today there was a wind full of fine rain behind us on the beach, so we turned into the pinewoods rather than face back into it.

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these old trees are up to their necks in sand dunes which may well predate their planting but seem to have risen around them.

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but unlike most pine plantations the regimented rows of trees are broken up beyond recognition; there are little glades where storms have taken out individuals; grasses, undergrowth, reseeded younger trees and paths spread between the oldest giants.

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they are home to a variety of wild creatures; some specialised, like crossbills.

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the bristling shapes of trunks and branches darkened by the rain.

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and trees uprooted by recent storms tangle with the survivors, blocking the way.

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further back towards lady Anne’s drive there are birch woods too, inland from the main dune ridge.

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we get a bit lost and emerge back onto the beach too early

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the wind is still strong and bringing rain across the beach; there are white horses out to sea.

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the clouds are soft and moving quickly, grey water-filled sky meets grey sea.

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we turn and re-enter the wood; there is no real path, but a tangle of hillocks, trees and brambles.

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and then the marshes with Holkham village and the Hall in the distance

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