Hello! I hope you are well.
Today I am going to take you for a walk. We’re lucky here to have lovely places to walk to from the front door and as it was warm and sunny on Saturday we decided to do a long, full circuit that skirts Holkham Park, down to the beach, through the pines and along the beach bank back home.
A few minutes from the house is the path that leads to the East Gate of Holkham park. I love these old twisted holm oaks, quercus ilex, that hold their arms up and over the path. There are a lot of holm oaks scattered all over the estate – apparently they come from the acorns that were used to pack cases of artefacts from the 1st Earl’s trips to Italy in the 18th century.
Just through the East gate there are more trees, beech, ash and silver birch. The sun shines down through the new lime, green leaves – bright, fresh and full of spring. Another sign of spring is the cuckoo that seems to follow us along the path with its loud, intermittent call.
A beckoning pastoral scene, but we head off down a path to the right towards the main gate.
Through the gate is the long sweep of the road right down to the beach. You can just see the pinewoods at the very end, and beyond that is the beach. Estate worker houses line the top end of the road, and beyond the main coast road, that crosses the path about half way down,
and past the cow parsley …..
…. is Lady Anne’s Drive. Looking back up the drive from the beach end you can see the beach carpark that is usually full of cars but at the moment it is completely empty.
So, along the duck boards that skirt the pines ….
to Holkham gap and the beach, where the tide is out.
Today we decide not to walk on the beach as there is a stiffish breeze coming from the east that would blow straight onto us, so instead we head into the pines.
The pinewoods run for three miles from Wells to Scolt Head and there are three kinds of pines that grow in the woods, Corsican (grey trunk, small cones), Scots (orange upper trunk) and Maritime (large cones in tree-top clusters). They were planted over 150 years ago to stabilise the sand and to form a barrier to stop the sand blowing onto the crops growing on the reclaimed land behind.
Apparently there are little owls in the woods and every time I walk through I look up into the trees in the hope that I might see one – but I never have.
The end of the beach huts appear …
… and before long we’re on the beach bank that runs for 1 mile from Wells to the beach.
Back to the quay and home for a cup of tea and a piece of cake …. we’ve deserved it!
I think the words to this aria from Handel’s opera Semele are very apt.
Where’er you walk
Cool gales shall fan the glade
Trees where you sit
Shall crowd into a shade
Where’er you tread
The blushing flowers shall rise
And all things flourish
Where’er you turn your eyes