Norfolk Coastal Path

Having finished my summer 2012 walking programme with a week-long trek along Mallorca’s Tramuntana Trail, I decided that I needed a project with which to busy myself in the following months.

It seemed like I’d already walked most of the 47 miles of the Norfolk Coastal Path from Hunstanton to Cromer but it would be good to walk it from end to end, albeit not in one go. So, like trying to eat an elephant, it would be best to tackle it one piece at a time. For us, this meant breaking it down into 6 fairly equal chunks. Huntanton to Thornham, Thorham to Burnham Overy Staithe, Burnham Overy Staithe to Wells, Wells to Blakeney, Blakeney to Weybourne and finally Weybourne to Cromer.

I was joined on this escapade by Karen & Bea. Josephine and Hilary also came along although Josephine wasn’t available for the first leg and Hilary was away for the last leg. A good reason to go back and do it again some day. There were no hard and fast rules for the walks other than we would only do them in fair weather on either Tuesday or Thursday when most of us would be free. Well, that was the plan, but as with all well conceived plans, circumstances railed against us and it took us from 30 Oct 12 to 28 Feb 13 to walk all 6 legs. We used the coast hopper bus on Leg 1 to get back to Hunstanton but for the remaining legs we decided that it would be easier to place a car at each end and avoid being tied to the bus timetable.

Each leg was slightly different from the other but Leg 1 from Hunstanton was one of my favourites. The beach walk to Holme is superb and the dunes that followed provided great views. As the tide was out, we (or more properly me) decided that we should explore a little beyond Gore Point. Unfortunately there was no easy way to cross the many creeks so we doubled back on ourselves adding a mile or so to the route.

Leg 2 from Thornham initially took us on an inland route to Brancaster that I hadn’t done before. We had a great lunch break at the café in Burnham Deepdale before walking around Deepdale Marsh to Burnham Overy Staithe.

Leg 3 to Wells was perhaps my favourite as it included a long stretch of beach walking across Holkham Bay. There are parts of some walks that are, shall we say, less interesting and this was so on Leg 4 alongside the marshes to Morston and Blakeney. Leg 5 was perhaps the hardest. The easy bit took us to the Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre just outside Cley for a nice lunch stop. From here there was a tough shingle beach all the way to Weybourne.

After a prolonged break for Christmas, the New Year and bad weather, we eventually managed to complete the last leg to Cromer of 28 Feb 12. There was a great sense of achievement at having completed this relatively local long distance path and I would like to thank “the ladies” for their company along the way. The question now was what we shall do next? Well, I’ve already planned the Peddars Way but this will have to wait until much later this year.

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