The calm English coast
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I want to recharge myself and want to get away from it all. While searching for place to go online, I call a friend. She starts telling me full of enthusiasm about Norfolk: a beautiful undiscovered area on the east coast of England. Her enthusiasm is contagious and a week later I leave.
Early in the morning I get on the train in Amsterdam with my trolley and a tea-to-go. My journey to England begins. From the train I watch the morning sun. The dew that hangs above the meadow is slowly disappearing. I enjoy the scenery and my book. When I arrive in London after a relaxed five-hour train journey, I transfer trains to King’s Lynn. That is about a two hour train ride north of London. I advise you to put your book aside here and stare out of the window at the typical British landscape; rolling, green, beautiful little villages and amazing country houses. You also drive past the historic university town of Cambridge, so it doesn't get more English.
From King's Lynn it's a half hour taxi ride to Heacham where I stay at the Heacham Manor Hotel. The hotel is situated in a huge English country house, with lots of greenery around it and a typical large driveway. The peace and quiet on the grounds is wonderful. I only hear some birds singing and the wind blowing through the trees. This is a perfect base for my discovery tour through Norfolk.
Norfolk is located directly at the sea and has a beautiful natural coastline with sandbanks and cliffs. Among the rolling green hills you will find small cute authentic villages. The entire area is full of hidden gems. And what I immediately notice: life is going a bit slower here and the people are super friendly!
There are several ways you can explore the Norfolk coast. I choose to do it by bus (coastliner 36). My first stop is in Wellsnext-the Sea, a small harbor town and coastal town. The harbor is marked by a striking old granary that shines between the small colored harbor houses. All harbor houses are different and that makes it a playful sight to look at. After a walk along the harbor with small fishing boats, settle down at Wells Deli for a nice cup of English tea, with milk of course!
After a visit to Wells-next-the Sea I walk along the coastline to the Holkham nature reserve. Holkham has a vast white sandy beach with sand dunes and pine forests where the salty sea air mixes with that of the pine trees, wonderful! The coast is beautiful and has been used many times as a film set for a good reason. Behind the coastline is a basin that fills itself at high tide to a spectacular shallow lagoon. Holkham beach is part of one of England's largest national nature reserves and hosts many rare species of flora and fauna, including beautiful birds that breed, hibernate or pass through here.
The next day it is time for the authentic Burnham Market, also accessible with the same bus! Burnham Market is a village with photogenic colored houses. You will find a handful of original boutiques, galleries and a delicacy. In addition, you can eat delicious food there and you definitely need to have a look in the candy pink candy store called Mable’s. After a fancy lunch at No Twenty9 I take the bus back to Thornham. Just outside Thornham I have dinner in a very special restaurant. It is called Shucks and is located in a yurt.
The last day I feel like a walk and the friendly receptionist at the hotel advises me to walk from Old Hunstanton towards Hunstanton on the beach. You can only take this walk when it is low tide. I enjoy the spectacular reddish-brown with white rocks and am surrounded by birds. I finish my walk with a scone and afternoon tea and my friend's app who told me about this destination. No word of his positive story was lied! After three days in Norfolk I feel fully charged again.