13. Wells-next-the-Sea to Hunstanton

This was the final section of the walk with my friend Rob along the Norfolk Coastal Path. Unfortunately, I took few notes and equally few photos of this walk and with the event being sometime  ago, this report  will be quite short of content.

We drove to the seaside town of Hunstanton for a walk that would see the completion of The Norfolk Coastal Path. We caught an early morning bus through to Wells-next-the-Sea and  set off along a road that ran out to the Coastguard lookout post. We immediately turned left continuing through a mixture of dunes and Old Scots Pine trees. We walked along Holkham Meals through to Holkham Gap where there was a small car park. We continued along hard compact sand through Holkham Nature Reserve. We lost the trees and emerged on a road track alongside Overy Creek. The first  village of our  walk was Burnham Overy Staithe .

We passed into and along the fringe of  the vast expanse of Salt marsh that is Burnham Norton Nature Reserve. The actual coast was way over  across the marsh with its myriad of small pools and creeks, almost a lie away. We continued along an old sea bank into our next village Burnham Deepdale. We walked on the path at the back of houses for some distance soon arriving at the village of Brancaster. Here to avoid walking along the A149 we continued inland slightly. After passing about 6 or 7 fields we emerged close to the larger village of Thornham where we made our way out again to the sea bank.

The Coaster having just dropped us off in Wells-next-the-Sea
Walking along Holkham Meals
Burnham Overy harbour
The old windmill at Burnham Overy Staithe
Near Gore Point

We passed through another nature Reserve and out past Gore Point. We arrived at Holme-next-the-Sea and met up with the Peddars Way, another National Trail linking with the Norfolk Coastal path. We also crossed Hunstanton Golf Course so we knew it was not that far to go, especially after the rain began to fall. We passed through the small village of Old Hunstanton closer to the sea than we had been all day. The rain did not abate as we arrived in Hunstanton, we were glad to have completed a very long day.

P.S I actually walked the Peddars Way some 6 years later in 2013. The area had suffered some storm damage including the Golf Club which had greens washed away in the storm surge.

Distance today = 23 miles
Total distance =   227 miles

 

12. Cromer to Wells-next-the-Sea

I must admit, looking back, I remember little about this walk. However, I do remember doing the walk with my friend Rob, who also completed the rest of the Norfolk Coastal Path with me  on our next visit. This visit was to be quite simple, we would drive to and park in Wells-next-the-Sea and catch the coast bus to Cromer and simply walk westwards back to Wells, trying to keep as close to the coast as possible.

After visiting the small but well-kept pier with its theatre and lifeboat station, we set off westwards out of Cromer. Our first point of interest was Beeston Hill which we climbed to be rewarded with a great view overlooking Sheringham and further west along the coast. We made a detour into Sheringham to visit the steam railway. The station was very busy and we were lucky to see a steam train pulling in, Engine No 61572, a popular attraction on The North Norfolk railway.

We continued westwards along the boulder clay cliff tops and past Weybourne Hope. We were soon on the Salthouse marshes which merged into the larger Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. After reaching Cley Eye we met the River Glaven which meant we had to track inland along its banks until we came to the first bridging point. We passed a very impressive windmill complete with sail and rotor tail. The mill has been used as a hotel for almost 100 years now and is Grade 2 listed.

We rounded the first bridging point and continued out again to the edge of the marsh. The whole area is a series of creeks within various marshes. We passed close by the old ruined chapel of Blakeney Chapel, although we could not see anything as there are no surface visible signs of the chapel today. We  continued along the edge of the marsh towards the village of Blakeney where we also had to detour slightly inland before continuing on along the flat path near to Morston and then onto Wells-Next-the-Sea. Although being some miles from the sea, it has a small quay where boats were tied up. It does however, still have  a small serviceable harbour and is quite a busy little town with shops and pubs.

Cromer Pier
Looking westwards over Sheringham from Beeston Hill
Sheringham railway station
Heading west at Sheringham
Looking west from Skelding Hill
Onto the shingle at Weybourne Hope
Picking a good route through the shingle near Salthouse Marsh
The windmill near Cley-next-the-Sea
Incredibly small, thin and narrow homes in Wells-next-the-Sea
The harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea
The harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea

Distance today = 24 miles
Total distance =   204 miles