In 2013, I participated in a sponsored walk across Morecambe Bay for Cancer Care. The thought of walking around the coast of Great Britain had not entered into my head, but I have decided to include this walk as part of my greater challenge.
Apparently there are a number of these walks lead by local experts throughout the summer, all for good causes.
This was the ultimate low-level walk and I was looking forward it. The walk was in conjunction with a half-marathon of 13 miles, where the runners joined the walkers at about the half-way point.
We parked at the Cark airfield (which was the end of the walk) and a stream of buses was provided to transport runners and walkers to their various start points across the Bay. We set out from Gibraltar Farm, Silverdale
The walk itself was very enjoyable, especially being so far out from land and definitely worth doing if you are in the area.
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.
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
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.
Distance today = 24 miles
Total distance = 204 miles
I’m pretty sure I caught a taxi from Fishguard to the small village of Trefin, where I would start my walk from. As this was a Saturday, no buses were running so thats why I caught a taxi.. I got dropped off in the centre of Trefin and walked a short distance west out of the village and down to where the PCP joined the road.
I joined the coastal pathand began walking eastwards back to Goodwick. The walking was quite easy and I soon arrived at the small coastal hamlet of Abercastle. The coastline in this area showed some large landslips that had occurred recently, with the coastal path having to be diverted on numerous occasions. I remember nothing of passing by Aber Mawr beach, but recall looking northwards to towards Strumble Head and the craggy summit of Garn Fawr in the distance. Passing by Pwll Deri, the resistant dolerite stacks and skerries where an impressive sight. I managed to get a zoomed shot of the Irish Ferry sailing past Strumble Head lighthouse on its approach to Goodwick. I passed the Carreg Goffa memorial to the spot of the last invasion of Britain in 1797. Somewhere around Carnfachach I managed to get my first glimpse of grey seals and was able to look down onto a secret stony beach where 3 seal pups were sleeping. The 18 miles began to take its toll as I neared the end of the walk.
Distance today = 18 miles
Total distance = 49 miles
I must admit that because of the paucity of notes and photos taken at the time of this walk my memories are a little sketchy and sparse.
I certainly remember driving in a single day down to Newport and catching the coastline bus west to Goodwick, which is just located the other side of the town of Fishguard. I set off on the pavement alongside the A40 road which ran into Fishguard. Fishguard is quite a charming small town , with its multi-coloured town cottages and narrow streets. The path followed the cliff line and avoided the town, eventually emerging above a small bay linking to Lower Town (Cwm). Here I rejoined the main road and walked around the small bay and out towards the Castle Point and the ruined fort. The fort was built in 1781 to guard against privateers and has an impressive array of cannons.
I continued eastwards following the steep cliffline, passing through a caravan park and then onto the beach at Hescwm. For some reason, which I cannot remember I did not walk out to and around Dinas Head, but followed the path directly to Cwm-y-Eglwys. A few miles later I arrived back at Parrog Sands. With the tide now out I was able to cut across the beach and head to the car park at Newport.
Distance today = 13 miles
Total distance = 31 miles
I did not realise at the time that these were to be my first footsteps in walking the coast of Great Britain. This was a new and different type of walk to me as I had previously climbed hills, mountains and walked inland long distance footpaths, but it was my intention at the time to simply walk the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path (PCP).
Like so many of my future walks I intended to the coastal path in long ‘one-dayers’ from my home in Shropshire. This meant getting up early and driving to my destination then either immediately start walking or using public transport to get to point B. I parked in the free public car park in Newport and caught the excellent bus service that runs along this section of coast to Cardigan. The first 4 or 5 miles were along tarmac roads of the Teifi estuary, but gradually the estuary opened up and I gained height to good effect with excellent views across to Cardigan Island. I was soon introduced to “switchback ” coastal walking with steep ascents and descents, in fact today’s section of the path would see me
climb over 3000ft, the equivalent of climbing a Scottish Munro!
Unfortunately, the warm February haze did not offer extensive views
It was not long before I came to Pwll y Wrach (The Wicthes Cauldron) and a fine example of a blow-hole with collapsed sea-cave. Numerous ups and downs came and went before I heard the shouting of children at play which meant that I was approaching Parrog Sands. A gentle walk over the links of Newport Golf Course took me to the road at Newport and the end of my first walk along the PCP.
Distance today = 18 miles
Total distance = 18miles