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SwanR

Broadly Speaking ... Almost There :)

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I thought that it might be nice to write something about the holiday I had this week even though not strictly speaking on the Broads. It's our second full season as the owners of a static caravan on the coast at Lowestoft. Pennies being a little tighter this year we are making use of the caravan not just for weekends away but also as a base for our holidays in the area. There is so much to see and do ... and I thought there might be folk who would find it interesting to read of places to enjoy on and off the water.

It's a relatively short drive from Essex. We went up early on a Saturday morning, shopped at Morrison's on the way in, and were happily settled and unpacked by 10.30am.

Let me set expectations on two fronts straight away ... the weather was changeable and I can't remember which were the grey days, the windy days or the hot and sunny days, my pictures will tell that story! And of course with the World Cup on, and England playing one evening, it was accepted that the football was going to be our tv viewing most evenings. Not to worry, with the long daylight hours there was plenty of time for a walk once the match had finished if we so desired.

Sunday was the second day of the Great Yarmouth Air Show and we had planned to get ourselves along there. We drove into Great Yarmouth with no problem at all, no traffic holdups either going in or coming away later in the day. We got parked easily a short walk from the beach and the main viewing area. It was a fantastic day out. The flying started around 1pm and was almost done when we left about 4.30pm. The seafront was packed which I hope was good for local traders. There were many families enjoying being on the beach. And the highlight for many was the Red Arrows around 3pm. Hopefully any boaters moored at the Yacht Station were able to get themselves along for a look.

The morning sunshine turned into very grey skies with an odd passing shower but mostly dry if a little breezy. Here's a few photos, as best as I could get given how fast some of them fly!!

 

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Great pics Jean. Looking forward to the account of the rest of your week.

Helen

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Monday was a very interesting day ... not intended to be so but it gave us a number of things to consider.

We decided to stay fairly local and just nip over to Oulton Broad. Always lovely to see the boats going in and out. And as I recall this turned into one of the very nice sunny days of the week. 

Having walked in the opposite direction than usual we ended up following the path that took us round by Tingdene's marina and into Broadlands, one of their holiday /residential parks in the area. Once we realised where we were, we were curious to take a look as we knew that someone from our site was moving their caravan over there. We also know the chap managing the site at present so after a wander round, a chat with a couple of residents, and a look at some new caravans, we found the manager and sat down to discuss the situation. 

Thing is that they have just finished setting up around 50 new pitches for caravans. Up until now this site has been villas and lodges only. We could potentially move over there, be near the Broad instead of on the coast, and have our pick of the pitches as there are very few sold. There were a number of factors that in the end meant that we have opted to stay where we are. It would be a lot of hassle to move, the costs to do so are high and we would then want to buy new decking to make the most of the views. We reckoned that all in all we would end up spending around £10,000 to move the van, switch site fee agreements, and buy everything that we would want in order to set the pitch up to our requirements and to make the most out of it.

That's not worth it for us but if anyone is interested in knowing more about the site and what's involved to put your own caravan on there then by all means send me a message.

For now let's get back to watching the boats ...

 

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Tuesday was the day that we had decided that we would take out a day boat. Hubby had a voucher for use at Barnes Brinkcraft and whilst it was a sizeable amount, they really don't have a cruiser that we want to hire this year so we decided on a day boat instead. We had thought that we might get under Wroxham Bridge and down to Coltishall but in the end events conspired against that. The forecast was for a dry day but in fact we arrived in a heavy shower and left the yard with the canopy up. I really couldn't see much out of that so was glad that the rain stopped before long and stayed away for the rest of the day.

We had a lovely cruise down the Bure, through Wroxham Broad, through Horning and onto Ranworth where we moored on the Island for our picnic lunch. The sun had come out and we enjoyed relaxing there for about an hour. On leaving our mooring we took a cruise around the Broad before turning back onto the Bure where we carried on along past the River Ant, past St Benet's and turned into Fleet Dyke.

A leisurely cruise right down to South Walsham Broad, around the Broad, back up Fleet Dyke and then all the way back to Wroxham. I made a detour via Salhouse Broad as there were some very slow boats ahead of us, and had been for a while. I wasn't in the mood to try to get past them so took a spin around the Broad to let them make some progress, and also to let the large river trip boats get ahead of us too as I could see them not far behind us.

The sun was out and it was really hot. I was glad that I had remembered to put the sun cream in my bag. It was a strange feeling knowing that we had to get back to Wroxham, that we couldn't just moor up wherever we fancied and stay there for the night. We both really enjoyed it ... some places were quite busy and other stretches of river we had to ourselves.

Here's a few pictures taken along the way ... before the sun decided to make an appearance!

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Wednesday we decided to stay around the caravan site, take a walk along the sea wall and have lunch in the Sparrow's Nest cafe over the road. It's very popular, the gardens are always busy and even midweek during the school term most tables were taken - good to see a local business thriving. The afternoon was spent relaxing on the deck outside our van, dozing in the warm afternoon sun.

Thursday we went over to Somerleyton for a look around the gardens. Hubby got in free as an RHS member - worth knowing. I've heard other folk mention the house and gardens but we hadn't been before and I don't know if they are walking distance from the moorings on the Waveney at Somerleyton or Herringfleet. To see the house you have to book onto a guided tour so we gave that a miss.

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Friday we stayed in Lowestoft ... went for a lovely walk over by South Beach and went for a browse around Cooks, one of the local stores. Whilst they sell furniture they also sell a lot of knick-knacks and little oddities. We've bought a number of things from there to put in the caravan - an ornamental lighthouse, some novelty signs and some beautiful cushions. We like to support local independent businesses whenever we can.

http://www.cooksfurnishers.co.uk/giftwareornaments

So that was our week about done. Saturday morning we drove home ... really only because there were things to get done before I went back to work on Monday. Oh and that little matter of ensuring that we weren't on the road for a certain football match on Sunday!

It was the first full week that we have spent up there and I hadn't been sure if I would feel like I was on holiday given that we spend quite a lot of weekends up there. But it was great. Yes the weather helped but it was so nice to arrive and have our own things there. No stress at all. No booking in or checking out, arrive when we like and leave when we like ... and I could certainly have stayed longer.

Was it the right decision to buy a caravan or should we have gone for a boat? For us it was the right thing to do but who knows what the future may hold. And in the meantime we have somewhere that is ours but that is close to so many of the places that we love. I am a very lucky lady indeed. :)

 

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Thanks Jean. Good to have a glimpse of Somerlayton, it’s somewhere we would like to visit, but it’s not possible with the dog unfortunately. Lovely roses!

Helen

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The roses seem to be doing really well this year. Ours have been in full bloom for some while now and thriving even in this Essex clay! Not everything does. The hydrangeas are also doing well but need a lot of watering.

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2 hours ago, SwanR said:

The roses seem to be doing really well this year. Ours have been in full bloom for some while now and thriving even in this Essex clay! Not everything does. The hydrangeas are also doing well but need a lot of watering.

At the moment the watering regime is taking a lot of time in our garden with the pots and baskets.

The roses as you say have been spectacular this year and our hydrangeas are doing much better since we moved a couple out of pots.

Regards

Alan

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Well we’re about to take a break from our watering regime as we’ll be going to Anglesey from the weekend for a fortnight (we’re planning on adding to our previous posts from February on Anglesey in the Members out and about section).  Hoping that eldest son Harry will look after our tender plants and pots as youngest son Alec (previously engaged in the horticulture line) is still in California for the whole summer.  How lucky is he to have friends who are happy for him to stay with them for 3 months!

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Have a lovely time Helen. It's many years since we had a holiday longer than a week. However I am thinking that if we want to hire from the north and go south on the Broads then ten or eleven nights would be ideal. Maybe one year!

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Yes, go for it Jean!  Even with the restricted daytime hours in March/April we found that going ‘down south’ in was so very do-able and really added to our 10 day holiday.

In May and September it was a thing we could do within a week. It helps though to check out the tides before booking!  This last year or so  I have planned the dates of our holidays around the tides. On a couple of our holidays we’ve been able to moor up at Stracey Arms shortly before sunset on our first day and then start out from there shortly after sunrise the following morning an hour before slack water in Yarmouth...seemed to work out okay both times, and then the tides back seem to work out too. 

Go south!!!

Yes, I know! Here be dragons and monsters and all that?

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Finally found time to put a video together from our trip to the airshow back in June. Other clips will follow eventually when I do something of a summer round up. I've got some time off work coming up so watch out for more updates to this topic in the next few weeks.

 

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So we're almost at the end of our second season as caravan owners. We spent another week in the area at the end of August and have had a couple more weekends up there during September. 

We went back to Beccles ... I always love walking by the river there. Oulton Broad is close by so we get there every now and then for a wander and to see what boats are coming and going. We revisited the Radar Museum in Neatishead and then drove over to Irstead ... never been able to moor there yet but we sat for a while watching the stream of lunchtime boats passing by.

We make regular visits to Woodforde's Brewery at Woodbastwick close to Salhouse Broad. Then we go on for lunch ... stopped in Wroxham one day for excellent cod and chips in Greys. And another time we ventured back to Horning to the New Inn ... scampi and chips is always delicious there.

We have a number of things going on during October and then it will be time to drain down the caravan and close it up until next year. Some people live on the site for 10 1/2 months, the full open season. But we find that the caravan gets very cold in between visits as we're not there all the time. And you have to be careful to ensure that you don't invalidate your insurance by not draining down or not having heating on all the time once you get into November.

In the meantime here's a video of clips I have put together. Hope it plays ok as I haven't checked it since upload.

 

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Great video Jean and thanks for including out boat Sandpiper and our friends boat Wiggy near the start of the clip at Beccles, you should have called in and had a coffee, we always fly the NBN burgee on the bow of the boat

Alan

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53 minutes ago, boycee said:

Great video Jean and thanks for including out boat Sandpiper and our friends boat Wiggy near the start of the clip at Beccles, you should have called in and had a coffee, we always fly the NBN burgee on the bow of the boat

Alan

I haven't yet got up the courage to actually say hello to any forum members in person! I did think that there might be friendly natives on board. Will pop in if I spot you again. :)

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Jean, you’ve no idea how chuffed we felt when forum member Sue introduced herself whilst we were at Norwich last year. If you see an NBN pennant or poster I heartily recommend introducing yourself!

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Following along the theme of "Almost There", I pulled together a short video of my morning wandering around the gardens at Somerleyton earlier in the year. We didn't pay extra for entrance to the Hall, we just enjoyed the gardens and the many beautiful flowers. 

 

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Thanks Jean, I’ve been wanting to visit Somerlayton for ages so really appreciated your video. 

Helen

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Thanks Helen. The roses seemed to be exceptionally beautiful everywhere we went this year ... including my own back garden. We still have some flowering now. 

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So we’re having a few days at the caravan before we close it up for this year. Although it’s not the same caravan that we started with. This has worked out so well for us that we recently part exchanged our van just as one might with a car. We used Great Yarmouth Caravans and their service was first class. I would highly recommend them if anyone were to be looking for a caravan in this area. Photos possibly to follow once I get back home onto my computer as I’m writing this on my phone!!

Just wanted to share with you that we went to Potter Heigham this morning as the weather is mild and sunny. Had to go into Latham’s and what did we find? Christmas in full swing including music. Ho ho ho! :facepalm::default_xmas6:

 

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Stopped on the way back for a look at Rollesby Broad. Stunningly beautiful. 

 

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