Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk, UK

In late September 2012, when we moved from Boston to the UK, we discovered Wells-Next-The-Sea… the kids were so young and it was all so new.  Soren was very excited and asked to purchase the union jack flag – which of course I did and they were loving them for about two days until they broke!

It was also our first experience with the British Seaside and my new found love of beach huts… which at first I didn’t get but now would love one of my own.

Fast forward two years and MANY visits, we are area experts and despite even cold weather, find it a nice day to walk the beach…  Just two days ago we were wandering on the wide-open beach in search of the best beach hut while the boys explored the water … too mucky for us girls!

 

So many were badly damaged in the Dec 5th storm but nice to see most have been rebuilt back up and some new ones added in…

 

 

 

 

or crab with friends from The Netherlands..

or swim… and relax in the sun…

or play with your remote control car

no matter what the weather (well better not go when raining) it’s a great day out!!  And just today in The Guardian they featured Wells-Next-The-Sea as to “Let’s Move To” section.

Open Farm Sunday @ Holkham Estate & Fun at Wells-Nex-The-Sea

Open Farm Sunday

Today was such beautiful weather, we took the kids towards Wells-Next-The-Sea by way of Holkham Estate first. As today was part of Open Farm Sunday – the farming industry’s annual open day, which offers a fantastic chance for people to discover real farming first hand and see for themselves how their food is produced. It is also a great way for farmers to shine a light on what they deliver and why supporting British farming matters.  Many years ago, when in France, we visited and enjoyed all the local cheeses… but this time it was less food focused (or at least on this farm) but it was still a lot of fun for the kids.

The kids started off with a quiz which at the end they could win a “prize” which turned out to be tomatoes – and as many as we liked so we took eight!

Both kids did the obstacle course set up by the local Beaver/Scout group.  Only difference (despite speed) was that Soren jumped over the sticks and Maebh crawled under, but both did it and loved it.   A fun idea for something to do at the school’s summer fete.

I really liked the Border Collie who spent his entire time just watching the herd of sheep get sheared – sweet!

They had a Touch a Truck type set up with all the large farming equipment.  All kids were in heaven!

We then took the 20-minute BUMPY tractor ride around fields where they pointed out their various crops.

After we walked over to the new (well new to us) playground area.  While it was geared towards older kids 5+ Maebh managed on parts and they both LOVED it!


Wells-Next-The-Sea

After the open farm day, we headed towards Wells-Next-The-Sea.  Our plan was to do some crabbing at the quay but first had a picnic at the Pirate Ship Playground.  Instead of crabbing, we hopped on the little Wells Harbour Railway which leaves from Pinewoods Holiday Park and headed down towards the beach.  Return Fares: Adults £3.00, Children £2.00 


We first stopped at “Abraham’s Bosom” – an outdoor leisure area with a boating lake, trampolines & mini golf.  We spotted it several times while at the pine woods in Wells – the place with the boating lake and mini golf, but never entered thinking it was part of the Pinewoods Holiday Park there – which it is not.  Each kid had a session on the trampoline despite the warmth and we left to go to the beach.   Sadly, was not impressed and will not return.  While there was not a specific one reason, but I felt like it was a family’s garden in a caravan park and we were imposing in their personal space.   I like the Cromer boating lake much better.

So here we were at the beach without beach clothes, so the kids took off their clothes and paddled in the sea in their underwear.

Buggy Fun at Wells-Next-The Sea

Yesterday we took Soren’s new remote control super buggy to Wells-Next-The-Sea for the kids to run around and try it out.  They had a great time – loads of laughs, Christmas hats and eight muddy shoes.

As I said before, North Norfolk is so wide-open.  Yes there were others on the beach, but it was like we were alone with miles and miles of sand, water and blue skies.

As we were down near the water, Nils spotted some black seals popping around and playing.

The big winter storm of Dec 6th hit Wells beach pretty hard too.  You’ll see the two large mounds were reduced down to small hills and those hills, I’m sure saved so many of the huts on the far end.

There was loads of sand was pushed up to the huts and some of the huts were damaged quite badly and several were removed.  The ones when you first arrive on the beach were hit the worst.

And my favorite hut of all – the yellow and white stripped one had some damage done to it, but the huts on both sides were totally destroyed.

This above photo I took in May when we were there visiting with Jana, Philip, Stefan and Tobias.

Back to the reason for the trip – play buggy which was a huge hit.  The kids took turns riding it around, chasing it, etc.

 

Wells-Next-The-Sea with Friends

Today we drove the coastal route from Cromer over to Wells-Next-The-Sea to try crabbing on the quay.  To start the kids had some races on the Butlands.  Soren was so upset that he was not winning the running race against Tobias.  He kept saying that he cheated as he didn’t start at the correct start line, blah, blah, blah, but I think he was just not fast enough to win, so he was upset.   Clearly, he has our competitive positioning and was a bit hard on himself.  Maebh thought it was fun to race too and naturally, she’d never win against a speedy Tobias, but she had fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we walked down the shopping street, we picked up a bag of bacon at the “Rock-Star” butcher shop, A J Howells.  Jana popped in bakery and picked up some delicious eclairs and gingerbread men cookies for the kids.  She also took Tobias into a Gem shop and bought him some mixed stones in a little blue drawstring bag.  He called them his “diamants” (diamonds) and was so happy and played with them for the next two days.  Soren, Maebh, and Stefan were all very jealous, so next time we’re over in Wells-Next-The-Sea or even the Gem store in Cromer, we’ll get a set which they can pick out.  They’ll surely be a hit for his school’s show & tell Fridays.  Right before bed on his last night, Tobias gave Soren a single “diamant” for him to keep.  He was thrilled this am, when he woke up it was still under his pillow where he placed it to be safe.  (But not before asking if the “Tooth Fairy” would come and give him money for it – clever boy!)

Next we stopped in and picked up some crabbing buckets – we were all excited to give it another shot.  Our first attempt crabbing on the Cromer Pier was a failure and we caught NOTHING which we think was due to our bait being some strange oily smoked fish that clearly didn’t interest the crabs around us, as the other crabbers had buckets full of crabs. While we tied on some bacon onto ours.   Phillip picked up some rocks and Soren, Tobias and Stefan returned with buckets of water and some large stones to hold down the nets.   We tried one net – we arrived and the tides were going OUT, so crabbing was not even possible!  A little discouraged, we laughed it off and left.

 

 

 

So we packed it up and walked across to the great Pirate Ship Playground, which had just been upgraded with some new equipment. While the parents (well at least I was a little bummed we didn’t get to crab) the kids were in heaven in this great playground.  We agreed that we’d try and crab on the pier the next morning if it was not raining.

 

 

 

 

 

We drove down to the beach and walked in the woods, up the ramp and down to the beautiful beach. While there were people there, it was so quiet and peaceful.  Everyone had a nice time, climbing up the dunes and I took lots of photos while dragging behind a bit lot!  Nils took our kids up to the Watch Tower deck and spotted me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite hut of them all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the beach walk, we all met up at the picnic tables outside the beach cafe.  The kids played hopscotch, ate gingerbread men cookies while trying to avoid the birds/ducks eating some too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick stop at Bookers for dinner and a case of beer, we drove to The Pigs in Edgefield so the kids could play outside on their amazing kid’s structure, while the adults enjoyed a couple beer, ciders, along with some roasted broad beans.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and Maebh even took a few trips on the zip line (slowly). Love her new-found confidence and improved muscle tone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other photos of Wells-Next-The-Sea.  While I don’t want to live in Wells, I like to visit as it makes a fun day out.