The old anchor at sunset in Blakeney Harbour

The winter sunsets continue to light up with fire and warmth each evening. It has been an especially good year for them, I think.

From our Instagram, @North.Sea.Living.


24Seasons of Blakeney: May 7-21st

Start of Summer

This is the time of year when ‘firsts’ and favourites come thick and fast and it is easy to forget to be mindful and take it all for granted. The Japanese natural calendar marks this past season as ‘the beginning of summer’. Britain’s calendar keeps this until the Solstice at the end of June but I am going with now! Maybe I am just impatient. Maybe it is the harbour walks barefoot and the year’s first swim that convince me that it’s close enough. 

In the courtyard the large frogs have been joined by a multitude of tiny frogs. I celebrate them for eating the slugs! The last of the tulips are fading and give way to the plethora of summer. I can see the first heads of allium waiting to take their place. 

Out in the larger gardens the lilacs are in flower followed closely by the never to be out done laburnums. The elderflower a are only just starting but we await them eagerly to start preserving. Even the horse chestnuts are in flower. Their stately blooms remind me of the queen’s hat perched on the grand dame’s head.  

In the wild the Night Jars curr on the heath and look out for the Montagu’s Harrier, they are a rare special sight these days. 

On the allotment things are coming on by leaps and bounds the last two weeks, especially the weeds! In the cutting garden things have diversified from tulips only to ranunculus, white verbascum, iris, cerinthe, and red scabious. 

We also spent a long Saturday digging over and building a windbreak for the tomatoes. We think it looks whimsical using scavenged marsh drift wood to keep costs down. Very pleased to keep things super-local. And super-economical! 

Sharrington strawberries are out! And asparagus! The first true seasonal specialties! What a treat. Can’t wait for our own strawberries to ripen. Well, here’s to the start of the summer season!


The Watch House stay

Having lived in Blakeney for two years and three summers we have only just made our first trip to the Watch House! (Half Way House to you Cley residents) What an oversight!! We should have done this every year, and will from here on in. Our adventure started with a vision. A raft. A swimming platform. This dream has taken us all summer. By which, I mean, we have sporadically made a token effort to build said raft. But the trip was upon us and we had no means of transporting our provisions. So a last ditch effort was made and the raft took form. Largely untested I was nervous it would even float and when high tide and sunset on an overcast day coincide, there is little margin for error. Luckily she floated! A gusty north wind and the tide against us we made quite a spectacle on the quay.
A good while later we arrived and could not have felt more grateful or cozy anywhere else in the world after that ordeal.


The morning was clear and bright and many adventures were had, including mud racing, skim boarding, swimming in the waves, cub, and most importantly the BBQ!






As sunset approached our raft became a swimming platform swiftly followed by a kayak with a seal for the boys and wine on the dock for the girls. Dinner mainly consisted of cheese and wine and cards.




Breakfast BBQ anyone? Bubble and squeak with samphire, sausages, bacon, fried and poached eggs and grilled tomatoes! I always make a point of travelling with a chef!


All too soon it was time to go. We packed up the raft and dragged it out into the main channel. The return trip could not have been more different to the way out! We casually drifted into Blakeney and arrived in style on the quay.





What a trip. What a place. A mile from my house we found a little paradise. Holiday is definitely a state of mind. I can only advise annexing a small spit of land like a pirate to everyone to make you forget your problems.



Leads to big tides today…








First kayak of the new year

It may have been cooler today than it has been over this last little while, but it was still. Perfect for the first kayak of the year to celebrate the arrival of March.






Flotsam or jetsam?


The sea brings things: weather, tide and, of course, flotsam and jetsam (we remain undecided as to which is which). Living by the water, there is almost always something new washed up on each tide. If it is obviously litter, those who walk here regularly, ourselves included, will usually clear it away.

However, sometimes more intriguing things wash up. Sufficiently large or unusual that no one is willing to interfere with them just in case they’ve been placed there for a reason.  The massive, bus-sized inflatable fender from a container ship at Thornham earlier this year (Google it!) springs to mind.

The last week or so has seen this large plastic barrel sitting, upright, as if it belongs there, right on the path. I first noticed it in the bushes by the water’s edge but it must have been dislodged by one of the big tides last week.

I’ll admit, I’m curious. Where did it come from, what’s inside, who does it belong too? Will someone claim it or will the next set of big tides wash it back out into the North Sea to continue its journey?

For now, I ponder it each time I walk past and we’ve been training the dog to leap over it and – with limited success – balance on the top.

It is something to daydream about as one watches the big boats on the horizon, following our coast, but removed from it, part of their own wider world of sea lanes and deep ports.


Fireworks over Blakeney Harbour

The colours come out to play after the sun goes down in Blakeney Harbour
The colours come out to play after the sun goes down in Blakeney Harbour

You never know when you’ll be treated to one of nature’s firework displays, but last night, a calm and cool night in the harbour, we enjoyed one of the best we’ve ever seen. We took the kayak out just before high tide and paddled out down the Cut, into the main harbour. The sunset behind the hills of the sea bank was spectacular in itself, flooding the water with golden light, but the sky glow which followed was beautiful.

We sat and watched, another kayaker paddling up to join us, and took a couple of photographs. There’s no processing in the photo above, that is really how it looked, although I still find it hard to believe such colours can appear in the sky.


The Highs and Lows of Blakeney: Part 2

A low tide adventure.


So, same route, different tide today. Low tide in Blakeney reveals what lies beneath. A quiet stroll down the Center of the harbour after work makes a great evening dog walk in the warm weather. However, if you are looking for a great run/resistance workout then I recommend a run out and around the sailing buoys.


This is a great 5k run that will take you along mud, sand and through pools of shallow water for that extra resistance. And you can never forget the wind factor along the coast! It’s a whole body work out, and if you get hot you can always jump in the pools left behind which are at times bath water warm. Just make sure you are sure the tide is out or just before low tide, because they can rush around here.