Sunday, 23 December 2012

Getting away from it all in Norfolk

It seemed like ages since our last holiday, our trip to Iceland (you can read about that here), we'd both had a rough few months, plagued with illness and too much work, and so were in desperate need of a week away. We wanted somewhere away from the hubbub of modern life, where we could relax, curl up in front of a fire, read books and go out for a walk when we fancied. We decided on North Norfolk and found a cottage with some availability for the week in mid November when we both felt that work could manage without us.

We left home late morning and made the mistake of following the satnav, rather than common sense. After a journey along the M4, round the M25, up A roads and ending in crawling up unlit single carriageway roads in the dark for hours on end, we were very glad to arrive at around 6pm. As it was so dark, we struggled to find the cottage and then had difficulty finding the house where we had to pick the key up from. We managed to find house names with the light from our mobile phones and were soon unpacking the car and getting settled in.

The cottage instantly felt both cosy and luxurious as it had heated floors, a welcoming sofa, huge bed with cushions and a drench shower. We'd brought some food from home and were happy just to heat that up and settle down for the evening. 

Andrew is known for forgetting something nearly everytime we have a week away from home in the UK. First time it was socks, then pants. This time it was pyjamas. At least that meant we had something to do the next day, King's Lynn it was, to see what their M&S could offer him in the way of night attire!

Luckily our trip to King's Lynn was succesful, we parked easily, found M&S, purchased the necessary nightwear and then headed to Sainsbury's to stock up on food for the week. After stopping off for coffee, we headed back to the cottage to put our feet up.

Andrew loves steam trains, so when I read about the North Norfolk Railway, I knew it was something we had to do whilst we were in the area. As we were well out of season, it wasn't running every day, but as the weather forecast for the next day was good and the trains running, we made plans to do that as our Sunday activity.

We got up and drove to Holt (only about 15 minutes from where we staying) to get the train. Andrew headed off to take photos, whilst I grabbed a seat inside, he joined me just as the whistle blew to announce our departure. The journey to Sheringham didn't take long and the views from the window kept us entertained. On arrival, we headed down to the sea front and had a bracing walk, before the wind forced us away from the front. We made our way to the model boat lake where Andrew had spent many an hour in his childhood, as his great Aunt had a holiday flat there, which the family used to stay in. We decided to do a couple of geocaches whilst we were in the area, and so walked up to the cliffs beside the golf club. After taking in the view, we returned to the town, had some lunch and explored a little more, before taking the train back to Holt.


On the Monday, we finally did what we had planned for the week; very little. We relaxed, tried out the cottage's collection of boardgames, watched television and read books. It was good not to feel guilty about doing nothing!

That said, by the next day, we felt we needed to get some air and decided to go out and do a few geocaches. We found a circular set of twelve caches around the village of Mileham and set out to do them. It was a lovely day out, we bumped into some friendly locals, both four legged and two legged, took in some fresh air and got some exercise into the bargain. The sunset on the way back to the car was breath-taking.

On Wednesday, we decided to take a trip into Norfolk, for a wander round the shops. Whilst there we stopped off at the cinema to see Skyfall. We both really enjoyed it as we rarely get round to going to the cinema at home. By the time we came to head home the fog had rolled in. With the roads being unlit and mostly without cats eyes, the drive home was pretty nerve-wracking. I was very glad that we got back without incident.

By Thursday, we felt like we should be making the most of the fresh air and so ventured out geocaching again. I've blogged about our day here. It was fab, we had a really good walk around Castle Acre which was a lovely village, even if we did get rather muddy!

We got up early on the Friday to head home, this time over-ruling the satnav and avoiding the M25! We'd had a great week away and it set us up for the last six weeks of work for the year.

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