After many times of promises and plans – we finally got the kids two spades & nets to go with their crab buckets. We packed up and headed off to West Runton beach for some rock pooling and according to Soren, “to search for the West Runton elephant”. Only when we got there the tide was much higher than we thought (despite high tide not being until 2:15 pm) and the winds were coming off the ocean and were fiercely strong and cold. So after some thought, we decided to head to a beach on the East coast of North Norfolk.
Originally we were going to go to Mundsley, but then remembered that Sea Palling was supposed to be a nice, family friendly beach – per the MP of this area Norman Lamb, in an interview we read. It is popular with families as it is a blue star, sandy beach and popular with personal water craft like jet skis. There are nine off-shore reefs built as part of the flood prevention scheme, which probably helps keep the waves low and it has been awarded the highest possible water cleanliness rating in 2013 too!
When we arrived, we easily found parking in the Clink Car Park [which happily our North Norfolk Council Car Park pass is valid there too] – so we packed up some things and headed up to the beach. As we went up the ramp, Maebh already started complaining she had sand and rocks in her shoes – grrr – hope it’s not like this all summer, as we live near the seaside and will frequent the beach! Thankfully, the minute we hit the sand, I took off her Keens and began digging happily – and we were not even at the place we were going to set up.
Much to our surprise, the wind was whipping there too. If we were like 99.9% of the English families present, we’d have a nice a windscreen barrier set up. We are so getting one of these windscreens!!
(Note the ones in the background)
So without a windscreen, Nils dug a hole like a German and sat in it, while the kids played with the sand and their new spades. Making a big mountain, then jumping on it. Soren was brave and put his feet in while he carried a few buckets of water up to his hole, but as you see Maebh, preferred to sit on Nils vs the sand.
After about 30 minutes in the sun and wind, we had enough. Plus, the tide was coming up, we headed out to the beach bar at the bottom of the ramp. The bar/cafe had so much potential – a great place for frozen margaritas with salt – – but no such luck. There was a band playing later on, but we were there for a short bit. Nils grabbed a beer for us, fruit shooters and some curry chips.
We then walked across the street to the little electric quad bikes and the kids were in heaven. At first, when I saw how fast Soren was going, I was concerned for Maebh. So Nils hopped on the back… then we convinced her it was too fast for her, but if she wanted to sit on the car with Soren, he could drive. They agreed and had a great time going around and around and switching cars a couple times. Some tears for Maebh when we said we had to leave.
I nearly forgot! For the ladies (and some men), there is a hunky lifeguard.
As we headed home, we drove the coast road and headed to Happisburgh Lighthouse.