Car Boot, Picnic & Daffodils – Sunny Saturday in North Norfolk, UK

Yesterday was once again, a beautiful, sunny Saturday in North Norfolk, UK.  St. Osyth (Essex) has been identified in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the driest place in Britain, but I think North Norfolk, where we are, is a close second.  Around 2 pm, a dark cloud rolled in, poured rain and 15 minutes later it was gone and sunny again.  Apart from this rain, I do not even remember the last time we had rain, really!

Aylsham – The Late One Car Boot Sale 
As Nils was still in Boston, the kids and I were on our own.  So we set off to see what the Alysham “The Late One” Car Boot Sale was all about.  I heard that at 11 am, they yell through a blow horn and people just emerge from behind the ropes into the sale.  The large grassy parking area was extremely full – with a sign suggesting you get there around 8 am for an 11 am sale start.

I didn’t bring my camera in, but this is an idea of what it was like.

So like hundreds of others, we parked along the street and carefully scooted alongside the cars to the sale.  It was quite a place – four rows of tables piling high with a combination of junk and good stuff.  I could really see the boxes of sundries at the James Beck Auction which one can pick up for a pound being scattered around the stalls. Those selling and walking around searching for a deal were all types. We even saw a mom from S’s school.

We walked around a bit to see if we could find someone we know who sells records at this sale, but we didn’t see him. We were not looking for anything particular, but I gave each the kids 2 pounds to buy something.  They both kept asking for ice cream, but I kept telling them we’d buy some at the grocery store and that they should buy something better.  Which they eventually did.  There was a table with a bunch of junk – mainly rusted old tools and stuff.  I’d never even look twice at it but I did see a pair of nice battery powered trucks, so we stopped.  One was a garbage truck and one was a cement mixer.  I’m sure the old couple were expecting some haggling from me, but they were sitting there all morning – didn’t look like much of their stuff was being sold, so I figured just give them the 2 pounds each.  After we paid, they said thank you as they were selling those toys on behalf of their grandson, who will get the money we paid and he’d be very happy.

So with each kid walking, holding a truck, we wriggled our way through the crowds and out of there.  While I’m glad I got to see what it was about, I’m not sure I’d return.  If I did, it would be either childless (Nils & the kids could visit Redwings Horse Sanctuary up the street) or with Nils to help with the kids, if he’d ever go for it.  I personally think he’d hate it.

Wolterton Park 
After the car boot sale visit, we were in search of a place to have a picnic an play with their new trucks. As I don’t know that area well, I thought we’d head to Baconsthorpe Castle, as we planned on being in Gresham around 2 pm.  I spotted a brown sign on the road for Wolterton Park.  Not knowing what we’d find there, we drove there until we came to an open gate. We found a lovely spot for a picnic just outside the gates of the massive Wolterton Hall, which is a private residence but has some open hours and hosts events such as weddings.

HISTORY: Wolterton Hall was built by Thoas Ripley in the 1720’s for Horatio Walpole; politician  diplomat and younger brother to Britain’s first Prime Minister – Sir Robert Walpole.  There is a park area which contains evidence of the village of Wolterton with its round church tower which can still be seen and in my photos.

There were a few cars by the Hall, but other than that, the kids and I were the only ones there and the only car in the car park.  It was so quiet – all you could hear were birds chirping and cows mooing.  It was a really pretty setting for our picnic.  Within minutes of sitting down at the picnic table to eat, we were visited by some bees.  As Soren was stung in the eye with a bee when we were in Scotland last summer, we are extra cautious so we packed up to eat on the car ride and just explored the area a bit.

Just passed the round church tower ruin was a path which walked alongside some beautiful cows, who recently had little ones.  I’m not sure how to tell how old they were, but I think some of the cows appeared to have bloody fur.  Immediately two large mama cows took an interest in us and started walking towards.

Doesn’t her fur look a bit bloody and wet?

We took some photos, climbed gates and tree stumps and played Red Light, Green Light.

The kids got their new trucks out of the car to play in the patch of rocks before heading off.  As we drove on towards Gresham, we passed by some amazing homes in the countryside.  The one that I liked the most is on the right after the gates of Wolterton Hall.  I think an old school house or some sort of older building.  When Nils return, we’ll take a trip over there so I can show him.  We also passed a cool ruin – Matlaske?

The Stables, Gresham Hall 
A friend told me about an event/fundraiser – Daffodil Woods at The Stables, Gresham Hall.  Proceeds would go to Sight Savers and a sustainable agricultural project in West Africa.   It was quite a neat place.  It was bit of a Bohemian – Hippy Commune set up with lovely grounds with gardens and pretty daffodil woods.  (Mom – any interest? 🙂

They also had a pretty large collection of chickens, which I’d love to pick up and put in my backyard. We saw something strange in there. One of the chickens had bloody feet and it looked like one toe was about to fall off, as the others were walking near it and taking bites from the foot.  Soren told the person who ran the site so she could get that poor little bird out of there before it was killed.  I certainly do not know much about chickens, but I read that once there is blood, they tend to pounce and would kill one of their own.  One day, we’ll get some chickens or perhaps Beppe will first as she has a better set up for them! 🙂

We arrived at the start and immediately it started pouring rain (yes, the rain which I mentioned hadn’t been here in a long time.)  Thankfully we were able to go inside, have a tea and some cake while the kids played a bit.  Soren knew two ladies who worked at GVS, one of which we run into a lot.   Once the rain stopped, we explored the garden and took a walk in the woods and picked some flowers to take home.   It was really lovely and nice to support the charity.

Soren explained to Maebh and I (with lots of hand gestures, of course) that there
were tadpoles inside and that this was similar to the pond at Forest Schools.  
grrr… water drop on my camera – oh well.

Author: Stars Stripes and Mayonnaise

I am an American currently living in the Netherlands. I enjoy snapping photos and blogging along the way about our family’s journey as we moved from USA to the UK for a couple years then onto Ireland for three & half years and now in our next adventure in the Netherlands where the kids and are are learning Dutch. As you can probably tell by the name of the blog “Stars, Stripes & Mayonnaise” our family is half American & half Dutch and if you know one thing about the Dutch is that they LOVE their mayonnaise! I seen ’em do it man, they fuckin‘ drown ’em in it. When I started this blog way when it was to capturing memories of our family – essentially a journal of our family adventures, their love of mayonnaise, my love of photography, D.I.Y., crafting, sea glass hunting and exploring with our two amazing kids.

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