From Horning I drove through Hoveton and Coltishall up to Aylsham and the nearby National Trust stately home, Blickling Hall. Built in 1616 on the ruins of an older property belonging to the family of Anne Boleyn, legend has it that every year on the anniversary of Anne's execution her headless ghost arrives at Blickling in a carriage driven by an equally headless coachman, and she carries her head with her on her hauntings. I'd seen pictures of Blickling on leaflets I'd picked up from various places some time ago and thought it looked nice, but I wasn't prepared for exactly how nice - situated at the end of a long wide pathway bordered by lawns and well-trimmed yew hedges the red brick mansion with its central clock tower and tall chimneys was absolutely stunning, and most definitely worth a few photos.
Although I really wanted to see the gardens I couldn't visit this place without looking round the house so I decided to do that first. There was so much history connected to Blickling that it would have taken me ages to read through everything so I just followed the designated route round and through the house and if I liked the look of a room I took a photo of it. I particularly liked the arrangement of a decorative mirror and two wall plaque/candle holders on the wall above the fireplace in one of the bathrooms, I thought they were really pretty and deserved a photo of their own.
Back outside I went back to the car park to make a quick check on the dogs - they were all asleep - then with the camera working overtime I wandered round the gardens. With terraces, borders, formal and informal flower beds, shaped hedges and immaculately-cut lawns they were a visual delight, and I'd never before seen so many gardeners busy working in various areas. I got chatting to one of them who was mowing a section of lawn and he pointed out a dragonfly resting on the side wall of the fountain; I've never really seen a dragonfly close up before so that was definitely an opportunity for a photo, and luckily it stayed still long enough for me to snap one.
With time getting on and the need to get back to the dogs I couldn't explore the gardens as much as I would have liked - there was a lake, a walled garden and acres of parkland to see yet - but as I drove out of the car park I mentally put Blickling Hall down on the list of places to return to.
My route back to California took me through Potter Heigham, and although it was late in the afternoon I once again found myself heading into Latham's for my fourth coffee and Belgian bun; a guilty pleasure maybe, but I'd enjoyed Blickling Hall so much that a coffee and bun just rounded off the afternoon nicely.
- 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