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 September 19th 2016 - Part 1 - Sutton Mill & Sea Palling

A bright start to the early morning brought the promise of a nice day and by 9am there was sunshine and a blue sky streaked with bits of white cloud; I just hoped it would stay nice so I could get to the places I wanted to go to. It was 11am before I went out and as I drove through the site I spotted something which made me stop and go back a little way. 

There was something up in the tree close to the entrance; it could have been a black bin bag, blown there in the weekend's wind, but when I looked I saw a large cat perched between the branches. I spent several minutes talking to it to try and entice it down but although it shifted its position it didn't seem to want to leave its perch, so not being sure if it was actually stuck or just sitting up there for the fun of it I left it where it was and got back in the van.

My first port of call was a brief stop at Ormesby Broad, down a lane off the main road through Ormesby village. I'd only been there once before and there was nothing there only a closed-up pub, the Eel's Foot Inn, and a boring stretch of water, but having recently seen a sign pointing down the lane to The Boathouse I decided to take another look. The old Eel's Foot Inn had undergone a drastic make-over and was now a smart modern-looking B&B, restaurant and wedding venue with a large decked terrace and summerhouse overlooking the water and tables set out on the grass. It looked a whole lot nicer than when I'd previously been down there but with no boats anywhere the water still looked boring.

The next place on my list was Sutton, a fifteen minute drive up the A149. Last year I'd been searching for an old windmill but hadn't managed to find it, so now after a good long study of the map book I was making another attempt - and this time I was successful. Driving through the village and out again I rounded a bend and saw it not too far away across a field, and a nearby lane, significantly called Mill Lane, took me straight to it, although it was set in the grounds of a private house and partially surrounded by tall trees. 

Just off the lane was a section of the Weaver's Way public footpath and an open gate with a notice on it 'No access to the mill', which I interpreted as 'come down here and you'll find the mill' - so I did, and only fifty yards away there it was, all nine derelict storeys of it. It was set back off the path and the land had been closed off by large sections of steel fencing though a couple of these had been pushed over so it was perfectly possible to walk right up to the old building, but I didn't. The land was overgrown with brambles and there was discarded rubble and timber all over the place, also I never 'trespass' anywhere unless I'm reasonably sure I can't be seen doing it and there was a house overlooking the path. I had an excellent view of the mill from the path anyway so I got the shots I wanted and returned to the van happy that I'd finally found what I'd been looking for. 

From Sutton I drove the short distance to Hickling and paid my usual annual visit to FAITH animal sanctuary then headed over to Sea Palling on the coast, but as I drove round the lanes a 'clunking' noise started towards the back of the van and every time I went round a bend it seemed like there was something rubbing on the wheel arch. Thinking I may have run over a tree branch which had got stuck I got out and had a quick look under the back but I couldn't see anything; whatever it was I wasn't going to let it worry me though so I carried on to Sea Palling, found a space in the car park and took the dogs for a walk along the beach.

Sea Palling beach is vast, and with most beach lovers settled around the Gap area I saw very few people anywhere else and I walked for quite a distance before retracing my steps back to the van and heading for my next stop. As I drove along the clunking and grating noise coming from under the van got worse and I did start to get a teeny little bit worried, but if there was any chance of it breaking down then it could do it at the end of my day out, not before.


  1. I hope there was nothing majorly wrong with your van and I hope the cat managed to get down from the tree, he looks a tad uncomfortable. You made me smile about interpreting the signs your way and your view on trespassing. Good for you, I like your determination :) I suppose the windmill must be owned by the people whose house is on the same land, but I wonder why they don't care for the land around the mill, just a thought.

  2. I recently read a book called 'Drop the pink elephant' which describes how some things people say and write actually mean the complete opposite, and I recognised the sign as being a 'pink elephant' meaning the opposite of what it said, and I was right. The gate couldn't be closed and locked to keep people out anyway as it that's a public footpath.

    The windmill was featured on the Salvage Hunters programme a couple of years ago, coincidentally only a week after I'd got back from holiday down there, and that's what prompted me to try and find it last year. This article written in 2012 will tell you a bit about the mill and what it used to be -
    The last sentence in paragraph three will tell you why I couldn't find it last year.

    The mill cap was removed in 2014 after being extensively damaged in the previous winter's storms and a 'temporary' flat top was put on but so far there's been no further repairs or restoration. As for the unkempt land, I don't know if the mill's owners are the people who live in the adjacent house but maybe they aren't, which would explain why the land is such a mess.

  3. What another thrilling day on your travels. That black cat was awesome and as always the saying "Every picture tells a story " is oh so very true with you.

  4. The cat was quite a big one - presumably it lived locally although I've never seen it before. I wondered if maybe it had been chased by a dog and gone up the tree to escape.


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