Norfolk is somewhere neither myself nor my husband have really visited for leisure so I was really keen to see the area for myself (particularly the beaches, love a beach!).
With builders starting on renovations at home this week we took the opportunity to go for a long weekend, travelling up in Betsy as it’s so roomy to travel in.
Having spent a few weekends away in the camper van that hadn’t gone to plan I was very happy to book an actual house with everything within the four walls!
I love being in our camper van but I also love a bit of luxury every now and then! (Especially when there’s mud at home, it’s nice to escape it, knowing you don’t have to walk through the mud to get to the toilets)
I booked the property through Norfolk Hideaways. They had lots of lovely looking cottages on their pages but we found one fairly quickly in Heacham. We’d done no research on the area but liked the look of the property and booked it. We’re always happy to jump in our car for a day out if we need to.
The property was an old Butchers Store that had recently been renovated. We loved the inside of the property. There was underfloor heating, two bathrooms, oak beams and a woodburner and the decor was lovely. A bit Retro and a couple of Orla Kiely bits too!
If we didn’t have children I’d have been quite happy to stay in and chill for the weekend!
On arrival we had been left some milk and a couple of packets of biscuits (they didn’t last long!)
It also had a lovely little courtyard area covered in pebbles which Charley and Bodhi loved playing out in. Filling up the one and only bucket that we had bought with us!
The journey up had been slow and both the children had fallen asleep so we went out for a walk before their bedtime to see if we could burn off some of their energy, and maybe find the beach. We found a duck pond and some lovely looking properties but we decided the beach was too far away and should head back, much to the protests of Charley.
Anyway, the walk didn’t work and they were still awake chattering (and wandering into the front room) until 10pm. They’ll be a joy tomorrow then!
How do they do that? In they toddle at 7.30am (yes, I guess that is a lay-in), full of beans wanting to go outside. Yet I can barely open my eyes?
Saturday we headed out to Heacham South beach. The car park is tiny and expensive at £2 for an hour. There is a Holiday Caravan Park behind the beach so I guess most people walk and don’t need to drive.
Before we even got on the beach we had to stop for a pot of cockles and prawns from Hells Shell Fish located just at the entrance of the car park. Well worth a visit. The dad was out picking cockles and the ladies young daughter was helping to serve, whilst eating a fair few too. Always good to get some of the locals stories.
I’m not sure why they look so glum in the photo, Charley and Tim both love cockles. Bodhi won’t touch them of course.
The beach area stretched a fair distance with Snettisham to the south and Heacham North Beach a bit further along.
Unfortunately there were a lot of black fly which were very irritating and took a real liking to Charley’s bright yellow coat! With Bodhi needing the toilet and the parking nearly expired we left for Hunstanton beach.
Hunstanton beach was quite different to Heacham. It’s a traditional sea-side town with lots of fish and chip shops, amusements, donut stalls, pony rides and boat rides, though the beach is also very pebbly and stoney like Heacham. There was also a bandstand that the children loved running around.
The sun was out making for a lovely stroll along the beach with first stop being a pony ride for Charley. Bodhi was very clear that he didn’t want a go!
I can’t resist spending some time in the amusement arcades on the penny slot machines, though Charley was a bit confused that we just kept putting the pennies in without winning anything.
Ice-creams, waffles and slush puppies were all consumed, which obviously helped with the tiredness of the children. Not!
With the tiredness of the late night catching up we headed back to our lovely house to get some sensible food into our grumbling children. Fortunately they were asleep by 8.30pm and hopefully won’t toddle in again until 7.30am, pretty please because I really want to enjoy a few glasses of Prosecco!
On Sunday the children cycled to the local park
while we had a lay-in with us giving them a helping hand every now and again. It was drizzling but we’d put their bikes on the camper (for the first time ever on the lovely bike rack) so we had to actually use them. We ALL had soggy bottoms by the time we left the playground.
In the afternoon we drove to Wells-Next-The-Sea. From the photos I’d seen I was expecting sandy beaches and pretty beach huts but we ended up driving into the harbour town to start with, missing the signs for Pinewoods.
As it was still raining we headed to a restaurant that would have had amazing views from their first floor if it had been a sunny day. Nevertheless the food was lovely and both me and Tim were piggies having seafood platters each! So ignoring the chips and breaded bits it’s quite healthy?! Leaves, it’s got leaves!
Having had a long lovely lunch we had a little stroll up the main shopping street but most were shut. We then thought we’d see if we could catch a train on the light railway, just out the centre which I’m sure the children would have loved but we were just a bit late for the last one. Oopsie!
Finally I suggested going to see the Pinewoods to see if we’d missed something. We parked up, walked up the steps through the Pinewoods, down the steps, onto the loveliest sandy beach, with lots of pretty beach huts at the back.
The children immediately ran about, in the dug out holes, in the sandy puddles, down the hills in between the beach huts.
Then we noticed a little group of seals on the other side of the swimming area!!
We watched them for a little bit just lazing about and then one flopped into the water and swam away. Amazing, we’ve never seen seals in the wild before so I was very excited to have seen them. What a brilliant end to a drizzly day.
We’ve had a lovely few days away in a gorgeous little house, which in itself is really relaxing (even with children that won’t stay in bed!). Charley says it’s been her best holiday, but I think she might say that every time we go away!
We’ve loved the retro look of the house and it’s given us food for thought on our renovation project at home. Hopefully our old house is still standing when we get back tomorrow (builders having trouble digging out one of the floors!), but before then we thought we might have a look around one of the Royal estates on the way home. Check out my Instagram to see if we do.
Have you been to Norfolk before? What were your favourite things to do?