Saturday, 8 June 2013

Holkham beach, North Norfolk

Where’s your favourite place in the world?  Other than home, I mean. 

Even though I’ve done a fair bit of travelling in my time, mine is the beach at Holkham, North Norfolk.

I’d discovered this idyll long before Gwyneth Paltrow strode along it in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ too.

I’ve been going to Holkham since I was a child, and I still go there maybe once or twice a year if I can.

It’s completely unspoilt, just as nature intended – you emerge through the pine trees to a wide expanse of sand with the sea just about visible on the horizon.

There’s no shop or any facilities at all really, although in recent years I seem to recall an upmarket food van (offering delights such as locally-produced venison sausage sandwiches) parked in the lane which leads to the path to the beach.

I remember coming to Holkham one February day when my daughter was a baby – it was sunny, and there was no wind, so it wasn’t as cold as you might think it would be for that time of year.

We went for a lovely walk on the beach with our dog, and then retired to the car for a flask of tea and some Christmas cake – such simple pleasures, but I can picture it so vividly like it was yesterday, when it was in fact nearly ten years ago.

I keep promising myself that one day I’ll stay at the nearby Victoria Hotel so I can go to the beach at sunrise and sunset, as I’ve never seen it at those times.  I imagine it’s truly stunning – I’ll let you know when I find out.

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