We'd never visited Norfolk before and it was always on our list. So when we came across a hotel in a January sale that we couldn't ignore, we jumped at the chance to visit. We never expected quite what greeted us on our first day!

Originally we'd set out to explore the Norfolk broads including a stop by a very pretty windmill. On the approach I could see scaffolding and both Mr B and I joked that that was it. As we approached, the ever familiar 'You have reached your destination' rang out from the smug lady on Google Maps. Turns out we'd picked badly. We laughed a lot and carried on our way. It was hardly a beautiful sight, I can tell you.

5 minutes up the road, Mr B spotted a sign that said 'Seal viewing area' so we made a quick detour to investigate.

Oh my am I glad we made that detour. We parked up in an unsuspecting gravel carpark at Horsey Gap, climbed over a sand dune and were greeted with a beautiful beach... and thousands of seals. We expected maybe one in the water, in the distance - if we were lucky!

Between October and February the seals use the beach to have their pups, apparently an amazing sight, as we were told by the warden. We are planning on returning next year now as a result. Being March, the pups had already turned from white to brownish grey but if you looked closely, you could just make out the babies. 

We really couldn't believe our eyes. They were frolicking about it the waves, rolling about on the sand, swimming far at sea. Just so many.

It's funny. Looking at these blubbery guys, you can almost imagine a personality. They are such silly characters.

We wandered along the beach for miles. Stunned, entertained and suitably impressed yet again by what the UK has to offer. And frankly, what some of us don't bother trying to see in our lifetime between commuting to the office and home and REPEAT...

One thing I will say about these guys, They are incredibly lazy. They look it at least. The warden explained that they spend a lot of time laying in the sand to help themselves shed their winter coats.

I can't help but think they look a little sad. I want to hug them. But you wouldn't want to get too close. They have dreadful tempers and regardless of that, they have a certain fragrance that when the wind blows, it could make your toes curl.

But still, like I said, you forget all of that when you are distracted by their cute, sleeping faces.

This baby was just on the turn. His coat turning grey but he was still so much smaller than the rest. He melted my heart.

If you look closely, they are so affectionate to each other when they're not fighting :p

Don't they have the funniest looking 'toes'?!

They really know how to make sleeping amongst pebbly sand look comfortable. Just look at their faces!

This guy was clearly dreaming about eating fish in some tropical paradise somewhere. :)

This one looked like a polar bear!

And this fatso looked just like I look when I am asleep. Mouth open, drooling and totally oblivious to the world. I'm sure it's the reason Mr B decided to marry me.

If the promise of seals isn't enough to persuade you, then visiting Horsey is worth it for the views. Endless seas and mist on the horizon, seagulls, sand dunes - The perfect coastal charm. 



You might even spy a sailor on the horizon if you're lucky.

We finally decided to pull ourselves away from the beach blobs, an absolute treat, unplanned and stumbled upon completely by chance. I have never been more grateful for a windmill covered in scaffolding in all my life.

We headed back up the beach towards the sand dunes. It really is an attractive beach.

We climbed the dunes and took in the view from above.

In complete contrast to the beach, behind the dunes, there are marshlands and wilderness for miles to see.

In the distance we spied an old WWII pill box and so headed over to check it out.

There is so much to see here, easily a day or a weekend could be spent exploring for both children and adults alike. A place I am certain we will return to.

Next up on our trip to Norfolk, I'll be pointing out some other picturesque locations that I'd definately recommend and another boutique pub hotel of dreams! Stay tuned to be inspired. If Norfolk is good enough for Will's and Kate to live there, then it's good enough for the rest of us!

- MTWP xxx

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