Saturday 20th July 2019
Today’s planned walk was between Overstrand and Mundesley. Naturally, being Saturday, we stopped off first for Parkrun and this week’s choice was Sheringham Park – and what a beautiful spot although Steve wasn’t too enamoured with the trail running terrain.
From here we drove to Cromer for some breakfast and then on to Overstrand where we parked up ready for today’s trek. Free parking too – always a bonus. Just to confuse things, we reversed the walk by getting the bus to Mundesley and walking back (there is logic to this, honestly). When we got off the bus there was much excitement in the village as a Soap Box Derby was about to start – they were all lined up – some simple entries and others that clearly had competitive parent involvement!
It was an incredibly hot start to the day, clammy even. We kept being diverted away from the clifftops as many of the caravan parks chose to not admit walkers on their land. Some did let us in …. but there were lots of signs, including some fine examples of Norfolk colloquialism … “Slow You Down!”
Not too far into the walk however, as we wandered through woodland area, we encountered a deafeningly loud thunderstorm and bouts of torrential rain. We were a couple of little drowned rats. Each time we thought it had cleared, another downpour happened … but it eventually stopped and the heat returned, so aiding the drying process.
And the coastal path finally took us to the coast …. the second half of the walk was beautiful – the most scenic of clifftops, stunning beaches, farmland and wild flowers … we had the lot.
It did get slightly scary when we came across the part of the cliff that recently crumbled and fell to the beach. We trod carefully over the cracks on the path and had to laugh (nervous laughter) at the signs that said you must keep 5 meters back from the edge, when often there was only 1-2 meters width of path, unless you trampled all the farmer’s crops.
The day ended well with a little country lane walking back to the car …. even met a friendly little pony on the way! Just over 4 miles today … a very manageable distance.
Monday 22nd July 2019
We’d had a rest day on Sunday so we left home this morning full of energy and enthusiasm. Mundesley to Sea Palling was on the agenda … but again, we planned to do it in reverse due to limited bus services. In fact, so limited that the 9.15am bus we turned up for in Mundesley (after an hour’s drive) didn’t arrive at all. On enquiry we discovered the next bus wasn’t due till after 1.00pm – nightmare! And so it was we shelled out £25 for a taxi to Sea Palling.
The beach was popular with families – golden sands and nearby cafes. There was an option to take an alternative coastal path inland but we decided to walk on the beach coastal path …. which was literally on the beach. This was great to start off with as there was a stretch of concrete steps – but these ran out and we were then forced to walk on hot soft sand … the sun was blazing down by this time …. it felt like walking in the desert. We had a little ‘difference of opinion’ when Steve wanted to us to walk on the sand dunes path. I didn’t fancy this option as (1) it involved climbing over a barrier to get onto it + (2) the sign said “do not access the sand dunes!” So, we carried on with the sand walking for about 2 miles until finally we came to a ramp that took us off the beach. We did see a magnificent area of tern nesting, with hundreds of terns swooping around so Steve got into wildlife photographer mode.
We then had a pleasant walk along a nearby path that had farmed fields, including lavender, to one side and some attractive beach chalets to the other.
This path led us into Happisburgh and to another beautiful beach. Having walked 3 miles so far we decided to stop off and tuck into our sandwiches. Lovely views from the top and I couldn’t help but think what a fabulous place to live with such a jolly name …. until a local lady burst my bubble and informed me that the village is in fact pronounced ‘Haze-bruh.’
Unfortunately after this lovely stop, things turned grim. The next 5 miles took us on an alternative route, away from the coast …. mostly walking through farmland and at times on the roads. And with the day getting hotter and hotter it began to feel suffocating …. and silly me didn’t have a hat! But there was no choice, we just had to soldier on.
After about 6 miles we found a cafe and wearily stepped in, dreaming of an ice-cold drink (our water was pretty warm by now). We were met by the owner who informed us that she was closed, she’d only popped in to water the plants! Seeing the desperation on my face she kindly gave us each a glass of chilled water and refilled our bottles.
We carried on … more farmland, more roads, all the time being told by the signs that the alternative route was to be followed, the proper coastal path was closed off. Steve did get to see a bit of farm machinery though … he does love a combine harvester!
The sun was literally beating down, there was no reprieve. I was struggling big time – feeling dizzy and nauseous – it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. Eventually the path led us back to the clifftop for the final mile which was so much more scenic and with a little more breeze.
So it was a dizzy day …. 9 miles would generally be manageable but not in that intense heat. But we made it and spent a lovely hour on the beach, swimming and cooling off.
From now on it’s a few beach days while this heatwave lasts!
And today Tom and Jess arrive for a week – yippee … let the party begin 😆🎉❤️