St Nicholas Church in Blakeney
It was a fabulous day towards the end of February, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. I was on my way to Mays Cottage. As I drove past St Nicholas Church I saw the sign saying ‘Church tower open today’. I had heard that Blakeney church tower was open to the public and thought to myself, “work can wait, it’s a gorgeous day, I bet the views are amazing from the top of the tower!” I parked in the Church car park and wandered alongside the well-kept graveyard to the main entrance of the Church.
Once through the large oak doors, I was greeted with an instant sense of calm, possibly the way all churches do, but this felt particularly welcoming. Inside the church I was amazed at how large it was, but also how friendly it seemed. There was interesting literature along the side and back, most of it free, but all of it related to either the church, its works or the local community. There was also tea and coffee making facilities, should visitors wish to help themselves.
The Church Tower
I looked towards the back corner of the church and saw the door leading up to Blakeney church tower. In front of it was a table with information to read before adventuring up. The table had some cards with numbers 1 to 10 on them. This was for the maximum number of people allowed to go up the church tower in one go. The idea is that you take a card so that the next visitor could see how many people were already in the tower. Fortunately there was no one before me, so I had the privilege all to myself. There was also a sign advising me of the fact that there are 137 steps and health should be considered before making the long climb upwards.
Climbing the 137 Steps
I went through the door leading to the tower and started to climb the angled stone steps. There was a roped support to hold onto and little windows every so often so that I could catch a glimpse of the view. Up and up, round and round I went, until I eventually came to the wooden door at the top. Once through the door I found myself on the roof of the tower and surrounded by the square stonework through which there was the most incredible views!
Incredible Views for Miles!
I could see for miles and miles! Cley was very clearly to the east, with the marshes beyond and St Margaret’s church sitting to the south of the village. Looking south of the tower were fields stretched out like a patchwork quilt. The beautiful village of Blakeney sat below and slightly to the north east. It was a wonderful angle from which to admire the village. I was able to pick out landmarks I was familiar with from the ground, including the creeks. To the west was Morston and the coastline of Wells could be seen in the distance. It was truly breath taking! The photograph opportunity was great, let alone the work out! The church offers this wonderful experience through donations; it is well worth a visit.