Deer's Mead

Our next site, Deer’s Mead, was a complete contrast – small, adults only, and very smart indeed. The shower block is positively luxurious.  However, John struck yet another problem (literally) when putting the awning up – the ground was too hard for normal pegs and we hadn’t brought any rock pegs with us!  Luckily there was a nearby caravan shop where he bought some more.  So now we have two awning pumps and enough rock pegs for a twelve-man tent.  Meanwhile, I was navigating my way around an unfamiliar washing machine in the laundry room.  But we eventually got ourselves sorted out and then relaxed for the rest of the day.

Mist and steam

Readers of our previous blogs will have come across the Jefferis Extreme Weather Effect, our uncanny knack of attracting bad weather when everywhere else in the country is fine.  Despite a good forecast, we woke next morning to find everything cloaked in cold, grey mist.  We went to Cromer, but it was very bleak and cold, although we enjoyed the Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum and the impressive medieval church of St Peter and St Paul with its Burne Jones/Morris window. So we headed for Sheringham and got the train to Holt.  It’s a preserved line with old diesels and steam locos – we were hauled by diesel there and steam back, a pleasant bit of nostalgia. Holt is a nice little town with some smart shops, and a good pub, The Feathers, where I just had to have a Cromer crab sandwich for lunch. (John doesn’t share my enthusiasm for crustaceans).  After the return trip to Sheringham we found that the mist still hadn’t lifted, but we went to Sheringham Park anyway – a large garden famous for its rhododendrons. What we could see of them were lovely, despite the weather.  The gardens have some viewing platforms up steps, the idea being to look down on a sea of blossom. Mostly what we saw was a sea of mist!

Lifeboat station, Museum & Cafe

Henry Bloggs' lifeboat

St Peter and St Paul

St Peter and St Paul window

Norwich

The next day was cool, cloudy and damp so we gave up on the seaside and went to Norwich. We enjoyed the splendid Cathedral, the quaint cobbled streets and the castle, not to mention a delicious lunch of tartiflette and beer at the Belgian Monk in The Lanes.

Cathedral entrance

medieval painting

castle interior

Grimes Graves

Next day the weather gods relented and the sun shone.  We decided to keep well away from the coast and its mist so went inland, to Castle Acre Priory, then the castle itself.  After a pub lunch we tried to find Grimes Graves, which we’d visited on that long-ago honeymoon.  Unfortunately someone had removed the road sign, but we got there eventually! The so-called “graves” are in fact prehistoric flint mines, dug out more than four thousand years ago using nothing but deer antlers for tools – an amazing feat.  We descended thirty feet down a ladder into one of the shafts, where we saw numerous galleries leading off on all sides, and imagined what life must have been like for the Neolithic miners.  

old collapsed mines

Blickling Hall

Our last day at Deer’s Mead was mostly sunny, but still not particularly warm, so we opted for visiting a stately home, Blickling Hall at Aysham, just a few miles from the camp site.  Approaching the house there’s a stunning view of the Jacobean façade.  We wandered round the gardens, then inside the house itself.  The interior was pleasant, if not quite as picturesque as the exterior, but there were a series of interesting art installations throughout the house, on a theme dear to my heart, the importance of preserving books.   Conveniently positioned just outside the gates of the house is the Buckinghamshire Arms, part of the Blickling Estate, where we had lunch sitting in the beer garden.   

Cromer

As the sun was now well and truly out we decided to revisit Cromer.  What a lovely change from a few days ago!  Blue sky, sandy beach, lots of folk enjoying the sunshine.  We walked along the pier then bought a dressed Cromer crab from the famous fish shop, returned to the caravan, and John made some delicious crab linguine with chilli (he does occasionally enjoy crab).