We are very lucky to have support from a great group called Autism Matters who take a group of young people with various autism spectrum disorders out and on holidays. DS2 is very fortunate to be part of this group and he went away last Saturday for a week. So that gave DS1 and DH and myself the opportunity to get away.
As we are into Autumn and the days are much shorter I was a bit reluctant to go off cycle camping and came up with a solution. We have belonged to the Camping and Caravanning club for more than 25 years and for the first time, the club have introduced Ready Camp glamping tents. More on that later.
We set off on Monday morning and I had arranged to go and visit Ilona aka Mean Queen. She writes the blog “Life after Money” a really good thrifty blog. A few years ago , we hosted her as she walked from the River Tyne back to her home on the other side of the Humber estuary. Ilona makes the most stunning art works from rubbish the rest of us throw away. I had a bag of fabric to pass on and as I know she makes lovely bags to sell for an animal charity she supports ,I thought she could make use of some of it and pass on what wasn’t suitable.
She also won her category in this seasons Shed of the Year and it was great to see it in person although she has had to move her art work into the house now that the cooler weather is coming. We also got a look at her garden.
Just as we left Ilona’s the rain started falling and continued all the way down to Sandringham in North Norfolk. I was so pleased that I had booked a ready erected tent and didn’t have to start pitching in the rain.
I was so pleased to see the size of this tent.
What a beautiful, roomy interior. Two bedrooms, sleeping up to 6 and great cooking facilities with full equipment. All we had to take was our sleeping bags and washing up stuff. Mind you I did take a slow cooker and that was a great addition.
Tuesday dawned bright and warm for the time of the year and so we decided to have a ride Hunstanton on the coast. I have been trying to post a link to the map but it wont do it today. Basically, we rode NCN route 1 which conveniently passes the campsite entrance, up passed Sandringham House and on through Sedgeford to Ringstead. Here we turned left towards Old Hunstanton and visited the stripped cliffs there.
These cliffs are different sedimentary layers and apparently the colours are different because of the water levels in the shallow seas where the sea creatures lived and died. It almost looked as thought the cliffs were built on a red brick wall. The colours vary from red to orange and are not the result of oxidizing iron.
We then rode on to Hunstanton town, a typical sea side town and we stopped and had a lovely ice cream at a proper ice cream parlour. Unfortunately, the heritage centre was closed and is only open at weekends. Such a shame as I would have liked to have had a poke about. I spoke to a young man and asked about a cycle route. He told us to cycle along the promenade as that’s the way he would cycle. So we did even though it said no cycling. Mind you, there weren’t too many people about but I can imagine during the summer holidays it would be heaving with families. We rode along to Heasham which was as far as we could go , as the prom had a large locked gate across it.
After riding through the village , we came to the main road A149 which was very busy with lorries, cars and agricultural vehicles.There was a footpath so we got onto it and then rode along to Snettisham and were able then to take a quieter road Inglesthorpe and then back via Dersingham to the campsite. A ride of just over 25 miles.
Tuesday night was very windy and I was glad to be in a very secure tent but fortunately by morning, it had died down a bit. So after breakfast , we headed off again. We thought we would try cycling part of the Pedders Way, a 93miles walking and cycling route in Norfolk. We rode up in glorious warm sunshine through Dersingham and then DS1 suggested taking a minor lane up to the Padders way. WRONG. DS1 and I ended up walking as it really was only suitable for mountain bikes. However , DH is much stronger and he managed it.
We met a young woman who was backpacking the Pedders Way and she told us the bridle way was just a short distance ahead. Well it wasn’t all that good and in some places was very muddy, so we got off it at the first opportunity and rode on minor roads to Harpley where we sat and had 2nd breakfast. We passed a house that had lots of apples on a table, free for the taking , so we picked up half a dozen for later. Riding into Great Massingham, we had a look around as we remembered riding through this place when we rode the North Sea Cycle Route in 2006. Continuing on into Castle Acre , we stopped at the local shop and had ice cream. Yes , a bit indulgent but hey, its a holiday.
It is often said that Norfolk is flat but let me assure you it is not. While not like Yorkshire, there are plenty of rolling hills and there were all day. We returned via West Acre. Here we saw a strange building. At first I thought it may have been an old public WC but it wasn’t. It was something I have never seen before. Any guesses?
A wheelwrights oven complete with a metal tyre rim inside. Isn’t it fascinating what lurks about in small villages.
Because of heavy traffic we turned off to Gayton Thorpe. Luckily for us, this meant passing an area that had plenty of brambles growing with huge berries. We picked a small tub full before heading back through Grimston and crossing the A148 and on to West Newton and passed the gates to Sandringham House , one of the Queen’s residences. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the gates as they remind me a quilting patterns.
Back to the site we had completed 35 miles.
I cooked the apples and brambles in the microwave and we had half of them with custard after dinner. Our neighbours could smell out meal cooking in the slow cooker and said they didn’t even think of bringing one. K and J were a lovely couple who are new to camping and we were able to pass on many tips. K has asked that I write a post as we dropped so many hints and tips into conversation so I will attempt to do that in the next few weeks.
On Thursday morning, we went down into Kings Lynn in the car as it was raining heavily but fortunately stopped by the time we had got back with the shopping. So DH and I went for a short ride.
Hope this works. It was only 6 miles but took us in a loop back to Sandringham. We stopped for yet another ice cream and met a cycling couple with the West Norfolk CTC. We had a lovely chat with them before going back to the site. I spent some time knitting and had a lovely restful afternoon.
A thoroughly enjoyable trip away with family