No plans are the best plans
2 weekends ago, I invited my Mum to meet me in north London with nothing but an overnight suitcase and her adventure face on.
All I’d told her was that she’d have to drive a few hours over the weekend but that our discoveries along the way would make it more than worth the effort. With a car hired and a bed for the night covered, it was time for an adventure!
A weekend drive to Norfolk
I’d always fancied the idea of discovering Norwich in Norfolk so it was there that I put a pin in the map. A quick Airbnb search later I chanced up on a Showman’s Wagon (a 45 minute drive to the city was fiiiine) and there and then, the deal was done.
It turns out that we never made it to Norwich at all. Here’s what we got up to instead.
I’m no newbie to Cambridge but my Mum is so the half-way house to Norfolk was where we would stop for lunch. I asked local, Briony, for her recommendations and Fitzbillies won. Whilst I was secretly eying up the 3-tier afternoon teas, I went for classics Eggs Bennies and a roasted garlic soup. We couldn’t leave without the special so we grabbed one of their famous sticky buns for the road.
In the meantime (who am I kidding I scoffed the bun before I got down the street), we took a pew at 6 Ice Cream along famous Bene’t Street opposite the oldest church in Cambridge. Their ice creams are freshly churned every day in an array of unique flavours and toppings that would make Mr Wonka proud.
[Take a look at Liv’s post for more Cambridge ideas]
After a spot of pairie-dogging into various college entrances, we headed for some pretty residential streets to absorb the peaceful side of Cambridge life. The charm of the lanes will definitely make up for any car park mares you might have experienced getting in to the city. (Use Queen Anne car park or play it safe and use the Park & Ride).
We hopped back in our Twingo (by this point my mother asking if we could get away with keeping it). Now to hit the road!
2 hours of strikingly lush countryside later and we arrived at our ridiculously picturesque home from home in Briningham near Holt. Enter, the Showman’s Wagon! Completely unprepared for what I was about to show her, my Mum burst out laughing as the headlights illuminated the rather ‘mobile’ lodging amongst the flowerbeds.
Getting her up the stairs was a bloody battle (ROFL is not an over exaggerated acronym here). But once she’d calmed down, we’d cracked open the vino, lit the heater and called my dad 3 times, we were settled and ready for some serious zzz’s
The morning was the most magical part. Pulling back the tiny curtain at our feet revealed the most chocolate box-esque of views over our hosts garden and the church in the distance. *sigh*. Just in case you were concerned for our hygiene, the fully equipped bathroom was just a stones throw away, cleverly accessible from the cute greenhouse. This has to top my list of Airbnb experiences!
[Get £20 credit when you first sign up to Airbnb.]
Cley next the Sea
After far too much faffing in said wagon, we finally said goodbye to our host and headed to recommended village, Cley next the sea. We pounced on The George pub and wolfed down a burger before ambling over to Cley windmill set in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can easily stroll to the the sea and back along the well-trodden paths (this takes around an hour) but we had more pressing things to see.
From Cley (pronounced Cl-eye) we drove 5 minutes to Wiveton Hall, the one stop that had my name sloshed all over it. Strawberry farm? Freely roaming hens? Colourful tables?! Be mine. A lemon drizzle cake and tea later, we were in heaven.
Bury St. Edmonds
Unfortunately though, it was already time to head home. On the route back to London from Norfolk, we glanced at the map and put a finger on a random town we could stop in. That town just happened to be GORGEOUS.
My snaps above don’t do the historical town of Bury St. Edmonds justice, mainly because I didn’t get the chance to photograph the curiously calm Abbey ruins that pepper the park. I’d definitely put Bury on my list for visiting again but something tells me nothing would be quite as charming as stumbling upon the Abbey Gardens at 6pm on a Sunday evening!
Finally, at 10pm we parked up at the car hire place and with a heavy heart bid our little Twingo farewell. Until the next adventure!