It was February. It felt as though winter had been forever. Doing nothing, going nowhere – it’s not my favourite season. So I was delighted that we could get a week off babysitting duties and the weather forecast looked friendly – time to enjoy some of the delights right on our doorstep. Time for a drift around the Broads.
Day 1 – Bury to Rumburgh
We set off around teatime with the aim of getting parked up at a comfortable pub for dinner – and just over an hour later we were installed at the Buck in Rumburgh. There’s nothing much to see at Rumburgh, but the Buck was warm and hospitable. After dinner we retired to the motorhome, pulled the blinds, put the heating on low and went to bed. Zzzzzzzz!
Day 2 – Rumburgh to Hickling
Very much a day near the Broads – and we occasionally saw them. We visited Horsey Windpump (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/horsey-windpump) and dropped in on the (closed for winter) Museum of the Broads. Our final destination for the day was the iconic Pleasureboat Inn. Most of the day was in Broadland but we wandered northwards along the coast for a while. At this time of the year travelling with a motorhome, this piece of coast didn’t offer any compelling stop off points.
The odd thing about the Broads is that when you’re there in a boat they seem enormous and become your whole world but you really have to work at finding Broadland by road. We found a deserted, somewhat bleak but very scenic National Trust landmark (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/horsey-windpump). In the summer this would be heaving with boats and boaters.
Museum of the Broads
We followed a signpost for the Museum of the Broads (http://www.museumofthebroads.org.uk/). It’s tucked away in a corner of Stalham. We were able to park the motorhome just outside, perhaps because the museum was closed. We had an illicit look around, and saw some of the collection of quirky boats.
The Pleasureboat Inn
In the summer this is a real honey-pot location. In February it was pretty desolate and not exactly buzzing. The pub was undergoing renovation, so food wasn’t being served, and the bar was virtually deserted. But the broad-side location was all you could hope for.
Day 3 – Hickling to Woodbastwick
In our meandering style we travelled around 50 miles, visiting Felbrigg Hall before doubling back to very close to the day’s starting point. This was Valentine’s day, and we were taking a bit of a risk in looking for a good dinner at a pub without a booking, but we hit lucky with the Fur and Feather.
Felbrigg Hall and Park
This National Trust property (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/felbrigg-hall-gardens-and-estate) offered a pleasant walk and views of the Hall.
The Fur and Feather
The Fur and Feather (http://thefurandfeather.co.uk/) proved to be the ideal location for an overnight stop on Valentine’s Day. The pub is co-located with Woodfordes Brewery. It’s a lovely building with a great atmosphere, and the staff are welcoming and friendly. They served an excellent meal and we went back to the
Day 4 – Woodbastwick to Sandringham
After a series of off-grid one-night stands at pubs it was time to visit a real campsite to carry out housekeeping activities – emptying and filling various tanks in the motorhome as appropriate. We can survive around three of four days between fill-ups, depending on how often we wash! We visited the National Trust Blickling Hall en route.
Another day, another wonderful National Trust Property. Our dog was more interested in parks than houses, so seeing the inside of the house will have to wait for another day – the park is magnificent.
Sandringham Camping and Caravanning Club Site
We have visited this site over many years and it remains a favourite. Although it was early in the season we were blessed with warm and dry weather and our two night stay allowed for woodland walks and a really enjoyable jog along the estate roads (I had two half marathons to run the next month, so it was a great opportunity to get some miles in).
Day 6 – Sandringham to to Gedney Drove End
If you look at the map of the area around The Wash it all looks pretty empty, so I was fascinated to take a look to see what was actually there. A look in the Britstops guide offered the Rising Sun in Gedney Drove End as an opportunity to explore that blank map.
Gedney Drove End
The name suggests something akin to the end of the world, and it was certainly something like that. The Rising Sun was a good old-fashioned pub with characterful and friendly locals – we almost had the feeling that they don’t often get people from the outside world and they’re curious to hear what it’s like.
We were able to explore the world of Gedney, and while at times the sea is too close for comfort, as evidenced by the massive sea defences, while we were there it was very distant – outside of the sea wall was salt marsh.
Later in the day I was able to jog along the sea wall and see the extensive bombing range used by UK and other air forces. Fortunately all was quiet for my jog.
Day 6 – Gedney Drove End to Home
And that was it – time to go home.
To see all our photos from the trip, visit the Flickr album at: