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17 April 2006 @ 12:00 pm
Cromer and Blickling: Beach and Garden  
This was my last day so I took some time to enjoy the sunny beach before starting to head back toward London. On my way, I stopped at the magnificent Jacobean Blickling Hall. It's a National Trust property. In the spring sunshine the gardens with all their daffodils were splendid.

Places: The beach by Cromer, and then Blickling Hall. Both in Norfolk.
Weather: Surprisingly sunny and warm.
Date: April 17, 2006

As this was my last day, I wanted to get some time in communing with the sea before I headed back to the Big Smoke. The weather was sunny but rather bracing by the shore.

I had chosen a spot just outside Cromer, so I could see the pier toward the east.

A closer look reveals that the lifeboat had been launched. I hope it was just for training. Regardless of the weather, away from the shore the water in the North Sea is rarely warmer than 4-6°C. At that temperature a grown person quickly becomes disoriented and loses consciousness within minutes. The grim reality is that when someone falls overboard, being able to swim makes very little difference. Lifeboats, quickly launched and with well trained crews on the other hand, do make a difference. So lets hope they were just training.

The beach here is rather featureless, except for the groynes so I have rather a lot of photos of them. Even though I must admit that they aren't all that photogenic. Still, I want to take pictures of the sea and I've got to have something to "hang" the picture on, so yes this is another groyne.

To prevent boats from hitting the groynes the ends have little red baskets on them. They are favourite perching posts for gulls. In fact it's unusual to see one unoccupied like this.

On the way to Blickling, I stopped and took this photo. I believe the church belongs to Erpingham. It's only a few miles from Blickling Hall.

And here we are. I thought a grand facade like this deserved the formal treatment with full symmetry. The blue, blue sky and the fluffy clouds scudding along contribute to the postcard look.

The wings had leaded window panes. In this one you can see the reflection of the wing on the other side of the courtyard. Inside somebody has put chrysanthemums on the window sill.

These cross-shaped holes in the railing are meant to remind you of similarly shaped, larger holes used for defending archers in older buildings.

The gardens around Blickling are rather formal. As you can see, they have been restored. The trees in this avenue are probably only twenty years old.

In the grass masses of daffodils of different varieties had been allowed to naturalise.

In a quiet corner, somebody had brought out a lawn chair so they could enjoy the spring sunshine in a sea of daffodils.

By the side of the hall, a small private garden was focused on an Italian fountain. It was probably the NT volunteers who had moved the bench so that it was facing the sun.

On the other side of the house, a private entrance is livened up by forgetmenots. The original owners would probably have preferred a tidier appearance, without vegetation encroaching on the path. But for us in the twenty-first century, it adds to the romance of the sunlit, mellow stone.

The horse chestnut leaves are just coming out in the old tree by the signpost outside the hall. This was the last photo of my spring holiday.

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