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

Monday August 15th 2011 - Part 2 - Brancaster and Burnham Overy

Leaving Holkham village behind I drove the few miles west to Brancaster Staithe - Brancaster village itself was only a small place and the staithe was down a short lane which led off the main road. Turning into the lane I could see ahead of me a pleasant looking grassy area with a row of cottages alongside, and beyond that a glimpse of several boats on trailers. The lane ended in a large gravel-surfaced parking area which was used for both vehicles and boats, with the end of the staithe on the left - there didn't seem to be any proper parking spaces nor any ticket machines so I just drove along until I found a convenient place to stop, clipped the leads on the dogs and set out for a wander. I hadn't gone far before the parking area ended in a slipway and I could go no further - the tide was out and in front of me was a stretch of deep and slippery sandbanks and a wide water-filled channel leading into the main staithe, so I had to be content with taking a few photos just in that vicinity.

The many colourful boats made for quite an attractive scene but I couldn't help feeling that I was missing something - never having been there before and knowing nothing about the place I hadn't known what to expect, but for some reason I felt as though there should be more to it than there was. Nevertheless, it was a nice little place and I got several good photos so it had been worth going even for a short time.

My next stop was at Burnham Overy Staithe a few miles back towards Holkham, and yet again the staithe itself was down a lane leading from the main road, but this time the lane ran parallel to the staithe and rejoined the main road at the far end. Finding a parking space on the grass verge at the side of the lane I set off once more to explore, and straight away I could see there was a bit more to this place than Brancaster. A gravelled parking area overlooking the water had a sign on a post in the middle of it with arrows pointing left and right - car parking was to the left and boats to the right, and there was quite a long row of tarpaulin-covered sailing dinghies pulled up onto the grass verge. A bit further on a long single storey building on the right looked like it could have been the village hall, and at the far end of it was a small shop/chandlery. The outer timber doors were plastered with various notices and posters and on the left hand side was a sign which really amused me. I don't know who thought this one up but it crossed my mind that it could possibly be a lot more reliable than any official weather forecast!

A bit further on the lane turned to the right and headed back towards the main road and on the left was a large parking area near the water's edge. The creek curved round to the left in the direction of the sea, with a steep grass bank on the landward side. I could see people walking along the top and as there was a nearby path which headed in that direction I thought I would take the opportunity to explore a bit further. As I got nearer to the curve of the creek I could see that this area seemed to be a very popular spot - the low tide had uncovered several stretches of beach on both sides of the creek and the place was a hive of activity. Families were relaxing on the sand, kids were paddling and swimming, many had inflatable dinghies, and there were several dogs playing in and out of the water.

I walked for quite a distance along the top of the bank before turning round and retracing my steps. Away from the creek was a vast expanse of fields and marshland and had I walked far enough I would have reached the sand dunes and the sea, but that would be something I could do another time. The dogs had had a good run about and explore and I had taken plenty of photos so it was time to head back to the van. I had been pleasantly surprised and impressed with this little place and as I drove away from the staithe and turned out onto the main road I had already decided that I would make a return visit in the near future, but as with my last few visits to Anglesey I would go when the tide was in so I could get some different photos.

Driving back along the A149 I passed the roadside pond at Salthouse where I had stopped briefly back in June - just beyond it on my left was a single track road with a sign at the corner pointing down it to 'the beach' and in the distance I could see several parked cars so on the spur of the moment I decided to take a look. The road led through a large expanse of rough grazing land and marshland with a water-filled ditch at either side, and ended in a shingle-surfaced area which passed for a car park. Ahead of me was a steep shingle bank of almost Himalayan proportions - I didn't know what was up there but I hoped it was worth the climb. I didn't anticipate being very long so I left the dogs in the van while I went to explore - trudging up the shingle mountain was quite an effort and by the time I got to the top I almost felt like I should have stuck a flagpole up there to say that I'd conquered it.

As it turned out I didn't need to move off the top of the bank once I got up there as there was nothing really to see. A sloping shingle beach stretched for several miles in each direction and looking to the east I could see the cliffs on the outskirts of Sheringham. A handful of families and couples were enjoying the sun and an amateur artist had his easel set up down by the water's edge - if ever there was a place to enjoy the sun and sea without crowds then this was it, but personally I would prefer sand to shingle. I took just three photos then descended the south face of Anapurna with my feet sinking into the shingle and made my way back to the van. 

The drive back to California was very pleasant in the early evening sunshine and one I got through Sheringham I made good time. Back at the camp site I connected the awning to the van, fed the dogs then made myself a brew and something to eat. My evening was spent watching a bit of tv and downloading and sorting the day's photos on my laptop, then just before 11pm I took Sophie and Sugar round the site for their final walk of the day. As I settled down into my bed a while later I thought back over my day; I had been to three really nice places and got some great photos, and although it had been a long drive it had been worth it - and I would most certainly make a return visit in the not-too-distant future.

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