24
Feb2011
6

We still haven’t managed to leave Britain yet for any of our trips. Darn it! But still, there are many beautiful things still to see in the UK. We decided to head out for a daytrip to one of them for a special treat.

Norfolk is one of the neighbouring regions to Cambrigdeshire here and it’s coast bends from the north side of Norfolk round to the East. We wanted to go up to the North to visit some sights along the way and to see Wells-next-the-sea. This is meant to be a drive you do in the summer but it was beautiful and interesting none-the-less.

First we drove up to King’s Lynn. It used to be a busy harbour town, but is a little sleepier now. The harbour is on a wide estuary which must be pretty in the summer, but was pretty grey when we were there. And very windy!

King's Lynn Estuary

King's Lynn Ship's Anchor Captain George Vancouver

There looks like there’s some beautiful restaurants on the harbour, so King’s Lynn may be worth a return visit for the cuisine. The entrance to the city was not glamourous – a massive mega store centre. Good to know we can always come up for alternative shopping options if required. :S

So we drove on up north. Lonely Planet Great Britain spoke highly of this North Norfolk coast. Beautiful towns, delicious fresh seafood and windy roads. That last bit was a deterrent, yes. But the thought of fresh oysters and mussels was too great. But before we stopped for lunch, we drove to a little castle just north of King’s Lynn – Castle Rising.

Castle Rising

Castle Rising is a proper Norman style castle, built in the 1100’s. The most famous resident was the mother of Edward III, Queen Isabella. Her son moved her there following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II. It’s quite a small and strong keep, and you can see the grandness it would’ve had in the past. This (below) is the entrance room with vaulted ceiling. It would’ve looked very fine and freshly painted in its day, but shows its age and lack of care now.

Detailed Entry Room of Rising Castle

This photo overlooks what used to be the second storey of the dining hall. There used to be large timber beams across in the small holes below my feet holding up a floor. The floor collapsed a couple of hundred years after the Queen lived there. Presumably, the ceiling fell at about the same time. It was the grandest room in the castle and was where Queen Isabella would’ve entertained her guests. Quite derelict now.

The Remnants of the Great Hall

The remnants of the detail and finery of the place are all over. Old torches on the walls. Coloured paint on the ceilings. Beautiful stonework all around.

Rising Castle Little Face Castle Rising Another Little Face

Beautiful Stone Detail

Windy Stairway at Castle Rising Peeking outside

Quite sad to see it all fallen down, really. But, it was still nice to visit.

We're in a Castle!

A highlight of the visit was the man working at the register, Norman. He was a believer of the paranormal and was convinced the castle was haunted. He would run night tours of the castle for those brave folk who wanted to catch a glimpse of a ghost. This man believed vehemently, and Rob was silently in great disbelief. Indeed, Rob’s manner reminded me of when I used to take him to my science fiction conventions. If you’re brave, you can checkout Norman’s website for more information: http://www.normanfahy.com/. Can you see the face in the photo below?

http://normanfahy.com

So, we quickly drove on. As you head north from here, you go through Hunstanton, a town I will *have* to visit again because it has a seal wildlife shelter which admits visitors. But no time today – we were hungry. We could also see kite surfers out in force on the distant shore. Rob had a glint in his eye – we would be back for his own reasons too. We clocked a milestone while we were driving along – 50,000 miles on the odometer. 🙂

50,000 miles on the odometer

The road arches around to the right as you drive up, and then you’re officially in North Norfolk territory. A string of perfect little villages, the buildings all in stone.

Wells-next-the-sea Church

I was very excited about trying seafood from the seaside. In Cambridge, we now for the first time in our lives live inland. We’re an hour from the nearest beach. We don’t have seagulls. And we also don’t have super fresh seafood on hand. But North Norfolk is all coastline, fishing boats and oyster farms. After some research, I decided we could have a meal at one of The Flying Kiwi Inns. Yep, they’re all owned by a New Zealander, Master Chef Chris Coubrough from ITV’s Coastal Kitchen (a British show).

The Flying Kiwis

YUMMY! We chose The Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-sea to eat.

The Crown Hotel, Wells

We ordered half a dozen oysters and these *massive* Burnham oysters were served. They were amazing! We were so impressed and should’ve ordered more. We also ordered some mussels with white wine sauce. The mussels came out the usual tiny size that they always are in Britain. I just may give up on them. 3 strikes, no more mussels. But they were delicious. All our dishes (we ordered fish’n’chips and steamed monkfish for mains)

Large Burnham Oysters Mussels and white wine sauce

With full stomachs and happy hearts, we decided to head to the coast. Like, the actual water. From the township, we had to drive a kilometer down to the large large carpark (which you have to pay for) and then walk over the dunes to the beach. It was actually pretty nice.

Packed in the summer!

The little beach huts reminded us of the Brighton Beach huts in Melbourne. I suppose the Melbourne ones were inspired by these English ones. The Mlebourne ones always seemed like they were boat houses, particularly since they were flat on the ground. The English ones were up on stilts and I think they’re used as shelter for families on a hot summers day.

Melbourne Brighton Beach huts Wells Beach huts

I think we’ll definitely come back up here in the summer. It looks like the beach is really lovely, though at low tide it goes way way out, further than Snell’s Beach back home! A beautiful area though.

Wells-next-the-sea Beach

It might’ve just been a short daytrip, but it was refreshing and enjoyable. We saw the sea! We had delicious seafood. We walked on a beach. It was a great day. And Rob saw some ducks.

Chasing Ducks in Wells!

We’ll definitely be back.

Going to the sea!

6 Responses to “North Norfolk – Visiting a Beautiful Coast”
  1. Elly says:

    Hahaha, LOVE it! Also – yay! Love the puffy jacket! 🙂

  2. liz says:

    I love the puffy jacket too! XD Hope yours is keeping you warm.

  3. Charlie says:

    Amazing! Love it! Need to do more of this myself! 😉

    • liz says:

      We’re doing these trips while we’re still motivated and interested. I’m sure we’ll get over the daytrips in a while.

      We’re coming to London in the 3rd week of March. Wanna catchup?

  4. Briarfields says:

    Awesome post guys! you seem to have enjoyed North Norfolk which is great! hopefully you can come back and see us In Titchwell or Hunstanton some time!
    Thinking of everyone in Christchurch

    • liz says:

      Hi Briarfields,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m sure we’ll be back up again. It’s such a beautiful area. A great place to be. 🙂

      Liz

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