We decided last week that this Sunday if the weather was forecast fine, we would do a long walk with accompanying picnic. The last couple of days have been fine with some actual periods of sunshine. This morning we packed our lunch – a disparate collection of Sweet potato burritos, babybel cheese, coconut macaroons and bananas, and of course some nibbles for the hounds. This walk was going to be one of our long walks taken over a few hours. We decided on one of our favourites, a circular walk from Felbrigg Hall (a National Trust property) towards the coast to East Runton, calling into Cromer for a cup of coffee and then back towards Felbrigg. Nigel, in the past has estimated the total distance to be about 8 miles.
I am breaking in a new pair of hiking boots ready for our summer holiday in Switzerland in June, but decided to go with my old pair of trusted Brashers as I didn’t want any blisters. We set off about 10.45 and relished being in the fresh air out in the countryside. Once we had passed the lovely Felbrigg Hall (currently undergoing some roof renovations) we were able to let the dogs off the lead.
The dogs act quite differently on walks. Tillie being confident and headstrong will always be surging ahead, sniffing at every available tuft of grass or bush and looking about, scanning the horizon for any signs of bunnies, ears pricked. Whereas Raven, being less confident will run off ahead with Tillie, sniff what she is interested in but immediately race back to us and walk with us until I tell him to go on ahead. Overall he covers much more ground, probably adding on about another third of the distance of the walk with his constant going backwards and forth.
The sun made a brief appearance but on the whole it was quite overcast most of the day but warm enough to walk without coats on. We take regular breaks to drink and of course eat our picnic and to give the dogs a drink and their treats although Tillie loves drinking out of muddy puddles.
By the time we were approaching the town of Cromer situated on the North Norfolk Coast, famous for its pier and Cromer Crabs, we were probably ¾ of the way round, so were quite tired but looking forward to another well earned rest, this time at Huckleberries, a coffee & cake shop on the high street that luckily has a few outside seats, handy when you have two great hulking hounds in tow.
We were enjoying our Americanos and sharing a millionaires slice (shortbread, caramel and chocolate) when we felt a few spots of rain, so we decided to press on with the last leg of our walk, out of Cromer and back towards the car at Felbrigg. About ½ a mile from the car it started to come down quite hard and by the time we arrived back to where the car was parked all four of us looked somewhat bedraggled and damp. As a side note – legend has it that Arthur Conan Doyle, whilst staying in Cromer, visited Cromer Hall and heard about the Black Shuck legend (a ghostly black dog that is supposed to roam the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast) and incorporated it into his story The Hound of the Baskervilles, but not however setting it in Norfolk.
Once home, Nigel downloaded the info from his GPS gadget to find out how far we had actually walked and proudly announced it wasn’t 8 mile but 13 which took us, with stops about 4 hours!!! No wonder we all feel tired now and I haven’t heard a peep out of the dogs since we got back, they only stirred themselves to eat their dinner.