NORTH NORFOLK COASTAL PATH (ALMOST) – WELL DAY 1

Day 1 Thu 19th SEP 2013 – Old Hunstanton to Wells

OK, this was obviously supposed to be the Dartmoor trip,
which I did waaayyyy back in August, but since I just did this, and can still remember it, here goes.

Thing is, I was meant to be working, and then that got postponed, and I did NOT get a big holiday this summer. Nay not even a small one, so I though a couple of days along the Norfolk Coast was an excellent idea, what with never having done it and all that.

Estas Tonne – Between Fire and Water

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I started in Old Hunstanton
The evenings sunset had been quite lovely.
There may have been a BEER involved.

Sunset from Hunstanton Harbour
This way lies Madness
But that would be tomorrow

I woke early.
It was a grey start and the forecast was not good.
But it was not raining properly and so it was time to head off.

Not many piccies if the first bit I am afraid.
It was a bit dank and slightly drizzly

By the time I had worked my way to Thornham, the weather was considerably brighter, although still grey.
Time to start to dig the camera from its bag.
It is a lovely walk round via Holme and a bit of sun would have been great.

The Church at Thornham

From Thornham, you can and and should head inland and round the fields.
But I only had 2 days to try and do this.
And I wanted to have a look at the reserve at Titchwell, so I headed along the road.
As luck would have it, there is a path on the right hand side, and you can get all the way along to the track to the lake.

I went down to have a look, and was lucky enough (despite the fact the place was already overrun with Twitchers at 8.30am) to see a Barn Owl Hunting.
I only had the 50mm lens on at the time, so a photo was not going to show up much, but I did get a great view through the Monocular that I always carry.

View across the Lake at Titchwell

And again

View of Marshes at Titchwell

After a wee look round I headed back up the road and into Brancaster.
From here the track drops down onto the edge of the Marshes.
Initially along a wooden walkway track just behind the houses

Start of walkway along Marshside

There are some nice houses here

Guarded Gate

The track is very easy going and a bit further along passes the Roman Fort of Branodunum. There is not a lot to see here really.
I took a few snaps and headed on. There was still a long way to go, and I was not sure if at any point the knee would give up.
I was also not wearing a bandage, because I wanted to let it breathe a bit, and also test it properly.

Branodunum

The sun attempts a break through
Looking out towards Mow Creek and the way to Burnham Deepdale

At Burnham Deepdale I stopped for a wee snack.
The weather was a bit unsure and as I was about to set off, there was a short bout of drizzle for 5 to 10 minutes.

Boat at Burnham Deepale

At Deepdale I also had a wander about the small harbour.
A tad muddy.
Sticky cling mud

That isn’t water in there.
That is MUD

Old Oyster Pots

From Burnham Deepdale you head along Crowland Creek before then heading inland following the intrusion of the Marsh

Along Trowland Creek
Overy Marsh

You can see Burnham Overy Staithe ahead of you.

It is going to be a while before you get there
You are going to be turning right shortly


Looking towards Burnham Norton
Burnham Overy Staithe
Nearly there?

 So close, but you are about to turn right and head away following the Marsh edge until you finally cross a field and cut back to the road buy the windmill.
This section from Burnham Deepdale until you leave the track, is all on raised Levee track.
You can follow a less distinct footpath instead of crossing to the mill, but the official path goes across the field to the road

The mill by the main road
The path crosses diagonally to the left of this and then runs along inside the hedge line parallel to the road, finally coming out just before Burnham Overy Staithe
Boats at Burnham Overy Staithe
I arrived here at about 11.35.
Walked up to the main road on the track to see if there was anything open.
There was a pub but that was it.
It opened at 12.00
I was tempted, but decided to go back down to the river, and have a snack on the bench.
Mr Sloman would have forced me to sit outside the pub until 12.00 and then sit inside the pub drinking Ale until about 2.00pm (probably later)
But I didn’t.
I sat on a bench.
Had a drink and a bite to eat.
Added a layer as it hinted at rain, but that only lasted about 5 min.
And then I headed off out towards the Dunes.

Boats as I left Burnham Overy Staithe
The path out to the Dunes also follows a highish levee track.
The sea, and then marshland to your left as you swing out eventually heading back North towards the Dunes that will take you over to the beach

Approaching the Dunes

Large Dune just before the track that goes over and drops down to the beach.
Once past the dunes you drop down to the beach.
Luckily the sea was not in, and I was able to walk for miles along this vast beach.
I guess you could have walked along the dunes but it would have been hard work.
There now follows about 4 km of magnificent sandy beach walking.
By the time I had walked out to the sea and then back in, that was nearer 4½ km.
Much of the beach was just damp sand with some water patches.
But take care, you can end up having to track back if you reach wider outlying water.
And some of the wet sand is actually very water, and you sink in a bit.
Best to make sure you stick to the harder stuff.
Looking out to the sea
Watch out for those WET bits
Looking along the beach
This is a pretty excellent stretch of beach.
Magnificent sand
One thing that really became obvious having walked through mountains of shells, is that most of the Worlds population of lifeforms is probably in the sea.
Eventually you can see the beach curve in, and the way through to Holkam gap.
Approaching Holkam and Holkam Gap
This was NOT a day to be walking in the Kings New Clothes.
Looking out to sea near Holkam Gap

I actually went into the woods early, and walked through some of the woodland before the gap

Coming out onto the track behind the Woods

Salts Hole a short way before the Car Park on the track behind the woods

I followed this track behind the woods to the car park, and then the track round cutting back into the woods again about half way round, because it was string to drizzle.

Getting a bit bored in the woods, I decided to cut back to the beach briefly, where I found these colourful huts

Enough fun, the weather was looking like it was about to turn.

I headed on through the woods again, coming out at the end of the woods track
to the cafe near the lifeboat station.

It was getting harder now, and I took sanctuary in the cafe.
A nice Cappuccino and a bit of cake.

By the time I was ready to go, the rain that was predicted for earlier, had arrived and it was hosing down.

I put on full waterproofs and headed of the final 2 km into Wells.

The wind and rain had picked up.
I just had time for the one rushed picture.

Heading south to Wells

I made my way eventually to the YHA which is on the way out of town to the south.
It is about a 5 min walk from the centre of town.

I arrived rather on the side of wet.
Well, on the outside

Church a bit later on

On checking in with Tom, I also met Andy.
He had just arrived.
Was a tad on the wet side, and was on the start of a walk that was eventually to take him to Felixstowe and then Holland.
He was a jolly nice guy, so it was a bit of a shame that he was carrying far far too much gear, and had already got rather enormous blisters on his heels.

Time for a re-think.

We chatted since we were in the same Dorm.
Andy went off for a shower, and I popped up into town to grab some food and drink.
It was about 5.00 pm by now.
The rain had passed, and the sun was coming back out.

It is just a short walk into town.
And the Nisa store at the top had everything I needed.

I went back.
Had a drink, and made some food.
I looked around for Andy but he had popped out.
We said we might meet for a beer later on, but as it transpired our paths never met, although I did have a hunt around.
He had gone to the pub in the boat at the harbour.
The only one I didn’t look in.

After some food and a bit of a clean up, I headed back up into the town to the harbour area for a look around.

Water pump on cut through near the church

I also wanted to check the route out the next morning.
I was planning a reasonably early start

The weather was clear now.
The sun had come out and was setting.
The sea was tranquil, and the views out to see from the harbour area were magnificent, with a harbour full of small colourful boats

(Oh, and Blogger.. I don’t need a bloody US spell checker in the UK OK!)

So anyway, these were some of the harbour pictures, as the sun was going down.

I made my way back to the YHA, picking up a small bottle of wine on the way.
I was never going to get through it, but I could leave the rest for a fellow traveller.

I sat in the lounge area, drank a couple of glasses of vino.
Watched a bit of the News and something else probably.

Chatted with a few folk.
Made a cup of tea.

Marked my milk bottle and wine bottle as help yourself.

And then went to bed.

There was a chap already asleep.
He seemed to be a permanent resident.
Not sure of his story.
He had been asleep since 5.35 pm.

He was going to be asleep when I left the next morning at 8.00

And he was going to SNORE most of the night at a FUCKING SEISMIC level.

And I mean SNORE……SNORE……SNORE

The down side of a shared room at the YHA.

We had a laugh about that the next morning I can tell you.
He didn’t.
The Bastard was still fucking well asleep.

Anyway, more of this tomorrow when I meet the Shale beaches.

For now, finish listening to Esta Tonne, because it is an inspired bit of guitar.

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6 thoughts on “NORTH NORFOLK COASTAL PATH (ALMOST) – WELL DAY 1

  1. Go for it.

    As much as I love hills, I really really enjoyed it.
    It is worth taking 3 days rather than 2.
    Let's you sit on the beach and survey, and maybe have a glass of wine that you have cunningly sequestered in your kit bag.
    There is also a bunkhouse at Burnham somewhere I think.
    Lot's of B&B's as well.
    I was doing it on a shoe string budget.

    Definitely worth taking some binoculars or a half decent monocular.

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