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Winter coastal walking

I wanted to share this fabulous walk we did over the Christmas holidays. It’s the first time I’ve been to Norfolk and this was probably the best walk I’ve done in a long time.

We parked at the pay and display car park at Sheringham railway station.

Sheringham station

We crossed over the railway track and directly behind the toilet block/tourist info building is a bus stop where we caught the CH3 bus to Cley next the sea. Timetable for the Coasthopper bus service can be found here. (The bus only runs hourly at this time of year!)

The bus stop for the start of the walk is the first stop after you see the “Cley next the sea” sign. Across the road from the bus stop is a small road/track which heads towards the sea. About a mile down this track you come across a sign for the Norfolk coastal path pointing to your right along the shingle beach.

Signpost on beach, Norfolk coastal path

The landscape is beautifully stark. To our left stretched the sea and on our right were marshes and mudflats which are home to migrating birds. The first 3-4 miles are actually quite hard going across the shingle. You don’t notice it at first but we soon realised we weren’t covering the miles as quickly as we thought. (Good for toning those gluteal muscles!)

Shingle beach at Crey next the sea

We’d both worn our heavy-duty walking boots as we weren’t sure if the route would be muddy. A few miles in, I was questioning whether I would have better off in my trainers. On balance I think I was glad of my boots as they gave some ankle stability in the shingle and there were parts of the route where we had to pick our way over the edge of the marshes. Could probably get away with trainers if you’re not too fussy about risking a wet muddy foot/feet.

marsh meets beach Weybourne

Once past the marshes, to the right can be seen the Muckleburgh collection, just before you reach Weybourne. As you look to your right, artillery can be seen on the skyline (see photo below).

Muckleburgh collection

Once past Weybourne, the path becomes a little more undulating as you head along the grassy cliff edge. The firmer ground is very welcome. Plenty of places to sit and ponder with a sandwich and a flask of tea.

Norfolk coastal path

It’s worth keeping an eye out for the North Norfolk railway to your right. If you’re lucky you’ll see the steam train go by. (Choo choo).  Next, you’ll see the golf course and a final relatively steep short hill will take you to the lookout station just outside of Sheringham where there are plenty of benches to sit and look back over your route.

View from lookout station Sheringham towards Crey next the sea

Once at the lookout station, you need to continue for approximately 1/2 a mile along the coastline via the Esplanade in order to make your way back to the railway station. This is probably where you need a map/ google maps to find your way but there are also lots of signposts.

We did this walk 28/12/13. You can see from the photos it was a beautiful sunny day although the maximum temperature was 7° and with the wind, it was pretty chilly. We were dressed very warmly including bobble hats and gloves and were armed with turkey sandwiches and  flasks of tea which were much appreciated.

The route is around 8 miles. It’s essentially an easy walk which is mainly flat and there’s no tricky navigation. Walking on the shingle slows you down a bit in the beginning. With lots of photo stops, tea stops and general messing around/admiring the views stops, it took us nearly 4 hours but could be done much quicker.

A highly recommended walk!

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