Suffolk Owl Sanctuary
Now here was one of our trip highlights. We have been actively looking to visit animal sanctuaries whenever we find them and this one was definitely one to visit. Apart from owls, which we have always loved – there was a chance to have an encounter which we had never done before – meerkats! For 25 pounds each (which included entry) we got to experience half an hour with the meerkats and one other couple. After we arrived and got our wrist bands we were escorted to the meerkat enclosure where we got our first glimpse.
Then we were ushered in. The two keepers had buckets of mealworms which the meerkats love. The four of us sat on a log as the keepers put the mealworms in our laps (and hair!) and the meerkats then climbed all over us to get the treats. They were small and we had to wear long pants as their claws can be sharp. They made little grunting noises as they clambered over us. We were allowed to pat them. Such an amazing experience.
Obviously meerkats weren’t the only interesting creature at the sanctuary. We especially enjoyed spotting the red squirrel (the native squirrel in England that is dying out partly due to disease carried by the grey squirrel), and the owls & birds of prey (some of which we saw in a little flying demonstration talk that was free and very informative).
We ended our day, after a brief stop in a sunflower field that was on its last legs, with a roaring fire in our cute cottage.
Our next day trip was to the nearby city of Norwich. Unbeknownst to us, every 2 years for charity the city commissions artists to decorate large creatures. This year it was hares. There was over 50 of them hidden in the city. They are on display for a few weeks before being sold at auction with the proceeds going to charity – such a clever idea. It certainly added an element of fun to our exploration of the city.
Apart from the hares, we also enjoyed looking at some old towers and gates. We particularly enjoyed Norwich Cathedral which had quite a lot to see in it. Another highlight was wandering alongside the river – this was very relaxing.
Blakeney Point & The Seals
Our next day trip was to the coast – specifically Blakeney Point. We went here because we knew that you could get a boat trip for a short ride to see the seals. It was about an hour’s drive from our accomodation to the point. We had to phone up the day before to book our time slot – some were already booked. They only go out in the morning due to the tides – which on low tide empty out the little harbour leaving all the boats stranded. Excited we hopped aboard the cramped boat – the crew kept us entertained as we passed old fishing boats. After a short time we saw a little baby seal at the edge of the colony. There were probably 40 seals altogether just relaxing on the beach. We made several passes alongside to get a close glimpse. They didn’t seem bothered by our presence. After that we returned and had a short hour walk to the nearby town of Blakeney. We were intrigued by all the people with small kids crowded along the harbourside – turns out that crabbing is massive here – they all had bought a little bucket and net and were trying to catch small crabs! On our way back after a long day we once again enjoyed seeing large fields of pigs with their little homes – pig town!