A dramatic cliff face on Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path

North Norfolk Coast at its very best

31st July 2017

Last Saturday I went out for a visit to the Norfolk coast. This was with my National Trails hat on to inspect the route and to check on various issues along this stretch of the coastline.

Starting in Sheringham my ambition was to cover 20+ miles to get through to Wells-Next-The-Sea.

The day started in an absolute downpour as I set off walking past the Sheringham golf course and watching the North Norfolk trains steam past. There can’t be many National Trails that offer such a unique view in the first ½ mile of starting walking the National Trail.

From here I walked along the cliff tops enjoying the view and hoping the rain would let up. Eventually at Weybourne the rain abated which allowed me to continue along the shingle ridge through to Cley-Next-The-Sea.

From the car park at Weybourne the first thing you discover is the quite fabulous muckleburgh collection which specialises in repairing and protecting military vehicles.

From here I started out for the next point on the horizon. When walking on a trail in Wales a friend of mine said you need to earn the view and this was the case on the shingle ridge – walking along with very few others on this stretch, or even in view, it felt like I had earned the view from the top of Gramborogh Hill.

The line of old sea defence show just how remote this stretch of the coastline is. This stretch was incredibly beautiful for its remoteness and fell of wilderness between the bustling towns of the coastline.

On this stretch I met a family who were walking from Blakeney through to Sheringham having come to stay at the coast for a few days and their ambition was to get as much of the National Trail covered as possible.

Following the trail through to Cley I discovered the art works the NWT have installed on their land. I loved the stick structure which could be seen from about a mile away.

Its interesting to see that this stretch of the trail boasts a fishing industry which supplies both the local area and wider afield.

By this time the weather had improved and there were more people around and I could see the new signs the team had installed the previous week.

Stopping at the delicassen in Cley I managed to restock on drinks and cakes before setting out for the next stretch of coast path around the Blakeney freshers area.

This stretch of the coast path had been really badly hit by a tidal surge 3 years ago and needed a huge amount of repair work which was completed by the Environment Agency and the National Trail was able to contribute towards a new surface along the stretch of the route. It was fantastic to see just how many people were using this route. I met families, OAP’s and two people using mobility aids to access this stretch of the coast.

I stopped off at Blakeney to watch a crabbing competition along the quay front. The change between the remote stretch between Weybourne and Cley could not be more pronounced when comparing the screeching of the sea birds to that of children catching crabs and splashing through the creeks.

From Blakeney the coast path winds its way through Morston and then onto a remote section of the coast path that is a real juxtaposition to the busy stretch just walked. The route follows the coastal edge through a series of wild coves which offer fantastic views across the salt marshes.

One of the reasons I came to check this section of the coast path was to have a look at the cutting that has just been completed in the Stiffkey area.

As you can see the team have done a fantastic job opening up the whole area and providing excellent walking opportunity along this stretch of the coast path.

The cutting team visit the coast path three times a year to cut all the vegetation growth so it was really helpful for me to see just how good a job they had done on this stretch of the coast path.

The final leg of my walk, and it felt like I was on my final legs, was from Stiffkey through to Wells.

I met a long distance National Trail walker who was walking the whole of the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path on a week long visit. She had started at Knettishall Heath last Monday and was hoping to get through to Cromer by the Sunday. She was then going to come back to finish off the route at the end of the summer.

I was delighted to hear just how easy it had been for her to use the National Trail and the new signage on the Peddars Way had helped enormously with her using the route for the very first time.

 

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Tank part of the Muckleburgh collection
Shingle beach
NWT beach art installation
Coast path & fishing
Environment Agency path repair
Blakney low tide
Coast path vegetation clearance