Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A summer weekend at the beach

Another almost-forgotten post, this one dating back to the last weekend in June when we decided to dash up to the Norfolk coast to Hunstanton. We had already made a quick visit to the Hunstanton lighthouse last year, but this time we picked a beachside B&B and stayed for two nights. We had no plans and that was nice as the place was a typical beach town with not much to going on. We spent the first day strolling the beach, most of it along the dramatic Hunstanton cliffs. And to our surprise, we stumbled across dozens of people kite surfing--folks using massive parachute-like kites to pull them along mini-surfboards on the water. Turns out that where the cliffs end a strong wind streams across the beach making Hunstaton a hot spot for the sport--it was the home of an extreme kitesurfing competition the weekend after we visited.

The second day we planned a long bike ride along the coast, which got off to a rocky start as my back tire blew out in the first minutes of the ride. Fortunately we found a friendly bike shop and were again on our way about 90 minutes later. The route wasn't right along the coast but still was pretty as we glided through the English countryside and struggled up more hills than we expected. We stopped at pretty churches, watched a bit of two cricket games we happened upon, cycled through the amazing estate of Holkham Hall, and ended up at the gorgeous beach of the seaside town Wells-next-the-Sea. As we rolled into the town, dramatic clouds we saw on the beach started to produce a hard rain so we locked up our bikes at the tourist center, had a pint at two local pubs, and hopped a bus that sped us back to Hunstanton, hoping our bikes would still be around the next day when we drove home--they were. And to cap off the weekend we stopped at the ruins of a medieval castle and picnicked with food we had picked up a Hunstanton deli. --J.T

Norfolk coast weekend photo album

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