Friday, 28 August 2015

A holiday visit to Natural Surroundings...

Whilst on holiday the other week in Norfolk we needed to find an alternative route to avoid the very beautiful village of Cley Next the Sea..I know that sounds stupid why avoid somewhere beautiful?...well because it becomes less beautiful in a boiling hot car stuck behind a bus that can't get passed the lorry coming in the opposite direction, with 3 hot an bothered children in the back not to mention poor Chris who was, 'just trying to b***** drive!'...The very beautiful village of Cley was not designed for so much traffic (sorry to be one of the summer tourists making it worst) so we needed to find another way to the coast avoiding the very beautiful village of Cley to save our sanity. We found the perfect route and even more perfectly for a girl who loves her flowers we discovered Natural Surroundings...a wildflower centre. If you are ever in the area and need to avoid the busy coast road I would really recommend this lovely little place, it aims to promote wildlife friendly gardening with an emphasis on British wildlife and flowers and it does it beautifully within its 8 acres of gardens. Very importantly it also has a great cafe...we had to wrestle the plate from small boy when he'd finished his chocolate cake to stop him licking it clean (brought up in a barn!) There is a well stocked garden centre too which I had reluctantly to resist...we were camping so unless I could have got the dog to balance any plants on his head we just didn't have the room to take anything home. The dog isn't that talented sadly, oh and there were so many plants I would have quite happily buried daft dog under!

 The centre has the most thoughtful wildlife gardens and grounds to wander through, with things for the kids to spot on the way and a herb garden with the plants indentified for you (useful, if like me you can confuse your balms with your mints!)

One of my favorite things was a little hut with tanks of field mice inside...I'm a city girl what can I say?...field mice are always going to be a winner for me;) There were also bookcases full of natural history books to read. I would have quite happily curled up in there with the books an the mice, but the outdoors called and so did Chris who for some reason didn't share my love of the mice...

We wandered down through the gardens to the river where there was a brand new bird watching hut, someone had written on the board inside that they had spotted a Kingfisher only a few days before. I have never seen a Kingfisher, I really want to see one so I sat on the bench and stared intently at what looked to me like the most perfect Kingfisher perch...sadly the Kingfisher was obviously sitting on a more perfect perch somewhere else and 3 children, a dog an the call of cake does not allow for the time you must have in order for that Kingfisher to pass by! They even leave bird books around so you could look up any unfamilar ones you might see. I didn't have the heart to tell the younger 2 that there was no way they would see a Bee-eater or a Fish eagle in rural Norfolk...we did look though;)

 There was a little vegetable garden up by the cafe where I got veg my allotment this year hasn't been at its best I get jealous very easily...their apple trees were heaving with fruit...grrr...

We spent a lovely afternoon there, it was for me one of the highlights of our holiday...if only that Fish eagle (with his friend the Kingfisher of course) could have sat on that perch just for a second;) 

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