Railway to the sea

The path ambles alongside the waters of Chichester Harbour, passing close to the grand houses with their lawns and terraces. There’s a place, past Itchenor and through the trees twisted by an age of sea wind, where metal rails disappear into the tidal mud. An approach by water would reveal a different perspective, of the boat house they serve on the harbour’s edge, with its own little branch line for launching into the shallow water. 

From our Instagram, @North.Sea.Living.

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Harbour Walk

One of the quintessential Blakeney activities is the harbour walk. When the tide goes out a veritable canine (and human) playground opens up. We went on a slight variation of our regular route this weekend. We enter the cut on the slipway in the car park and head out to the harbour, turning left and down towards Morston. This time we kept to the left and crossed banks of sand, mud and ,”Blakeney Blurghey” as our nephew Tom calls it. 

At Morston we waded the channel and continued down to check out the boats in the Pit. Normally when we walk down this far we are aiming for Blakeney Point and the seals. Today we followed the marsh and got down the the old mussel lays. 


We explored the Morston Meals, and entered the Freshes Creek by a subsidiary and headed over to the house boats. This section is lovely and secluded. The boats are tucked away with a patina from years of exposure to the North Wind. 


We took the Coast Path back East and were treated with a field of purple flowers backed by a field of flax. The air was filled with its honey-sweet scent. 

From here we got a new angle on Morston. 


We strolled down into Blakeney just before dinner and we were ready for a feast! 

Mud & rainbows in Blakeney

Mud & rainbows in Blakeney Harbour on the North Norfolk coast

 

The Northerly was whipping down the little channel of Blakeney Cut this morning, chopping the water into brown and grey waves.  “Fine weather,” observed the solitary walker I encountered, as she turned quickly for home, the Labrador at her heels following with obvious enthusiasm for returning to a warm kitchen.  There was a flurry of snow last night, but as I continued out onto the marsh, glad of my fur hat, a sudden rainbow arched across the horizon.  It seemed to rise from the Watch House on Blakeney Point and disappear into the steel grey of the sky, before dropping some time later away on the freshes towards Morston and Stiffkey.

24 Seasons of Blakeney: February 20th to March 5th

Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

This time of year can have quite unpredictable weather. Year to year, and even day to day. The Japanese calendar labels this time with respect to rain water. While rain certainly features, I would describe the last two weeks as, changeable. One day I can find the warm earth under my hands in the garden, followed by snow and hail the next.

The geese continue to migrate, and birdsong can be heard in the afternoons. The current season from March 1-5 is named ‘Grass sprouts, trees bud’ on the 72 Season calendar and I couldn’t agree more. What a wonderful site, the new growth on trees. In the hedges the blackthorn is in blossom and on the verge the alexanders are starting to bud. 

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

In the garden when I look around it does not surprise me the yellow and purple are the colors of Easter. The Grape hyacinths and Anenome blanda are out in the courtyard. And on the road sides is another plant common this time of year that I just call ‘purples’. Their lack of official name does not diminish the joy they give when you see them. Meanwhile, in the cutting garden the first Daffodils have bloomed and are now adorning my dining room table. 
February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

Work in the allotment has begun in earnest. Tomatoes, Marigolds, and Leeks are going through the propagator. The earth is warming and we have started digging over the scanty winter weeds before they take hold. It is just too tempting to plant seeds on warm days. After digging over last years cosmo bed I scattered Nigella “White lady” seeds, only to have it snow the following day! All this work justifies a trip to the Cley Deli for their delicious pies for a hearty lunch, and a slice of their cake to follow. In the evenings, beef seasoned for a week and slow cooked for 8 hours, is a weekend treat. 

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

When we aren’t scratching around in dirt, the weekends find us on long walks with a warm breeze, but still dressed for winter. 

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

The kayak comes back into regular use and gives us an upclose look the the birdlife on the marsh. As the boating season approaches, mooring maintenance becomes a priority in preparation. 

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

February 20- March 5th: Beginning of Spring

I am filled with anticipation of warm weather and new life.
Events: Daffodil and Snowdrop Walks at Bagthorpe Hall 22/2 and Horsted House 21/2
Holidays: St. David’s Day, March 1st. 

A day well spent

The Saturday Map, a day well spent

Maps should tell a story. This one is the tale of our Saturday. If you know these places, you’ll perhaps also understand why it wouldn’t be at all bad to spend every Saturday like this.

Longest day of the year: sunset hike

Well, June 21st is an exciting day for us, but for different reasons. For me and my sun-worshipping, it is the day with the most daylight hours. For Marek, who loves all things wintery and bleak, it marks a turning point to when the days become shorter. Whatever the reason, we both found it a day to celebrate. And what better way than to experience the sunset on a hike.

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We took the last Coast Hopper bus from Blakeney to Sheringham, and there had the best fish and chips on the coast at Straights, followed by a visit to Ronaldo’s of Norwich ice cream shop (monster cookie and chocolate hazelnut, if you were wondering).

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At 7pm we set out along the golf course and walked the coast path back home. Here are some highlights.

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For more of the story in photos click here for the Flickr gallery.

Video: a squall on the Norfolk Coast

 

Walking along the coast path from Blakeney to Sheringham, I could see a squall chasing us from West to East along the Point. It swept the sea and sky into a single white cloud, racing along the beach. We (the dog and I), took shelter in one of the cave’s in the Weybourne cliffs and watched it roar past. It took about 10 minutes to go from sheets of rain and wind to bright blue sky (the video is sped up x20).