Wells-next-the-Sea

Two of our students, Georgy and Celso, went last Saturday to Wells-next-the-Sea, a small seaside town in North Norfolk, a reasonably brief train-ride or two from Cambridge. Here is Georgy, enjoying the seaside.

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The north Norfolk coast is not exactly an acquired taste – it is rather beautiful – but it has a particular charm: endless mud flats when the tide is out, invisible sea, myriad distant wading birds, bleak and empty sands, high clouds, melancholy distances, and wind. Lots of wind. Georgy made a video.

The sea is in fact a long way from Wells the village – about a mile or so – the coast thereabouts being fatally prone to silt. To get a glimpse of it you have to walk headfirst into the wind for twenty minutes or so, or take a funny little train shuttle that is popular with children. I took the train on my one visit (I was with my children); Georgy and Celso did not know about the train, and so were forced to walk.

Not many of our students go to the seaside. One of our Omani majors went to Brighton, I recall, and Richard took Shin to Sizewell just south of Southwold in Suffolk, but that is a nuclear power station so does not really count. If you are going to pick a place to go, I’m not sure Wells is for everyone. But I would much rather this coast than the more populous south or even south west, beautiful though they undoubtedly are. If the wind finally drops and the sun shines, you will do well to find a more extreme limitlessness anywhere in Europe, there on the beach with its disappearing horizons, its unreal wailing birds, and its occasional puzzled Russian.

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