Herefordshire Week 187: Tuesday 25 – Monday 31 July 2023

Wivenhoe, Walton on the Naze, Brightlingsea.

Walton on the Naze - me and Phil on the pier
Walton on the Naze – me and Phil on the pier

On Tuesday it was off to Walton for the day. Rendezvoused at the station with Phil and Sue and we strolled into town taking in the new shops (a bookshop / coffee shop / project space in the old Indian restaurant!) and expanded businesses (The Good Taste cafe – my favourite – now extends round the corner into the former ladies fashion / dress shop). I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been away for a while, but Walton feels like a more thriving small town than it used to.

The pier revamp has resulted in the arcade machines taking over almost the whole of the inside space. There are a few (new) takeaways by the entrance and some of the old funfair rides have been set up towards the back and outside – not a bad set of changes really. The most surprising change is the inside climbing walls which were proving very popular.

Walton on the Naze - new "Walton Pier" carpet. Very Instagrammable
Walton on the Naze – new “Walton Pier” carpet. Very Instagrammable

We strolled all the way to the new end of the pier – the RNLI life boat dock and beyond is fenced off due to the condition of the pier.

Lovely views along the Sunshine Coast albeit with a few gunmetal grey clouds.

Walton on the Naze - from the pier
Walton on the Naze – from the pier

A short drive to the Naze for lunch at the Naze Tower which was when the heavy rain arrived. We sheltered first in the smart wooden gazebo then dashed over to the Tower and had a cup of tea sat at one of the first floor tables in the gallery space.

Once the skies cleared we walked on to the hut – finding everything in good condition.

Walton on the Naze - Back at the Beach Hut
Walton on the Naze – Back at the Beach Hut

Chairs outside for a spot of reading and a swim for Sue. Hardly anyone else about – and it’s school holidays.

5.30pm we said our farewells and set off on the drive to STN to drop off Sue, returning via Witham to drop off Phil then Wivenhoe for me.

Wednesday was a gorgeous sunny day. Ate a leisurely breakfast out by the river reading the LRB. Picked up Phil and Janet from the station and drove us all on to Brightlingsea for a dip in the Lido then on to the Beth Chatto Gardens for tea and cake.

Sempervivum grid, Beth Chatto Gardens
Sempervivum grid, Beth Chatto Gardens

After accompanying Janet back home, Phil returned to Wiv.

Thursday started cool, a good day for reading, then a stroll around Wivenhoe as the day brightened up followed by a spell sat by the river.

A bit of time on email looking into accommodation options for the Beacons Way days 3, 4 and 5.

Friday was meant to be The Sunny Day. Sadly not, but another good day for reading and a stroll – this time along the estuary to Arlesford Creek.

Wivenhoe Waterside Walk
Wivenhoe Waterside Walk

Successfully booked accommodation for both nights of the next stage of the Beacons Way.

And worked out how to get the code to embed Flickr photos into weeknotes on my iPad, which meant I was able to finalise and publish last week’s.

Saffron Indian takeaway for dinner,  because here we can.

What a treat .....
What a treat …..

Saturday featured reading inside and outside, a stroll up to the bookshop and the Coop and back via the Deli, and leftover curry.

Sunday saw more reading, a stroll along the riverside towards Colchester and back, then Sunday lunch at The Black Buoy.

Sunday Lunch at The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe
Sunday Lunch at The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe

Back at base, as the rain sort of set in, I indulged in an afternoon vegging in from of the telly finishing The Light in the Hall, and then watching, loving, the Wham! documentary on Netflix. Sniff. I still can’t quite believe George Michael is dead. And that Wham! were only around for 4 years. So many singable songs, the soundtrack of my teens.

Monday was wet, a good day for driving home. Another good journey with a top up shop at Ross on Wye en route and tea and a Wivenhoe Norwegian Bakery sticky bun back home. Greenhouse looking good – thanks dad and Jean. First apples nearly ready for picking. Ponds full.

Admin, then dinner and telly.

TV: Halt and Catch Fire (finished season 1, started season 2), The Light In The Hall, Wham!

Podcasts: The Forum, The History of England.

Photos: Herefordshire week 187 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-07-31.