Last week in Norfolk was a reminder of just how glorious the English coast is during a heatwave summer. After a Sunday afternoon, paddling through the tidal mudflats at Wells next the Sea, on Monday afternoon we packed the children into the car, and headed to its neighbouring shingle beach at Cley next the Sea, which is reached through the Cley marshes, part of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Despite its name, Cley has not been next the sea since the 17th century, due to the silting up of its port and land reclamation. (Wiki)
It was blissfully deserted, although the gusting wind may have had something to do with the tranquility. There’s a feeling of being perched on the edge of the world here. E’s mother grew up in Texas, and loves the Norfolk coast for its big sky and endless horizons.
It’s hard to believe that Cley was once one of the busiest ports in England, where grain, malt, fish, spices, coal, cloth, barley and oats were exported or imported.
We dug a flimsy striped parasol into the shingle, and I weighted it with large stones that C helped me gather. Unfortunately our shingle beach inexperience showed: industrial issue windbreaks are the only things that wouldn’t be swept down the beach in seconds. I spent all our time on the beach holding onto the parasol pole for dear life.
It was only me that huddled under the parasol’s sheltering cover.
The children were blissfully happy in the scorching heat.