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Epsom, Ewell and District Centre

 Supporting the National Trust since 1971

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Saturday 16th September 2017 (5 Days)

Holiday – Historic Houses and Heritage of Norfolk

On our way home, by Doug Neale

Sunday 16th-20th July 2017

Holiday to Norfolk

The weather was glorious when we left our local area and everyone said “Margaret has done it again” but this was about to change before the day was out.  Following the final pick up we proceeded to the National Trust’s Ickworth House near Bury St  Edmunds.  The house had a very large rotunda dating back to 1795 and within the house were several excellent paintings by Gainsborough.  In the 700 acres of grounds was a wood carving the full length of a tree which was a work in progress.  After lunch at Ickworth House we went on our way.  By this time it was raining heavily and we were glad to be in the coach until we reached our hotel.

Following breakfast the following day we left for Norwich where some joined a guided tour of the city.  Others  went to Norwich Cathedral where there was a RAF Memorial service in remembrance of the Battle of Britain.   It was good to remember those who gave their lives, were injured or served that we might be free.  Following lunch we boarded our coach and went on to Oxburgh Hall where there is a moated Manor

House.  The sun was now shining and the grounds looked at their best.  We were greeted by various people dressed in medieval costumes also demonstrating the various skills of days long ago.

Our first adventure on Day Three was a one and a half hour trip on the Broads from Wroxham on the Queen of the Broads.  This was certainly one of the highlights of the holiday.  The weather and commentary were perfect.   We saw herons, moorhens, mallards, bearded tits and crested grebes plus a large number of very elegant swans.  We also passed George Formby’s residence where I noticed he had plenty of windows to clean!  From here we moved on to Holt for a lunch break after which we again boarded the coach for our visit to Bickling Hall where time restrictions played a part in what we could or could not see.  I spent some time at an RAF exhibition of local RAF war time stations.  Others witnessed the famous long gallery of Bickling Hall and also the gardens.

On Day Four the sun was shining again as we arrived at Somerleyton Hall and Gardens.  The house was interesting and still being occupied. Thus on to Southwold.  Some walked into town and others strolled on the pier to watch the sea roll in.

After breakfast on our last day we visited Anglesey Abbey, a stone Jacobean manor house and Lode Mill near Cambridge where some of us walked through the beautiful gardens to the mill passing various statues decorated with dahlias as at that time there was a dahlia festival taking place.  After lunch in the lovely modern restaurant we reluctantly headed for home.

A big Thank You to Lee our driver and his excellent coach and to Margaret for all her excellent organisation once again.

Richard Polley