After leaving Melton Mowbray, with a slight after taste of pork pie on the palate, we headed off to Norwich. First stop for the day was in Kings Lyn, an old port city on the Great River Ouse. The port dates back to the 12th century. A fascinating place and we would have loved more time there. Some real old medieval buildings. The name of the river is a clue to the geography of this region. The river seems to literally ‘ooze’ out of the surrounding countryside. The land is very flat and marshy in these parts and water which comes down from the midlands through numerous channels, streams and marshy bogs flows out or ‘washes’ into a shallow rectangular bay, called The Wash, and ultimately the North Sea.
Leaving Kings Lyn we had a short stop at Sandringham Castle to see if the Queen was in with the new great-grandchild, Charlotte. She wasn’t there so we didn’t go in, however, we did manage to pick up a first edition Charlotte tea mug from the visitors centre as a keep sake of the occasion. The shop was doing a roaring trade.
Onward we went, but veered back towards the coast. By now we had traveled up the side of The Wash and was getting close to the sea-side tourist villages to which the Brits flock in summer. These are what you could loosely call ‘beaches’. Mostly shingle and pebbles with The Wash splashing ashore. Lining the waterfronts are Fish n Chip shops, amusement arcades and all manner of touristy type shops. It was a warm day about 16 degrees celsius and little chill wind from the north. Beach goers were a bit rugged up and huddled behind wind breaks and in the sand hills reading books or gazing out towards the wind farms that are on the horizon about 7 km out to sea. If you can’t have them on land because they disturb the grouse then put them out in the water and let the seals sit on them!
We stopped in at Wells-next-the-Sea a fishing village on the North Sea coast, beyond The Wash. This has also been a port in the past but now seems to act as a base for the remnants of the North Sea fishing fleet and the crews that service the wind farms. There is a big old granary here built in 1901 that acted as an import/export terminal up until about 1990. It is now luxury apartments.
At Cromer we turned south and headed inland to Norwich. Cromer is famous for its crabs. I would have liked to have tried some, but it was getting late in the day. At Wells-next-the Sea we had missed out on another English delight Cockells (Pippi like shell fish) and Periwinkles. I had passed these up in favour of the crab at Cromer. Instead I had a hamburger at the hotel in Norwich.
Went to bed rather late. The next day we were to catch up with my cousin in Long Stratton about 20 minutes south of Norwich City.