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

Saturday September 19th 2015 Part 2 - Orford quay and castle

From Woodbridge I took the 25-minute journey east to the village of Orford on the coast. A mile or so from the village the road changed from the usual country lane bordered by hedges and trees to one which was more open and with very wide, well kept, level grass verges on each side - it looked rather like a long private driveway leading to a stately home and I just hoped I hadn't somehow taken a wrong turn and gone somewhere I shouldn't. I hadn't however, and the lane changed back to a normal road as I reached the village itself. 

A signpost pointed me in the direction of the quay and a nearby large car park, and with very few cars in there I had lots of spaces to choose from. Finding one in the shade of a large tree I went to get a ticket from the machine - it wasn't exactly cheap at £1.50 an hour as opposed to the four hours I got in Woodbridge for the same price, so as it was quite late in the afternoon by then, and not knowing exactly how much there was to see, I just paid for an hour. The river side was just round the corner from the car park and when I got there I saw several cars parked on the quay itself; none of them had tickets on them so it seemed like I could have parked there for free if I'd known.

A lot of the cloud from earlier on in Woodbridge seemed to have rolled over to Orford but there was still plenty of blue sky and sunshine and a walk from the quayside along the shingle beach in one direction got me several photos. Part of the way along was the Riverside Tea Rooms, and judging by the amount of people at the outside tables it was a very popular place; I did briefly consider going in for coffee and cake but with only an hour on the car park ticket I didn't want to waste too much time so I didn't give in to temptation.  

Going from the quayside in the other direction was a riverside walk so I decided to explore along there for a distance; there were many yachts and dinghies moored up in the stretch of river between there and the shingle spit of Orford Ness, and a handful of derelict boats lay partially sunken just a few yards from the riverbank. And as silly as it sounds I felt rather sorry for one small fishing boat which lay unloved and abandoned in the shallows.

The riverside walk seemed to be very popular with dog walkers and others out for a stroll in the sunshine; one couple were even picking samphire from the riverbank close to the water. At the far side of a nearby field Orford Castle rose up from its mound on the edge of the village; I didn't know how long the riverside walk was, it could have gone on for miles, but the castle was my next destination so I only went a certain distance before turning round and retracing my steps. 

Unfortunately with it being so late in the afternoon the castle was due to close not long after I got there, but with not much time on the car park ticket I wouldn't have had time to look round inside anyway, so I just had to be happy with a wander round the grounds, though I did get several good photos. It was a shame really that I didn't have time to go in the castle as I would have liked to get some shots looking out from the very top.

As I was making my way back through the village I came to St. Bartholomew's church; it looked nice so I decided to take a look, and go in if it was open to visitors. The door was indeed open but just inside was a large group of musicians - teenagers and older people - sitting in a semicircle and playing various instruments. Presumably it was some sort of concert practise, so not wanting to intrude I made a hasty exit and had to be content with a photo of the church from the outside.

With the time almost up on my car park ticket I made my way back down towards the quay, though I did stop for a couple of minutes near a row of pretty cottages on a small green set back off the road. At 5.45pm, and with the sun getting lower in the sky, they were in quite a bit of shade but they were still worth a photo or two.

Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink then set off on the drive back up to California. The first part of my route took me along a minor lane and past Snape Maltings; I was very tempted to make a brief stop but it was only the year before last that I was there and nothing would have changed in the intervening time so I just continued on to the A12 and headed northwards, though I did make a brief stop at Darsham to see if a friend of mine was at her caravan but she wasn't.

Finally back at the tent I made a meal and a brew and settled in for the rest of the evening until it was time to take the dogs for their pre-bedtime walk. It had been a lovely day, and though the weather in Woodbridge had been rather cloudy to start with it had come nice in the end and I'd got some good photos from there and Orford. And information gained since getting back made me realise that although Orford may be small there's far more to see and do than I first thought, so it looks like a return visit will be very much on the cards next year.


  1. You do find some lovely places! I love the shape of that castle.
    Anabel's Travel Blog

    1. I believe the inside of the castle is quite fascinating and there's more to it than you would think just by looking at the outside of it - definitely somewhere I must return to.

  2. Awesome pics wonderful post.

    1. Thank you.

      The shingle spit of Orford Ness, across the river from the quay, has a lighthouse and many peculiar buildings there which should make some good pics, so that's definitely a 'must see' for next year.

  3. The "peculiar buildings" are probably the remains of an Atomic Weapons Research Centre that was based here. It's OK; I do not think they exploded anything ! Now an English Heritage site and nature reserve. I think you can get a boat across at certain times.

  4. I found out about getting a boat across only after I'd got back home but even if I'd known about it beforehand it was too late in the day to have done it on that occasion. Definitely something to do next time I'm down that way though.


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