The village itself is full of pretty cobbled
cottages located in narrow streets that lead down to the Quay. On a hill
overlooking the marsh stands the church of St. Nicholas, patron saint of
fishing. Although Blakeney does not have a beach as such, many people take
advantage of low tide to enjoy a paddle in the creek or lounge around on
one of the sand banks.
A pleasant walk, starts from the national trust car park next to Blakeney Quay and leads out along an embankment, which heads towards the sea and the point. With marshland on your right, still grazed by cows with salt marshes and small tidal creeks on your left, it is a good place to observe migrating birds with binoculars. The village has a small number of shops including a well stocked store, inn and hotels.
There is an old saying that Blakeney people go up the steeple to crack a small nut with a five farthing beetle OR Blakeney people sit on a steeple eat hazelnuts with a five farthing beetle.
The famous old Crown and Anchor Inn, were reputed to be the haunt of smugglers, was demolished in 1921 to make way for the Blakeney Hotel. It was affectionately known as the Barking Dickey; the word Dickey being an old Norfolk name for donkey. The Inn was the home of John Curl who every Thursday used to brew his own beer and then sell it for 1 1/2d a pint. Blakeney Hotel was opened in 1923 having been built at a cost of £31,000.
The legend of
Old Shuck; the famous huge black
ghost dog associated with Norfolk, is reputedly to have been seen in
Little Lane, together with a ghostly wagon and horses.
In olden days it was said that there were Hytersprites out on the marshes, long legged spidery creatures. These tales were probably used to keep youngsters in at night and strangers off the marshes, no doubt by smugglers and others not keen to have their nocturnal activities publicised.
The long forgotten Carmelite Friary stood out on the marshes close to the mouth of the river Glaven. Some stone remains of this small church are still visible, on a rise in the corner of the field where the Norfolk Coastal Path veers round to Cley. It was here that vessels going out to sea were blessed. Mariners and fishermen used to put offerings into an iron box fixed to the outside of the building for a successful voyage and a safe return to port.
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