A tour of Suffolk and Norfolk


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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Norfolk » Norwich
September 16th 2013
Published: September 23rd 2013
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As dawn broke in Lowestoft it looks like summer has really deserted us as the sky is rather leaden and grey and there is a definite chill in the air as we checked the outside temperature by opening the hotel room window. So long trousers and jersey will be clothing of the day and I think it might be time to consign the sandals and shorts to the suitcase of things we will no longer need on the BBA V2.

We are all self contained for breakfast and although we no longer have the microwave we do still have the toaster so toast and jam or peanut butter can still be on the menu for breakfast along with our muesli and yogurt.

One thing they tend to skimp on at Travelodge hotels are 3 pin electrical plugs and what they do install are never near a window which would be desirable for us in case the toast gets burnt. We don’t want to set the fire alarm sensor off!!

Today we have planned to do a circuit of Suffolk and Norfolk including a stop in Norwich which is the major city in Norfolk and has a significant cathedral worth taking a look at.

We headed north west towards Norwich along a maze of country lanes, switching one way and then another passing through a number of small villages where there didn’t seem to be any activity suggesting they were home for people who worked elsewhere in the area.

One of the towns was Somerleyton, the home of Christopher Cockerell who invented the hovercraft in 1956 while he ran a boating business in the town. The invention is remembered by a rather unspectacular monument in the attractive town square.

We went onto Norwich and found a car park which gave us a short walk down to the city centre and the grounds of the Norfolk Cathedral. The very large cathedral was completed in 1145 and is of Norman and Gothic style with some very vivid stained glass windows.

Gretchen checked in with Toni & Guy as she was desperately in need of a haircut but they didn’t have any appointments until mid afternoon so she gave that idea away and will see what she can get at Lincoln which is our next stop from tomorrow night.

We had read that there was a pleasant river walk that one could take at the bottom of the town and after walking through the pedestrian mall we returned to the car and drove down to the river.

Unfortunately finding a car park where we could have lunch and then take the walk wasn’t that easy and although we stopped and had lunch where only locals were supposed to park we thought better about staying any longer in case there were parking wardens about.

Heading north to Cromer which is on the coast we found the hamlet of Roughton (Gretchen’s maiden name) a few kilometres before we reached the coast.

We parked in the hamlet and took the short walk that took in what looked like the oldest buildings in the hamlet being a farm house and outbuildings.

It is always interesting to find a town that has the same name as you have such as Benvie in Scotland or once had, like Roughton in England and you get this odd feeling when you see the name on a sign announcing its presence as you arrive on the outskirts.

The sky darkened over as we arrived into Cromer and after a short look at the coastline we decided the breeze was too chilly to be out walking here.

We followed the A149, a scenic road south towards Great Yarmouth, although to be fair most of the roads should be classed as scenic in this area because of the very picturesque countryside they travel through. If it isn’t the attractive villages then it’s the forests mixed in with the patchwork quilt farmland.

The road joined the coast just north of Great Yarmouth and we took another stop to walk across the wide grassy area to the beach. We did resist trying the temperature of the sea because although the breeze wasn’t as fresh as it was further up the coast earlier, it still had that chill to it and that was enough to convince us that the sea wouldn’t be too much different.

There was a good number of people in and around Great Yarmouth and we noticed that there was to be a horse race meeting tomorrow at the local track and perhaps that had brought a crowd in for the start of the week. After taking a look at the amusement centres just back from the seashore that people in the UK seem to enjoy when they go to the beach for a holiday we continued on our way back home to Lowestoft. The collection of various amusement centres were not as garish as we seem to remember Blackpool was like but then Great Yarmouth is a smaller place in comparison. There were all the usual amusement park rides as well as though these appeared to have closed for the season at least as far as a weekday was concerned.

Back in Lowestoft we located the Parish Anglican church to see if we could trace Gretchen’s great uncle who was a ‘vicar ‘in Lowestoft. She wasn’t sure what faith he followed but we assumed because the word vicar had been used in describing his role he was Anglican.

We were fortunate to find someone just coming out after having locked the church door and he reopened the church saying that there was a board at the front of the church noting all vicars of the church going back hundreds of years.

For a moment Gretchen thought she had traced great uncle Harry down but the man who let us in had misheard her Kiwi accent and the vicar that he had pointed to on the board was Henderson whereas Gretchen was looking for an Anderson!

With several other churches in the area to search it was too late in the day to see if they were open and we really didn’t have enough information on his religious background so he will have to go ‘undiscovered’ for now.

We took a short drive to a local pub The Blue Boar for dinner and enjoyed a hearty meal in cosy surroundings although the place was fairly quiet being a Monday evening.

Tomorrow we head north to Lincoln taking a route across the watery Broads.


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