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.

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.

 

Sheringham, Norfolk, UK: Classic Car Show

This time last year, we took a trip down to Cape Cod for Father’s Day Weekend and we visited a car show then.   I just thought back to that trip and it was a lot of fun… a simple no-frills but dirt cheap trip…      Just a month before that trip, we also visited Cape Cod for Mother’s Day Weekend.  So glad I have all these photos and journal our days – it helps to remember all these great trips and amazing to see the kids grow.  But, after looking at those two posts, I am totally homesick right now and wish I was in New England right now for the summer – it’s really someplace great to be!

Coincidentally, today we popped over to Sheringham to check out the classic car show which was going on in the town center.  Over 400 cars were on display.  Of course, I don’t know much about cars nor do I pretend to but it’s clear, Nils knows sooo much.  Also, he, Soren & I all totally differ in car tastes.

I personally \like the MGs (which I keep calling GBs for some reason – perhaps as we live in Great Britain?) and a few other smaller, convertible cars especially Karman Ghia types and of course, VW buses. But at the same time, I feel like they are “look at me cars” and I hate that.  Like why I refused to drive the black Aston Martin from Cohasset back to Beverly last year – I’d hate all the attention.  People driving up to you at red lights to see who is driving it and how much it costs!

 

 

 

 

incredibly plain inside

 

Cool camper – but I can’t believe you’d sleep up there… even me, being somewhat short!!

Soren likes these crazy 3 wheel cars and was a good sport about getting his photo taken with the cars.  But his favorite today, hands-down was apparently the widest car in its time, a Jaguar with the TRAY TABLES in the back.  Such a funny boy, he saw it and said, “look I can eat my lunch which is left over in my school bag on the way home”.  He talks so much with his friend Blake, he never finishes his lunch and often eats it on the way home from school or when we walk in the door.

 

 

 

 

Incredibly ugly car!!

 

 

 

Nils was crazy about a black Citroen and some jaguars.

I won’t even attempt to write the names of the cars – but I will let the photos do all the speaking.

We stopped over at The Ice Cream Shoppe, owned by my friend’s mum.  While I had my own, I enjoyed the kids as they kept asking me to lick it in a circle to keep it from melting!

We thought it might be fun to drive over to Thornham to see if we can check out the giant Yokohama fender which washed ashore.  Turns out it is used for ship-to-ship transfers and owned by a Dutch company.  They are making plans to refloat it and return it to the ship it came off from recently.

But as it was getting late on a Sunday, we decided to just head to Wells-Next-The-Sea, so the kids could play at the Pirate Ship Playground for a bit before heading home for dinner & get ready for the week.  When we were there, the kids were pointing out Sammy The Stilt and the other characters and things spotted from the Clay The Cromer Crab – Hunt for Black Shuck book # 2 in the series, we recently got.  I’m so impressed by Soren’s reading comprehension – after only one time, he knew things like the Brown Hair Battalion and Leiscester The Labrador.

The Albatross –  The Dutch Pannekoeken Schip is back!!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playland – Indoor Adventure

Today was a chilly, drizzly day so we took the kids to Well-Next-The-Sea for a couple hours of fun at the Playland – Indoor Adventure center.   For £4.50 you get 1.5 hour session  (often more if not busy).

Maebh didn’t like the loud noises of the elephant and the shooting guns and is not physically able to climb up to the tops.  (Soren barely could do it).  But when she found the section for under 3 years, she was very happy.  We didn’t stay the entire allotted, as she was tired and Nils was annoyed with her crying, but I think both kids had fun.

Wells-Next-The-Sea & Hunstanton, UK

Today  I spent the morning visiting local primary schools for the kids.   Tomorrow I will have a look at two additional schools in the nearby villages before submitting our official request to get S enrolled full time.  He is really bored and needs a challenge asap.  After Maebh napped and after Nils was done with work, we spent a few hours roaming around the area.  We ended in Well-Next-The-Sea.  Yes, you’re right, you think I’m missing the “TO” as in next to the sea but it’s the first way. Odd, I agree.

Oh well, it’s a nice sea-side village, filled with Crab fisherman, great playground, indoor place space (which sad for us is only open on the weekends) loads of boats and picturesque beach shacks. They are not for living only for storing all your summer goods and for 68,000 Pounds you can have one too!  Soren finally got
his “English” flag and we had to get one too.

 

 

Before you reach the road to the beach and just next to the harbor is a great playground area is great for kids – we call it the Pirateship playground!

Super fast slide.

 

Maebh’s turn on the crazy fast slide
Singing songs about the sun.. yes it was shining again.  We’re having loads of good luck with the weather.

 

Wells Next The Sea
Norfolk Coast Path

 

Look at me with my British flag.

 

5:00 pm and the entire village is closed.
Famous Wells Beach Huts

 

Beach huts continue.

 

Pop goes the weasel up and down they go.
Nils & Soren at the water’s edge watching the boat come in.  Beautiful lighting.
Rescue boats returning – looks a lot like Play Mobile boats – such nice colors.

 

Beach huts continue…
I think Maebh is on the cutest beach hut ever.  With “pirate ship wheels” as she says.
Funny faces to each other.
Hopscotch (but Soren looks like a giant)
Cool, pirate ship playground of Wells-Next-The-Sea
Beach..
Soren at the beach
Soren at the beach

A couple days later, we headed over to Hunstanton a Victorian Seaside Resort area. It’s about 40 miles South West of us.  The area is a seaside resort location -full of fish and chip shops, loads of fun fair/carnival options run by Tinkers(?) and loads of family-friendly things.  But one uniqueness is the sun sets in the ocean, but it’s not really accurate as far in the background, 20 miles over is what is called Lincolnshire with a town called Boston!  This area of water is called “The Wash“. You can read much more about it by clicking the link.)  In the summer water temps can reach into the low 20s degrees C (about 70 degrees F) after prolonged high ambient air temp and sun.

I really like this area. It has the cool Oasis center which includes a huge pool with waterslide, outdoor eco-ice skating and a favorite of our kids the Fun Castle indoor play area.  There are some AMAZING Victorian homes nearby which rival Back Bay. It is huge for watersports like Kite Surfing, Wind Surfing, Jet Skis and more.  It even has an amphibious vehicle “The Wash Monster”. I can overlook the fun fair aspect, the large caravan population – because quite frankly the Searlers Luxury Resort looks great for a long weekend camping-type break and it is not cheap. A 3 night stay in July is 450 POUNDS or NEARLY 600 US Dollars for a caravan (a nice one, of course)

Say what you want about this area, it’s great and I look forward to visiting once it’s warm again.

Old Hunstanton Light  – private residence
Can’t say no to a pony ride on the beach even if it is FIVE QUID!!

 

Finally the guy got out of the photo!!

 

 

Even Maebh had a great time – this horse is Buttercup.

 

View from the town square.
A really beautiful Village Green.
Bounce House Ball Pit fun!

 

 

Air Thingies…
He still talks about these air things…
Who needs a blow dryer!?
The Sea Tour – The Wash Monster
Tractors taking out racing boats

A pretty large sperm whale, who was already dead, washed up on the sands of Old Hustanton.