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Sheringham Park

Red Azaleas in a country park

Bank Holiday Monday – yet another day off!  So what to do with it?  Well, unusually for a Bank Holiday, it was glorious weather and so my other half and I decided to go to Sheringham Park.
Set on the edge of the North Norfolk Coast, it is a 1000 acre stretch of glorious parkland, now run by the National Trust that falls down to the sea.

As we started to head off on our walk, we were inevitably drawn to the rhododendron and azalea trails.  The shrubs are now starting to come into flower and for the rest of May to mid-June they will make a spectacular display of brilliant colour.
                            
Feeling adventurous, we then climbed one of the numerous observation towers, which gave us breathtaking views over the tops of the rhododendrons down to the coast and as if picture perfect, the steam train that runs from Holt to Sheringham came in to view, whistle blowing, steam steaming!

With so many wide spaces, despite the number of cars parked, the Park itself did not feel crowded and we passed by many happy families, couples and friends who were out enjoying the beautiful day, four legged friends were also much in evidence, as were picnics-a-plenty!   Wandering on from the rhododendrons, we strolled on down the hill and round the corner where Sheringham Hall comes in to view.  The Hall, now privately occupied, was started in 1813 and completed by 1839 and is a lovely example of the architecture of its day.

Venturing on, we took a turn that led us on towards the coast on one of the Ramblers Routes – I don’t think I have ever been a rambler before!  - before heading back through the main Park to the Temple at the top of the hill.  Another stunning view can be seen from here and is well worth the clamber up to the top.  Finally, we retraced out steps through some of the rhododendrons back to our start.  The last private owner of the Hall, Thomas Upcher, apparently used to hold champagne parties in the 1950’s to show off the rhododendron and azalea collection to his friends and although the champagne was not to hand, we had had a delightful couple of hours admiring the flowers and views and then went home for the best drink of the day – a cup of tea!

By Joanna Hobson 07/05/15