[singlepic id=688 w=400 h=300 float=middle] It’s amazing how popular the North Norfolk Coast is: I had only been there once, in the middle of winter, many years ago, but everyone I meet seems to have some connection with it. This is definitely the most scenic part of Norfolk, and a lot easier to photograph than the fens and Brecks of the the south-eastern part of the county, especially when the weather is good. I took Lindsey and the dogs this time, and we spent four nights over the long weekend in the Red Lion in Stiffkey, combining photography and research for the Norfolk book (to be pubished by Oxbow Books Ltd in the next year or so) and having a little holiday. The weather was magnificent for most of it – clear, with interesting skies – and even on the dull, rainy Bank Holiday Monday, I managed to get some moody shots on Hunstanton beach before retiring to our pub for a pint and a sing-song.
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There is no doubting that Norfolk is a flatish county, especially in the south, where the land hardly rises above 100 feet from the fens near Ely to the North Sea at Great Yarmouth. As you move north, the land gradually becomes more undulating, culminating in the dizzy heights of Beacon Hill, near Sheringham, at 360 feet! However, it is these hills that drop down to the level coastline along The Wash that lends this landscape its scenic beauty and variety. Then there is the wonderful light you get with the huge sky over the marshes and flat sea, and the little picturesque villages dotted along the coast providing colour and movement. The marshes, that are so typical of this region, run from Thornham in the west to Cley-next-the-Sea in the East, and are salt marshes, being a part of The Wash. At first sight, on a dull day, they can look bleak and uniform, but if you get in a boat, or take one of the footpaths that run through them, you are treated to an ever-changing scene of reeds, sea channels, ponds, and eventually the wide open sea, the sky and the beaches.

At the eastern end of the marshes is the town of Hunstanton, with its huge sandy beach, calm sea and banded red-and-white cliffs, and at the western end are Sherringham and Cromer, which are on the wild North Sea, with groynes along the beaches that limit the rapid erosion of the soft cliffs. There is also Cromer Pier, which looked magnificent on the lovely day I was there.
[singlepic id=691 w=400 h=300 float=middle] It is a varied and interesting landscape at any time, but when the weather and the light are right, it can be magical. And this was the case during this trip: it was cool and breezy, but with very clear air and lots of blue skies decorated with clouds that added enormously to the picture. Over the four days, I took nearly 300 images, of the landscape, the boats, wildlife, villages, houses, shops, cliffs: there was always something interesting or lovely to catch my attention.
And lots of lovely walks for us all, and new experiences for our puppy, Ruby.
Blakeney Point Ruby 2
We stopped in Kings Lynn on the way back, which is at the mouth of the River Great Ouse, and again, the weather was lovely, allowing me to take some nice photographs that could be used. This has given me a huge boost in collecting a good set of images for the North Downs book, and with a colourful autumn and a bit of snow during the winter, I could be well on the way….?

The book will be published by Oxbow Books in 2016.
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