Saturday, 14 May 2016

Another Norfolk wedding & a visit to The Broads

As it seems my every waking moment is consumed again by assignment reading and writing, I know that by the time this is published it will be hugely outdated but a) at least I won't be doing anything exciting in the meantime to over-shadow and b) it was a weekend just too good not to write about!

Far too many of my friends are being totally grown up and marrying people which is terrifying but of course also incredibly exciting and I do love a good wedding. This one took us to Norfolk again (there's clearly something in the air there) and to the undiscovered (by me at least) village of Little Ellingham which if I do say so sounds like something out of a quintessentially English film or TV show but it's actually very real.

Slightly disorganised as always, we sadly booked too late to check-in to the apartments we liked in the city so we ended up in a B&B outside of Norwich on the River Yare in an area called Postwick (or 'Possick' because of course it is Norfolk after all and nothing is pronounced as it looks). Advertised as being set on 400 acres of land we thought it would be a nice base for the weekend and a definite break from London city life.

Friday night came and we were on our way. Out of London in record time thanks to Mr Knowledge, we were soon flying along the motorway (pretty much literally) with a beautiful sunset alongside us after a wonderfully sunny day and tunes blaring.

Google Maps triumphed again as we jiggled our way along a long, dark and dusty track littered with pot holes and shrouded in hanging mist, feeling grateful that we were sitting in a 4x4. The single lamppost at the end of said track set the scene for somewhere with potential to be a bit creepy but actually it was super cosy and with the friendliest welcome (even though we were apparently a day early. Whoops).

After a very comfortable night's sleep I was of course straight to the curtains to discover what actually lay outside having not seen much of anything in pitch black the night before. Endless green bathed in sunshine drew me straight up and out. Following a hearty breakfast accompanied by the sound of excitable cows we decided to go for a walk around the farm in pursuit of fresh air and nature before coming back to get ready for the afternoon's frivolities. Blowing out the cobwebs and all of that.

The wedding itself was a very pretty affair with some truly villagey touches. White, blue and yellow was the colour palette and there were flower petals to be thrown as confetti. Throughout the service, smiles and laughs were seriously abundant and we then trundled along in a vintage bus (definitely my highlight) to the reception in a neighbouring village pub. A truly lovely day and, in true English style I must also comment on how lovely the weather was for the occasion!

Can you tell I liked the bus?

The next day, getting up was no struggle when a) we knew what awaited us outside and b) the smells and sounds of breakfast began to waft our way. Each time we visit Norwich we like to make the most of being in that part of the world so we often take a detour. Being on the river had inspired us, we were off to The Broads.

I don't think I'd been to The Broads in at least 10 years but I'm pleased to report that (of course, it's Norfolk) nothing has changed. After a quick bit of research in the morning about where was best to go if only for a day, we first headed to Woodbastwick.

A twenty minute drive from where we were staying, we wended our way through woodland until thatched rooves began to peep through the trees then we knew we were in the right place. A flint church and a selection of quaint cottages made for pretty viewing before we moved on to our next port of call, Ranworth.

Woodbastwick had been a little too far in-land for us to find any water but Ranworth was right on the egde of one of the basins so we were immediately greeted by a whole host of boats. We took a walk through the nature reserve to Ranworth Broad where we stopped for a while to marvel at the plethora of bird life and surreality of the setting.

Ranworth also had a church and this one with a tower you could climb so obviously we did! It was rather precarious but we made it up and down unscathed and the view was pretty spectacular so definitely worth it. There was even a pleasant breeze which was very welcome on what was turning out to be a bit of a scorcher.

Our final stop was Wroxham and Roy was prevalent the moment we turned onto the main road that would lead us to the village centre; Roy's Jet, Roy's McDonald's and then of course Roy's of Wroxham itself and my personal favourite, Roy's Toys.

Here we sat along the riverside to enjoy cool drinks in the sunshine whilst watching boats gently gliding by. It was a truly beautiful end to a truly beautiful weekend. I think maybe there might be a boating holiday on the horizon one day, we'll see.