Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Norfolk (Day 1)

After a four hour drive, including a lengthy crawl on the M25 and various roadworks throughout our journey to Norfolk last week, we finally reached Holkham Hall Estate. Holkham Hall is an eighteenth-century country house located adjacent to the village of Holkham, on the north coast of Norfolk. The hall is one of England's finest examples of the Palladian revival style of architecture, constructed for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester by the architect William Kent, aided by the architect and aristocrat Lord Burlington. The Holkham estate, formerly known as Neals, had been purchased in 1609 by Sir Edward Coke, the founder of his family fortune and still remains the ancestral home of the Coke family, the Earls of Leicester of Holkham.

The park is home for around 800 Fallow Deer and a small herd of Reds. Just after midday one of the estate workers appeared and repeatedly bellowed a call out across the park. His voice was quickly recognised by the animals far and near. He then traversed the open grassland in a tractor and laid a trail of sugar beet. We then watched the procession of deer as they frantically followed the trail of food.

A pair of bucks quietly feeding beneath the oak canopy by the side of the exit road as we headed out along the coast road towards our our next stop at Stiffkey.

The open sky view across Stiffkey Marsh looking towards Blakeney Point. On a spring (marsh) tide much of this whole area is under water and a treacherous place to wander as you can very quickly become engulfed by the fast rising tide.

This has been a regular stopping place for me at the end of the day in past years to scan the horizon for raptors and owls returning to their roost at Warham Greens. Far too early today but a distant view of a Marsh Harrier floating along the beach margins, a Little Egret having a bad hair day as it looked for a meal in one of the many saltmash gullys. We also located Redshank, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Crow, Curlew, Black-headed & Herring Gulls, Linnet, Meadow Pipits and Starlings.

A very brief stop in the Beech Road at Salthouse produced a fleeting glimpe of a flock of 17 Buntings (probably Snow) flitting around the shingle bank but the strong wind prevented any attempt at long range photography from the shelter of the car....we would revisit later in the week to search again.

Mid afternoon we located our hotel, The Pheasant at Kelling, and after booking in we met up with two of our four friends and took a leisurely stroll through the wood fringed heathland overlooking the sea and caught a glimpse of our first, but not the last, Norfolk sunset before tasting the first of many cruptious meals.

See you next on Norfolk Day 2.  FAB


  1. Hi Frank, that's a nice selection.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Well Norfolk day 1 is a sumptuous post with many nice pictures. I love the last one and the little egret shots very much, but the whole set and the story behind it s very nice. Thanks for sharing and I'm eager to see day 2!!

  3. All looks very nice, can't wait for the next instalment of pics!

  4. What a beautiful place!Exactly as I imagine pastoral Britain to look like. The deer are gorgeous as well, and interesting with the black and white markings as opposed to our white tailed deer. Great tour -looking forward to day 2.

  5. Some excellent sightings for day 1 Frank.
    I can imagine a great time was had there. Look forward to seeing the rest.

  6. Stunning post Frank with some supurb images, the Deer shots are great and what a wondrful setting to be in. Can't wait for part two. BRILL.

  7. Hi everyone, thanks for dropping by.

    Bob. Few more to come once I've sorted the wife's car that has just refused to start!!

    Chris. You may have to wait just a little while as other chores need to be dealt with. BTW more sunsets to follow.

    Sharon. Cheers.

    Susan. Glad the location came up to expectation. I should have moved there years ago when I could possibly have afforded it, but that's another story!

    Keith. Great to hear from you..presume the flu is passing?

    Monty. Thanks, it would be my ideal place to live.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post..and seeing your photos! That must have been some sight to see all those deer emerge and follow the sugar beet trail..wow!! Do have a nice weekend and hope you get out to capture some more neat sites and pixs!!

  9. ....the hotel you stayed in is beautiful. I popped over to read about it, and noticed they seem to cater to birders and artists! Sounds like a wonderful place to stay. Beautiful photos. I look forward to more posts on your trip. Love the "bad hair" the Little Egret is showing!

  10. Great photos and the scenery is fascinating. The view across the marsh is especially interesting. I wonder what tide heights you get there during the spring tides?

  11. Hi Tina. It was just like "The Pied Piper" or 'follow the leader'! Some more Norfolk pics to come very soon.

    Hi Kelly. There were very few guests at the hotel last week so it was very easy going. The Chef / Manager was quite a 'case' as well plus the Gardener is a birdwatcher & knows what is where. 'Bad hair day' - That's why I wear a cap!
    It's a well known area for artists..good light etc.

    Mick. Talking to the locals I understand that the highest tides can completely flood the parking area up to 2 feet deep.

  12. Ah memories? I used to go to Holkham regularly, for Hawfinches and the regular Tawny Owl roosting in the big flat topped pine tree.

  13. TonyC. Glad to bring back some happy one's for you. I regret we didn't have time to search for TO this year but I'm hoping to return early in the New Year, so ho knows what we will see then.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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