About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Thursday June 3rd 2010 - Reedham, Hickling, Horsey & Hemsby

Another beautiful day dawned, and after an early morning dog walk along the beach followed by a leisurely breakfast I set off on my travels once again. This time I was aiming for Reedham, and on the way there calling at Acle sale, which I hadn't been to for several years. Now at one time Acle sale was brilliant and well worth going to - the sale ground was huge, spanning both sides of the road, and on one side was the livestock section where you could buy rabbits, chickens and various other small creatures. On the other side was a large market selling all manner of things, and the auction hall itself with an old-fashioned jumble of all sorts of intriguing things. Everything has changed now though - a small estate of modern houses stands on what used to be the livestock section and a supermarket takes up at least half the rest. The auction room is still there, though a lot tidier and emptier than it used to be, and the market is nothing more than half a dozen stalls selling cheap tat. Remembering how good it all used to be I was really disappointed - but then I suppose nothing stays the same for ever. There was one consolation though - I was able to park for free on the health centre car park!

From Acle I drove on to Reedham, a little village on the River Yare, where I parked up on the riverside and wandered along taking photos. There is nothing much along the riverside, just a couple of rows of cottages and houses, and a pub set in a nice riverside garden - even the gift shop has closed down and is now empty - but it's very pleasant to walk along or sit on one of the bench seats and watch the activity on the river. When I had walked from one end of the road to the other and back again I drove round to the ferry, about a mile down river, and watched for a while as it crawled across the water on its chains, carrying just two vehicles each time.

From there I drove from Acle to Potter Heigham, stopping for a while at Acle bridge to take a few photos - the river scene there is so attractive that I had wanted to stop for photos many times over the years but never had the opportunity before. On one side of the bridge was a pub/restaurant with tables set out in the garden and several boats moored alongside, and on the other side was a small gift shop and cafe with a couple of umbrella-shaded tables set alongside an attractive raised flowerbed. Boats were moored up on the opposite bank and other hire craft passed on their way up or down river.

When I finally reached Potter Heigham I made a quick stop at Lathams for a coffee and one of their delicious Belgian buns, then found my way to Hickling Broad, which I had never been to before. The lane led through Hickling village and past the staithe, where there was a tree-shaded grass verge where I could park. The staithe had several off-shoots, a couple of them coming right up to the road and only being separated from it by a wooden railing or a few trees. There were boats moored everywhere - large cruisers, small cruisers and yachts, some on dry land and covered over but most in the water. Down one of the off-shoots was a very attractive pub/restaurant with a small garden and moorings on either side, and at the end of another was a small beach which was populated by dozens of geese and ducks, with a few swans and coots roaming around too. I don't know how long I was wandering around but I was really impressed with the whole area and my camera was certainly working overtime.

When I had seen just about everything there was to see I returned to the van and headed through the country lanes to Horsey Mill, situated at the end of a staithe on the upper reaches of the River Thurne. I had been there a couple of years ago but the day had been rather overcast and not particularly good for taking photographs, so the current lovely weather would ensure I got some decent shots this time. I pulled into the car park and managed to get a spot under the shade of a tree, then clipping the leads on the dogs yet again I went walkabout along the staithe.

Next to the car park was a nicely set out sensory garden with raised flower beds and a pool with several goldfish swimming lazily around and along the staithe, between the bank and the road, was a small cafe and ice cream kiosk, where you could also buy tickets to go into the mill. I would have liked to go and have a look round but unfortunately dogs aren't allowed and it was too warm to leave them in the van, so I had to be content with just wandering along the bank.

It was when I reached the end of the staithe that I saw this sign which rather amused me - I wondered how much the charge would be for naughty dogs!

With my wanderings round Horsey Mill over, I returned to the van and made my way back to the camp site where I had a quick brew before setting off on a long dog walk to Hemsby and back, a distance of just over a mile each way. My route took me through avenues of private houses, along the cliff top and through the dunes leading to Hemsby Gap, then back along the beach - I've walked that route many times before and it's one of my favourites, either with or without dogs. Sophie and Sugar had great fun running through the sand and exploring round the dunes and the rocks at the bottom of the cliff - I threw a few stones into the sea for them to chase, Sugar ran into the water every time and brought one back, but Sophie wasn't too enthusiastic and wouldn't venture too far in. She did get swamped by a wave at one point though and the look on her face was quite comical, but she wasn't too impressed!

The tide was on its way out and at one point along the beach it had left behind a lagoon, so in an effort to get Sophie to swim I clipped on her lead and waded in - the water was only just over knee deep on me but it was deep enough for her to swim. With my encouragement she did swim for a little while but I think she was glad to get out again afterwards.

I continued my walk down the beach till I reached the steps which took me back up to the camp site, then back at the awning I made something to eat and settled in to watch a couple of dvds. It had been a good day and I was ready to relax - and apart from going out for a short last minute walk just before bed time the dogs never moved off their beds of all evening.