- The National Trails
- Cleveland Way
- Cotswold Way
- England Coast Path
- Glyndŵr's Way
- Hadrian's Wall Path
- North Downs Way
- Offa's Dyke Path
- Peddars Way / Norfolk Coast Path
- Pembrokeshire Coast Path
- Pennine Bridleway
- Pennine Way
- South Downs Way
- South West Coast Path
- Thames Path
- The Ridgeway
- Yorkshire Wolds Way
Trail Information and FAQs
We have tried to provide answers to the most common questions about the Trail here. If you can't find the information you are looking for please contact us directly and we'll do our best to help.
About the Trail
The National Trail combines two long distance walking trails; Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path. The route starts in Suffolk at Knettishall Heath Country Park and follows the route of a Roman road to Holme-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast. The Peddars Way meets the Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea as it runs from Hunstanton to Cromer.
The Trail provides 93 miles (150 Km) of walking through fantastic scenery and landscape. The majority of the Trail runs through the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Brecks, a unique area of forest, heath and low river valleys.
The majority of long distance walkers take around 7 days to complete both routes, however many take longer to enjoy all that the route has to offer. There is no need to complete the Trail in one trip though, you can enjoy short or day walks or one of the many circular walks based on the Trail.
In July 2007, pub landlord Graeme McFarquhar completed the Peddars way and Norfolk Coast path in 23 ½ hours. This is the fastest we are aware of. Do you know different? If so, please let us know.
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail is one of the more gentle National Trails. The terrain is varied but is generally flat or with only gentle gradients. However we would recommend that you allow a little extra time to walk the shingle bank from Cley to Weybourne.
The Trail is managed by a partnership of local authorities and Natural England. Day-to-day management is carried out by the National Trail Manager.
Volunteers play a very important role in National Trails all over the UK. To be a volunteer you do not need any qualifications or experience in countryside management, all you need is enthusiasm, some free time and an enjoyment of the great outdoors. Even if you have never done anything like this before it doesn't matter. Everyone is welcome.
We ask Volunteers to monitor an agreed section of the route (between 2-5 miles) a minimum of 4 times a year and to complete a simple report to advise of any issues and to confirm that the section has been inspected. There are many other opportunities for volunteers to get involved from practical activities to setting up geocache trails.
If you would like to volunteer on the National Trail or would just like to know more,please get in touch.
Exploring the Trail
The start of the Peddars Way at Knettishall Heath Country Park can be reached by the Brecks Bus, or it is a taxi ride from Thetford rail station.
The walker friendly Coasthopper service runs between Kings Lynn and Cromer and is an excellent aide, calling at practically all of the access points along the Norfolk Coast Path .
For details see the Public Transport page.
There is quite a lot of accommodation close to the Trail. In the summer this can fill up particularly along the coastal section, so we recommend that you book ahead. In previous years, some establishments along the coast have been reluctant to accept single night stays, however the introduction of the Coasthopper bus service makes it feasible to stay more than one night in one place using the service to get back to where you left the route.
See the Plan Your Visit page for accommodation information.
The Norfolk Coast Path in particular has many campsites to suit all types of taste and budgets, these are shown on the interactive map. It is possible to walk the Trail using campsites
Legally in England you are not allowed to wild camp on any land without permission, you must ask permission of the local landowner or farmer first. Please be polite and if you are asked to move on please do so. Always be discrete, take all your rubbish with you and never light fires. Please do not try to wild camp on National Trust or Natural England land, as you will be breaking the bye laws.
There is no obvious best time to walk the National trail. During the summer the weather will generally be better and the vegetation is fresh, with the hedgerows in full blossom. However, spring and autumn are the main bird migration periods and there can be some wonderful walking experiences in the winter.
Most long distance walkers walk north along the Peddars Way and then east along the Norfolk Coast path. The guidebook is written in that direction. You can walk it the other way as it is signed for both directions.
The route, particularly the Peddars Way, only passes directly through six villages, three of which have a shop or pub. As East Anglian summers can be very hot you must carry water. It is strongly advised that if you take water from the rivers you should use purification equipment.
Although National Trails are excellently waymarked, some people prefer to carry maps. You can find out more on the Maps and Guide Books page.
Many of the floodbanks on the Norfolk Coast Path are extremely open to the elements so please dress accordingly for the weather as the wind/sun can be merciless in this particular type of landscape. Other necessary equipment includes strong footwear, rainwear, sun cream and insect repellent.
Mobile phone and data connection will depend on the service provider and location. There are areas around the Stanford Battle ground area on the Peddars Way where there is limited reception and in certain areas along the Norfolk Coast Path reception is intermittent. The vast majority of accommodation providers offer wi-fi but please do confirm this on booking.
The entire Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path follows a series of defined Rights of Way along which you have a legal right of access.
An acorn is the symbol of the National Trails and it will be found at regular intervals along the Trail. The legal definition of individual paths will be indicated on the sign where applicable.
To report a problem on the trail go to the Report a Problem page. From here you will need to identify where the problem is on the map and add some details. If you want to be informed about progress to resolve the problem please add your email address.
Trail staff aim to resolve problems as quickly as they can, but some things do take a long time. Please be patient if you do not see immediate resolution.
Who can enjoy the Trail
Most of the Peddars Way can be accessed by cyclists and horseriders. Where there are footpath restrictions there are alternatives from the official route via green lanes wherever possible.
Cyclists and horse riders cannot ride the Norfolk Coast Path. However cyclists are advised to use the Norfolk Coast Cycleway.
The interactive map shows which sections of the Trail can be cycled/ridden.
Your dog is welcome on the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path, as long as it is under close control. When passing through or close to nature reserves we recommend using a short lead to avoid disturbance to wildlife.
Certain lengths of the Peddars Way can be legally driven by motor vehicles but vehicles are prohibited on the Norfolk Coast Path.
The Peddars Way is suitable for small numbers of vehicles to a maximum of four in any convoy. The short section of the Peddars Way between the A148 and B1153 that was closed to enable the ploughing, shaping and re-seeding of the surface is now open.
Download our guide to vehicle and trial bike access on the Peddars Way from the Leaflets page.
The gentle terrain of the Trail makes it particularly suitable for people with special access needs. Many sections of this National Trail that can be used by people with specific access needs, be they wheelchair users or parents with children in pushchairs.
The Access for all Pack provides excellent information about the more accessible sections, and is available in a variety of formats including Braille, large print, audio and DAISY. The Pack is available through the UK library system. Quote ISBN 1-904823-24-6.
You can download a pdf showing wheelchair access points to the Norfolk Coast Path on the Leaflets page.
The Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has also produced information on easy access walks which is available here.
If you need further help or information contact us and we’ll do our best to provide the information you need to enjoy the National Trail.
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path is ideal for organised sponsored walks and challenge events, being largely off road, well maintained and with excellent signing.
If you are planning an event please contact us to let us know.
You can access general advice on planning a walking event from the Walk4Life website.
What is special about the Trail
The Peddars way and Norfolk Coast Path is one of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales. National Trails are designated by the Secretary of State and are administered by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, and managed by the local authorities and National Park Authorities whose area they pass through.
Most National Trails have a dedicated Trail Manager responsible for maintaining the high quality standards on the Trail. National Trails are waymarked with the distinctive “acorn” symbol.
National Trails are special because they pass through some of the best landscapes, and they are managed to a very high standard. Because of this you can be confident that any journey you make along a National Trail will be one of the best you have taken.
Fantastic scenery and landscape cover the 93 miles (150 Km) of the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path. The majority of the Trail runs through the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Brecks, a unique area of forest, heath and low river valleys.
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. The name 'Peddars' was not given to it by the Romans but is more likely to be one attached to the path in the 15th 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.
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.
Maps, guides, certificates and merchandise
There are a number of maps and guides relating to the National Trail. The official guide to the route is published by Aurum Press and is written by local expert Bruce Robinson and his son Mike.
If you have the official guide it is not absolutely necessary to have maps as well but many people prefer to have both.
The most popular maps and guides are listed on the maps and guides books page.
You can buy the official guide book and Trail merchandise directly from the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path Trail Office. Buying the guide directly from the National Trail means that you will be helping to support the management and maintenance of the route. See the Trail Books and Merchandise page for more information.
How to add information to the Trail map
Anyone can add information to the website. We hope that people who have enjoyed the National Trails will want to share their good experiences and that businesses will promote their services by adding information to the map.
You can add information to the map. This includes:
- Points of interest or attractions
- Services - for example shops, pubs, vets, cycle hire shops etc
- Details of your accommodation business
- Events - for example farmers’ markets, village fetes, guided walks
- Information to help horse riders or cyclists such as busy road crossings or water points
To add content you will need to sign up – click the join button in the top right corner. You’ll need a username and an email address. We won’t give your email address to anyone, we’ll only use it if you need a password reminder or if we need to contact you directly. For more information read our data protection policy.
Once you’re signed in you can add information to the map by clicking here.