This time of year we’re usually headed off to Kernolou but after failing to find a suitable channel crossing we decided to make the most of the lovely weather with a long weekend trip to Norfolk in the Bedford Bambi Campervan.
A quick glance at the map showed the M11 as being the quickest route, however cruising speed in the Bambi varies between 45-50 mph so we opted for a more leisurely path following the A10 up through the leafy Hertfordshire countryside, onto Cambridge and the Isle of Ely and made our first stop at the pretty market town of King’s Lynn.
More than just a sleepy market town awash with historic buildings, beautiful old Merchant’s Houses and cobbled streets, King’s Lynn has been an important port since the 12th century and was the first Hanseatic town in Great Britain. We were both quite enchanted with the town and fascinated by its architecture and maritime past so we’ll definitely be back to explore further.
On this occasion though we wanted to get settled in the for weekend so after a brief stop for a bite to eat we continued the journey onto our base for the next few nights at Hilgay, which is situated just a few miles from the picturesque town of Downham Market.
Lodge Farm Meadow is a Camping and Caravanning Club certified site which allows for just 5 caravans or motorhomes and up to 10 tents at any one time so on a site of over five acres this meant plenty of peace and privacy.
It takes less than half an hour to set-up camp including erecting the small awning that hooks over the back of the campervan. By this time Herbie was starting to get a little restless so after a long and lazy walk to give him some much needed exercise we settled down with a glass or two of red and relaxed in the glow of the sunset over camp.
The next morning after a hearty breakfast we headed off to Hunstanton, a Victorian seaside town described on the website as an elegant resort. First doubts started to creep in with the appearance of the ‘Land Train’ quickly followed by the sight of hordes of under-dressed crowds thronging the beach and boardwalk, itself lined with souvenir shops and penny arcades. Not quite the genteel resort we’d conjured images of and so after devouring a punnet of chips each we headed off into the calm of the countryside.
Next stop Sandringham, the Norfolk retreat of HM the Queen. There are over 200 acres of parkland to explore and enjoy which we made the most of. Dogs are not permitted in the gardens or the house so instead we visited the pretty little church of St Mary Magdalene with its stunning decor and amazing stained glass. The church is used regularly by the Royal Family for worship and is also open to visitors during the summer months.
Another fine day followed and we headed over to Brancaster Beach, four miles of golden sands which forms part of the National Trust’s Brancaster Estate.
Herbie loves the beach and we had a lovely couple of hours walking along, splashing around before returning to the campervan via the sand-dunes.
We’d certainly worked up an appetite and on leaving the car-park spotted the Ship Hotel where we enjoyed a delicious lunch before heading back to base camp for our last night in Norfolk.
How lucky we were with the weather, we’d enjoyed lots of sunshine and unusually high temperatures for the time of the year with just one thunderstorm overnight to douse the parched earth.
A return visit to East Anglia and in particular Norfolk, a stunning part of the country is most definitely on the cards for later in the summer.