Tag Archives: sea birds

North Norfolk Coast. ๐Ÿš

A holiday happened! We have not long since returned from a week by the sea. A few years ago we visited the North Norfolk Coast and hoped that one day we would go back. Happily we managed to do just that last week. It was great to get away to such a beautiful part of England. The sea air was a tonic!  Below are a few places we visited, often by using the very handy Coasthopper Bus service.

Brancaster & Brancaster Staithe.

These two adjoining fishing villages were our base for exploring. Both are in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the National Trust looks after the beaches here. Hugo loved the vast stretches of sand and I was forever scanning the saltmarsh for interesting waterbirds. My favourite breakfast spot was marshside at the White Horse pub, from where you can watch skeins of geese taking off.  We found our own secret seal colony when walking on the beach too. ๐Ÿ’—

Typical Brancaster Beach Lifeguard.
View over the marshes at Breakfast ~ White Horse ~ Brancaster Staithe.
Marshside Muffin.
Harbor Seal ~ Brancaster Beach.
Brancaster Staithe harbor.
Eating out ( inside) in Brancaster. The Ship Hotel for food  and Bar 71 for a friendly drink with the locals.

Sheringham.

We spent an afternoon on the seafront in the traditional seaside town of Sheringham. With its pops of colour on the promenade ( vibrant murals and rainbow painted beach huts) its a smiley seaside resort. The sandy beach after the huts is dog friendly. ๐Ÿพ

Sheringham Beach Retro Advert art.
Colourful Beach huts.
Promenade squid.
Kite flying.
Mammoth Trail.
Sheringham Beach.

Burnham Market.

A mile inland from the coast is one of a number of villages called Burnham. This Burnham is full of trendy shops & eateries, looking over a village green. I did remark to Wil that it looks the kind of place where you might find ‘ Made in Chelsea’ being filmed. And researching this post did provide me with the information that the villages nick name is ‘ Chelsea on Sea’ . Fancy that!

Village view.
Admiral Horatio Nelson was born in nearby Burnham Thorpe and frequented a public house in the village.
A pink sweet shop.
Coffee time at the Tuscan Farm Shop.
Inside the Tuscan Farm Shop.

Cley Next The Sea.

Keen birders will have heard about Cley. The marshland between the village and the sea is a renowned Nature Reserve, home to many rare species of birdlife including Pied Avocet, Bittern and Bearded Tit. There is also an impressive 18th Century Windmill ( presently a lovely looking b & b ) and various shops, cafes and galleries. Cley does have a shingle beach, from where you can walk to nearby Salthouse. ๐Ÿฆ†

Cley Windmill.
Smokehouse.
Shingle Beach.
Avocet.
Swan family take over.

Salthouse.

Just up the coast from Cley Next The Sea, Salthouse is perhaps it’s quieter counterpart, yet still boasting miles of wildlife packed salt marsh and shingle beach. We spent a lovely afternoon here enjoying some slightly warmer temperatures and fresh tasty seafood. We can recommend the Dun Cow for lunch and I loved the book & gift selection in The Salthouse Store. ๐Ÿš

Dun Cow beer garden.
Lunch at the Dun Cow.
Shingle. Much of it contains orangey coloured flint, used in the buildings round here.
Swanning around.
Sign near the Church.
The village store.

Wells Next The Sea.

If like me you can’t get enough of Beach Huts then the charming seaside town of Wells Next The Sea is a must visit. After perusing the quaint gift shops on Staithe Street take a quay side walk to Wells beautiful golden sandy beach. It’s made all the lovelier by a pine forest backdrop and stunning array of colourful huts. I was memorised. The beach like many in North Norfolk welcomes four legged friends.  ๐Ÿฆ€

Poetry on the sea front.
Looks tropical doesn’t it! We were actually wearing winter woolies.
Huts galore.
Mr & Mrs Mallard outside their beach hut.
Lifeboat Horse Sculpture.

Hunstanton & Old Hunstanton.

On our previous visit to the North Norfolk Coast we stayed in the family friendly resort of Hunstanton, known as ‘ Sunny Hunny’ to optimistic holiday makers. We just had to revisit and walk along the beach to neighboring Old Hunstanton.

Lighthouse viewed through the remains of st Edmunds Chapel.
St Edmund was an Anglo Saxon King who was killed and beheaded by Danish raiders. A wolf supposedly protected the king’s head , and when reunited with Edmunds body the head mysteriously reattached itself, a sure sign of sainthood apparently.
Fulmar nesting in Hunstantons stripey cliffs.
Unique striped cliffs.
The Old Town Cafe at Old Hunstanton. A great place for breakfast.
Beach huts in the dunes.

Of course there are lots more places to explore in North Norfolk and what’s above are only a small selection.

We loved the big skies and the stunning variety of coastline. I think Hugo did too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever visited North Norfolk? ๐Ÿฆ€

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

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Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !ย  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.ย  First we found ourselves atย Williamson Park ย on the outskirts of Lancaster.ย  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.ย  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Tropical Blue Butterfly.

 

Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.ย  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!ย  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.ย  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

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Chinese Water Dragon.

 

Meerkats.ย 

As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.ย  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.ย  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.ย  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.ย  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tropical flower.

 

 

 

 

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Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to theย Tern Projectย , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.ย  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.

 

A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.

Comerants.

Lapwing.

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Ringedย  plovers.

Magpie.

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Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!ย  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

30 Days Wild ~ Days 7 to 9. Seaside fun.

I am pretty fortunate that my holidays fell at the beginning of Thirty Days Wild , so  I don’t need to think too hard about what to post. I was staying on the wildlife rich  Norfolk coast.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Seven.  Rock Pools and Sea Holly.  Today we decided to walk along the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Hunstanton, where we were staying , to Thornham. About six miles or so. The beach at Hunstanton is full of rock pools, so I was hoping to see a starfish perhaps…or maybe a crab. No such luck!  I think these guys had got their spoils before we even set off.

I loved the rocky beach at Hunstanton. I suspect If we had hunted more thoroughly we may have found more, but with a bouncy labrador sniffing out sea creatures, we couldn’t linger for too long.

As we neared the next village along the coast ‘Old Hunstanton’, the scenery changed to a perfect sandy beach, amongst the sand dunes.

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Hugo amongst the dunes.

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The Strandline is a beautiful gift shop in Old Hunstanton. The owner, an artist,is inspired to create by the scenery, seasons and nature here.

I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers growing between Old Hunstanton and neighboring Holme Next The Sea, in my last 30 Days Wild Post ,but here are a few more on the way to Thornham. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sea Holly.

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An orchid I believe.

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Any ideas? Maybe Annual Sea Blite.

Approaching the village of Thornham, we came across a welcome coffee stop at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s base at Holme Dunes. A wooden walkway over the marshes then led us to the village, where we caught a handy Coast Hopper Bus back to Hunstanton.

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Shelduck.

Day Eight.  Beach Huts and a Bee.  I posted a separate post about today’s fantastic trip to see The Seals at Blakeney Point.  Before that we had a lovely walk along the beach at Wells Next The Sea. A sudden short shower sent us fleeing to the porch of a vacant Beach Hut to shelter, and weather watch.

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Beach Huts at Wells.

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Sheltering with Hugo.

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The sun came out again so here’s a Bumble Bee on a Viper’s Bugloss.

 

Day Nine.  Our last day in lovely Norfolk. Sob!  A quick early morning walk along the beach at Hunstanton, and I find a Heart shaped Pebble. I think this sums up our stay. We will return. X

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Thanks for dropping by. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driftwood Cottage ~ Baycliff.

It was over a year ago when we booked a little holiday cottage on the Cumbria coast. Driftwood Cottage near Bardsea was booked up twelve months in advance ( its that popular) so patience had to be practised.At last January 2015 arrived. Yay! It was very much worth the wait. We chose Driftwood because it is right on the beach, has a toasty wood burner, five minutes walk to the pub, its dog friendly ( welcoming 3 well behaved hounds) and its done out in a fresh nautical style. The views over Morecambe bay are spectacular from the large picture windows in the lounge area.  Pink sunrises and windy walks on the beach are mandatory. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cottage looks out over the bay.
The cottage looks out over the bay.

Inside the cottage is so cozy. We made the most of having a wood burner and there was even a telescope to admire the scenery and the wildlife. We really liked the coffee table in the lounge which was made from an industrial cable drum.

The lounge area.
The lounge area.

Sea Views.
Sea Views.

Little Hugo is already missing the wood burner.
Little Hugo is already missing the wood burner.

A cute desk in one of the bedrooms.
A cute desk in one of the bedrooms.

Everyday we walked on the beach with Hugo. Happily we were blessed with pretty good weather for January and some days the sky was reflected in the sand. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reflections.
Reflections.

Hugo enjoying the beach.
Hugo enjoying the beach.

We often had the beach to ourselves. We did meet a few friendly dogs like Daisy the collie here. :)
We often had the beach to ourselves. We did meet a few friendly dogs like Daisy the collie here. ๐Ÿ™‚

The bay was always busy with wading birds and we even saw a couple of shelducks. If anyone knows what the birds below are, please let me know.

Some kind of Snipe or curlew maybe.
Some kind of Snipe or curlew maybe.

Shelduck.
Shelduck.

An old jetty.
An old jetty.

Not sure what this bird is.  There were lots of them.
Not sure what this bird is. There were lots of them.

The beach held other surprises too……

Willow deer statue.
Willow deer statue.

Thoughtful etchings.
Thoughtful etchings.

Quirky Beach House.
Quirky Beach House.

And Quirky Art.
And Quirky Art.

The cottage is only five minutes walk from the village of Baycliff which has two pubs, a farm shop and a childrens play area. We actually only went to one of the pubs, ‘The Farmers Arms’ which is dog friendly ( the owners made a real fuss of Hugo), has a small selection of real ales and serves delicious food. Its best to book if you want to eat there though. Weekends and Wednesdays( Fish and Chips Night) especially.

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Fish and Chips at the Farmers.

I will post about a couple of places we visited whilst staying at the cottage soon. Being out of season though, a lot of the attractions below are not yet open. But you may find them useful in later months. We were also a little limited by Hugos car sickness. Not much fun traveling with a puking puppy! So we tended to stay quite local. Not that we minded, as Driftwood Cottage and the surrounding area are quite beautiful.Wouldn’t you agree? X

Wish you were here...
Wish you were here…

Family days Out.

Muncaster Castle.
Wild Life Oasis Park.
The Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside, Windermere.
Tree Top Trek.
Wray Castle.
Old Hall Farm at Bouth.

Lake Windermere from Ambleside.
Lake Windermere from Ambleside.

Take the dogs too.

Conistone Priory and grounds.
Lakeland Motor Museum.
John Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill.
Ulverston’s Laurel and Hardy Museum.
Lake Windermere Cruises.
La’al Ratty Steam Railway.