Before I begin, please accept apologies for not delivering the full write-up yesterday. Time got on top of me and before I knew it, I had none left. However, today I have made a sterling effort and found time to send out this post. Hooray!
Here in the UK we were blessed with yet another reasonable bank holiday. A sunshine-filled public holiday is usually the stuff of dreams. More often than not, we spend the extra long weekend with our noses pressed against the windows, staring out in to the pouring rain. We have been so lucky with bank holidays this year that I suspect that we are due for a thorough soaking on the next one. With this in mind, I set out to fully enjoy the May Day holiday.
Despite my advice to start out early for a coastal trip, I failed spectacularly on this occasion. Oops. So we set-off around mid-morning to drive up to Wells-next-the-sea.
Predictably, turning up late meant that we had a small headache trying to park, but we got there eventually. Once out of the car, we set off towards the town for a wander. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the weather and some traditional sea-side past-times. Hoards of people were crowded along the quay dropping pieces of bacon in to the water to catch crabs. Some were keeping tallies that were chalked up on the pavement. One impressive haul claimed to have consisted of 68 crabs. (The crabs are chucked back in once they are caught, so I suspect that the same crabs may have been caught more than once!)
As we strolled along the docks, my eyes were instantly drawn to the old granary. It’s a beautiful building with an imposing structure. Sadly it was only in use for about 90 years and has now been converted in to a block of exclusive ‘apartments’. However, it still looks fantastic and it ensures that the town’s history as a commercial port is not forgotten.
After soaking up the atmosphere, we settled down to a lunch of fish and chips. We ate with our legs dangling over the side of the docks, watching the crabbers hard at work. Bliss.
Once we were stuffed, we began to walk towards the beach and the sea. Wells sits about a mile away from the open water, so you need to walk a fair way to get your feet wet, especially when the tide is on its way out (as it was for us). We kept walking until we reached the waterline, and then meandered over to the sand dunes. There was some evidence of the effects of the winter storms and flooding – we saw a few stands for beach huts with no hut, and in some places there was only the supporting poles remaining. However, apart from this it was business as usual.
While perched in the dunes, we noticed an area of woodland behind the beach. We decided to have a wander through and ended up having a lovely stroll through pine trees. This was an unexpected part of our walk, so it was a nice surprise.
Heading out of the woods, we turned again towards the town and found a little cafe selling locally made Norfolk icecream. Well, it would be rude not to indulge, wouldn’t it? (Head to the Picnic Hut on Staithe Street and try the rum and raisin icecream. You won’t regret it!)
So, after a day of basking in the sun and stuffing ourselves with sea-side goodies, we headed back to Norwich. I’m looking forward to my next visit already.