History of the National Trail - in a nutshell
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path has a mixed history of the old and ancient combined with the new and purposely created.
The route of the Peddars Way has existed since Roman times and was built shortly after AD61 to enable troops to move through East Anglia for policing purposes, following the revolt and subsequent defeat of Boudica and her Iceni tribe. As with most Roman military roads it was built in a straight line, using local materials, to provide a fast link between the Roman garrison in Colchester and the Iceni heartland.
The name 'Peddars'
The name 'Peddars' was not given to it by the Romans but is more likely to be one attached to the path in the 15 or 16th centuries. The Norfolk Coast Path is in comparison a modern route deliberately created using a network of existing footpaths and newly created ones to link the coastal end of the Peddars Way with Cromer.
Becoming a National Trail
The two became joined as a Long Distance Path in 1986 in a ceremony performed by the Prince of Wales at Holme-next-the-Sea. In 1991 the name Long Distance Path changed to National Trail, and became the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail.