Thursday, 4 October 2012

Bunting and beverages in Blakeney

If you've heard of Blakeney, it's probably because of the seals. Those marine mammals actually reside in Blakeney Point. Blakeney village itself is separated from the sea and the habitat of the seals by miles of salt marshes. Once a bustling a seaport, encroaching silt made it impossible for larger boats to reach the town. Now its principal visitors are tourists, who can go on boat trips out to see the seals, walk through the marshes or climb the hill, passing the characteristic Norfolk flint-and-brick cottages.

I found myself, lacking funds to go on a boat trip and lacking suitable footwear to go on a walk, in the third category. The part of Blakeney that I explored is principally a narrow street, with houses on either side and picturesque little alleys leading across to more cottages. 

As you can see in this photo, most of the road is marked with double-yellow lines. When we first explored this street, the whole road was blocked by an Adnams lorry delivering to the pub. We had to slide down the side of a queue of cars, unable to do u-turns due to the narrow nature of the road. When I returned to take these pictures, the lorry and the queue had cleared and peace had returned.

Many of the doors, and door and window frames were painted in eggshell blue and grayish tones of red, pink, purple, blue and green. 

The harbour was filled with crabbers - children dropping nets down the harbour wall and into the stream in the hopes of catching some Norfolk crab. 

It was a windy day and the bunting that stretched all the way down the harbour was flapping wildly. 

I was visiting with some women who I was cooking with on a camp in Holt (yes, the same place as I went last year). As a student, my friends and I would never consider going up to a posh hotel and having tea there - we have the assumption that such a place will be out of our price range. But visiting Blakeney with some women who are older than I, they had decided that they wanted to have tea at the Blakeney Hotel. It turned out to be less expensive than Costa Coffee and we found a little sitting room to ourselves with views across the terrace to the harbour. Having spent a week slaving over a hot stove (or at least, cutting up salad for 250 people), it was a great place to relax and feel pampered. 

The shopping in Blakeney left much to be desired when compared with nearby Holt, but it was sufficiently picturesque and peaceful to calm my soul.

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