In England the weather is a subject topical

Be it a Beast From The East

Or something more tropical

Whether it’s raining, or sunny,

Or will do harm to monkeys of brass

We’ll discuss the weather

With those we do pass


Broads Getaway

My wife and I were given a lovely present of a getaway. We booked into the Sprowston Manor Hotel, Golf & Country Club and founded it a convenient base of operations to see that area of the Norfolk Broads. As can be expected, the hotel was decked out for Christmas and there were multiple festive trees and displays around the facility. As can be seen from the photos our room over looked the pool (a window in the hallway opposite the room gave a clear view. That said the heat and chlorine of the pool sis make that section of the corridor a bit hot and we needed to run a fan in the room to keep the temperature comfortable. The bed was a bit overly firm as well, but as a whole it was a pleasant stay.

We had dinner at hotel restaurant the first night, my wife having a large portion of pork belly and I the haddock and chips. Both were well cooked and tasty. Breakfast was the typical hotel buffet type with eggs, toast, mushrooms and the like. My wife found the bacon a bit on the crisp-side of British bacon, but breakfast was on the whole good on both days of our stay.

After breakfast on the first morning we set out for Ranworth Broad. It being winter, the boat hires and tours were suspended, but we had some nice views of the water and the ducks and geese. After having a look about we headed to Wroxham. I have always found the town amusing as it is dominated by a single company: Roy’s of Wroxham. The company bills itself as the world’s biggest village store, but in Wroxham itself it is a village that is a store. There is a Roy’s Department Store, Roy’s Toys, Roy’s Food Court, and even Roy’s out of town car parks and a Roy’s McDonalds.

On our second evening we had a very nice dinner at a Castle Carvery which I will review separately.

The Broads are quite busy in the summer-time and the roads at some places (Wroxham and Acles) can have jams. In the winter the area is much more quiet, and while many of the activities are not available, it is still a nice place to get away to.


See: https://padresramblings.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/an-afternoon-of-southern-comfort and https://padresramblings.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/waterways-getaway

Lavenham, Suffolk

Padre’s Ramblings

I had not been to historic Lavenham since before the pandemic. As my wife and I needed to run an errand in Sudbury, it seemed a great chance to take a peek.

The Church of St Peter and St Paul is majestic on one end of town and from there the road carries the visitor into the past.

Padre’s Ramblings

The Swan is a great hotel/watering hole and gives good views to other sights in the town as well. As is usual arriving later in the day in the holiday season, parking is a bit tight. Given a little patience, however, a spot can be found.

Padre’s Ramblings

While this was a flying visit I look forward to returning and taking in Long Melford as well.


A Breath of Nature

I was recently at a conference in Manchester. The return journey afforded my wife and I the opportunity to take in the Peak District. Seeing that we live in the Brecks and are bordered by the Fens, the chance to see anything taller than a couple hundred of feet above sea level made a nice scenic change.

Padre’s Ramblings

I particularly liked the dry stone walls, and the tranquillity of the pasture lands. Yes, we have sheep and cattle in East Anglia too, but the stone enclosures are so much more attractive than wire fencing.

Padre’s Ramblings
Padre’s Ramblings
Padre’s Ramblings



image: Padre’s Ramblings

In rugged lands

Where soil is thin

Sheep graze in pastures

Beset by wind

Yet, there are those hearty

Who their livings make

In conditions that

Others would break


A Little Educational Pit-stop

image: Padre’s Ramblings

My wife and I made a pit-stop on our return journey home from Bournemouth in order to visit Stonehenge. It was a cloudy but dry day and had just enough springtime warmth to make the outdoor stop enjoyable.

It had been twenty years since my last visit to Stonehenge. Previously we had parked in a grassy field and bought tickets from a kiosk only a short walk from the stones. When we visited yesterday, we found a paved car park (£5 to park but refunded with ticket – free with our blue badge) and a modern visitor centre with cafe, toilets, and a reconstructed village as imagined from the time period of the construction of the circle. The queue was a bit long for tickets (£20 ticket for seniors), though the annual membership and pre-order lines went faster. As the “new” centre is further from the stones there is more of a walk, though a shuttle bus also is available. The place remains iconic, scenic, and educational.

Wheelchairs are available on site, and the paths are level enough to make decent progress with a walker or said wheel chairs. The shuttle is recommended for those with mobility needs.

There are also a number of benches and picnic tables near the visitor centre.

image: Padre’s Ramblings

image: Padre’s Ramblings

Image: Padre’s Ramblings



Bournemouth Pier from the Observation Wheel (Padre’s Ramblings)

My wife and I had a nice visit to the seaside while I was attending a union conference. Bournemouth has an interesting combination of beaches and the usual British coastal amusements and a very hilly terrain which for someone more familiar with Great Yarmouth was a bit of an adjustment.

We stayed at the Hilton which we found very welcoming and convenient especially as it has its own parking. We had a meal at a lovely southern African restaurant called Zimbraai which my wife enjoyed as a “taste of home” and took our other dinners in the hotel’s own Schpoons and Forx restaurant which had lovely attentive service and a really friendly manager who is from Italy. The room was large and clean and had both a fridge and a spacious safe that was large enough to store laptops, etc.

Bournemouth Observation Wheel (Padre’s Ramblings)

The Observation Wheel is directly in front of the pier on Bournemouth Beach. Tickets are £6, or £5 for seniors, and the views are good making it a nice little addition to the seaside visit.

Land Train (Padre’s Ramblings)

There is a land train which runs both east and west along the seafront from Bournemouth Pier and which stops also at the Boscombe Pier. An all day adult ticket is £6.50 and does allow some easy and inexpensive transport along the attractions on the beach.

Pier from the Land Train (Padre’s Ramblings)

The Bournemouth Oceanarium is one of those attractions which I guess makes the seaside the seaside. This aquarium has a number of exhibits and sports such things as clown fish, sharks, and penguins. It costs £14.50 (adults) or £12.50 (seniors), family ticket are also available.

Penguins (Padre’s Ramblings)
Oceanarium (Padre’s Ramblings)

Add in an ice cream on the beach, and I think we have a complete seaside adventure (I will write about the boat trip to Poole in another post).