Thursday, 11 May 2017

Norfolk Coast Path - Day 3 - Burnham Overy Staithe to Hunstanton

The final day, after sorting out the logistics I was in Burnham Overy Staithe ready to set off over the marshes.

The tide was coming in quite quickly it would be high tide in a couple of hours.

Burnham Windmill a landmark by the side of the main A149 in North Norfolk. It has been owned by The National Trust since 1958. In 1978 they wanted to restore it to working condition but could not get planning permission due to the inadequacy of the main road and it not being able to cope with the additional traffic it was feared this would generate. It is now converted to a holiday cottage and can be rented through:

Most of the first section of the day's walk was along the flood bank enclosing Burnham Morton Marsh and this large pool which had a lot of ducks and geese. 

In Brancaster Staithe I passed this ruined looking building where the bricks are rotting away and the brambles and ivy are taking over.

There are a few fishing boats still operating out from the Staithe so there is the usual clutter of fishing gear. There is also a large sailing club here.

The path then continues along Brancaster Marsh Side where, fortunately, there is nearly a mile of boardwalk which means you keep your boots dry

Some kind person had cut off the two pointing arms of this guide post in Brancaster. I wondered if the route had been changed, but no, this where you leave the coast and walk back south into the low hills of the Norfolk Coast. This is big arable farming country and you walk along lanes through huge fields of corn.
After 2½ miles of farm lanes you walk back down into Thornham passing this, probably the least useful finger post on the Path, there was no turn off, you could only go straight on.

In Thornham I stopped on a bench overlooking a rough field to have a coffee and this Muntjac Deer wandered round the field. Quite a few people stopped to look at it and the deer seemed to be unconcerned.

This barn is on the Staithe at Thornham and is the subject of many paintings of the Norfolk Marshes.

I was now moving into sand dunes as I passed through Holme Dunes Nature Reserve. This is where the path begins to turn southwards as the coast turns into the wash at Hunstanton.
 It is a wild and windy place.

I now reached the point at which The Peddars Way Path Leaves the Norfolk Coast Path and heads on down 46 miles across Norfolk on the old road to the Suffolk border

 Fortunately for me I only had the 2½ miles to Hunstanton to finish my walk.

 Hunstanton lighthouse, getting there would be most of the rest of the walk.

Old Hunstanton is popular with kite surfers and even on this workday evening there were a dozen or so out on the sea, as the tide was now quite low they faced a long walk to and from the sea.
I left the beach at Old Hunstanton to walk on the cliff top passing between the 2 lifeboat houses.

Inside one of the houses I was surprised to see a hovercraft. I did not realise that the RNLI used hovercraft. This one is H-003 one of seven on the RNLI fleet, 4 are on station and 3 are held in reserve. The others stations with operating hovercraft are Morecambe, Hoylake and Southend-on-Sea.

 I emerged from bushes to suddenly arrive on the north end of Hunstanton's Cliff Parade by the old coastguard lookout.

Hunstanton was the creation of the local landowner, Hamon Le Strange, and the plaque on this shelter says that he opened these cliffs to the public 1879. Hunstanton is in the midst of a makeover at present and most of these old shelters are getting a significant restoration as are many of the gardens and paths.
 Newly arrived Wheatear in the gardens

Journey's End, the marker post showing 47 miles to walk back to Cromer. So that completed my 15.75 miles for the day, and the whole walk done in 3 days. I'm not sure that I will be rash enough to attempt 47 miles in 3 days again. The wonderful Norfolk Coasthopper bus service made it all possible, providing transport links all the way along the Coast Path from Cromer to Hunstanton.
I was now heading off for a celebratory curry in the bright lights of Hunstanton.


  1. Well done on completing the walk - must have been a super if tiring few days. Good to read of the new sundial :) Do hope you enjoyed your celebratory curry!

  2. Thank you, Ragged Robin, for your comments. The curry was good.
    Now I just need to get back into making these Bog Posts a little more regular. I have realy got out of practice at writing them up!
    Usually early May is the best time for seeing the spring migrating birds on the various different reserves along the coast. Although I have to admit that the RSPB Reserve at Titchwell is completely by-passed by the Coastal Path, that is the Day 3 section where you go inland and it takes you all round the reserve with about a ½ mile buffer on each of the three sides.