A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
The Norfolk Coast Path is often paired with its county cousin, the Peddars Way – but the two are quite different in character. The Peddars Way is an often lonely inland route running in a mostly northerly direction from Knettishall Heath, near Thetford, to Holme-next-the-sea on the Wash. The Norfolk Coast Path has almost the same distance (officially 47 miles) but it travels in a mostly easterly direction, from Hunstanton to Cromer, and, by contrast, it will seem to be busily active – with lots of people about and many towns to visit. The two routes do meet at Holme-next-the-sea.
I walked the route in 2012, undertaking it as a four-day journey – one that followed my completion of the Peddars Way after a gap of only two months. Our bags were carried forward for us and our accommodation bookings were made for us as well (there are a number of companies that offer such services). There are quite a few places offering accommodation near the route itself and, indeed, there are many places available for restocking supplies or taking refreshment. If you do not rely on a tour company to organize your walk for you and you wish to do your own booking then perhaps the clues offered in my book on the walking enterprise may help you get started. A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures on the Long-distance Footpaths of Great Britain was published in 2010 and is available from the publisher at www.authorhouse.co.uk or from www.authorhouse.com or from www.amazon.co.uk or from www.amazon.com.
It is not necessary to worry about carrying separate Ordnance Survey maps for the path since excerpts from these useful tools appear in the Official National Trail Guide, Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path by Bruce Robinson (Aurum Press).
My walking partner Gavan and I both felt that the Norfolk Coast Path provided a wonderful visual experience and I can say that there was far greater scenic variety here than on the Peddars Way. It is not particularly strenuous – though there were some long days and the shingle bank after Cley was a bit of an ordeal. I am sure other walkers will enjoy it as much as we did. You can always let me know how you got on by leaving a note on the Contact Page.
Our stages were as follows:
Day 1: Hunstanton to Brancaster – 10.5 miles
Day 2: Brancaster to Wells-next-the Sea – 13.5 miles
Day 3: Wells-next-the-Sea to Cley next the sea – 10.5 miles
Day 4: Cley next the sea to Cromer – 13.5 miles