Shelter From The Storm

Just two months to go now before Rob and I set off on our C2C (Coast to Coast) walk across the Lakes, Dales and Moors of northern England, and I have a few thank-yous! To everyone who has read my Blog I am very grateful – I am astounded that visits to my Website and Blog now number well over a hundred each week, and I have had a great many lovely compliments on the photos and descriptions contained within my weekly missives. Thank you all.

I have also seen that Rob has had a strong start to his fundraising for our C2C walk, including some donations from readers of my Blog. I think I have managed to contact you all individually to say thank-you, and I would like to add thanks from Rob and from Parkinson’s UK. All contributions made are forwarded to the charity within a week, so that the funds can be passed promptly and directly to the medical research teams who are working on novel treatments and towards a cure for the condition. The donations are all very much appreciated – thank you once again!

For those new to my Blog, my focus is very much on the outdoors, and on walking in particular. As Rob and I prepare for our trek I am currently writing about once a week, with the intention of a daily Blog once our C2C walk starts. Or you can follow my posts on Instagram @nickletjog

It is worth noting that I am not an expert on flora and fauna, nor photography, just an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys the journey. I hope that what I share is of interest to some others, and please feel free to share, via the link below, any comments or experiences of your own – or to correct any of my errors!

The Blog headings are all song titles that have some connection, at least to me, with the theme or ‘feel’ of each post, so if your tastes in music overlap in any way with my own then you also might enjoy listening to these pieces of music. Today’s is a Bob Dylan number from his ‘Blood on the Tracks’ album of 1975. On occasions you might also come across some more subtle musical references in my text!

Back to the walking, and this week I have a super ramble to share with you all, from North Norfolk where I was lucky enough to be for a couple of days. I have been visiting the area now for nearly half a century, and I have walked down a great many roads and paths in the county over the years. I can’t think of any walk, mile for mile, that offers the diversity of landscape of this circuit around Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea. Fields, forest, parkland, salt marsh, pinewoods, dunes, expansive beaches, and a finish through the pleasant town of Wells, all combine for a most memorable experience, complemented in this instance by the ever-changing weather. I have included a map in case any of you are up this way and might want to re-trace my steps – it is at once a fairly flat route with a great many uplifting moments!

Eight miles, and just 200 feet of ascent

Here are some highlights of the walk:

The long and winding road leading into the Holkham Hall estate
Moles aplenty on the grazing pastures of the estate, home also to herds of fallow deer and red deer (quite far off in the distance on this occasion)!
Holkham Hall itself – this is actually the rear elevation of William Kent’s early 18th century Palladian house, built for Thomas Coke, the 1st Earl of Leicester
And the monument in memory of Thomas Coke, celebrating ‘a life devoted to the welfare of his friends, neighbours and tenants’ over ‘more than half a century [as] the faithful representative of this county in the House of Commons’. I wonder how many of today’s MP’s will be thus memorialised?
I struggled to identify this somewhat encumbered tree, nor whether the bushy growth is an affliction, parasite or otherwise?
Looking back to Holkham over the re-claimed coastal grazing lands . . .
. . . and forward across the salt marshes, home to a wide variety of water birds – according to the information boards at the Lookout Café just this morning were spotted egrets, snow buntings, oyster catchers, greenshanks, avocets, sanderlings, shelducks and a marsh harrier
Looking windward and westward across the expansive Holkham beach . . .
. . . and inland, from the dunes where I took refuge for a picnic lunch in the wake of Storm Corrie
Wind at my back, the surreality of the rivulets of sand rippling across Wells beach was quite a novel experience (and more than a little uncomfortable when I made the mistake of turning around to look back)!
The colourful ‘village’ of beach huts at High Cape, . . .
. . . Wells harbour (from the mile-long causeway out to the beach), and . . .
. . . lobster pots on the quayside

Well, what a super day! And, as you have seen, I have had all of this wonderful country pretty much to myself! It turns out that, weather-wise at least, we have enjoyed the driest January on record in the UK this year, and February has started similarly. Dressed up suitably for the cold, the outdoors has been fabulous since New Year, and, for those of us lucky enough to be able to venture out regularly, a perfect shelter from all of the storms of life! Take care, and I will see you again next week.

4 thoughts on “Shelter From The Storm

  1. Great walk Nick. Reminded me of the (attempted) picnic in the dunes …. with the sand blowing … at Camber Sands…..I guess in the 70’s?

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  2. As always wonderful photos and great to have. your news, Let me know where to send a small donation please, Not sure of the difference btw new comments & new posts via email???

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  3. Thank you Betty and Jane. To access Rob’s JustGiving page and to see his Story (and/or to make a donation to Parkinson’s UK) the quickest way from here is to click on the ‘Home’ tab at the top of this page. You will then see at the bottom of my opening paragraphs a blue ‘DONATE NOW’ button – click on this and you will go directly to Rob’s page.
    As to the matter of new comments on my Blog, these can be made here, as we are doing, at the bottom of each Blog page. Private emails to me can be sent by clicking on the ‘Contact Me’ tab at the top of this page, and then entering your message in the designated box.

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  4. Fantastic photos Nick. This is a lovely walk. We joined you for this one a couple of summers ago. A very warm day and we also had a picnic in the dunes. A nice memory.
    Good luck with the coast to coast!

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