Monday, 22 August 2011

BLAKENEY

One of the most endearing sights to be enjoyed at many locations around the British coast is that of the colonies of seals whose big eyes and curious manner melt the hearts of wildlife enthusiasts everywhere. They are most often to be found lounging around on groups of rocks or small islands just offshore, or poking their heads out of the water to check out who’s looking in on them. The seals of Blakeney, however, drape themselves over the sands on a spit of land known as Blakeney Point, far enough out for them to do their breeding, along with the nesting birds who also occupy the Point. Visitors who wish to view the seals at close quarters face a choice: either a lengthy walk which entails negotiating the many dykes in the area, or a trip out to the Point on one of the many boats which go out there from Blakeney. There are wildfowl to be seen back in the village also. The day we were there we were treated to the comical sight of a parade of geese playing “follow my leader”, turning in unison to the left or the right.

The village itself is delightful to wander round, with some nice shops and pubs serving up the area’s delicious seafood, and many alluring cottages available for holiday lets. Blakeney Guildhall, run by English Heritage, and which is free to visit, is the remains of a house which was owned by a rich Blakeney merchant, with an impressive 15th century vaulted undercroft. This dates from an earlier time when Blakeney was a seaport, but like Cley Next The Sea, the harbour was silted up by the early 20th century, and only small boats can now sail right up to the village. Blakeney’s impressive church, St Nicholas, has an unusual appearance due to the fact that it has two towers, one bigger one at one end, and at the other end a “baby tower” rising out of the chancel which used to have a beacon to guide mariners.

Map of the area.

'Blakeney Point Seals' photo (c) 2009, Duncan Harris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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