A Day Next-the-Sea

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Within our first couple weeks of arriving in England, we had already received our first recommendation from locals to visit Wells-Next-the-Sea. We didn’t make it out there right away, since it was a longer drive than other coastal destinations we wanted to check out. But locals kept recommending that we go there– I think we racked up four different recommendations before we finally went! As I have mentioned in just about every post in the last week or so, the weather here has been beautiful. To us, it feels hot, even, at 75º- 80º! So on Sunday, we visited our favorite breakfast spot, and then headed to Wells-Next-the-Sea. (How sweet is that name?! I guess there is another town called Wells, and this one is right next to it, on the sea. Very logical.)

We found parking right on the harbor, and our first order of business was hopping onto one of the ships to have a pint down below, out of the cold wind.

I had a good scrumpy cider, and we enjoyed the novelty of bobbing up and down inside the ship as we enjoyed our drinks. The walls were lined with nautical maps and old pictures of the boat in harbors at various places around Europe.

The village is on an inlet, and so people park near the harbor and then walk about a kilometer or so out to the sandy beach. It was SO windy, and surprisingly cold. Fortunately, Amelia and Jeff had brought some warm clothes. Not me– I tend to be way too optimistic about these things.

We walked quite a ways, then got tired of carrying our picnic, and climbed down the slope to sit and eat our lunch in a little rowboat.

That was fun and novel! And we got a lot of interested looks from everyone walking by…

After that break, we walked the rest of the way, past the marina and found an area that was sandy and somewhat sheltered from the wind.
This is what Amelia had been waiting all day for! She got to build some sand castles, and Jeff and I enjoyed laying in the sun. By the way… The craziest thing I saw was scores of Brits already burnt to a crisp, laying in the sun and drinking beer! It looked so painful, but hear this is pretty normal. I suppose the alcohol helps numb the pain of the sunburn, but part of me was very concerned and wanted to offer a gallon of water and a long-sleeved T-shirt to everyone I saw! (The guy in the picture below must have just been getting started!)

After some time in the sun, we found a little train that took us back to the harbor– we had already spent so much time walking in the wind, this was a big relief. We spotted this sign and of course had to stop in:

The cider was so good that we brought a couple bottles home! Here’s an old cider press– I love seeing traditional equipment like this.

On our way home, we stopped at a farm to pick up the most beautiful bunches of asparagus I have ever seen. It was such a nice way to relax at home, grilling a chicken and enjoying it with a cold asparagus soup and that wonderful cider. We felt like we took full advantage of where we live.

And our hearts were all sunny and warm…

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17 Responses to A Day Next-the-Sea

  1. Tina @ Girl Meets Globe May 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Alright, I must put this on the list of places to see!

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Tina– I’m sure your list is getting VERY long! Maybe we can meet you out there at the end of summer, when you’re done with all of the moving in and are ready to have some fun. Going to the coast was the first thing we did that was just recreation, not having to do with settling in, looking for a place to live, etc. It was SO nice!

  2. Rebecca June 1, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    The town name IS so charming and the town itself seems to match the sentiment well. I really liked the rowboat picnic picture and the colors in the last picture look like a watercolor painting. My grandfather was a carpenter/janitor by trade but an artist by love. He never sold anything, but he was pretty prolific, especially with his watercolors of boats on the sea. This last photo makes me think of one of his paintings.
    I like that you enjoy old machinery. I always have too. Everything now is so computerized but in old machinery, the physical mechanics are right there for you to see – this lever lefts up, that wheel goes. There’s this venerable beauty about that to me. And plus old machinery looks kind of like some crazy Rube Goldberg sculpture to me.

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Rebecca– I loved hearing about your grandfather. I think there’s an artist in each of us, and selling work is SO beside the point, isn’t it? Do you have any of his paintings in your home? We have several from my husband’s grandma, and seeing them is like getting a little peck on the cheek.

      A lot of the old machinery is still used here, especially the cider presses. I don’t think the one I showed is still in use, but there are plenty out there. Jeff and I dream a little about getting a small press and making cider… But of course it’s really impractical for a family that might be moving in a year or two!

  3. Lee June 1, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Seems like you had a nice day; I don’t know this part of the country since I live much further north…however I do know that Cromer, just along the coast, is famous for its crabs.

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      Hi Lee– we did see plenty of people at the harbor fishing for crabs. It looked like a lot of fun, and they seemed to be pulling them in easily. We will definitely need to try it next time– I hear Walberswick is also a great place for easy crab fishing. I will need to check out Cromer…

  4. Great Scott June 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Love this post. And I agree with Tina – I’m putting this on my list! I loved the photo of you with the cider ( i love scrumpy ciders!!), the one of Amelia on the beach (that smile!!) and the old press (how cool!). Looks like a truly special day. So happy you all had so much fun!

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Yep, lots of fun! Sarah, have you been to the coast here yet? We have a number of places that are between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours (on beautiful country roads) from our place, and they are all so cool! Now we’re just waiting for another sunny weekend to check out another beach…

  5. Restaurants in Steamboat June 2, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    It’s was quite amazing one. I love these photos a lot. IT better to do travel at the sea.

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      I couldn’t agree with you more about the best travel spots being by the sea! It’s my favorite landscape, for sure!

  6. Kimberly June 4, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    This looks like a wonderful day. I would want to go again and again.

    • Ariana June 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Ah, yes, Kimberly. We do, too! Unfortunately, that gorgeous weather didn’t last very long… But believe me– as soon as the sun comes out again, we’ll be headed back to the beach! And there are SO many to explore!

  7. Jen June 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Wells-Next-the-Sea! It was always my favourite beach when I was growing up. It’s been more than two decades since I was last there, but I still have fond memories. If you like trains, there is a small one near the parking area that was always a cool treat on a hot summer day.

    • Ariana June 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Jen, I wonder what has changed since you’ve been gone… There were some cranes and bulldozers out on the sands. I wonder if they are making the inlet a big deeper? But it had a really sweet, traditional feel, and it was obviously a local favorite.

  8. Trish @ Mums Gone To... June 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Our nearest coast is the North Norfolk coast too and it’s been ages since we’ve been to Wells. There are so many beautiful spots on that coastline, this post has encouraged me to go again soon.
    Shame about the burning Brits…no sense at all!

    • Ariana June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Oh, I know! So many beautiful coastal destinations here! Sometimes it’s hard, because we find little villages on the sea that we like, but instead of going back, we feel compelled to visit the next one and the next! What is your favorite? I would love a recommendation!


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