Cley next the Sea shingle beach

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.

Cley next the Sea shingle beach

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.

Cley next the Sea shingle beach

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.

Cley next the sea

The children were blissfully happy in the scorching heat.

Cley next the Sea shingle beach

Cley next the Sea shingle beach

Cley next the Sea shingle beach

 

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7 comments

Reply

This takes me back – in the mid 80s, just married, we used to have a tiny cottage in the village of Hindringham, a few miles inland, and every summer weekend, after driving up from London on Friday night after another exhausting week in high pressure jobs, we would cycle over to Cley on the Saturday morning with a picnic, walk on the beach, and lie in the grass on the salt marshes for hours reading or just gazing at the sea and that great big sky…

It was and is the most beautiful, peaceful place and we had several magical summers there before my husband died.

Happy days.

It’s a good thing you don’t know what’s going to happen to you in life, isn’t it?

Reply

@carolinefo: What a glorious memory to have. That part of the world is so important to us too. The sky…

LLGxx

Reply

Cley and the north Norfolk coast is absolutely one of my favourites with so many great places to stay and nosh

Reply

@Bee: ME TOO! I love that the beaches are so unspoilt and free of tat and crowds LLGxx

Reply

@LLG: After berating you on Twitter in a very gentle way for making Norfolk sound awful, I feel I should apologise…sounds like you love all the places we do, for the same reasons. Let’s just avoid Acle Travelodge and Spar shops :o)

Reply

I’m not opriginally from England, but having lived here for 2 decades I have grown to love the English seaside too. Just came back from Dorset, it was glorious.

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