Norfolk: Sheringham Park, Blickling Hall and Norwich

Ozzie started off our Tuesday by taking us on one of his favorite walks, the Sheringham Estate.  Folly & Whimsy would love it.

Note the enormous wind farm on the horizon

Sadly, galumphy dogs weren’t welcome at our next visit, Blicking Hall.

 Blickling’s 17th century library contains more than 12,500 books.  A temporary art installation had fabulous exhibits around the importance of the written word – as well as censorship and loss. 

My favorite: The Word Burned. “Take a peek at ‘The Word Burned’ down in the cellar at Blickling Estate – an area not usually open to visitors. When ISIS militants took control of Mosul, Iraq in 2014, they burned down its university library destroying thousands of books and manuscripts dating back to the Ottoman era. Following the liberation of the city in 2017, former students and academics saved around 2,000 volumes from the ashes of the library. Their work to restore and rebuild the library continues.”

It was lovely to spend to spend our next-to-last day in Blickling’s delightful gardens.

On Wednesday morning, Sue toured us around medieval Norwich. The city was a powerful center in Anglo-Saxon times, and continued in that role after the Normans arrived. The medieval district centers around a cathedral set in one of the largest monastic grounds in England. This cathedral/abbey was started by the Normans in 1096 (who demolished an Anglo Saxon village and two churches to create space.)

Baptism in a chocolate vat – yum!

Norwich Cathedral’s cloister is 2nd largest in England (after Salisbury). The cloister retains some wonderful painted bosses and its grassy labyrinth.

Norwich’s cathedral spire is 315 feet tall – 2nd only to Salisbury in height. (Cathedralic competition is evident  – Salisbury’s spire is 300+ years newer 🙂 I love the spire’s Art Deco look.

Norwich’s center is one of the best preserved medieval districts in England, with a thriving modern life.  Here’s a walking tour in snaps.

The market place, known as Tombland (from Old English meaning “open ground”), was moved from the riverfront to the castle by Normans intent on keeping an eye on trade.

Our visit took place during Banned Book Week.

Little is left of  Norwich’s castle beyond its moat, great views and renovated keep – now a registry office (where weddings are performed and life events recorded).

Delicious lunch at Logans.

Our Norwich outing ended at the train station, where we bid adieu to Sue and Phil and boarded the train to London.

While en route to London Liverpool Station,  we learned that the Piccadilly line, our direct Tube connection to Heathrow, was closed due to a strike. (Brexit looms over all.) Fortunately, we were able to grab tickets on the train from Paddington to Heathrow, with an easy tube connection to Paddington.

We stayed overnight at an inexpensive  Premier Inn directly connected to Heathrow Terminal 4 via covered walkway … a lo-o-o-ng covered walkway.  Some 10 minutes into the trek, (Heathrow can be counted on to increase your daily step count) we found ourselves confronted with a series of most amusing signs:

  • 100 meters to a warm welcome
  • 80 meters to a seriously tasty breakfast
  • 60 meters to delicious Costa coffee
  • 40 meters to a refreshing shower
  • 20 meters to a comfy bed

Great incentive to keep on truckin! And everything was just as advertised: good food, hot showers, comfy beds, quiet rooms and a good night’s sleep before the lo-o-o-ng flight home.

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