<> Camping in Snettisham,
West Norfolk coast
, August 2005 <>

Last modified: Sunday, 14 August, 2016

Note: these entries were originally entered on my Palm Pilot while we were away on our travels. That's my excuse for any remaining typos; my Graffiti is often a little slap-dash!

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Wednesday, 17th August

* Once again we loaded up our Dawes Galaxies and rode to Cambridge station to catch the train to King's Lynn. The 14:32 WAGN service was on-time and not too crowded though, to avoid doubling up bikes in vestibules, we rode in separate coaches. We got to King's Lynn around 3.15pm and followed National Cycle Network (NCN) route #1 out of town to the north.

* The cycle route took us through North Wootton and Castle Rising, across the A149 and through the Sandringham estate. After rounding the main gate of the house, our way led down past the Royal Sandringham Sawmill then (via Mill Road and Chalk Pit Road, where we passed the 400 mile mark for the summer) up into Ingoldisthorpe and out along St. Thomas's Lane to the East of Snettisham. Just before descending into Snettisham, past its magnificently spired church, we could see the waters of the Wash in the distance as we looked west: it looked spectacular with the early evening sunlight gleaming on the smooth waters.

* We rode through Snettisham village and out along Beach Road (re-crossing the A149) to Diglea Caravan and Camping Park. Since leaving home we'd covered just over nineteen miles in almost exactly two hours' riding. The office at Diglea had just closed when we arrived so, the Warden not being on duty at the time either, we were told to pay in the morning. We returned to the northern rally field, where we'd camped three weeks previously, this time choosing a pitch well back from the entrance against the eastern hedge.

* We setup the Bug (as our Moss Outlook tent is affectionately known) and its adjacent front porch which we use for storage and cooking then rested in the tent for a couple of hours before starting to cook. During our downtime, our nearest neighbours returned to the pitch to the north of us: a father and son aboard a motorcycle. Dinner consisted of tortellini stuffed with cheese, served with basil pesto; we ate in the Bug to avoid the mosquitoes which our previous visit to Diglea had taught us were a nuisance after sunset. After dinner we played our dice cricket game for a while before lights out and bed.

Thursday, 18th August

* Thanks to our careful choice of position for the Bug when setting up yesterday, the tent was shaded from the early morning sun and stayed cool well into the morning. I made tea at 9.30am and a little later we had oatmeal for breakfast. We relaxed for a while in the hot sun and our neighbours, the biker father and son, packed up and rode off. Eventually we got around to the washing up and had showers before setting out at around 2pm.

* On our way out we stopped at the office to pay for the two nights we planned on staying at Diglea. I enquired of the camp site (shown on the Ordnance Survey Explorer map) at Holme Next the Sea, where we hoped to spend Friday night, and was re-assured that it did indeed exist. This was a relief after our adventures in Clenchwarton a few weeks previously! The proprietor of Diglea didn't have a contact number for the site in Holme but referred me to the Tourist Information Centre in Hunstanton for help.

* We rode into Snettisham, where Lisa did some marketing in the General store, and then out past the church to pick up the National Cycle Network route which we followed north as far as Sedgeford. At Sedgeford we headed west towards the coast, crossing the A149 at the highly fragrant Norfolk Lavender Centre, and rode through Heacham to reach the North Beach at Jubilee Bridge. The trip out from Diglea was eight, quite lumpy, miles in all.

* Once at the beach we lunched on peanut butter sandwiches and relaxed in the sunshine while the tide came in. This is a nice, sandy beach and (when we arrived) the tide was quite far out so there was quite a lot of sand exposed. There were quite a few folks taking advantage of the conditions. We were fascinated by the constant stream of jet skis (and the occasional speedboat) being launched from the ramp near where we sat: it seemed to be a great deal of palaver for just a few minutes zooming back and forth in a limited area!

* At 5.30pm we left the beach and, after a little food shopping at a small supermarket in Heacham, we retraced our route back to Diglea. The return run seemed easier than coming out and we got back around 7pm having covered 16.5 miles in a hundred minutes of riding. We set to and started cooking dinner straight away.

* Dinner tonight was chili con carne and rice. First we brought some rice to the boil on the Coleman stove then let it stand, off the heat, to finish cooking while we prepared the chili. The chili spices and beans came from a Batchelor's "beanfeast" pack which was added to water and brought to the boil on the Coleman stove, then set simmering on the Trangia. Lisa added fresh minced beef, fried (on the Coleman) with chopped fresh onion, and chopped fresh tomatoes with some herbes de Provence and the pot continued to simmer until the desired consistency was obtained. This is one of my favourite camping dinners and, as ever, it was delicious!

Friday, 19th August

* I awoke, at 8am, to the sound of heavy rain rattling on the Bug's fly sheet. At 10am, when I made us some tea, it was windy and cold but not raining. However, the rain returned with a vengeance at midday and lasted all afternoon. We stayed well out of things in the Bug, though at one point Lisa braved the rain to sit under the lean-to and cook us a brunch of omelet sandwiches.

* In hopes of booking into the camp site at Holme, I called the Hunstanton tourist information centre. They didn't have a number for the camp site but did give me the number of the pub at Holme. The people at the pub were very friendly and helpful and found the number for me to call the camp site. After several attempts, I managed to get through but it transpired that the site was fully booked well into September. As a result, we decided to book in at Diglea for the next two nights and return home on Sunday evening so I plodded through the rain to the site office to sort that out.

* Other than that, we played dice cricket and enjoyed some downtime. Around six, I did the washing up and put dinner (mushroom rice based on a Batchelors pack with additional rice and dried mushrooms and some chicken stock cube mixed in) on the Trangia to simmer. After dinner, we finished our dice cricket match (Lisa won by 7 wickets) and settled down to bed at nightfall. Sometime later we had to endure some very noisy neighbours who came back from the bar on the site after closing time and took a long time (with a great deal of shouting, slamming of car doors and use of full beam headlights as floodlights) to get themselves and their various tents sorted out. We finally got some peace around midnight.

Saturday, 20th August

* Saturday dawned mercifully dry but very, very windy. I wasn't sure how enjoyable riding would be in the wind but after some discussion we agreed to go for it. After our usual morning tea, breakfast consisted of instant mash cooked on the Trangia with eggs fried on the Coleman stove.

* Pretty soon after breakfast we set out for Hunstanton, our destination for the day. Our route took us out through Snettisham and up to Sedgeford as on Thursday then we continued north through Ringstead to join the A149 just outside Old Hunstanton. The road was up and down all the way. Once through Old Hunstanton, we took the coast road past the lighthouse and through Hunstanton along the sea-front.

* Having parked our bikes next to the lifeguard hut at the southern end of the sea-front, we strolled along the length of the promenade. Hunstanton is a perfect example of a typical English holiday resort with a fun-fair and a promenade packed with food stalls and gift shops selling rock, candy-floss and beach essentials such as buckets & spades, windbreaks, mats, sunglasses and sandals. Almost as soon as we arrived, Lisa bought some Hunstanton rock and some cockles.

* People on beach, bundled up against cold wind.

Men digging for lugworms.

Wash monster 'Wiley'.

Fish (Haddock) & Chips.

Sun came out. Transformed scene. Still windy.

Walked as far as cliff (carstone/red chalk/white chalk) and green-covered rocks in sea.

Walked back to bikes on the sand.

Shopping in Tesco (chicken, bread, bananas & milk).

Rode back by same route, arrived about 7.30pm.

Did washing up then took an hour's downtime.

Cooked dinner by head torch.

Paella rice++ and chicken fried with shallot and herbes de Provence, eaten in tent - delicious!

A few overs of dice cricket then time for bed - both pretty tired.


Sunday, 21st August

* When I awoke, at 8am, the weather was much calmer but very overcast. I did the washing up then made tea with bread and Marmite for breakfast. Lisa spent a while trying to fly a mini-kite but there was not enough wind. Later we lunched on oatmeal and Lisa made peanut butter sandwiches for the ride home. In the afternoon the sun came out and the weather got hot. We relaxed in the sun and played dice cricket until gone 5pm, when we did the washing up.We then packed up in a leisurely fashion and finally set out about 7.30pm.

* We rode through Snettisham and picked up National Cycle Network route (NCN Route #1) at St. Thomas's Lane, just past the church on the eastern outskirts. We followed the cycle route through Ingoldisthorpe, up Chalk Pit road, down Mill Road and then up past the Royal Sandringham sawmill. After rounding the main gate of Sandringham House the route took us down to the A149 and we retraced our way back to King's Lynn through Castle Rising and North Wootton. Night fell as we made our way through the Sandringham estate and for the second hour of our journey we were riding laden in darkness for the first time.

* As we got to the level crossing at King's Lynn station, the barrier came down to allow the 9.26pm train to leave. So we had almost an hour's wait before catching the last train back to Cambridge. Luckily, the chip shop in Mill Road was still open at 11.30pm so we were able to round off the day of our return home in our traditional way. We cycled eighteen miles on our journey home in a minute less than two hours' riding.

* Our total cycling distance for the trip was 77.5 miles which took our leisure riding total for the summer to 463.5 miles. We'd intended to cover more ground and stay at more places but the weather and the busy time of year conspired against us and we wound up still 36.5 miles short of our 500 mile target for the summer. We didn't know it at the time but this proved to be our last camping trip of the year: Lisa started work at a new job on September 1st.

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