Rather than backpack I drove my motorhome (RV to my American readers) to Norfolk for a few days of sea and sunshine. I took a leisurely drive to Cromer and found a place to pitch up. One of the joys of having a motorhome is that you drive differently; as soon as yourself sat in the driver’s seat you’re on holiday! No point in rushing so you tootle along without driving flat out but keeping at a reasonable speed. Unlike the mad commuting dashes!
Once I’d parked up and got Millie the Cat settled, I went to explore Cromer. It’s an old-fashioned seaside town with a pier, shops selling crab-catching kits, buckets and spades and other beach stuff, some interesting local shops rather than national chain stores, four or five pubs and quite a few chip shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s also surprisingly quiet at night. I like these sort of towns as there’s something about them that remind me of holidays with my parents and they are quintessentially British.
Norfolk is good hiking country too. Contrary to legend, it has some hills and fairly steep ones at that. There are several long hikes such as the Peddars Way and the Icenic Way as well as the Coastal Path that takes a good week of long days to cover. The coastal path is a delight to walk too. I walked the whole of it a few years ago as a backpacker but this time it was just day walks. Suntan lotion is usally essential as there is a lot of UV reflected from the sea even if the day is overcast.
The county is blessed with a good bus service including a route called the Coastal Hopper which is really handy as it trundles up and down the coast at regular intervals. The fares are reasonable too. This allows the day walker to bus out somewhere and walk back to base. Alternatively, go further afield and walk for a day then catch the bus back so it’s possible to explore the area easily. A good bus route is nice when you’re in a motorhome because you can leave it parked up with the gas and electric on while you go out and play.
If you want a simple holiday or a break for a few days I can recommend both Cromer and the county. It’s a “proper” holiday destination with simple pleasures and all the better for it. Nice beaches, lots of things to do if you’ve got kids, lots of nature and nice walking too. You can go to Norwich if you like big cities, Yarmouth if you want the full-on “bucket and spade” experience complete with amusement parks or enjoy the tranquility of Sandringham (where the Queen has a holiday castle) or just chill out in a quiet cove or wood.
One of the things about Norfolk is that it has “big skies”. Sunsets can be spectacular if the weather is good. Stupidly, I forgot my camera but below are two shots using my camera phone of a sunset and the pier at night.