Sunday, 7 May 2017

May 2017 - Norfolk Coast Path - Day 1 - Cromer to Blakeney

I had the idea that I could spend 3 days walking the Norfolk Coast Path. There is a regular bus service along the coast from King's Lynn to Cromer provided by Stagecoach under the operating route name of Coasthopper. I had taken a cottage in Blakeney and worked out that this was just one third of the way between Cromer and Hunstanton, the original start and end of the Norfolk Coast Path. Monday morning saw me on the first bus eastwards from Blakeney heading for Cromer. After a quick coffee I searched out the start of my walk on the sea front. I should say the new England Coast Path has now taken over from the Norfolk Coast Path and I should have been starting some 35 miles further east in Hopton-on-Sea just south of Great Yarmouth.
 Cromer Pier on a Bank Holiday

I mistook this for a war memorial, but it actually marks the dedication of a lady councillor who represented Poppyland for many years.

Memorial to Henry Blogg, Coxswain of the Cromer Life-boat and was "One of the bravest men who ever lived".  In Cromer the Henry Blogg Museum celebrates the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history, who served for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats. With the assistance of his crew, he saved over 873 lives from the North Sea.

Apparently a quote from Winston Churchill about Cromer, I was hoping it wasn't going to prove to be true.

I am sure this boy was enjoying himself, although I couldn't see his face.

The council are using goats to keep the growth on the cliffs under control and they are rather fine looking animals, even if I couldn't get a clear shot of them.
A different approach by a caravan owner to keeping the vegetation under control.

I now reached East Runton and realised that I could not find any more direction signs. When I looked at my map I should have been a couple of miles further inland, so had to relocate to where I thought the route should be, but there were no route signs there either. Subsequently I worked out that the new England Coast Path had taken a route along the coast rather than the published route in the guide books and on the Ordnance Survey Maps.
Just to make sure, all the old way marks for the Norfolk Coast Path had been removed and replaced by ones for a "Circular Route". Not particularly helpful.
The old route was very pleasant running through woodland whereas the new route ran through the middle of static caravan parks. I know which I preferred.

The track running back down towards Beeston Regis though swathes of Alexanders, a greenish umbelliferous plant found all along the coastal strip.

 Beeston Regis Church.

The Norfolk Coast Path regained on the cliffs just before the climb of Beeston Bump.
View from the Bump down to Sheringham.

Although it was sunny no one had opened up their beach hut and the wind was whipping in directly off the sea, although at high tide there was no beach either.

Turnstone hiding amongst the pebbles.

 Daisies making a colourful splash in the cliff top gardens.

76084 wearing a "face" as one of the Fat Controller's Very Useful Engines running between Sheringham and Weybourne for a Day Out with Thomas.
The shingle bank between Weybourne and Cley which was about 20 foot high has now been wiped out during a number of tidal surges and sea inundations between 2013 and 2015, leaving a vast expanse of shingle spread over miles of the coast.
This used to be he car park at Salthouse beach, now the road just ends were the shingle came to rest and there is not even room to turn a car.
 More fresh shingle, looking towards Cley

 I think these iron posts were probably there to anchor the old shingle bank but now they just stick up from the beach

Next to the old coastguards building at Cley beach was a shelter. The coastguard's building is long gone and the shelter has been inundated by shingle completely burying the bench inside on this east facing side.

Cley-next-the-Sea - the windmill, the coast path comes inland from the beach about 1 mile here in order to cross the  River Glaven.

A fierce dog guarding someone's garden against incursions from the path.

At last nearing Blakeney after a further trip out across the marshes from Cley.

Blakeney village looking welcoming as evening falls. Just short of 17 miles in the day, a little further than intended due to the problems at Cromer in the morning. The section between Weybourne and Cley Beach was nearly all on loose shingle and is quite hard going. Still Day 1 is completed and I am on target to complete the rest of the walk in the 3 days I have allowed.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful post with beautiful photos. So informative :) I finally managed to have a short break in Norfolk a few years ago (it had been a county I had wanted to visit for years and years!). We stayed at Blakeney. Sadly, we went in March and the weather was awful - freezing cold snow and rain! for most of the time. It put off my family for life but I do hope I can return one day as I just loved the whole place. Looking forward to reading your next post :)