I love Norfolk with a passion that’s hard to explain. Actually I think Norfolk is hard to explain if you’ve not visited and spent some time soaking up the place. Norfolk has an atmosphere unlike anywhere in the UK. Its and atmosphere that, for me, is born of isolation. Norfolk is not on the way to anywhere, you don’t go through the place you go to it. I think that means that most people here want to be here, either through birth or through choice. We have our own dialect which seems impossible for those outside of the county to emulate. Most who try end up sounding like they’re from the West Country. The accent is superficially similar but the Norfolk dialect has a softer tone and its own words and phrases. I’m sure every place claims this but I’m biased towards Norfolk.
So, what have I posted here to try and tempt you towards sharing the love I have? Well I’m going to show you North Norfolk, beloved of the rich set from London and beyond. Firstly a couple of shots from the beach at Sea Palling. Sea Palling has a sandy beach and is mobbed in the summer because it has good, safe swimming. Norfolk’s beaches can be plagued by steep shelves just back from the shore and very strong currents. I wouldn’t advise swimming anywhere without getting some local knowledge. Sea Palling is safe because of the man made reefs (that are sea defences) just out to sea. These create shallow, calm pools behind which are a joy to swim in. There’s also a lifeguard, a lifeboat (with ex-Crass singer Steve Ignorant as part of the crew) and a pub. What else would you need?
The next shot I’d like to share is one of the many groynes (another form of sea defence) at Eccles-on-Sea. Eccles is just down the coast from Sea Palling and shares the same sandy beach. There are so many sea defences in this are due to the constant threat of erosion. Eccles itself barely exists compared to its heyday. The church disappeared into the waves in the early 20th century and all that’s really left now is the Bush Estate, which will need to be the subject of a separate post.
Next we have a shot from the marshes at Salthouse. These are freshwater marshes that create a unique habitat for plant and animal life, and are a well known haunt of migratory birds (and their attendant twitchers). Salthouse is closer to my heart than most places as it is where my father lived up to his death in the early 1990s. The marshes are fantastic, the beach is beautiful as well but in a different way to Sea Palling and Eccles. Here the beach is made of shingle (lots of pebbles in other words) and is home to some really interesting plants. There are also remnants of the war to be found here, from pillboxes to old tank roads…along with the occasional unexploded bomb (don’t throw pebbles at anything metal). Salthouse suffered a little in the last storm surge and it will be interesting to head up to the coast soon to see how the repairs are coming on.
Finally, a shot from Baconsthorpe Castle, near Holt (just inland from Salthouse). This is a magical place that seems little visited, perhaps because its a little way from the main road. To get here you head down a farm track and are greeted with a ruined castle, with a moat and no entry fee. There are a few walks around and if you’re feeling frisky you can enjoy a picnic and a game of hide and seek. The site is open at all reasonable hours, what could be nicer.
I guess I need to show you more of my home county, after all if I can’t persuade to love this place like I do what can I do? Happy shooting!