We love the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea. Part of Holkham Estate, it is ten minutes drive along the coast from our house, and after the tootle down Beach road, you climb the wooden steps through the trees, and when you reach the top you will never tire of that `wow` moment, when you look out across vast sands, huge skies, and the higgledy piggledy colourful beach huts that fringe the beach, backed by sandy dunes and pine trees.
Wells is called thus, due to the natural springs that rise through the ground. To the west(and towards Holkham Bay) the beach stretches miles, and to the east it continues, but can be cut off by the tides. We have been three times this week, Easter Saturday early morning, with a group of friends and two dogs .We walked and walked, and talked and talked, and smugly congratulated ourselves on how lucky we are to have chosen to live in this lovely place. The weather that morning was , well `ish` sunny and warm, then breezy and threatening to turn into something more grim. It didn’t luckily , at least not whilst we were there, but we were very keen to head for the Beach Café for coffee when we descended the steps with windblown faces and raggedy hair. Unfortunately said Café didn`t open until 10am –tut tut, I can`t think why, especially on an Easter holiday Saturday, they certainly missed a trick, but we repaired to the Victoria Inn at Holkham to warm up around the large table in the bar.
The Wednesday after Easter saw us heading back to the beach. This time at 6pm on a very sunny, very warm , very big blue skied evening to meet a family for whom lovely artist husband had been making two quirky signs for their beach hut. Armed with a small step ladder-paparazzi style, various drills and screwdrivers and the essential bottle of Prosecco, we hit the beach , dog in tow. What a fabulous evening. After much discussion on where said signage should go, and the general opinion that the beach hut should now be painted white to show them off properly, and many many photos taken( cue Boden fashion -shoot styling), we settled down to once again revel in the fact that we were on the beach in the sun, drinking wine on a Tuesday evening. Harry the Lurcher dug a hole-a rather large one, the five children jumped in and out of it and us six adults just sat and looked out to sea. I decided then that I really do want a beach hut. And when we got home I started googling madly. There are several available. At a price. Of course. So not just yet, but I look forward to the day when I can call one home, oh and decorating it of course. Loving the union jack painted beach hut by the way-it`s been done beautifully.
What is sad is that there are many huts along the beach in Wells that are truly neglected. I don`t expect them all to look as though they have just been featured in Coast magazine,(oh go on then, I do really), but so many are falling down, rotting and looking well, just sad. I am sure there should be some clause that insists that they are well maintained .
A beach hut is a great idea for a base during a day on the beach ,and you can store all your beach paraphernalia there, as to avoid lugging baskets, and rugs and buckets and spades with you each time you visit, with the added bonus of somewhere to make tea, boil an egg, heat up soup, or even cook a lobster if you so please. We left the beach that evening with roses in our cheeks, and once again looking at (our) world through rose-coloured sunglasses.
This morning,Sunday , we were up with the lark , bacon grilled, rolls cut, flask of milky coffee made, and we headed to the beach with my sister and family, who have been staying with us for le weekend. I thought they had been to this particular beach before, but apparently not, and it was great to see them have the `wow` moment too. My nine year old nephew, a hardy soul, wore shorts, shirt sleeves and bare feet, shrieking about how soft the sand was. Coming from a small town in Surrey, the beach is even more of a treat to him. Another glorious morning, with us initially being the only people there.
And after the bacon sandwiches had been devoured, the coffee glugged, and another rather large hole dug by the dog, we headed out to the dunes that divide the beach from the channel of water that can surprise you by rushing in to the sound of the siren when the tide turns….
These two huge dunes are somewhat diminished from what they once were,by the raging storms of last December, but are gradually rising out of the sands once again , giving you a great place to stop and wait awhile. We did so. Watching the seagulls, a small plane circling overhead-love that sound, many, many dogs rushing round, nephew playing long jump, and us just loving it all. So it was with gloomy faces that we had to head back , but we brought -as always, a great reminder home with us. Sand. Lots of it. I swear it exfoliates the sealant we put on our pamment tiles in the kitchen, swirling it around as we and the dog go about our daily doings. But no matter. My sister and I were saying how some people just don`t `get` the beach, think it too messy , too `sandy`and so on. But as she said memories of sand in our sandwiches (and everywhere else!) has been a rite of passage to us lot.
But we love it , and having a car ( and house) full of sand goes with the territory when you live here, and I wouldn`t have it any other way.