I had to show Tessie the English seaside whilst she was here so a trip to the North Norfolk coast was called and off we went. Me, Tessie, Ma, Pa and Lola all packed into a car with our sails set for Sheringham! Our usual haunt (we’re all ghosts) is Wells-next-the-Sea but a family friend has a flat just down the road in Sheringham and who are we to turn down that kind of connection? It was a really sweet little apartment all turquoise and white wash and seagull themed.
In true Smalley style, we packed way too much for 3 days but that didn’t matter, we were there and that’s what counts!
Look at this place! Its like from a moving picture show! Soooo quaint and decorated and beflagged (b’-flag-ed.) The people were cheery the skies were blue and the air smelled like salt and cotton candy from all the darling little sea olde shoppes.
Sheringham is a sweet little town with a beachy area, steam train station, rolling hills, cliffs and plenty of tea rooms (with plenty of cream tea….Mmmmmm) and chip (fry) shops. I think it’s a pretty traditional English seaside town so a good introduction for Tessers. We milled around for the afternoon and into the evening, watching the sunset over the sea whilst eating chips.
Alright ladies, get ready for Thommy buoy’s life lesson. This week: Chips
Chip chips, not crisp chips. The thing about chips is they’re very hit and miss. It not only depends where you go but also when you go. If a place has a queue halfway down the street, go there. It means that the turnover of chips is at it’s highest so you’re bound to get a fresher, more delicious batch.
And there you have it; Thommy’s Top Tip.
You just can’t take a bad picture of this and everywhere you look there’s more sunsetty opportunities.
On our second day we drove around to Wells to show Tess where I spent many a childhood holiday jumping around the sand dunes and crabbing off the dock. Wells has become more popular with tourists in the last few years but it will always be a special place for me. We used to come down every summer and rent out one of the caravans in Pinewoods Holiday Park and spend the week there, rain or shine (and we usually got a decent serving of both).
We’d visit the Lifeboat house for a tour and walk along the soft sandy beaches judging the beach huts, deciding which one we’d choose for our own. The colourful huts are a sight to be seen, stretching along where the pinewoods meet the beach, they’re a unique feature that’s for sure and now fetch around £70K each, which is ridiculous! They’re just a single room, with no windows, running water if you’re lucky… you could get a decent house for that price.
At least they’re free to look at, for now, and buoy they do look great.
The huts are amazing. Most of them have these great corny little names like hunky dory (and there’s a picture of dory from finding nemo.) They’re all sorts of colours and from what we could gather are filled with the neccessities of a rad day at the beach: towels, floaties, lawn chairs, beach toys and a bbq. Not exactly sure why one would drop a whopping 70 thousand pounds (yeah canada that’s $111,798.08 CAD….yikes) but they sure are darling to saunter past.
When the tide goes out at Wells, the beach stretches on forever, leaving shallow lakes to explore and splash around in, perfect for Lola! It was cloudy when we were wandering around the town but as soon as we stepped foot onto the sand, the sun came out to warm our (and the surrounding population of) cockles. We picked our spot on the dunes and set up camp.
Now when thommy was describing his wonderful childhood holiday memories you may have remembered him mentioning “crabbing.”
Yup, its as weird as it sounds.
What you’ve never crabbed? Well its very simple all you need is a clear plastic bucket (great for holding crabs) a bit of string, a tiny hook and a slab of back-bacon.
Oh… you already have that with you? Perfect. Now simply lean over the side of this quay and lower your bacon clad hook into the water until you feel a crab-grab. Then slowly hoist that sucka out, put it in your little bucket, take a photo and toss those little nippers back in. Repeat steps ONE through WTF.
Meanwhile back at the beach…
We napped and paddled and picnic’d. And took photo’s of the beach huts.That evening we drove a mile or two further to Holkham. This is a favourite spot of the royal family (it’s very close to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate) and it’s not hard to see why, the tree-lined driveway down to the pinewood forest through which small sandy boardwalks wind their way to the bay, it’s pretty idilic. plus there are cows….sooo….
Whilst Tess and I were walking Lola through the dunes we noticed how much it reminded us of a certain scene in a certain Harry Potter movie. Now I’m not saying we’re geniuses but I think we got it pretty spot on…
The next day we decided to scale Beeston Hill, a steep little peak that offers some good viewing over Sheringham, the North Sea and anything betwixt.
These were the strangeties we saw on the way up the hill!!
ugh…I am so sorry about that photo caption….
Once we’d tumbled down from atop the hill me and Tessers commandeered the family vehicle and took off to the next town along; Cromer. It’s a little bigger than Sheringham and has a cool pier that braves its way out into the waves of the North Sea.
The architecture here is pretty special, everything hangs out and about on the town’s cliff face. Very different architecture from Sheringham and Wells. They were a lot more English-seasidy-cottagey while Cromer feels a lot more European.
Speaking of breathtaking beauty….
All in all it was a pretty spectacular trip to the very-harry-potter seaside and just when I thought a trip to the coast with a buncha smalleys couldn’t get anymore darling we happened upon this: