Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2015. Sore head? (Me too) But don’t fret, as I have the perfect remedy for the perennial New Year’s Day hangover: a ten mile walk along Norfolk’s beautiful northern seaboard.
Think buckets of bracing, North Sea air. Stunning natural backdrops. Deserted beaches where Fido can run amuck; not to mention an assortment of coastal villages where a friendly Norfolk welcome is never far away. On a hangover, a ten miler may sound a daunting prospect, but wrap up warm, have a big breakfast, and this stunning stroll will sort you right out – trust me.
Just shy of 10 miles (9.8 to be precise) this walk is suitable for experienced walkers or those up for a challenge. Despite the reasonably long distance, the terrain is easy, with few hills and reassuring surfaces underfoot. If you have a dog, take it, as the wide expanses of sand are perfect for hyper pooches.
As you’re following the Norfolk Coast path, this route is ideal for those with a poor sense of direction as it’s almost impossible to get lost. Start the walk in Burnham Overy Staithe – a hamlet separated from the North Sea by 2km of sand and marshes – and head for the flood wall. Follow this path, heading in the direction of the sand dunes.
Keep your eyes peeled for adders, toads and butterflies as you enter the dunes. This part of Norfolk is teeming with life, on land, air and sea. Spend a moment atop the dunes, taking in the fantastic views of the sea beyond and the marshes behind. On a clear day, you can see the Lincolnshire coastline.
Look for the Norfolk Coast Path signpost and follow the arrive which directs you down onto the sand. At this time of year it’s likely you’ll have the beach all to yourself – unless of course this blog goes viral…
Dogs are welcome here, so if you have your pooch with you, set them free so they can burn off some energy. The beach seems endless in all directions.
Continue east until you reach Holkham Meals and Holkham Gap. Here, you could go off-piste to explore the nearby Holkham Hall, a palatial 18th-century country house. If not, continue en-route.
Take the board walk towards Holkham Gap before joining the path which skirts between the woodlands and the dunes. Soon, the path enters a pleasant woodland, where you’ll find a number of picnic benches that mark a good place to stop for lunch.
Soon, you’ll come to the delightful village of Wells-next-the-Sea, famous for its historic buildings and amusements. Spend some time exploring this village before resuming the walk.
Take the sea wall out of Wells and continue east. Terrain can become muddy here, so watch your step. Continue on this path, passing numerous salt marshes, until you arrive at the delightful village of Stiffkey.
Download the comprehensive map and route for this walk here.
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