend away

On Thursday John and I set off on a  long weekend trip to Norfolk. we have stayed at this inn before. The owner prefers to call it an inn rather than a hotel as he sees an inn as more welcoming and less formal than a hotel. Either way the rooms are very comfortable, all the staff are very friendly and helpful and the food is delicious.

This is the front and from this angle it looks quite small but at the back there is an extension, with rooms overlooking the garden.

On Thursday we left London about lunchtime and drove by a direct route towards our destination. We wanted to have time to visit the RSPB Snettisham reserve.  The hides give great views across saline lagoons, salt marsh and mud flats. It a good place to watch wading birds. We spent some time here enjoying the coastal views, listening to and watch the birds and enjoying the space after being in London. We only met 6 people on the reserve so there was plenty of room for social distancing. The joy of the visit was seeing two turtle doves. Their numbers have rapidly declined in the UK and I haven't seen any since I was a child. The doves arrive in the UK in about April and leave in September hopefully having had a successful breeding season. We were able to see them clearly through the binoculars but I only had my phone with me so no possibility of getting a good picture.

From here we completed our journey and enjoyed a delicious dinner, I had a crab salad. I love shell fish and crab  but they don't always love me. I hadn't packed any antihistamines but decided the chance to enjoy crab salad far outweighed the itchy skin that I might have. Luckily this was one of the times when I didn't have a reaction. 

Friday was an extremely hot day with temperatures well into the high 30's. We decided to visit RSPB Titchwell. We spent several hours watching geese, waders, ducks  and more. The reserve goes down to the beach and I took the opportunity to go for a paddle. There's nothing like a paddle in the sea when it's really hot. The beach here was empty of people and there was lots of sand. Later in the afternoon we took a walk through , Park being careful to avoid as many people as possible. We choose to walk through the forest area rather than head to the beach so we met very few people. There were lots of wild flowers and butterflies. I don't have any photos, not because I didn't take any. When I got home and downloaded the photos I forgot that the break covered the end of July and the start of August. The photos from August downloaded in the August folder and I then wiped the memory card forgetting it wouldn't have downloaded the July photos. Never mind, stuff happens.

On Saturday we decided to undertake a long walk. The route was 15 miles but there were lots of points where we could reduce the distance if we wanted to. There was some walking on the road but mostly it was along farm tracks and footpaths. We were delighted to find the road verges and the headlands of fields full of wild flowers.

There were lots of small wild poppies.


This small oak sapling has a couple of oak apples or oak galls on it. These are caused by chemicals injected by the larva of certain kinds of gall wasps.

We past a disused station that has now been turned into accommodation.  Years ago a lot of rural railway lines were closed to save money and make the service more efficient. Needless to say it just left people living in villages with poor transport connections. 

There were rose hips

and these pretty little flowers

We had good views across the countryside.

and at the edges of the fields, lots of flowers

We passed a field of pigs.

There were also about 30 to 40 mallard hanging out by the road. There is a pond to the left of the ducks but they were happy on the grass.

The walk took us out towards the coast and then returned by a slightly different route. On the way to the coast we walked through Ringstead village and bought some cold drinks at the shop. We stopped to have a look at the church on the way past.

A little further along the road we passed a windmill, now a home,  before turning off to walk along the edge of the fields again. We saw this great specimen of hoary mullein.

We passed this stone 

and some amazing seed heads. I love the patterns they make.

As we neared the coast we could make out the wind farm off shore. This field was still waiting to be harvested.

On the return part of the walk we saw sloes mmm I love sloe gin.

and these pretty pink flowers.

By the time we got back to the inn we were tired and a little achy. We showered and took our drinks to the garden to enjoy the cooler evening breeze before dinner. It had been a great day and we completed the whole 15 miles.

As this post has been photo heavy I'll tell you about what we did on Sunday in my next post. We always make the journey part of the fun so we stopped off on the way home .


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