I think I speak for many when I say that I’m slightly relieved that the children have returned to school today but also apprehensive about how the ‘new normal’ will be received. My two are certainly pleased to be going back but I think they’re in for a real shock on their first day and who knows how long they will be back for. With this in mind I encourage anybody that’s hoping to take a break in early autumn to take it while you can.
September always brings familiar faces back to Caley Hall (it’s our month for regulars, where we see faces that have visited Caley Hall year after year for longer than I’ve been working here (which is a very long time). Sadly, this year we aren’t expecting to see all of our regulars but we have certainly seen lots of new faces during the last few months that we hope will become some of our new regular visitors. The increase in people taking staycations and holidaying in this country has certainly given us a boost this summer as we’ve been busier than ever before. The government eat out to help out scheme has also proven to be fantastic for Caley Hall and we’ve absolutely loved having some life back in the hotel.
As mid-September approaches and that Autumnal feeling starts to creep in, with the evenings getting darker and that morning dampness in the air we all start to shift towards winter mode. But with any luck hopefully September will give us some glorious weather this year so we can all keep enjoying the outdoors as long as possible.
North Norfolk is such a beautiful area to visit at any time of year, with its vast sandy beaches, historical houses, rich wildlife and many attractions that have adapted over the last few months to provide Covid friendly days out. Certainly, at this time of year our local area becomes much quieter, attracting a slightly older generation but there are so many amazing things to do. So, if you’d usually go abroad then I’d encourage you to visit Norfolk instead.
One of the highlights of Autumn has to be the migration of birds in this area. Experience a truly amazing sight at RSPB Snettisham’s Whirling Wader Spectacular (just a few minutes’ drive from Caley Hall). Snettisham RSPB offers wildlife observation hides that give panoramic views across the saline lagoons, salt marshes and the vast expanse of mudflats that make up The Wash. During the biggest high tides from August onwards, tens of thousands of wading birds take flight as they are pushed off the mudflats by the incoming tide. It really is a sight worth seeing, it’s one of the wonders of Norfolk! Snettisham has lots to offer for both the keen bird watcher and for all. With three wildlife observation hides, two of which are all-weather and wheelchair friendly.
For more information on when to visit click here:
The Sandringham Estate is also a lovely place to visit in Autumn. As the leaves begin to turn yellow and brown and the acorns and conkers start to appear on tress. The main car park is open daily from 6am – 9pm (car parking charges have been bought in this year) and the toilet facilities at the visitor centre are open along with the play area, terrace café and gift shop. The house and gardens are open until 6th October but tickets must be booked in advance online. This is to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be met at all times. Sandringham are also offering some new events this year including a tour of the gardens and chance to meet the head gardener as well as a drive-in movie experience, a luminate light trail and the usual Christmas craft, food and gift fair.
Visit https://sandringhamestate.co.uk/ for more info.
Similarly, Houghton Hall offers a fabulous day out and currently has the UK’s largest exhibition of outdoor sculptures by the artist Anish Kapoor. More information can be found at https://www.houghtonhall.com/
Other recommended Autumn days out include;
RSPB Titchwell Marsh
Pensthorpe Natural Park
Explore the Ringstead Downs
Or take a walk along;
The Norfolk Coastal Path
The Peddars Way
The beach under the famous striped cliffs to Hunstanton and on to Heacham and Snettisham
Whatever you decide to do during your visit to Norfolk we hope you have a truly enjoyable and memorable time!