On day thirty-four, after a walk around King’s Lynn, we got back on the road and headed for The Queen’s home at Sandringham (our third royal location on our trip). We then continued along the Norfolk coastline to Lowestoft, with plenty of windmills and lighthouses along our journey. We packed a lot into today.
Photo of the day
Amazing street art at Sheringham.
Popping in for tea with the Queen at her Sandringham Estate. We were the first to finish the house tour that morning… speedy! Mind you, we halved the average visitor age 😉
Some of The Queens’s favorite things, starting with racing horses. Estimate, who won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
A whole series of stones set in the garden walls, remembering The Queen’s dogs, with lovely little messages.
The stunning ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ adorning one of the Rolls Royce bonnets.
Jarno giving a royal wave in the Lychgate of St Mary Magdalene’s Church, where The Royal Family normally attend the Christmas Day service.
The beautiful ceiling of the 16th century church.
It was the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana.
Many tributes had been left at the Sandringham gates.
Driving through the tranquil Sandringham Country Park.
We made a quick stop at Norfolk Lavender set among 100 acres of lavender fields (yes, we know this isn’t lavender). However, we’d just missed the lavender blooming season (June to August), so made do with a quick walk around their cottage garden.
Hunstanton Beach, the only holiday town beach in Norfolk that faces west, so great for viewing the sunset (if we’d been later in the day).
The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse built in 1840. Its predecessor had the world’s first parabolic reflector in 1776.
Burnham Overy Staithe
Windmills became a common sight as we drove along the Norfolk coastline. The Tower Windmill at Burnham Overy Staithe, a pretty cool National Trust holiday let.
We decided not to visit Holkham Hall, as we’d already spent quite some time in the morning at the Sandringham Estate. So we made do with just viewing Holkham Hall’s North Gate instead.
The very busy (with tourists) and picturesque Wells-next-the-Sea, with its impressive granary malting building and huge canter-levered gantry.
More picturesque villages as we drove along the coast to Blakeney, where we stopped for a coffee at the National Trust run Blakeney National Nature Reserve. The largest seal colony in England, and a very important breeding ground for grey seal pups in the winter months.
Cley next the Sea
We almost gate-crashed a wedding party staying in Cley Windmill.
As we stopped to take photos in Sheringham several locals asked if they could help us. Very friendly, or we just looked lost.
Amazing street art murals on the walls outside the local Mo Museum.
Fishermen posing for street art.
In memory of the local town crier.
The Victorian Cromer Pier, famous for its end of the pier variety show, the last remaining one in the UK.
The radar station at Trimingham (AKA Trimingham Golf Ball). This location was established in the early 1940s to detect low flying German aircraft and E-boats.
More colorful beach huts along Mundesley Beach.
Stow Mill, the local corn windmill, just outside of Mundesley village, now another holiday let.
After driving through yet another lovely Norfolk village, we arrived at the very handsome Happisburgh Lighthouse across the fields. It’s the only independent lighthouse (run by local volunteers) in Great Britain, and the oldest working one in East Anglia.
Eerie lighting as the dark rain clouds passed over us at the National Trust’s Horsey Windpump.
As we drove past Winterton-on-Sea, we noticed this lighthouse protruding above the coastal houses. As we got close we realised it was also now a private home (holiday rental), so just took a quick photo from a neighbour’s drive and continued on our way.
Whilst hunting down a fish & chip shop for our dinner, we came across brightly painted fishermen’s tractors behind the beach at Caister-on-Sea.
Great Yarmouth pirates on the lookout for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
No, we are not in Las Vegas. It’s the other Caesars Palace, the one in Great Yarmouth.
Finally, as the night closed in, we drove south along Great Yarmouth’s promenade reaching Peel Ports. Giant wind turbine blades were sitting ready to be shipped to an off-shore wind farm. Next stop, down the road at Lowestoft for the night.
Despite a bright start to the morning, the weather was pretty miserable for the rest of the day, so maybe we didn’t see the coast from Hull to King’s Lynn in its best light. However, as usual we made the most of the day, rain or shine!
Photo of the day
A dragon in its natural habitat on the beach at Cleethorpes.
After leaving Hull, we found New Holland on the map just south of the River Humber. Perfect for a quick Dutch photo opportunity at the local (very quiet) station in the middle of the docks.
After a short ten minutes drive through the North Lincolnshire countryside we arrived at the remains of the Augustinian Thornton Abbey. The fortified gatehouse, considered to be one of the finest in England.
Heading down a bumpy lane alongside the River Humber, trying to find the Killingholme Lighthouses, something told us we probably weren’t meant to be down here…
Killingholme North Low Lighthouse, looking a little unloved.
Its sister, the Killingholme South Low Lighthouse, wedged between a waterworks, coal docks and the Humber.
And finally its big brother, Killingholme High Lighthouse in the middle of the waterworks. As we really weren’t sure if we should be here, we took some quick photos, then got back on the road to Grimsby.
The view back to Grimsby from the north end of the promenade at Cleethorpes. Not the most inviting view. Grimsby once had the largest fishing fleet in the world, but lost that crown in the Iceland cod wars. However, it still has the UK’s largest fish market.
The view from our car as we sat eating our lunchtime sandwiches.
Cleethorpes Pier, now the largest fish & chip shop in the country!
We only stopped briefly at the dunes and mudflats, as the sign put us off a little….
A very quiet day for the lifeguard at Mablethorpe, as we arrived he was already packing up for the day.
Things that go bump in the night at Mablethorpe…
Checking out the local delicacy…
Chapel St Leonards
Stripey beach huts at Chapel Point Beach, quite a contrast to the Second World War defences that they had replaced.
We entered Skegness from the north via Fantasy Island…. which was a kind of a surreal place. Roller-coasters towering above static caravans as far as the eye could see. We’re big roller-coaster fans, but not today…
Driving through Skegness we reached Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve to the south, and its sleek new information centre overlooking the dunes and marshes. The area couldn’t have felt more different than the more commercial parts of Skegness. Variety… that’s the great British seaside for you! 😉
Boats moored along the very muddy (and slippery) Steeping River.
Wainfleet All Saints
Stopping briefly at the early Victorian Barkham Street in Wainfleet All Saints. A street you would expect to see in London, and probably not in a small Lincolnshire town.
As we drove to King’s Lynn for the evening we decide to make our final stop of the day at Boston. As we approached through the flat fens we were drawn towards the huge 83m high St Botolph’s Church tower (AKA Boston Stump) sticking out on the horizon. Considered to be the largest parish church in England (actually we assumed it was a cathedral).
A lovely cozy market town feel to the cobbled lanes around the church.