Frogs, sausages and a long walk in the woods

The one thing lacking at Sandringham Country Park is signs. It’s like a magical mystery tour. We arrived on Saturday following a both short and long walk from the campsite. Short in distance (it’s only just over a mile through beautiful woodland) but lengthy in time accompanied, as we were, by a five year old moving at the speed of a glacier and intent on finding frogs.

The children’s play area is not marked on the map but was relatively easy to locate. It has a great range of equipment and the holy grail of play – a zip wire. A significant portion of the day had passed before we bribed SC into leaving and finding the sculpture trail. This is marked on the sparsely populated map but not well signposted. We stumbled upon it while crossing the Scenic Drive route which was, at far as we could see, at that point a Scenic Traffic Jam.

The sculptures are nice enough albeit a bit random (“Look Mummy! An old man with owls!! And a gorilla!!). I was in the process of complaining that they might have provided a guide leaflet when we were overtaken by a family, with a guide leaflet…. Top tip – ask in the visitors centre for a leaflet.

We stopped for lunch at the restaurant in the visitors centre but after 15 min enjoying a static queue we abandoned that idea and headed to the adjacent farmers market open 10-3pm. After a mad spree of buying local sausages, local chilli sauce, local bread and local beer for our tea there were burgers and cupcakes all round for an enjoyably unhealthy lunch.

And thus began the long walk home, still looking for frogs and now weighed down with all our local food…

At the campsite we were overexcited to spot another Bongo and quickly invaded Kate, Lee and Jordy’s personal space for bongo-related chat. Their Bongo is unconverted, it is currently unnamed but does tow a funky green trailer tent called Penny to house the whole family. We had a great time swapping camping stories, successful and otherwise.

Lee, Kate and Jordy with their Bongo. Penny the trailer tent not pictured…
Bank holiday Monday (my birthday!) saw gorgeous weather and a trip back to our favourite Snettisham beach.

Norfolk, you are fabulous xx

Struggling to find a spot on packed Snettisham beach

Bernice sets sail in Norfolk

More often than not it seems my birthday falls on the bank holiday weekend (I’m sure that’s not technically correct but don’t work it out for me!). So you’d think that I’d be prepared for one thing and that thing is rain, I’ve had more wet birthdays than I can remember.

Omens were not good as our wheels hit the drive at Sandringham Camping and Caravan club to an accompanying rumble of thunder. Our camping neighbours confidently claimed it would “blow over” just before it went dark as night and this:

Despite many happy years of tent camping I offered a silent prayer of thanks for the wonder of having Bernice as we shut the door on it and put the kettle on.

Weather aside the campsite is a lovely spot in the grounds of Sandringham Country Park. It’s busy, pricier and manicured in the typical “Camping and Caravan Club” way but hey, I like a clean, heated shower block as much as the next person. It’s attractive and wooded with some nice little quirks like occasional wood sculptures and a pretty garden with an insect hotel. There’s a shop for the essentials and the staff are friendly and helpful.

For short campers there’s two playgrounds and a natty noughts and crosses set with stones painted as ladybirds and bumblebees. We requested to be near the playground and virtually had our front wheels touching it which made for a noisy but effectively child-free two days.

Don’t worry, the site is big enough to also be far away from the playground if that is your wish…

The only disappointment on the site is the lack of commitment to recycling. All rubbish gets put in together, the staff at reception said it gets sorted at the plant “allegedly”.

When the storm abated we navigated the lake which had formed outside Bernice and opted for the fish and chip supper option, a local van visits the site regularly. Although the chips are excellent, this is not an option for the hungry. We ordered our chips at 6.10pm and finally picked them up at 7.45pm.

The long wait did mean there was plenty of time for queue chat, how others’ tents had fared in the rain, ¬†are caravans better than camper vans (obviously not…) and what IS a trailer tent?? We also picked up some great tips for activities for the following day.