Who says you can’t go on an adventure just down the road from your home town? Lately I have realised that there is actually so much to do and see in the vicinity of my home, I just needed to look for it!
I’ve been down to the seaside resort Hunstanton in Norfolk many times before. It’s nice, but not really anything to scream about. So this time I decided to venture an extra 9 miles along the coast to Brancaster.
The 9 mile drive was surprisingly great! The unsightly concrete blocks and cheap booze stores that make up most of Hunstanton were quickly replaced with picturesque cobbled buildings, floral decorated streets and country cottages. As we drove through the Norfolk countryside I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful traditional English villages before me-a complete contrast to Hunstanton!
Brancaster is much quieter than Hunstanton, there are no arcades, no bars or restaurants and no guesthouses. It is simply an unspoilt beach reached through a traditional English village and a dirt track road.
The beach is much nicer too, it’s impeccably clean and the sand is soft on your toes. Even though it was the beginning of winter and about 15 degrees out I couldn’t resist taking off my shoes and allowing my feet sink into the soft, cold sand.
The beach is long and vast and you can see for miles. Far in the distance you can see the newly built wind turbine farm out in the ocean. Crabs walk freely across the sand without the worry of human interaction. Sea horses fill the rock pools. It is quiet, and peaceful.
This part of the Norfolk coast is renowned for its deadly tides, and people are often stranded out at sea when the tide comes in at the speed of a galloping horse. So heading out to sea as the tide was beginning to come in was perhaps not the best idea I’ve ever had, but it certainly was an adventure!
My friend told me about a shipwreck on the beach, that’s only reachable during low tide. I was quite excited at the prospect off searching out a shipwreck that has literally just been left. No tourists, no tours guides, just sitting there waiting to be uncovered by the low tide twice each day and the rest of the time beneath the sea.
So I began my trek across the beach. I could see the shipwreck in the distance, why do things always look closer than they are? It took me around an hour to walk there.
Although the tide was out, the sand has been formed into a ridged effect from the previous tide, filled with water in between each line. The water was very cold on my feet and the hard wet sand began to hurt my soles after a while. The walk was pretty uneventful until I was almost there and I came across an obstacle-a river!
The river didn’t look deep, but the water was freezing. I knew if I wanted to make it to the shipwreck that I had to cross the river. So I rolled up my skirt and began to wade my way through. At its deepest, the water came just above my knees. The bottom was covered in rocks and stones, and with the water temperature probably not much above freezing my feet began to get very sore! At one point I almost stepped on a huge crab, after letting out a little scream I picked up the pace and got out of the water as quick as I could.
A few minutes later I reached the shipwreck.
The ship wreck wasn’t that much to look at really. You could see it was a ship, it had a clear front and a back to it, but not much else. But even though the wreck might not have been as impressive as I had hoped, I still thought it quite amazing to be stood next to an actual real ship wreck. It is amazing to think that this ship would have had sailors onboard, that for whatever reason it must have got into difficulty at sea and ended up here. And here it stayed, covered by the sea and revealed to the world for only a few minutes each day. I stood and looked, and thought about this for a moment. There was a kind of eerie feel in the air.
When walking around the wreck I found a sign saying that we should return to the beach immediately and if the tide is coming in too quickly that we should go to a nearby sand dune. This worried me somewhat, and as I could see the tide was beginning to close in I decided to retreat.
The walk back to the beach was just as eventful as the way out. Slightly concerned about the incoming tide I walked quickly. When I reached the river I wasn’t sure I could put my feet through that pain again and so I volunteered my friend to give me a piggy back. Being a gentleman he did, but with double the weight on his feet it wasn’t long before he stepped on some soft sand and sunk knee deep into it! He dropped me into the water (luckily I managed to keep my clothes dry!) and I almost landed on yet another huge crab! I also began sinking into the ‘quick sand’ and jumped back onto his back quickly! Eventually we made our way across the river back onto dry ground and walked the rest of the trek back to the entrance to the beach.
For what started out as a random walk along the beach turned into quite an adventure. I just love these little hidden wonders in the world, such as this ship wreck, and I love little unexpected adventures like this.
I love overseas travel, but unfortunately with everyday constraints of life this is not possible all of the time. So whenever I am here in my own country, I intend on making the most of it, and searching out hidden gems such as this! Life is for living, and that is exactly what I intend on doing!