Our summer holiday

The final week of the school holidays we packed the car full and I really mean FULL, as in no doors should be opened until we get to the campsite.

Arrived at the campsite, ah that’ll be a tree we drove through.

The first part of our camping trip was to the Mildenhall Cycling Rally.  Derby Grandma and Grandad have been to this event and thankfully were with us for this visit, and said it would be a good place for the boys when they start getting into cycling a bit more.

The Farmer getting into the camping life

It was a very well organised event at a school in Mildenhall. There was racing all weekend, including Monday as it was bank holiday.

The Cyclist couldn’t resist. playground at Isleham

Saturday we headed out on a bike ride with the tandem and trailor, exploring around the lanes we came across a nice farm shop, La Hogue, which had a lovely play area.  Whilst there we had a huge rain storm, I watched with a smug grin until I realised I’d left my helmet outside, the rain stopped, but putting on a soaking wet, cold helmet wasn’t nice.

Play area at Judes Ferry pub.

On our route back we stopped at a nice pub near the river, would’ve been rude not to and both boys were asleep, bonus!  Later than night we indulged in fish and chips from the chip van on site and ate whilst listening and watching a huge thunder storm, it lasted nearly two hours! There are a lot lot of events at the rally to either get involved in or races to spectate, but we didn’t really do much there other than entering The Fireman into the children’s duathlon. Sitting and watching is never that easy with the boys.

Off he goes (orange t-shirt)

The duathlon started at 9.30am on Sunday, The Fireman was so excited and was non stop asking when he race would be. He decided he did not want us to help, so did it all on his own.  I’m not sure he understands the concept of a race, which is great because he just doing it for pure fun. He got his medal and a special prize for being the only three year old entrant, a bag of sweeties, oh how happy he was! I’d recommend the rally to families with children perhaps a bit older than ours (currently three and two), as I found it a bit difficult to get involved and the campsite, whilst I wouldn’t expect anymore for such an event is quite squashed in and not really suitable to let little ones roam around, so it made it a bit difficult to occupy them. Monday we packed everything away and headed north to the Norfolk coast for another five nights.  We stayed at Bird’s Farm.  It’s a lovely location and the campsite is nice and facilities are adequate, but what a shame they didn’t seem to look after them.

Grrr, chickens.

The shower was pretty grim and as there were chickens roaming around, the floor had chicken poo over it, as an adult you can be careful to avoid it when getting in and out of the shower, as a toddler it’s very difficult. The chickens were a pain, lovely to see, but not when they get in your tent and pinch food, hhmm. The chorus of cock-a-doodle-dooing at 5am was not at all welcome either. So get rid of the chickens and clean the showers and loos and it’d be fine. Whilst we were there we visited Holkham beach.  Neither The Cyclist or I are really beach people, but we knew the boys would love it.

Splash!!

Holkham is a lovely beach, you have to walk quite far to the sea but it’s worth it.  We started on the picnic as soon as we set up and in minutes I was crunching my way through sand filled sandwiches (heave).  The next day we headed out for another bike ride.  As we’ve visited the area a few times before we knew of a really nice nature reserve with cafe at Glandford.  Natural Surroundings is a lovely place.  It is a showcase of simple wildlife gardening.  There’s lots of things to see and do, including pond dipping, trails, exploring a badger sett and wandering around fields of wildflowers.  The cafe is nice too. It’s in quite a basic hut, but it’s in the woods, now that’s cool. Unfortunately we got soaked on our ride back, I could really do with a mudguard on the back of the tandem (The Cyclist is on the case) as I had a rather wet rear. We didn’t do much on the final day, had a drive out and stopped at the point at Cley Marshes.

First time I’d been in a camera obscura, very impressive. This one was at Cley Marshes Visitor Centre

We had a very British picnic on the beach, i.e, freezing and blowing a hoolie. It’s a very pebbly beach and it is the only time that we would happily allow stone throwing, into the sea that is. It was like some anger management plan for The Fireman as he growled and screamed with each throw, fortunately it was windy so others didn’t notice.

Still lobbing stones

Getting a bit Andy Goldsworthy

I think there’s a storm brewing?

We had another drive the sea air was enough for the boys to drift off to sleep.  We finished off our last night with some delicious chips from the Norfolk Riddle fish and chip shop in Walsingham.  I found this week camping difficult, I think maybe because it was the final week of the holidays and I was exhausted and whilst the weather wasn’t that bad it could have been a bit better. One of my culianary highlights of the week – For dinner, a jar of hot dog sausages mixed with beans and served on toast followed by Strawberry Angel Delight, oh yes we were living the dream!

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