A weekend getaway to Wells-next-the-sea, Holkham Beach and Thetford Forest

Looking to do something different with your weekend? Looking for a mini adventure?

Looking to do something different with your weekend? Looking for a mini adventure? Norfolk is one of the most unique and unspoilt parts of rural England and it is often one of the most underrated places to take a holiday in the UK. I first fell in love with this place when I was studying at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

I lived in Norwich for 3 years, so I spent a lot of time exploring the area around it. There are many things you can do in Norfolk. For example you can explore Norwich city, you can hire a boat in the Norfolk Broads, you can take a walk in Thetford Forest and you can visit beaches like Cromer, Great Yarmouth or Holkham.

I am always looking for a quick weekend getaway within short distance from London, just to break up the routine a little. As I know that Norfolk isn’t far away at all from home, we recently booked a last minute hotel (take a peak at the Georgian Townhouse in Norwich) and set off on a Saturday morning straight to Wells-next-the-sea. We visited Wells and Holkham on that day, and spent the night in Norwich city so that we could go to one of our favourite restaurants in town, The HOUSE Thai Restaurant. We then started heading back on Sunday, but made a stop at Thetford Forest so that we could take a walk in the woods. Take a look below to see the places we visited.


Afternoon tea in Wells-next-the-sea
Staithe St

Wells is a charming little harbour town in the northern part of Norfolk. We made a short visit before going to Holkham beach and took a walk around Staithe St, making a short stop at Raggedy Cat Tearoom for the best afternoon tea I have ever had. If you do visit Wells, make sure you stop at this little Tearoom and order a tea with a scone – I can assure you will not be disappointed!

Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach
Holkham Beach
Holkham Beach
Sand dunes in Holkham

Holkham beach is without a doubt one of the best sandy beaches in the UK. Unlike many other beaches, Holkham is a nature reserve, a pine forest and it is also dog-friendly! It is a great place to visit anytime of the year because you will always find a peaceful spot on the beach due to its long stretch of golden sands. We visited Holkham in February, on a rainy day, and we still had lots of fun – we will definitely be going back in the summer.

More information about directions & parking can be found here.

Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest
Taking a walk through the woods in Thetford

Approximately a 2 hour drive from London, Thetford Forest is a great break from the big smoke. We have visited this place a few times because we just love taking a walk in the woodlands to get a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery. It lifts our moods and refreshes our minds, getting us ready for the weekly routine. There are also lots of fun activities to do, including archery, paint-balling, horse-riding, mountain biking and many others. Take a look here to see more information.

Thetford Forest
A dog walk in the woods

Thank you for reading and I will see you for the next mini adventure post!

5 Best Walks in the UK

Sgurr na Stri – Isle of Skye


Matthew and I went to Scotland on our motorbike, but I could not go to Scotland and miss out on a hike. Our aim was to get to the Isle of Skye and spend a couple of days there before heading back to London. I came across a picture of Loch Coruisk and I absolutely fell in love with it. The image showed the view from Sgurr na Stri.

After doing some research, I found out that the only way to get there “the quick way” was to go on a boat trip from Elgol. The boat takes you to Loch Coruisk and leaves you to explore for 3 hours and once the time is up they take you back to Elgol. We took the last boat journey that day. Thankfully we made it back on time for the departure to Elgol. See walk details below.

Car Park: Elgol car park
Route: Boat from Elgol to Loch Coruisk → there is no set route, so see map below.
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: approximately 6km to ascend and descend
Time: approximately 3 hours to ascend and descend
Highest ascent: 494m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Buttermere –  Lake District National Park

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Buttermere is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the Lake District, I may even say it is my favourite spot in the National Park. You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park. See walk details below:

Car Park: Gatesgarth carpark
Route: Burtness Woods → Bleaberry Tarn → Red Pike → High Stile → High Crag → Hay Stacks → Fleetwith Pike
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 15km
Duration: approximately 5 hours
Highest ascent: 802m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Snowdon – Snowdonia National Park in Wales


The Snowdon walk is very popular and it cannot be missed on this list. Unfortunately the picture above is the only picture I have from the day we hiked up to Snowdon, but you can find more pictures of Snowdon here: Snowdonia

Car Park: Pen Y Pass carpark
Route: Pyg’s track → Snowdon → Miner’s track → Pen Y Pass carpark
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 1085m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Pen Y Fan – Brecon Beacons National Park


Pen y Fan is one of my favourites because the walk is easy, the views are amazing all around and the landscape of the mountains are unlike anything I have ever seen.  You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and camping at Pen y Fan, Wales

Car Park:  Neuadd carpark
Route: Track by Tor Gras → Cribyn→ Pen y Fan → Corn Du → Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog → Lower Neuadd
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 886m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Helvellyn via Striding Edge – Lake District National Park


The walk via Striding Edge is breathtaking. You can really feel the adrenaline whilst walking along the ridge. Be prepared to scramble! You can find additional information and photos here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park

Car Park: Glenridding campsite
Route: Little Cove → Hole in the Wall→ Striding Edge→ Helvellyn→ Swirral Edge→ Hole in the Wall → Little Cove
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, 
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.5km
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Highest ascent: 947m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park

March 2016: 5-hour drive from London

Fancy going on an adventure for the weekend but you are short on money or cannot take many holidays off? Why not try a bit of camping? The Lake District sits on the north west part of the UK and it is beautiful – a must see if you live in the UK.

In March 2016, we drove up to the Lakes for a weekend and camped near Buttermere Lake. We left London on a Friday evening and stayed at a very cheap hotel by the motorway near the Lake District region so that we could wake up early on Saturday morning and drive up to the start point of our hike.

Saturday: Day 1 of Hiking in Buttermere 

We had asked a local if we could leave our car near their house overnight and then started our hike (alternatively, you can leave the car on a road lay-by). Our route was similar to the below.

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Take a look through some of our journey below.

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FullSizeRender 17.jpgFullSizeRender 24.jpgFullSizeRender 54.jpg As days in March are short, we had to settle down a bit early that day -around 6pm. After looking for a while, we had found just the perfect spot for a quiet and scenic camp.

FullSizeRender 45.jpgFullSizeRender 56.jpgFullSizeRender 55.jpgFullSizeRender 12.jpgThe next morning, we got up early to pack up and embark on the 2nd day of hiking.

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Sunday: Day 2 of Hiking in Helvellyn

We drove from Buttermere to Gillside Campsite in Glenridding on Sunday morning and left the car in the campsite before walking up to Helvellyn. The campsite is ideal if you want to take this route as it is the closest to the path from Glenridding.

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Day 3: Monday – Time to say goodbye and head home.

Thank you for your time and see you for the next adventure post. =)

Hiking and camping at Pen y Fan, Wales

Brecon Beacons National Park, southern Wales. Journey from London: 4-hour drive

Fancy a last minute camping trip but don’t know where to go? Gather your gear on Friday night, pack and leave on Saturday morning!

During the summer of 2017, Matt, Lexi and I headed to the Brecon Beacons. We left on a Saturday morning so that we could be there around lunchtime.  Having prepared poorly the day before, we had to make a pit-stop at a camping/outdoors store on the way to buy a stove and some camping food. We arrived in Wales at about 1pm and stopped at a lovely local Welsh pub for lunch, the Red Cow Inn in Pontsticill, before starting our hike from Neuadd Car Park.

Pen y Fan at point 5 on this map.

We set off from the car park at about 2.30pm and walked on the route above anti-clock wise. We took our time as we were not in a rush. Take a peak at the snaps below.



Peaks: Corn Du on the left; Pen y Fan on the right

We arrived at Pen y Fan at about 5pm after lots of ups and downs with our heavy rucksacks, and from that point onwards we kept on walking, looking for a good, suitable spot to camp. At about 7pm we settled down, put our tent up, made dinner and watched the sunset before going to bed.


Camping hack: buy camping food… and bring these little bottles of wine!
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Watching the sunset before bedtime

One of the things I love doing while camping is watching the stars, and little had I known that the day I chose to camp out in the Welsh hills was also the day of the Perseid Meteor Shower. I woke up at 2.30am that night, feeling sleepy and cosy, I struggled to get out of my sleeping bag. I got up eventually, after battling in my own mind about whether I should get up or not. I opened the tent, looked at the sky and my jaws dropped – I did not hesitate for a second – I put my shoes on and got out of the tent.

The sky was absolutely stunning, I had not seen the sky like that in a long time. I could see the Milky Way with my naked eye just above our tent, right in the centre of the sky. Many big, bright shooting stars falling from the sky – I was hypnotised. I stayed out there in the cold for hours (I usually strongly dislike the cold, but it didn’t seem to bother me that night).

I had to blend two of the same photos to get this image. I played with different ISOs and different exposure times so that I could get the land and also most of the stars.
I am very pleased with this image, this is just one shot aimed at the very centre of the sky – where the Milky Way was. All I did in this image was put a bit of contrast and bring out the colours of the Milky Way.
Almost time for the sunrise

After about an hour, I started to wake up from my hypnosis. I could not feel my hands and toes and I took that as a sign I should go back to the tent. It took me some time to fall back asleep, but it was all worth it, it was a night well spent!

We woke up early on Sunday, at about 7am, had breakfast (porridge pots from Tesco! Just add boiling water) and started getting our things ready before we headed back to the car.



By 9am we were back in the car park, ready to drive back to London. We got back reasonably early, around 12.45pm, and had lunch in our favourite pub in Hammersmith where they serve Thai food – The Old City Arms.

I hope you liked reading about my mini adventure, and who knows maybe you will feel inspired to do something different with your weekend? As you can see, you can fit a lot in just under 48 hours.