Bike ride from Eastbridge to Warblerswick via Dunwich

View of Coastguard cottages Dunwich
View of Coastguard cottages Dunwich

Even though rain was forecast we had booked bikes for 10:00 from The Eelsfoot at Eastbridge, which is a very nice pub to stay for the weekend. We left the house at 09:30 earlier than usual., which was good because the rain was forecast for 14:00. At the pub we picked the best bikes out and T lent us his pump to get the tyres nice and hard.

We headed off keeping to the tarmac road that leads to Minsmere RSPB then took a right at Scotts hall up a shortt slop then took the bridleway on the right which headed over to Dunwich heath. When we hit the road that leads to the Coastguard cottages we went left and headed toward the beach at Dunwich. At the cafe we had tea and coffee and T and I shared a doughnut that they make of the premises when the fryers are not doing fish and chips, which are the main fayre of the establishment. If you are ever in the area I would recommend stopping off for a lunch of fish and chips, I have been visiting the place for over 30 years.

Suitably refreshed we headed back in land then found another bridleway that eventually turns into a tarmac road called Lodge Road, which starts at a fantastic looking house over looking the marshes then over the sea.We soon found ourselves in Warberswick and met up with the rest of the party who had chosen the car for the days outing. We took a look at the harbour and the famous ferry across the river Blythe, 90p for people or bikes dogs go free. The we headed back to the center of the village where a tea room supplied us with a great lunch, I had a tuna mayonnaise baguette.

View of Coastguard cottages Dunwich
View of Coastguard cottages Dunwich

After lunch we decided on a different way back, we left Warblerswick and took a left turn along a bridleway, which eventually dumped us onto the marsh were conveniently there were board walks to make the cycling easier. Then we did a stretch of  sea wall which was new and nicely paved with two layers of different gravel. We left the sea wall and headed towards some trees which formed the only high spot around then we picked up a track that lead back to Dunwich, where we went towards the beach but headed up the hill past Greyfriars abbey ruins, then tracked back the route we had followed earlier, back to Eastbridge. The last 3 or 4 miles were done in the rain pub my poncho served me well and none of us got very wet, so once again we had made the most of the weather.

C cooked her tomato risotto with veggie sausages in it, which was very nice. A game of scrabble followed.

A weekend in Burnham Overy Staithe

Holkham Beach HDR
Holkham Beach HDR

A&C invited to spend a couple of days at the beginning of their holiday in Burnham Overy Staithe, we jumped at the chance, for some walking and bird watching on he North Norfolk coast. I when home at lunch time to get our luggage and then left work at 16:00 and picked Helen up from work. We had a pretty good journey considering hat it was a Friday and the weekend weather looked like being fine. Apart from the odd stretch of slow traffic, we really never got in a traffic jam except of at Brandon but we expected hat because there is always a queue of traffic stretching out to the edge of the town, caused by the traffic lights at the centre.

About 30 minutes away from the coast we got a all from A they had failed to get to the shops of time to get everything they needed, so we did a quick raid on the Waitrose at Swaffham for some cheese (including some of that Bleu Affinois), bread, salad and coffee. We arrived at the cottage a about 19:30. A&C did us proud with some lovely roast butternut squash soup, with foccacia and Bleu Affinois! We sat around and chatted, and went to bed about 23:00 pretty late for us, even on a Friday.

Holkham Beach Panorama
Holkham Beach Panorama

I was awake early the sun was shining which made it difficult to get back to sleep but I snoozed until about 08:00. We had breakfast while we put together a vague plan of action. We planned to walk from the house heading out on the coastal path towards Holkham, which is one of Helen’s all time favourite walks.

We headed out along the sea defences it was surprising how cold the wind was and I had just about got enough layers with me. The sea defences lead to a board walk that takes you over the dunes, and onto the main beach. We walked along the beach checking out the flotsam to be found at the tide line, then headed back over the dunes about halfway to the gap, and not the pine wooded area, for a change of scenery. It was surprising how much warmer it was n the shelter of the wind. We eventually found the hide and had a rest, watching out over the marshy field area, where at one point we saw a Marsh Harrier being harassed by lapwings as it searched out presumably lapwing chicks wandering around on the meadow areas.

Holkham Victoria Little planet
Holkham Victoria Little planet

We took a slight detour at the gap to look at the area behind the beach where the samphire grows, then headed over to the cafe at the entrance to the Holkham estate, where we had a light lunch. We had some time spare before the next bus so we took a look at the tutt in the Adnams shop, and the supposed outdoor shop that just sold clothes. We did take a look at the shopped called Bring The Outdoors In which had a mix of genuine old stuff, hand made flotsam things and manufactured goods, even I was impressed by some of the goods. However I did not purchase anything.

Next it was the coast hopper to Burnham Deepale, where I just had to drop into the One Stop Nature  to have a look at the stuff they sell. Everything you could ever want in terms of looking at nature, from books to binoculars through stealth camera to microscopes. As much as I liked the stereo microscopes they would not have fitted into my ruck sack as it was full of camera gear.

The next leg of the journey was to be the short walk along the sea defences back to Burham Overy Staithe, or so we thought. The weather was starting to close it and there seemed to be rain showers all around, however we managed to keep out of all of them. Our destination seemed to get quite close but then we realised and Helen and I remembered that there is a significant dog log in the defences which adds about a third to what the length of the walk looks like. We eventually got close to the village, and the path leads off across the field towards the wind mill but I thought I knew better, I spotted a foot path that lead in land rather than along the road.

Woodland Walk from Cley Spy
Woodland Walk from Cley Spy

Eventually the pat ran out and we were stuck between private property notices and water/mud. We did not fancy retracing our steps so started looking for ways out of our predicament. Whilst looking for exits from a filed we heard a voice asking us if we were lost, we explained we were, and the nice lady rather than being angry to find us trespassing, offered us the opportunity to walk up her drive to the road. What a kind person.

We were soon back at the hut, it was about 17:30 we had been out for 7 and a hlaf hours and had probably covered 8-9 miles. However there is no rest for the wicked we had a table booked for 19:00 at The Hero we had time for a cup of tea, a freshen up, and a cheeky glass of champagne and we had to leave the hut again.

The Hero is a pub that does good quality pub grub, the staff are really great, and the beer is good to. We had a bit of a potential mishap in that the wrong order came out, but it turned up the wrong plate had been picked up and all ended well. We had for starters chicken liver parfait, vegetable spring rolls, goats cheese tart, and mackerel pate, for mains two Dover sole, spring vegetable risotto, and duck. Everyone agreed the food was great. Back at the house we chatted away the rest of the evening.

A\'s crab collection
A’s crab collection

No one was up early on Sunday, and we had a leisurely breakfast of muesli, yoghurt, strawberries and toast washed down with tea and coffee. We formulated a plan, we would take two cars to Cley Spy the binocular shop for a quick perusal then we would do Bayfield Bird Walk which Helen and I had done a few times before but always enjoy.

We did not spot many birds on the way round but we did enjoy the early summer lushness of the woods, the weather was overcast but quite warm so it made for a very enjoyable walk, and we did have a laugh amoungst ourselves and we went round. At the Wild flower center we stopped off for coffee and cakes, then finished off the last leg of the walk back to Cley Spy, where unfortunately Helen and I had to leave for home, leaving A&C to enjoy the rest of their week. We pointed them in the direction of Cley marshes and the local delicatessen, and said our good byes we had had a great weekend.

Our journey home was pretty uneventful and took the regulation 3 hours. We were very jealous of A&C who had managed to get out on the marshes at Cley and had seen a Bluethroat a bird neither I not Helen had ever seen, it would be a good start to A&C’s holiday bird list.

The Poppy Line from Sheringham

Ickworth Hall NT Park view
Ickworth Hall NT Park view

We were up at a reasonable 08:00, and had some toast and coffee for breakfast, then lounged about till 10:00, then headed out the plan was to go to Cromer. We took the A149 which follows the coast al the way round to Kings Lynn.

When we got to Cromer we had a change of heart and decided to go to the the Poppy Line, a steam train line, at Sheringham. Being just a little bit further down the coast, it did not take us long to get there, and park up. We paid £5 for a days parking. We went to the ticket office and bought tickets for the trains, the way it works is once you have the tickets you can jump on and off the tran all day for £16. The next steam train was in a hour so we had a look around Sheringham and stopped for a coffee, before waiting on platform one for the train to arrive.

The train was full but not packed, everyone got a seat. They were having a Thomas the tank engine weekend so all of the engines had plastic faces attached to them, which did It make for good photo’s. There is a stop at Weybourne and it was where the main Thomas stuff was going on we took one look and decided to stay on the train till Holt.

At Holt station there is a bus stop, and one was due in less than 20 minutes, so we thought we would wait for be bus as it is about a mile and a half into town, however after about 30 minutes there was no bus, and we had a dilemma we needed to get back in time to get to a supermarket for our planned evening meal, so we ended up heading back to the station and got a diesel train back to Sheringham.

Boats near Sheringham
Boats near Sheringham

On the way back we stopped off at the North Walsham Waitrose, and picked up some supplies for dinner. We dumped the food back at the hut then headed out for a walk on the beach at Sea Palling, which is a strange place. There is a concrete ramp leading to the beach between the sand dunes, the local fisher men use it to launch their boats. Once over the dunes there is some break waters out a sea they clearly have an erosion issue, there were some serious boulders piled up for a mile or two out at sea with a gap every hundred or so yards. As we walked down the beach we spotted Sandwich and Little tern.

We returned to he car park by heading in land over the dunes then following a track parallel to the beach. Along the track there were quite a few wooden shacks of varying sophistication many of them with water, electricity and phones, I even think they had off mains sewage.

Back at the main area I dropped in to the amusement arcade, and changed a fiver for some 10 pence pieces. The arcade had a strange system of tickets wins prizes, every time you had a go on a machine you would get tickets and if you actually won you got even more. I got two 75 ticket wins on a roulette style game. You take your tickets to a machine where you feed them in and they get counted and you are issued with a receipt if the count. I had enough for a pen so I went to the counter and showed my tickets and said could I have a pen any pen. There was one confusion the lad thought I wanted to borrow a pen, but eventually were on the same wavelength. I followed him over to the cabinets and pointed to the only decent looking pen. He had trouble finding the pen I wanted so I settled for two sets of highlighter pens.

Back at the hut we lounged around again (well we are on holiday) then had salad and anti-pasta for dinner. We followed that up with a game of knock out whist, which I won. Then we settled down in from of the telly to watch the antiques roadshow, rock n roll, followed by the last episode of the village, and great series on BBC1.

Surf’s up in Polzeath Bay

Tregardock bay
Tregardock bay

We thought as it was the last day we thought we would make the most of the time left. We would body board in the morning and go for a walk in the after noon. There were 4 volunteers, T&C, Helen and I, the plan was to go down to Polzeath see what the waves were like then decide.

BBC weather predicted calm seas so we were not expecting much, but when we got there the waves seemed big enough for beginners so we went to one of the trailers to get some gear, we all needed boards (£3 per hour) and two of us wetsuits (£3 per hour) so £12 and hour for two hours entertainment seemed good value. We were soon suited and booted and ready to take on the Atlantic waves.

Getting in was the first hurdle, but we were at the end of the summer, so the sea was warmed, and we had wet suits on, so the thermal shock did not live up to our fears. In fact it was not cold at all, I would not describe it as cosy but not unpleasant. We worked our way out to where the waves were breaking and a couple of other boarders were hanging out and waited for our first wave. It turns out that there is a knack to catching a wave, for the best results, pick a big one and then try to catch it just as it breaks, that way you have a steep edge to get moving on. Next make sure the nose of the board stays above the water otherwise expect to become a submarine!

Jackets point
Jackets point

We were glad to get out of our wetsuits and into dry clothes, over time it does make you cold and it is very tiring fighting the waves and walking back out into the surf. I would definitely do it again perhaps even try a surf board. We headed back to the hut for some well earned lunch.

Some of us dragged ourselves off the sofas to go for a walk from a book called “Shortish walks in Cornwall”. We picked on a stretch of coast we had yet to see. We parked up as the book described in a small layby near Treligga, but not after visiting the village whilst looking for th layby from the book description.

The walk started by heading towards the sea in both directions, lower in altitude and in a northerly direction. There was an option to visit a mall beach down some wooden steps then some cut into the rocks, I was the only one to take up that option, I was after some snaps of the lovely beach with large rocks from the cliffs scattered around. There were also a couple of deep caves.

Treligga coast walk
Treligga coast walk

From the beach it was back up the steep steps up to the coastal path, which once we had found it followed the top of the cliff for a couple of miles, then the path descended into a valley, at which point there was a sign suggesting a permissive path heading in land, we came to regret not taking the easier route. At the bottom of the valley the path headed in land up the valley, we saw some interesting plants including lots of wild mint.

After a few hundred yards of slow ascent the path veered right and we then had a very long slog up a hill to get out of the valley if it had been any steeper it would had steps in it. At the top of the valley we walked through a dairy farm where the cows were all waiting to be milked. We walked through the farm and up their drive to the road then it was a short walk back to the layby. It had been quite a tough walk especially after a morning in the sea.

That evening we went down to the pub in Port Gaverne I had the Mussels starter which was tasty and well cooked but a bit short on mussels, followed by the grilled sole which was excellent. A couple of pints of Sharps Doombar washed it all down nicely.

Padstow rib trip

Padstow lifeboat station
Padstow lifeboat station

Thursday we had organised a trip on a rib powerboat from Padstow harbour up out of the estuary and along to coast to look for wildlife. It meant and even earlier start as they like to do everything in Cornwall at high tide. We left the house at 08:15 and the trip was booked for 08:45. We parked up at the harbour car park which even at that time of day was fairly full, I guess from people staying in hotels and holidays lets. The public loos were all locked up at that time which caused a slight panic amongst the women but the three sisters manged to persuade a pub to let them use their facilities.

Daymer Bay view
Daymer Bay view

We were all well rugged up with plenty of layers and we had all experience of boat trips, it can be very cold out over the ocean at any time of the year. We all got on board apart from our party of seven their were a couple and another guy who would share the experience with us. We cast off and slowly headed out of the harbour and onto the estuary where the skipper opened the throttle and we powered out towards the sea. We stopped on occasions so that the skipper could explain the history of Padstow and the local wildlife that was visible. It is not really a good time of the year t see wildlife and the breeding birds had all moved on and although it is possible to see dolphins and basking sharps the summer months stand a better chance.

Daymer Bay crab
Daymer Bay crab

Once out of the estuary the sea was significantly rougher, as we powered over the waves towards Padstow lifeboat station, the rib seemed to leave the water and slap down hard, Helen let rip with a few expletives at that point, and questioned what we were doing out in such a high sea, even if we had an RLNI volunteer as skipper.  That turned out to be the worst leg of the tour, as it was the only one where we were going against the tide and the wind. From the lifeboat station we headed out to a rock island that the RAF had once used for target practice. We saw a seal and some divers just off the rocks, then we headed at full speed in a big arc back to the mouth of the estuary and then back to Padstow Harbour.

We stopped of at Rick Steins deli and then Tesco to grab some stuff to eat in the evening, then went back to the holiday hut from some lunch. After lunch we headed over to Daymer Bay for a walk on the beach and a spot of rock polling where I found a medium sized crab, under a rock. On the way back we checked out Polzeath Bay with a view to possible surfing in the morning, on our last day n Cornwall.

Sea kayaking off Port Gaverne

View of Port Gaverne
View of Port Gaverne

It turns out that Port Gaverne should be pronounced Port Gay Verne, according to Ben our Kayaking guide, aparently if you pronounce it Port Gav Urn in front of a local fisherman you should expect a wet fish in the face. I digress! Wednesday morning we had arranged a Sea Kayaking trip. We had to be up early to start out at high tide, we went down to Polzeath beach our rendez-vous point at 08:15. They were not quite ready for us so we went for a welcome coffee for 10 minutes. Down on the beach there are quite a few surfing/coasteering/kayaking businesses selling their wares. The weather was grey and winding with the threat of rain, but out ovewr the sea it looked like the clouds were clearing. We finished our coffee and went back down onto the beach to be kitted out. Each of us got a wet-suit  boots, buoyancy aid and a helmet. Then we all got in our cars and followed their van up the coast to Post Gaverne where the waves were not breaking on the beach to launch the Kayaks.

North Cornwall sea view
North Cornwall sea view

We parked up at the derelict Headland Hotel, and got into our wetsuits, which is not easy. I managed to out it half on twice before on the third attempt got it right. First time I got it back to front and the second it was the right way round but inside out, other people were having similar problems. As it was cold some of us put on raincoats under our buoyancy aids, to help protect us from the wind. Once we were all ready we headed down the steep hill past the pub and down to the boat store just over the road from the beach. We ported the kayaks down to the beach and Ben gave us a quick lesson in kayak and a safety briefing on what we should do when out on the ocean.

Next we got on with the main show actually getting on the water. The kayaks were pretty stable at no point did I feel that the boat was going to tip over. Each boat takes two people and I was paired up with Jim, who had done some kayaking before. First we did some basic maneuvers around the shallow end going round two buoys and turning on the spot to ensure that we all knew what we were doing, then we headed out a bit further. The more distance we put between us and the shelter of the cover, the bigger the waves got. Helen and C decided they did not fancy going out on to the ocean and round to Port Isaac so Helen’s dad swapped boats and went with T, which left three boats. When we got to the edge of the cave Ben announced that it was too rough to go round the coast so we would have to make do with paddling round the sheltered area of water. It was disappointing but you have to respect the sea and the people who have a better knowledge of it, we certainly experienced what to me looked like big waves, particularly when you are low down on the surface they were big enough to on occasions lose sight of other kayaks, but they were not breaking so it was mainly a case of bobbing up and down and keeping the kayak square to the direction of the wave. One couple also had had enough due to feeling a bit seasick and headed back to the beach while we bobbed about for the rest of the session.

We beached the boats and carried them back up the beach which was now much longer as the tide had been going out while we were at sea. Ben came across a broken bottle probably lobbed from the road onto the beach he cleared up the glass. The we slogged our way back up the hill to the car park and were able to get out of our wet-suits and into some warm dry clothes, which was very welcome. Then we drove back the 500 yards or so back to the holiday hut, for a shower and some lunch.

Sea view from Port Gaverne
Sea view from Port Gaverne

Helen’s dad and I decided to go for a short circular walk from the hut, in land the fields then down into Port Gaverne. The path stared from the road at a farm near the hut, but it was not sign posted at all. I popped back to get the map to show us the way. We walked through the farm yard past the chained up dog, then into a field with  a warning about the bull on the gate. We crossed the field following the map and when we got to the field edge we had to fight our way through gorse and brambles. A couple of men chopping down a tree clearly knew that there was a pat there but claimed that it was the postman’s path and that us Englishmen are all the same walking on their land. We continued on our way and into Post Gaverne.

The route back back was via the coastal path the weather had improved and the sun was shining, I striped down to just my T shirt it was so warm. After a couple of descents and ascents we found the pah  inland back to the road that the hut was on. We met a couple who explained that they had walked from Boscastle but wanted to get to Port Isaac the quickest way because they had almost run out of water. We gave them all the water we had as we were only a few hundred yards from home. It turns out that the guy was doing the southern leg of a mission to walk the coast of Britain, he had already done Gravesend to and round Scotland, then Wales now he was doing the final stretch round from Bristol along the south coast back to Gravesend.

We ate at the local pub which was followed by a quiz we came second!

Cycle ride from Wadebridge to Padstow

Panorama of Padstow Harbour
Panorama of Padstow Harbour

Eventually we were all up and ready to collect the bikes from Wadebridge at 10:15, the plan was to cycle from there to Padstow and back again, a round trip of about 12 miles. The weather was sunny with fluffy clouds being blown along by a stiff wind, it seemed cooler than the past couple of days.

Once we were all fitted out with bikes we headed off down the Camel Trail, the dog strapped tightly in a trailer and Helen’s mum being towed on a two wheel tandem conversion by T. It was a gentle flat ride to Padstow with several stops to adjust the dog, then for a coffee stop where a guy tows his coffee making equipment to the half way point, including all the water needed for a day making hot drinks.

Padstow Harbour
Padstow Harbour

We parked up the bikes at a secure bike park (50p per bike/trailer) then headed into Padstow town. It was Sergio Ramos, the car parks all had “car park full signs up”, god knows what it is like at the height of the holiday season? We headed through the town, and out to the war memorial just up the estuary. We passed the flat helen and I stayed at (next to the public loo’s above an art gallery) some years ago.

We sat for a while on the benches over looking the Camel estuary, while the dog was worn out by throwing a ball down the hill. On the other side of the estuary is Rock where all hooray henri’s spend there summer holidays, and money in the shops and rental prices for the lovely looking riverside properties. Next stop was the pastie shop.

We purchased our pasties from the Cough Bakery www.thecoughbakery.co.uk which had featured on one of those TV programs where they take a troubled business and turn it around. You can’t fault the location, it bang on over looking the harbour an a junction which affords it longer than usual frontage. If I remember correctly it was a family run business but they could not all agree who should do what, and the mother would not let the kids do anything different from they way it had always been run. They certainly have customers now we had to queue to buy our lunch.

Camel Valley Vinyard
Camel Valley Vinyard

Suitably refreshed we went to recover the bikes from the secure storage shed and were soon back on the road. The wind was behind us and we made really good headway, so decided to pass though and and past Wadebridge to add another hour to the days activities. However it involved passing through Wadebridge center and it busy public roads. We got through with only one minor mishap when one wheel of the the wide dog cart hit the curb and almost ejected the dog. Just when some of us had cycled far enough we came across a vineyard that sold wine by the glass on a terrace over looking the valley, unfortunately dogs were not allowed. The girls decided to cycle back to Wadebridge while T and I took the olds up the hill to the terrace where we enjoyed the Camel Valley Baccus and Atlantic Dry. The wine was good you can buy it here http://www.camelvalley.com

Next was a sprint back to Wadebridge to catch up with the other who were waiting for us at a bar near the cycle hire shop. We joined them for a swift half then headed back via Tesco for something to eat. They explained that at at around the vinyard point a couple of young guys had cycled past Helen’s dad then as they passed the girls one said to the other “That’s the coolest thing I have ever seen an old fella smoking a pipe on a bike!” . Later C cooked her famous Tomato risotto with veggie meatballs. We are up early tomorrow for a Sea Kayaking session at Polzeath Beach.

Trebarwith Strand

Trebarwith Beach, Cornwall
Trebarwith Beach, Cornwall

First day of the holiday and we took our time getting up and ready to go. We took two cars and headed to Trebarwith Strand. The road in was interesting very narrow with steep rocky sides at times luckily we only met one car on the way down. We parked at the long stay car park (£5.80 for 4 hours) in the belief that the short stay would be cheaper than any short stay. Turns out that the smaller short stay was charging £2.50 for the day!

Trebarwith Strand is an interesting place there is a wide beach which is pretty much covered over when the tide comes in. Access to the beach is over some smoothish rock on one side was a stream cutting a gorge into the to the rock, on the other was what looked like a cutting into the rock.

We took a stroll on the beach looking for life in the rock pools. C won the prize for the most interesting find a big fat star fish with only four points. There were some caves on the west end of the beach, one of them went at least 50 metres into the cliff.

Trebarwith Beach from inside a cave
Trebarwith Beach from inside a cave

We had lunch at The Port William pub at a table in the conservatory, over looking the bay. The St Austell Trelawney Bitter went down well with the cheese sandwich. We drove back to the hut to get sorted for a rib boat trip that T had organised, but when we phoned to check the weather was too rough, and the owner said he would take us out but that we would probably not enjoy it, so we cancelled. It is a shame because it was the last trip of the season. Still we have the sea kayaking to look forward to which has been postponed till Wednesday due to high winds.

The girls decided that they would go on a shopping trip, and T and I took the bikes down to Pooley Bridge and did a cycle ride to Bodmin and back on the Camel trail, which I must say is an excellent little trail for walking and cycling. We went at a fair pace on the way back which gave me a good work out.

Day one at Port Gaverne

Views of Port Isaac
Views of Port Isaac

Mr T was dropped off early at Wadebridge, as part of his marathon training he was going to run to Padstow, which is about 18 miles. The st of us got upfairly early and had a leisureley breakfast, toast for me. The plan was to drive to Rock and pick up T from the ferry from Padstow.

We parked up at the far end of Rock (£1.50 for two hours) and had a wander along the beach front. It was not long before Mr T texted me to say he was on the ferry. The tide was out and the ferry was having to do a big loop round to get to the quai, in fact T had got the last ferry before the drop off was changed to the alternative quai further out of of town towards the sea. T had taken 2:35 to do 17 miles.

Back at the hut I set up the GoPro to da a time lapse looking out to sea from the house while we had lunch, then we planned to do a local circular walk taking in Port  Gaverne and Port Quin.

The walk took us from the hut via the steep road down into Port Gaverne, then up the hill out again. You can probably see a pattern emerging here, we are in Cornwall and there is no such ting as a flat walk.

Headland view near Port Quin
Headland view near Port Quin

At the top of the hill, you guessed it, we went down again, into Port Isaac where Dr Martin is filmed. We watch a bit of road rage as someone going down the hill got frustrated by the drivers coming up and not giving way. The walk continued on round the headland eventually getting to Port Quin after much up and down of steep stepped hills. In one cove we saw in the distance a baby seal calling for its mother, the calling seemed as if the seal was suffering but it seemed quite active and we all agreed it was most likely just calling for it’s mother who was in the want just in the bay.

At port Quin there was a very welcome coffee establishment in an old Citroen corrugated van. We stopped for a double cappuccino and a piece of cake before heading back to Port Gaverne this time in land, and more directly. It was surprising how quickly it took to get back compared to the up and down walk round the headland.

Once back at the hut we Cajun stew cooked by Helen’s dad.

Three buses to Holkham nudist beach

Norfolk seaside view
Norfolk seaside view

After a hot night we were up and ready for breakfast at 08:10, I had scrambled eggs and mushroom had Helen had beans and hash browns, the toast was lovely made from home made bread. We gathered our stuff and walked down the road to the Stiffkey bus stop to get the bus to Burnham Deepdale, only to find the next bus was not for another fifty minutes! What should we do? We decide to get the bus going the other way and have a coffee at the Cley NWT cafe. On the way to Cley we realised that we would not have enough time for a coffee so we got off at Cley village stores, and waited for the bus going the way we wanted.

After a five minute wait we were on the right bus going to our chosen destination, we wanted to walk from Burnham Deepdale to Wells next to sea about 10 miles. We passed though Burnham Market on the way which had a craft fair going on around the village green, it looked interesting but the place was heaving and it was only 10. When we got off the bus we realised how hot the day was, the weather man had promised 30 degrees. As we headed out along the sea wall we both began to realise that the whole walk may not be managed. When you get close Burnham Overy Staithe you hit a kind of false summit, the sea wall heads back on it self, which was very disheartening to Helen and a few expletives were heard.

At the quay of Burnham Overy Staithe there is a chandlers/general store which sold cold drinks, it was very welcome. Inside it seemed to be air conditioned, we lingered deciding what drink to purchase. We sat on a railway sleeper in the shade outside, a woman was trying to find some where to tie up her small terrier Helen offered to hold on to the lead but the offer was turned down on the basis that the dog would probably go for us so could we warn passersby not to get too close! While the lady was a way the dog snarled a lot at the passing people.

Burnham Deepdale church
Burnham Deepdale church

The quay is a popular spot as there is a free car park and you can cross a shallow creek and then get out to a lovely cut off beach, seems every man and his dog was heading out there, it looked like a scene from war of the worlds when everyone leaves town in a mass exodus. We contemplated getting the bus to Holkham but in the end continued on our walk. After another couple of miles we were in the sand dunes, next stop was a paddle in the sea. It is surprising how cooling a paddle is, I think the cold temperature on your feet combined with the stiff sea breeze, just hits the spot.

Holkham beach is vast, and we were walking at the sea edge for over an hour. We can across some some very trusting Sanderlings and Ringed Plovers. At one point we stopped and sat down to have some lunch we had purchased some cheese and onion pasties the day before. Our choice of spots was not interesting, we were at the far edge of the nudist area, and every so often a nude man would make circuit strutting his stuff. Helen &I have have some experience of nudists beaches, not as nudists you understand, we just have this uncanny knack of coming across them when out of walks. Male couples tend to gather at the fringes of them and the Holkham one was no different. We walked on and slowly the nudists dissolved away and clothed beach users took over. The beach was tough on bare feet so we decided to head inland to the pine forest to continue the walk in the shade.

Hoklham beach view
Hoklham beach view

On one side of the forest there was a lovely breeze which combined with the shade of the trees was bearable but as we got deeper in to the forest the breeze went and the heat took over. We were starting to discuss the ice creams we were going to order when we got to the Wells ice cream shop. When we got to the ice cream the queue was massive so we walked on to the town along the sea wall, when we got there we had just about had enough. I popped in to a shop while Helen checked out the bus times. The buses seemed to be running late, but we made good use of the time downing two 7 Ups and two bottles of water between us.

Eventually the bus came 40 minutes late it turns out there was a bad accident around Holkham and the traffic was being sent round the Holkham estate. We purchased our tickets and requested being dropped off at the Red Lion in Stiffkey, one of the services offered by the coast hoppers is that you can be dropped off anywhere safe on their route. After 10 minutes in a very hot bus we were dropped off outside the pub. We rested a while before a shower and then went down to the bar, Helen had veggie lasagne and I had wild mushroom and pea risotto, both dishes got the thumbs up. For desert we had another drink, then retired to our room well replete.