Our recent break in Norfolk was a bit of déjà vu for me, having summer holidayed near Sheringham 3 times as achild. I’d chosen Norfolk rather than a city break further inland, so we could get out to the beach and seaside a few days. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, because I booked the hotel really late meaning the nicer hotels nearer the coast were booked up. With slow Norfolk roads, it was nearly an hour journey out to north Norfolk from Norwich where our hotel was.
My brother has the same memories of Cromer as me. The time our mum decided we should have an evening walk along the beach from our campsite to Cromer. We were all for that, until we realised that the pier didn’t seem to be getting any closer.
N and I nipped to Cromer for a quick bracing walk along the sea front. Typically every time we seem to go the seaside, the tide is in, so there wasn’t a chance to get down on the beach, but rain was on and off and the wind was a nightmare, so we were better walking on the promenade.
Of course N had to have an ice cream even though it was freezing weather. I couldn’t let him have one on his own so he opted for a vanilla whippy cone with a flake (anyone else still want to call them 99s, even though they now cost about £2.50?). And I had a tub of pistachio and chocolate rocky road. Delicious (if very cold!).
We had to walk down to the bottom of the prom so N could check out the amusement rides. The cold and rain did help my pocket as he realised it wouldn’t be nice on there (‘yes, the seats will all be wet’).
It was so cold that we didn’t hang around much longer, and walked briskly back to the car. Even with the weather, I do love being by the seaside, and I’m sure if the weather had been better we’d have spent a good few hours on the beach front and exploring around.
Wells next the Sea
We didn’t have much luck with our coast trips this holiday at all. The weather just wasn’t great while we were out, although generally it did dry up and get warmer in the afternoons.
One day we’d gone out with the intention of visiting Wells and then after lunch going to Holkham. But given the weather decided to change to somewhere more indoors. So N decided that Thursford Collection might be interesting, following up with Wells for lunch in the afternoon.
Our visit to Thursford was pretty short (I’m not sure we were even there an hour – good job it wasn’t too expensive), so we were at Wells next the Sea in plenty of time for lunch. From memory I’d thought the whole town was nearer the beach, but there’s a long walk from the town to the beach, so given it was starting to drizzle we decided to park up by the beach.
As with everywhere in Norfolk, parking is expensive especially when you don’t know how long you’re going to be staying. I hate ending up overpaying which is what we did a lot of on holiday.
If you’re used to the country set, Joules clothing and really nice cafes, then that’s what you get in the beach café area at Wells. A beautifully done up beach style café, complete with classy food and nice gifts and spades to buy (no souvenir tat). And a Joules shop opposite on the decking. Despite the weather the café was busy, although we were able to get a table to eat our lunch. Food was fairly simple and no more expensive than you’d spend eating out somewhere. But it was definitely a nice crowd of people there, not the typical Brits on holiday stereotype you sometimes expect to see. (Maybe it’s different in school holiday season).
Despite the rain we decided to go and see the beach. It’s nice to be on sand even in shoes. We walked out there. Then returned to the café because we’d forgotten to buy a bucket and spade (which weren’t as expensive as I’d expected). Then back to the beach.
I just wanted to photograph the pretty beach huts which line the back of the beach. They’re all on stilts which is pretty unique, and such wonderful colours.
The beach was fairly empty, but there were some people paddling. It would be a wonderful beach in the summer – sweeping sand, shallow waters, the café nearby.
N did a bit of digging, built a couple of sandcastles then got annoyed he’d lost his knack for them. A couple of stones and shells collected later, and he decided he needed the toilet. Why do children wait until you’ve arrived somewhere, instead of going on the 2 occasions we’d been near the toilets!?
So our trip to the beach was finished. A fleeting visit as happens so frequently with us.
Maybe next time we’ll stay near Wells to make more of some time on the beach.
Where are your favourite beaches in Norfolk or the rest of the UK? Any recommendations for good body boarding locations for children as well?