Back in April we spent a week in North Norfolk with family. Although I’m quite familiar with various parts of the North Norfolk coastline, I didn’t really know the area we stayed in, near Holt and a few miles inland of Sheringham. I didn’t manage to do a great deal of research before we set off, so our days were rather on the spontaneous side. Holt itself proved to be a lovely little town, full of interesting cafes, antique and vintage shops, independent grocers and even a record shop!
On our way to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve (which is also well worth a visit) one day, we drive past a sign for Binham Priory. Out of interest, we pulled in and discovered this fascinating English Heritage site. The extensive ruins of a Benedictine Priory, founded in 1091, are a brooding presence on the gentle, rolling landscape and are well worth a visit. The ruins also have a sign stating my favourite ever opening hours: “any reasonable time”. This prompted a lengthy discussion on what would not be a reasonable time to be found at Binham Priory…
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us moving house, so we took a little jaunt up to Norfolk for some relaxation this weekend.
My aunt and uncle, Andrew and Bridget, run a B&B in Shouldham, near Kings Lynn: the Chalk and Cheese. The old, red-brick Victorian building used to be the village school, which they bought after it closed and converted it into a rather unique and amazing home. The next change, to B&B and restaurant came later (although they still live in one corner of the building), and later still came an on-site antiques emporium. The next stage includes two self-contained little cabins in the gardens, which are coming along well!
I absolutely love the main room, the old school hall. Not all the antiques make it into the emporium, and every corner in here is filled with oddities and curios.
A more recent (although well-established now) addition is the huge glass conservatory, where we enjoyed our meals and a never-ending supply of Earl Grey tea in the sun.
After a cosy Saturday night in front of the fire, drinking all manner of different gins (SO much gin!), we headed out for a walk across the fields with the dogs on Sunday morning (luckily avoiding the unexpected hail storm). We are back home now, feeling rather tired but quite refreshed from our little break!