walk the norfolk coastal path
Home-next-the-Sea back to Old Hunstanton
Norfolk Coast Path signpost
The Crab Hut at Brancaster Staithe
Tidal creeks and saltmarshes
Morston to Blakeney Point
Signs for seal trips at Blakeney
The approach to Cley-next-the-Sea
Cley next-the-Sea windmill
Salthouse from the shingle beach
National Trust's Sheringham Park
North Norfolk Railway - The Poppy Line
Beeston Bump, back to Sheringham
The Path approaches Cromer
From Holme-next-the-Sea to Cromer
For the timeless pleasure of being at one with the natural world try the 45 mile long Norfolk Coastal Path. It can take three days, from Holme-next-the-Sea near Hunstanton where Seahenge was discovered in 1999, across to the delightful Victorian seaside town of Cromer, but you can break it down into chunks using the Coasthopper bus which runs along the A149 coastal road and will take you back to where you’ve parked your car.
Walking further afield, the Coastal Path connects with the Peddars Way in the west and Weavers Way in the east, or you can now carry on the coastline all the way down to Great Yarmouth and beyond.
Don’t forget to bring your binoculars: this coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has some of the best birdwatching in the UK, particularly at this time of the year when the annual migration is on.
There are nature reserves along this whole stretch, but if you’re stopping off at one then it has to be Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s centre at Cley-next-the-Sea marshes. Approaching Morston you might be able to make out the seals on Blakeney Point, but if you have time you can catch a boat from the quay to see them up close. In the colder months, it’s the largest seal colony in England.
Don’t miss the 200 higgledy-piggledy, multi-coloured huts on the best beach in Britain at Wells-next-Sea, and take time to enjoy the view back along the Blakeney spit from the look-out station on Sheringham cliffs. If you’re lucky, the North Norfolk Railway, the Poppy Line, will steam through while you’re there.
In front of you is our Deep History Coast, where the largest and best-preserved mammoth ever found was discovered (it was part eaten by hyenas – yes, really!) and also the footprints of prehistoric man, the earliest evidence of humans found outside The Great Rift Valley in Africa. 850,000 years old, they’re from when Norfolk was the last part of the UK linked to the Continent – which means the first tourists ever to come to this country came to visit Norfolk!
The path also passes through or nearby a number of attractive towns and picturesque villages, including Thornham, Titchwell, Brancaster, Burnham Deepdale, Burnham Overy Staithe, Salthouse, Kelling, Weybourne, Beeston Regis, East Runton.
The coast undulates nicely – you’ll be traversing tidal creeks and salt marshes, calf-straining shingle, gorgeous countryside, enormous sandy beaches and finally a gradual ascent to the highest point in East Anglia, at Roman Camp. Don’t let them tell you Norfolk’s flat. The only thing flat will be you when you leave behind this magnificent piece of coast.
- Go west to east and you’ll be walking into the sun – even though it’s uphill at the end.
- There are good shacks at Brancaster and Blakeney for crab sandwiches.
- Save your legs a little by taking the Wells Harbour Railway from the beach to the town.