There is truly nothing I enjoy more than packing my camera, getting in the car and exploring a new place. Luckily, I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of gallivanting around the countryside, so on Jenny's suggestion we headed over to Walsingham to do the famous snowdrop trail before those little white bobbing flowers retreat into the ground for another year. This was the main attraction, of course, but we also heard tales of some extremely tasty sounding pies nearby that was too good an opportunity to miss.
At school, Thursday was the best day of the week. Why? Because it was 'Pie Thursday'. A huge slice of meat pie for £2 was and continues to be music to my ears. Sure, some teenagers get kicks out of poppers and cheap cider, but for me it was thick shortcrust and lashings of gravy. Mmm. More on the pie later.
After toodling over to Jenny's house bright and early on Saturday morning (and after a few cuddles with the adorable Pip), we set off for Walsingham. I've been to this little village a few times before, but that was for pilgrimage at middle school many moons ago. I'm not particularly religious, but it was a day off school with my buddies and we had a great time buying holy water and pretending to baptise each other. Don't tell me I don't know how to have a good time!
Little Walsingham is actually bigger than Great Walsingham, and this is where the snowdrop trail is. In my head I thought 'sure, there'll be some nice flowers but how many snowdrops can you get in one space.' Well, I kid you not there was a multitude of the little blighters. I've only ever seen the odd gaggle of snowdrops sprouting from road verges, but there were so many in and amongst the trees at Walsingham that it genuinely looked like a light snowfall had quietly settled across the landscape.
Even without the flowers there, it's a beautiful walk. The buildings, paths and old remnants of an Abbey are a rather grand nod to centuries of pilgrims coming to visit the site where the Virgin Mary appeared as a vision before St. Bernadette. The woods feel old. It's beautifully quiet and the winding paths over streams and under bridges make for a very happy couple of hours. Myself and Jenny both decided that the bridge above was perfect for housing a grumpy troll beneath it.
After we'd gotten our fill of snowdrops and taken enough Instagram pictures to sink a ship, we headed back out to explore the village. We had serious front door and window box envy, I can tell you. Quaint, kitsch and so classically English. There's a super little chocolate shop and more Catholic icons on sale than I've ever seen in one place. If you like pictures of Jesus and gold leaf then Walsingham is quite literally heaven.
Now, back to the infamous pies. With no 3G or Wifi spots (because Norfolk), we did a few laps of the village before giving up and asking someone 'WHERE DA PIES AT'. It turns out they were in the other Walsingham village, so off we went to a rather unassuming cafe where I wolfed down a slow gin and venison pie with mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy. Mmmm. Now that's the kind of pilgrimage I'm happy doing. Feeling stuffed and with rosy red cheeks, we left with a little bit of Walsingham wrapped in brown paper; spare pies for Sunday night's dinner.
Have you been on any little excursions recently? Do let me know, I always love adding new places to my list.
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