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North Norfolk

I'm hiring a motorhome in a couple of weeks to have a self-contained, socially distant, change of scene. Limited in where we could get into at short notice so we are basing ourselves in Mundesley. Any advice on nice places to walk/take in the charm. We're not interested in arcades and piers - prefer low key charm and beauty.

Posted by
26047 posts

eh up Ryan and Gill.

The north Norfolk coast is a pretty nice place to be. Wish I were there.

I've only been pre-Covid when it probably had more people than now (especially with the Great British Summer we're having).

National Trust? We like Blickling very much but the Walled Garden at Felbrigg Hall is really scrummy.

Have to book a place in advance of course until we are free of this plague.

I don't know if the boats are going out to the seals from Blakeney (the land is NT but the boats are private so dunno) but if they are it is quite a sight. Come 'round the point with the lighthouse and there they are. Might be difficult to social distance on the boats - you sit on the gunwhales and face each other, cheek by jowl, or at least last year.

Some very good walks all along the coast, and at the three NT places I have just mentioned - all pretty close to your campsite.

Sheringham and Cromer are (were) pretty busy little towns in the season - dunno today...

I hope you have a wonderful time. We're still isolating as much as poss., or we might be there too.

Posted by
1272 posts

Never been to Mundesley, but not too far away is Wells-next the-Sea which was a pleasant seaside(-ish!) town - low key (a little bucket-and-spade but not overwhelmingly so and there's a quay and some interesting buildings look at when the sea's out). There are a few country estates around there, like Holkham Hall (or Sandringham is about an hour away), but I suspect the houses might still be closed - perhaps the gardens or parks are now open? . The area around there is an AONB so there are plenty of walking opportunities.

Posted by
4947 posts

Although I am personally not that interested in "boating", I had always wanted to see the Norfolk Broads. They were worth the excursion (from Bury St. Edmunds), although they are normally very crowded in summer. Strangely enough, when I used Google Maps to see how far they are from Mundesly ( 1/2 hour or less, I think), Google offered the option of searching for Norfolk Broads Caravan and Motorhome Club Site! (Not a recommendation!)

Posted by
4879 posts

One of my favourite parts of the U.K.!

Happisburgh Lighthouse and the village is a pleasant meander, although Covid has closed the lighthouse at present. The tea shops may have reopened.

I am struggling to get to any National Trust properties, despite being a member if you don’t book tickets on the Friday for the following week. The houses remain closed.

There are some good walks out on the tidal marshes from Blakeney and Beans Boats have started running their trips out to see the seals but with reduced capacity for social distancing and you must wear a face mask.

The deli at Cley is fantastic (with prices to match, especially local crab). Holt is a nice town, but you may want something quieter.

The visitnorthnorfolk.com website has suggestions for walks and things to see.

Posted by
389 posts

Thanks everyone. Yes normally like a National Trust although not being members I'm not sure whether £25 for the family to go round the grounds at Blickney is worth it? Holkham is closed at the moment but we go in a few weeks so will keep an eye to see if that changes. Thanks for the tip on the boat trips, wasn't one I was aware of. Saw the pics of Wells and Cley and they both look like my kind of place, just need to navigate places to park with the motorhome but I've got a seperate website to help with that. We're spending the first two nights in the Cotswolds because it breaks the journey and I figure it might just be less crowded this summer!

Posted by
26047 posts

I wouldn't have thought that the Cotswolds are on the way...

But if you're on the way.

I was in Witney and Chipping Campden last week on business and was pleasantly surprised that even though the pink bicycle ice cream girl wasn't there in Chipping Campden (in her usual spot near the Market) the Lygon Arms had opened a stall in a passage and was serving (tasty, a little expensive) ice creams from there. The queue (well behaved and socially distancing) indicated the popularity of the move. Pretty much all locals to my ear.

I'm surprised that living in Yorkshire - God's Country - you aren't NT. Sorry for my previous offers. Hidcote was in good shape last week - but NT. Still beautiful countryside in North Norfolk.

I'm sure you'll have a good time.

Posted by
389 posts

It's IanandJulie who are from Yorkshire Nigel! I'm south wales based but picking up the motorhome in Andover.

Posted by
26047 posts

ooooooopppppppsssss!

sorry.....

Cotswolds right on the way then......

Posted by
389 posts

It's ok, I'm thinking of getting family membership even though I can't see the houses opening anytime soon

Posted by
4947 posts

It was educational to read the “God’s country” note. While it’s not included in the Wikipedia entry for the phrase, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1980’s, it was used to refer to Kentucky.. It was an ironic reference, slightly denigrating. The implication was that you could get natural beauty in exchange for accepting less sophistication and less economic development.

Posted by
389 posts

The Welsh seemingly always refer to Wales as God's own Country. I'm optimistic that Heaven is slightly better!

Posted by
4411 posts

The Welsh seemingly always refer to Wales as God's own Country. I'm optimistic that Heaven is slightly better!

I don't know, Port Talbot has its charm.

Posted by
1272 posts

Blenheim Palace has just now reopened for visits inside the house (excluding the Churchill exhibition). I mention partly as it's sort of on your route from Andover, but also because it might be a sign that other stately homes could start reopening as well. BP isn't National Trust, however.

Posted by
26047 posts

new then, iandandjulie. I owe you a pint for misremembering

Posted by
624 posts

Wroxham on the Norfolk Broads offers day boats for hire that my UK family and I have used several times in the past.
http://www.wroxhamboathire.co.uk/ great little boats for exploring the Broads for a few hours and Wroxham is a nice little place to wander. Not sure if they are open but it would be a nice day out while socially distancing. I think it is only about 15 miles from Mundesley and prices are reasonable.

Margaret

Posted by
2774 posts

I've heard "God's country" used to describe several completely different places -- wherever the person speaking thinks is a desirable place, though usually a rural one with a measure of natural beauty. For example, some decades ago a coworker in Los Angeles referred to his home town in north Orange County (California) as God's country.

Notice it's called "north Orange County" and not "northern Orange County"; dunno why, considering it's "northern California." But then, that same region is the "south coast" and not the "southern coast."

Sorry for going off topic re: North Norfolk -- or should that be Northern Norfolk? :-)

Posted by
1015 posts

Sorry but all this talk about North Norfolk reminds me of Alan Partridge

Posted by
389 posts

I know, I keep thinking about popping along to the Hunstanton Spice Museum. Unfortunately the 'cracking owl sanctuary' is actually in Kent!

Posted by
389 posts

Well we’re back from our staycation adventures so thought I’d post a little update. I had planned out an itinerary worthy of a RS posting, but in the end the reality of the limitations of such a large motor home sunk in and a dose of British weather pared things back a bit.
We started our adventures picking up the motor home (hereafter called The Beast) in Andover and drove to the Cotswolds for our first two nights. We called in at Bourton-on-the-Water but with the sunshine out it was pretty busy, even without coaches. So after a brief stroll around we headed on 10 minutes up the road to our destination- The Fox Inn at Broadwell. This was more like it. A simple field at the back of a pleasant pub. No camping facilities but no fee either. Just an understanding that we would spend our wares at the pub, which we did without hesitation on some delicious pizzas the first night and tasty pub grub the second. It was thoroughly enjoyable to sit out side and dine with the family in something resembling normality.
Our first full day we drove about 30 minutes to the Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford. I’d highly recommend- it’s very reasonably priced, interesting and wide selection of animals and beautiful gardens in the summer. Unfortunately the Heavens opened for most of the afternoon and we got drenched through to the skin. But the beauty of The Beast was being able to get changed out of our clothes and enjoy a nice brew all in the car park!
The next day was transition over to Norfolk. I was keen to break the journey with a stroll around Cambridge but after an unfortunate reversing incident with The Beast in Rugby we lost our nerve and ploughed on. Enjoyed the drive up The Fosse Way very much. We did however have a very nice afternoon in the garden of relatives in a village near Norwich, albeit this is where we realised we had to ignore the SatNav trying to take us up impossibly small back lanes. We then pushed on a further hour to Mundesley and our campsite. We took a stroll down to the beach which was delightful in the evening sun. Compared to other UK beaches I’ve seen on the news in the last week, it was perfectly easy to social distance on the Beach and we would virtually have a whole section groyne to groyne to ourselves. The biggest challenge was the tide - at high tide the beach virtually disappeared.
The next day was wet and windy so we hunkered down in The Beast, and Tuesday returned to the beach. Wednesday we ventured with our pre booked tickets to Blickling and walked for miles and miles around the parkland before enjoying an ice cream in the attractive gardens. In the afternoon we tried out Mundesley’s adventure golf but after loosing a ball to the water on the 8th hole and lots of people we called it a day and went down to the beach where the surf was up so I enjoyed watching the surfers while the kids jumped in the waves. Thursday we left our campsite but with a 4 hour drive ahead of us we decided to spend a last few hours at the beach with the tide out and still no crowds it was very enjoyable. Our final night was spent at the California country Park campsite near Wokingham. By the time we arrived it was 30 degrees and we went in search of ice cream at the lakeside cafe and thankfully found it along with a shady playground that was pretty empty. A short drive back to return the Beast, Hartley Witney looked nice on the drive through. Some minor damage detected on the side panel so we await the damage on that! All in all A nice chance to get away see bits of my homeland never seen before and enjoy some family time. North Norfolk is very attractive and well worth exploring for any who want to escape the crowds of the Cotswolds.

Posted by
1151 posts

That sounds like a very nice family trip! I wouldn’t want to drive a Beast myself (ha!) but it would definitely be handy. :) The beach at Mundesley looks nice.

Posted by
1130 posts

Thanks for all your posts as the journey has stimulated our thinking for a trip being planned next year.
Be well!

Posted by
26047 posts

so how huge was the Beast? How was it on fuel?

Posted by
389 posts

Nigel it was over 3.5 tonnes so needed a C1 licence and 8m long! Thankfully had a reversing camera! The fuel wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’d say we used about a full tank for about 11 hours of driving and that cost us about £100

Posted by
26047 posts

good wump! now that is a Beast. Better you than me, mate.

Good thing you're a better driver than Clegg or Compo.

Camera didn't help eh?

No further information about fuel consumption required.

And you were in East Angia - the land of no motorways and single track roads masquerading as A-roads....

Edit- 100 quid for fuel's not bad!!

Posted by
624 posts

I enjoyed reading the trip report. Norfolk is a lovely part of England to explore. We may all be staycationing again next year and I hear bookings for UK cottages are already filling up fast for Summer 2021. Will you try the Beast again or are you thinking more along the lines of a holiday cottage for your next UK adventure?

Margaret

Posted by
389 posts

Margaret, I don’t think I’d do the Beast again, mainly because I’m not really into campsites. I usually opt for a holiday cottage abroad but find UK ones are poor value for money. We should have been in the Azores and have it postponed to same time next year with fingers tightly crossed for a vaccine.... But I have mentally pencilled in a few UK weekend breaks over the next year so we will see what awaits.