Stepping it up …. 3 days of walking in Norfolk

Tuesday 16th July 2019

With the knee pain easing up a little, we decided to tackle a few days of walking some longer stretches of coastal path. And so it was on Tuesday, a particularly hot day for these parts, that we picked up where we had left off in Wells next the Sea – our destination the pretty village of Blakeney. A relatively easy flat path and a heavily populated one at that. So lots of ‘Good Mornings” and “Hellos,” even stopped to chat to passers by sometimes – this rambling can be jolly sociable at times! At other times it can be just us and the open path, but not today, far from it.

Leaving Wells next the Sea

We walked for mile upon mile with the sea in the distance and marshland to one side, farm land to the other. Very pretty but spectacularly flat. We were entertained along the way with some military aircraft overhead – the Hercules we did get to see but the F35 Lightning flies so high that you don’t see it … it’s like being at a Red Arrows display in regards to noise level but without sight of the planes or the red, blue and white smoke.

Hercules

Lots of birdwatching opportunities – The Great White Egret

As the miles clocked on, the old knee was starting to give me some grief. When we arrived in Morston I was so relieved to spot a tea shop on the beach … but no such luck, with only another mile and a bit to do the decision was made to soldier on to Blakeney. And yet another picturesque village to add to the collection – busy with tourists, walkers and seal spotting day trippers. 7 miles completed, we then wandered up from the harbour to the main road passing pretty country cottages and gardens, to find the bus stop.

Arriving in Blakeney

Country Cottage Gardens

There’s a great Coastline bus service here so we didn’t have to wait long to be picked up and ‘whisked’ (literally) along the narrow winding roads back to where we had parked the car in Wells. At one point along the way, the traffic was held up both ways by a thoughtless driver who had pulled up to take photos of some cows in water. Gave us some photo opportunities however!

So chuffed with myself for managing 7 miles with a poorly knee …. and have now added to this a gigantic blister on my big toe – hey ho …. the joys of rambling!!

Wednesday 17th July 2019

Another 7 miler planned for today. Set off with toe blister and knee all wrapped, ready to tackle the journey ahead. As long it was flat easy terrain like yesterday I would be just fine!!!

Another fabulously hot day and to start off it was the sea defence ridge path, comfortable underfoot. It was interesting with the two areas of pain vying for attention, if I concentrated on one I could forget the other – I played around with this and tried to focus on other areas of my body – it was quite powerful in achieving some temporary relief.

The path took us on a great loop skirting around the marshland … but it did take us through the pretty village of Cley next the Sea with its numerous art galleries and local craft stores. And we walked though the beautifully kept grounds of Cley Windmill which offers guesthouse and self-catering accommodation, even weddings. A gorgeous setting, I picked up a brochure – perhaps a romantic stop off at some point!?

Cley Windmill

From here the path took us down to the beach and led us on to Cley Ridge – shingle!! We presumed this would be just a short interlude as its not great terrain for walking but unfortunately it turned out to be 4 miles of uncomfortable shingle and ridged sand. Great! I had to stop feeling the pain and just think of the quads workout I was getting. Stunning beach all the same and the sea looked so inviting. There was only a handful of people along the whole stretch but plenty of birdlife to admire (and not the bikini type!) – Steve’s become quite the David Attenborough!

Reaching Weybourne

After 7 miles of walking (4 on shingle) we reached Weybourne. Again we had a walk uphill through the village to locate a bus stop on the main road … to find the faithful old Coasthopper bus. And once again, beautiful houses and gardens …. they do love a hollyhock in Norfolk!

Thursday 18th July 2019

And today we were back for more … leaving Weybourne, Cromer was our original destination.

After yesterday’s shingle nightmare, we were pleased to find ourselves walking along cliff top paths. This felt like proper coastal path walking …. up and down hills, steep steps in parts but a bit more interesting than the flat of recent days and minimal shingle. The weather was not so great today, drizzle and then some full on rain too, mostly cloudy … but the sun did come out to shine on us occasionally. While we walked, swallows swooped all around us …. so hard to capture on photo – they dart so quickly.

Someone likes to be different!!

From our clifftop viewing vantage, the beaches all day were stunning spectacles – large expanses of shingle that eventually turned into sand stretches. We passed Sheringham Golf Course en route and Steve couldn’t resist helping golfers locate the balls that had wandered onto the path!

We actually treated ourselves to a coffee stop in Sheringham where there were some inviting promenade cafes. One of the nicest flat whites I’d ever had …. and we enjoyed the rest break. But onwards and upwards, Cromer was still some way off.

A little bit of prom and a bit of a cliff top, all the while gazing down at the increasingly sandy stretches – a fabulous walk.

We arrived in Cromer which the signpost informed us is “The Gem of Norfolk.” Certainly an attractive seaside town from what we saw. We even located ‘The Red Lion” pub/hotel where we had stayed for a weekend some 27 years ago – we puzzled over how we had ever managed to source this or book it prior to having internet access!? We didn’t go into the town but certainly the seaside frontage was spectacular – great architecture and grand hotels.

❤️ Beach huts

But, we didn’t want to stop walking in Cromer … we weren’t tired enough … oh no we weren’t!!! We decided we could make it a little further to Overstrand. The path took us down onto the beach where we were faced at first with the dreaded shingle. Luckily the tide was out and still going out so we headed down to the shore and enjoyed the most stunning of strolls along the wide sandy expanse of beach between Cromer and Overstrand. What a spectacular place and hardly a soul around. Loved it and loved the whole walk today – one of my favourites.

It was almost 9 miles today – things are definitely improving. Bring it on!….

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