It had been just over a month since my last coastal walk, a delay due to a stinking head cold that had lasted for 3 weeks. So I was glad that the arrival of high pressure over most of England gave me the opportunity to continue my walk down the east coast.
My last trip to Norfolk, back in November 2018 , saw me cut short my walk from Hunstanton to Kings Lynn at Dersingham due to not feeling so good. On this trip I had planned for an overnight stay, which meant I could get a full days walking in the following day.
I set off fairly early from Shropshire to avoid the early morning traffic on the M6 through the West Midlands. I drove to and parked in Kings Lynn. I then caught a #34 bus to Dersingham, which run on a frequent basis. After getting off at Dersingham I popped into the local co-op to get a coffee and sausage butty. I continued south along Lynn Road, but soon turned off on a footpath which disappeared into the trees. I had then set off across Dersingham Common which soon merged into the Sandringham Country Park. The park was crisscrossed with multiple paths set amongst a forested area of deciduous and Old Scots Pines plantations. I lost exactly where I was on my map, but knew my general direction as I was only a hundred meters away from the very busy A149.
It was a beautiful sunny morning and very mild, and it felt more like Spring was here! As I had been quite close to the A149, I knew I had to venture inland slightly to pick up my intended route. At a clearing in the forest I climbed up a steep bank and emerged onto the Sandringham Scenic Drive. The Drive was closed to vehicles, but not to foot traffic. I continued along footpaths and estate roads, which ultimately took me back to the A149. Thankfully, as I noted from reading my map, a footpath/cycle path ran close alongside the main road. I continued alongside the main road to the next road junction. This crossroads was thrust into the spotlight in early January 2019 when the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident here. Although, all the debris had been collected (some of it sold on Ebay!) I still managed to collect some shattered pieces of ‘Phil the Greeks’ Land Rover’s windscreen from the grass verge. They will go well with my Queen’s Silver Jubilee plate on my mantlepiece!!
After a short distance the footpath branched off away from the A149 continuing down a private estate road towards Castle Rising. Along this road I met an elderly lady with a Jack Russell companion who were setting mole-traps in a field, soon to be used by sheep. She was very knowledgable and we shared our stories on dealing with the elusive moles.
I came into Castle Rising, which is a very interesting historical village. I passed the Trinity Hospital, or to give it its full title – The Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. In fact these were Almshouses or a Bede House. Built in the early 17th century, they provided accommodation and care for 12 elderly ladies, who satisfied the strict criteria for admission. The house’s are still used today, but over the years have been modernised and the number of residents reduced to 6. On certain festive occasions the residents wear red cloaks as well as hats similar to those worn by Welsh ladies on St Davids Day. I walked towards the large impressive earthworks that hid Castle Rising itself. The castle was surrounded by a huge dry moat, with a single large keep sunken below the giant earthworks. I did not linger at the site but retraced my steps and continued along country lanes towards North and South Wooton.
I eventually reached the busy A1078 which would have taken me directly into Kings Lynn, but instead I took a series of cycle ways and footpaths towards North Lynn and into the town centre. After arriving back at the car and changing my clothes I set off for Cromer and my B&B for the night.
Distance today = 12 miles
Total distance = 4,547 miles