On 28 April twenty-six Gravesend and District NADFAS members and relatives set off on a 5 day tour of Norfolk. Our first stop was for coffee in Lavenham, a beautiful medieval village with many timbered houses, the Guildhall being of particular note. Then on to Ickworth for lunch and a wander round the house, commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol in the 18th century. It is famed for its impressive Rotunda and has many treasures as well as a very interesting servants’ basement.
Our tour was based in Norwich and on our second day we were joined by our Norfolk guide who took us on a walking tour of the city finishing in the beautiful Cathedral. After lunch we visited Oxburgh Hall, a romantic, moated manor house built by the Bedingfield family in the 15th century and still lived in by members of the family. Of note is needlework by Mary Queen of Scots and a secret priest’s hole.
Wednesday was the highlight of the tour for most of us with a visit to Sandringham in perfect weather. The house and grounds were impressive and we all enjoyed wandering around the lake and through the woodland walks with the beautiful bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons. We then took a coastal route back to Norwich via some of the pretty coastal villages such as Wells-next-the-Sea and Blakeney.
Our last day in Norfolk took in a boat trip on the Broads from Wroxham and then on to Blickling Hall, a Jacobean Mansion, thought to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn. Once again the grounds in the sunshine looked beautiful with all the spring flowers.
Friday, on a rather chilly day, we left Norwich for Kent via Cambridge where we had a guided tour which included Pembroke College and King’s |Chapel.
I think everyone would agree that it was a lovely break with everywhere at its best in the spring sunshine.