The dream right? After all those weeks of staying in, cooking or preparing three meals a day, finally we are out of the lockdown. We took full advantage and disappeared off to Norfolk for a staycation week in Wells-Next-The-Sea.
It was a blissful week spent in a two-bedroom cottage in Wells-Next-The-Sea. We managed to fit our bikes in the car (super impressive for mummy and Dylan, who needs a husband?) a borrowed boogie board and a few clothes. And a bag of emergency food (gin, coffee, milk, tonic).
I was meant to not take my laptop, but I couldn’t get everything finished before holiday, so it came with us. Along with six books, of which I read just one! The Alchemist (love love love)
Wells-next-the-sea is the most beautiful beach, golden sands. When the tide is high its is shallow sea to paddle in, when the tide is out, there are miles upon miles of sand and a sea river to swim across, with the occasional seal climbing out onto the sand bar. There are shells everywhere and the most beautiful beach huts. One of which we borrowed from a friend for a couple of days. Payment via a contribution of our choice to the RNLI.
We went to the beach every single day, cycling the 2km to the beach from our cute cottage. It was absolute heaven for the boys, who were never short of things to do. The two days with the beach hut were amazing. We claimed our space and played with all the beach toys in the hut, skim boards, cricket, rounders, bat and ball, we dug holes (I mean the boys). And we swam so much, across the sear river to the sand bank at low tide. I loved living my life according to the tides.
An essential for the trip this year was a boat trip, we did the March tour with Nick from Harbour Tours. He told all the stories of people stuck on the marshes as the tide came in, the boys loved the death stories. We jumped off the boat to explore the marshes and collected sea lavender and samphire. Highly recommended, costing £10 per adult, £5 per child.
We headed over to Blakeney, a 10 minute drive to meet Emma – AKA The Money Whisperer and her girls. Emma has a very cool inflatable paddle board that the children took onto the water. And we caught crabs at high tide.
We walked up the farm and drank the hugest bottles of cider in the blazing sunshine. And met a guy from the National Trust and we discussed butterflies and local wildlife, we were a little drunk, but I did not, repeat, did not show him my new tattoo.
OMG the food was amazing. We had breakfast at Bang in Wells, the best pancakes ever, although I was trying to stick to detox and had mushrooms and eggs. For dinner we ate twice in Sands, beautiful fish, we had more fish and burgers in the Golden Fleece and crab salad at the Kings Arms in Blakeney. We ate ice cream every day, sometimes twice. And we had the most amazing fish n chips from French’s on our first day, the queues were worth it.
Everything had brilliant hygiene, and were strict about social distancing and customer numbers. There was hand sanitiser everywhere. The tourists were not great at sticking to social distance, I did have a word with one couple who sat 1 metre away from us on the hugest beach you have ever been to. they moved!
I did a bit of shopping. I bought a bottle of very lovely Black Shuck gin, my fiend who lent us the beach hut also works for the gin company. Very lovely and proceeds from the gin went to the air ambulance. And I loved browsing Mine, a jewellery shop on the main high street. I bought two pairs of earrings that I adore. Purple and orange obviously.
I loved chatting to all the small business owners and restaurant owners about how their lockdown has been and how they think the future will go. The consensus was uncertainty and challenging times ahead.
We spent a morning and lunchtime at Holkham hall, a huge stately home just one mile from our cottage on our bikes. The boys did a high rope Go Ape type course, sadly (!!) I was wearing inappropriate shoes so couldn’t take part. The boys were so brave, especially Jack, it was super high and very scary.
I got my garden fix by wondering the STUNNING walled gardens, taking around 200 photos of every flower and butterfly I found. The gardens were £8 for us to enter and the rope course was £18 each. Holkham Hall itself is free to wander and ride your bike around. The stone baked pizzas near the rope course are amazing!
I have totted up the cost of the holiday and its pretty good. The cottage was £600 for 7 nights. We spent £411 on eating out and another £60 on groceries. I spent £124 on shopping for me, gin, earrings and a candle and £112 on the boys for fun activities, beach hut hire and beach tat that mostly was lost or carried away by the tide. Fuel was around £20. It cost £80 for Trev to go to cat hotel, that he hated.
A total holiday spend of £1,407 all inclusive for an incredible week in the Norfolk sunshine.
Other spending were minimal
I paid for the balance for Isles of Scilly August accommodation at £375, my next holiday without the boys. And paid £25 for my cleaner to do the house whilst we were away. Total spend for the week was £1,295. Not bad at all for a summer holiday week.
I am really happy to spend my money in the UK and to have helped so many small businesses with a staycation week in Wells-Next-The-Sea. If you need some freebie idea to keep the kids happy dont forget to read this post with TEN free ideas.
All links in here are my recommendation, not affiliated in ANY way. Do visit Norfolk. It is amazing. Hope you love my recommendations.