We’ve enjoyed trips to many diverse locations on the British coast over the past couple of years, usually an informal blend of work and pleasure, our most recent, to North Norfolk favoured the latter but was as inspiring as any.
There are many beautiful towns and villages in the area, some almost entirely constructed of flint and red brick buildings in the vernacular style. We based ourselves in Langham, a perfect example and well positioned to reach the coastal settlements of Wells, Morston, Blakeney and Cley by tandem. The ‘Norfolk is flat’ myth was dispelled on our first evening, pedalling to Wells for a beach walk we enjoyed the outward freewheel down to Stiffkey and burned off our fish & chips as we returned up the hill. We watched a barn owl, glowing white in the dusk as it glided silently overhead, an appropriate reward for our efforts.
Holt is a bustling Georgian market town peppered with thriving independent shops and galleries. A visit to Old Town was a trip priority. We’ve both admired and purchased from afar, our first visit to the shop lived up to all expectations. The company makes traditional British workwear to order in it’s first floor workshop. The shop itself reflects the clothing, a simple presentation of unashamedly traditional quality and service to an appreciative and loyal customer. We spent an hour or so chatting to ‘former Woolworth’s Saturday girl’ Miss Willey about knitwear, fabric mills and British manufacturing in general whilst trying a variety of garments. We used our second anniversary, the theme being cotton, as an excuse to each make a purchase.
Another local destination of note is the Bluejacket in Morston, a workshop gallery offering an eclectic trove from a six person collective. Luke Scott‘s selection of antiques is wonderfully diverse, Ned Hamond hand makes lighting in wood and copper and Roberta Hamond knits Gansey’s, (a local design of Navy woollen fishing jumper, the name a probable corruption of ‘Guernsey’) in traditional styles, commissions undertaken. The workshop takes it’s name from the Bluejacket, a ‘billyboy’ ketch which traded from Blakeney Harbour in the late 19th century.