Sandringham site

Finally, on Thursday May 10, we set off for Norfolk.   We arrived at the Caravan Club’s Sandringham site mid-afternoon and as we were setting up, we immediately appreciated the new, stronger battery and the new, improved mover which made short work of levelling the van using ramps on the uneven pitch.  This is  a very pleasant site in the grounds of Sandringham  House, which we chose not because of any monarchist leanings, but because it’s conveniently situated for visiting Hunstanton,  King’s Lynn and two RSPB reserves.


Wind and birds

Next day was sunny and windy.  We went to Snettisham RSPB reserve, walking past several shallow lagoons to a huge shingle and mud beach. There were numerous ducks and geese, and the sound of a cuckoo in the woods, but the wind was a bit too strong for comfort.  In fact we saw a dinghy on one of the lagoons capsized by a strong gust!  From there we went to Hunstanton, where we spent a week of our honeymoon in April 1970. We didn’t remember much about the town except the distinctive red and white striped cliffs. However we spent a very pleasant morning walking along the cliff top to the lighthouse and the remains of St Edmund’s chapel, and then having an ice cream and a bracing walk along the beach.  Then we drove back to Snettisham village for a delicious gastro-pub lunch in the Rose and Crown.  I had crab burger, which was interesting!  After all that walking against the wind we were ready for a quiet afternoon in the caravan, reading and doing a jigsaw

the lake at RSPB Snettisham

RSPB Snettisham

RSPB Snettisham

Hunstanton beach

Hunstanton, the Green

Hunstanton, St Edmund's Chapel

Hunstanton, St Edmund's Chapel

Hunstanton, St Edmund's Chapel

Hunstanton, St Edmund's Wolf

Crab Burger

Kings Lynn

On Saturday we went to King’s Lynn.  It’s an interesting place, with an atmosphere all its own.  It has many of the features of a port, such as the elegant 17th century Custom House (right), old warehouses and docks beside the Great Ouse, but its days as a seafaring centre are long gone.   There are many medieval buildings of mellow brick, reminding us of Lubeck, which made sense as Lynn was a Hanseatic port. There are quaint little cobbled lanes and courtyards, half-timbered houses and Georgian buildings, and a handsome Minster. It reminded us in some ways of both York and Bewdley – all historic towns on rivers prone to flooding (York’s river is also called the Ouse!)  After lunch it started to rain so we headed for the King’s Lynn museum to see Sea Henge, a fascinating and mysterious Bronze Age monument made of timber and recently uncovered on a nearby beach, before returning to the camp site.

King's Lynn Alms Houses

Hanse House courtyard

Hanse House white side

King's Staithe Square

Priory cottages gardens

Thoresby house

Town Hall

Tuesday Market Place

Tuesday Market Place, Corn Exchange

Tuesday Market Place, Dukes Head

More Twitching

It was still raining next day but brightened up after lunch so we went to another RSPB reserve, Titchwell (or was it Twitchwell??).  There were lots of serious twitchers loaded down with impressive equipment, making us feel a bit pathetic with our small binoculars!  However, the sun shone and it was all very pretty, with lagoons, reed beds and a lovely long deserted beach. From a hide we saw avocets, Mediterranean gulls and sandwich terns, then finished with a welcome cuppa and cake in the café’s outdoor area, where we saw an amazing poplar hawk moth.

On Monday we were moving on, but not too far, so we had time to kill before checking out of the camp site.  We decided to walk through the woods and then drove to the Sandringham Visitor Centre for coffee and cake (expensive) and to see if we could spot the house (we couldn’t).  So back to the caravan to pack up and move on.  Here yet again disaster struck – a locker door broke due to my carelessness.  I really shouldn’t be allowed out!