Another day, another sunny morning.

Today we are going further north to the coast at Hunstanton known colloquially as 'Sunny Hunny'. It's about 40 years since I was there last and we are going once again to look at the cliffs. It was a straightforward, uneventful journey and we reached the old lighthouse in about 30 minutes. We went into the obvious, very large car park to find that the charges were approximately £1.80 per hour with a small reduction for longer stays. We turned round and left.

We drove along the road past the car park entrance and found space further down to park in the road at £0.00 per hour unrestricted. No contest really.

We were now going to walk back the way we came, along the top of the cliffs, until we can access the beach. A short way after leaving the car we came across the only remaining part of St. Edmund's Chapel built in 1272.

Hunstanton has long been associated with Sir Edmund who, as King of East Anglia, led a small army against the invading Vikings, was captured and, after refusing to give up his Christian faith, was tied to a tree and shot by Danish archers. Legend has it that when St Edmund first came from Saxony in AD855 he landed near Hunstanton cliffs.

Then of course there's the old lighthouse.

There has been a Lighthouse here since 1665 which was built of wood with an iron basket of burning coals as a light. Hunstanton had the world's first parabolic reflector, built here in 1776, and the current lighthouse was built in 1840. There is no access inside as it is now a private residence.

We went on past the lighthouse down towards the beach as the cliffs became lower and lower. We could see a large expanse of beach and, further out to sea, a bank of mist touching the water.

Having reached the beach we reversed our direction so that we were now walking back along the beach, instead of the cliff top, in the direction of our parked car. The cliff here comprises three layers of which the bottom layer is Carstone. This is a type of sandstone and shows a distinct pattern of raised, rounded blocks here when eroded by the sea.

The cliffs themselves are the striped cliffs I mentioned in the Prologue and you should be able to see three distinct colour bands. The youngest rock at the top is bog standard white chalk laid down during the Upper Cretaceous then below that is what is known as Red Chalk laid down during the Lower Cretaceous. Both of these layers are limestone. At the base is the Carstone which is brown in colour and which we saw protruding above the beach as rounded blocks in the previous picture.

For those of you who prefer to work in years these sediments are around the 100 million year mark – a teensy bit older than I am.

We walked a little further on until we found some steps and a path to take us back to the top of the cliffs. You can probably see that these cliffs are subject to significant erosion.

After that final look at the cliffs we found a nice little cafe at the top of the cliffs overlooking the sea where we had lunch. After lunch we walked back to the car and headed back to King's Lynn.

About 5 miles this side of King's Lynn is a small village called Castle Rising where we expected to find, as you've probably guessed, a Norman castle. What we didn't expect to find was an imposing Norman church.


On the other side of the church is the old market cross dating from the 15th century which we thought was in a rather nice setting.

The church itself had a rather spendid, and typical, Norman doorway.

Opposite the church was the Tudor Trinity Hospital founded by the Earl of Northampton in 1614 and although the roof is now tiled the original roof was thatched. The term 'hospital' in Tudor times was applied to almshouses.

The inhabitants, known as 'Sisters', were expected to be "of an honest life and conversation, religious, grave and discrete, able to read, a single woman, 56 years of age at least, no common beggar, harlot, scold, drunkard, or haunter of taverns" and had to attend chapel every day.

Finally we got round to seeing what we came here to see – the 12th century castle.


I'm standing on the high earthwork bank which completely surrounds the castle with a very, very deep ditch on the outer edge. That's Amanda teetering on the edge in the second picture.


The main stairway into the castle is quite impressive and it was meant to look that way to impress visitors.

The rest of the castle, however, is accessed via the more traditional medieval spiral stairways and passages.


When we came to leave we realised that we were the only people in the castle. An interesting experence.

It's worth a visit if you're ever that way.

The end of another day and tomorrow we go home – but …..