Norfolk Coast Path
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Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The Norfolk coastline is a designated area of outstanding beauty, internationally renowned for its prolific bird life. It has some of the finest salt marshes and sand dunes in Europe. Famous nature reserves passed on our route include Holme Dunes, Scolt Head, Blakeney and Cley Marshes.
You’ll stay at two comfortable hotels, which are located at the start and end of the route.
Caley Hall Hotel, Old Hunstanton - 3nts
The original manor house at Caley Hall dates back to 1648 and was home to the Le Strange steward from 1842-57. The stables and outbuildings were converted to provide 40 comfortable and well equipped chalet style bedrooms in 1976. Close to Old Hunstanton beach and near to Hunstanton Golf Club, Caley Hall Hotel is the ideal location. All rooms have digital flat screen television (with radio channels) and alarm clock, WiFi, direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board and a hairdryer
Cliftonville Hotel, Cromer - 3nts
This magnificent Edwardian Grade II listed seaside hotel has been welcoming visitors to Cromer since 1897. It is located on Cromer’s west cliff. WIFI is available throughout the hotel. Flat screen TV with Freeview including radio channels, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, direct dial telephones,
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Day 1: Arrival Day
Check-in is available at the Caley Hall Hotel from 1500 and your leader will meet you for a welcome meeting prior to your evening meal.
Day 2: Hunstanton to Brancaster
Leaving Hunstanton, with its famous striped cliffs, we pass through Holme Dunes where The Wash meets the North Sea. Look out for the flowers of the early and southern marsh orchids and marsh helleborines in the dune slacks. The Dunes are renowned for rare birds, especially in spring and autumn when migrating birds are blown off course by strong easterly winds; there is a useful visitor centre. From Thornham we head inland through a lonely landscape, before approaching Brancaster, a popular sailing centre. It once had a regular sea trade in coal and grain and what is believed to have been one of the largest malthouses in the country. 10 miles (16km) with minimal ascent.
Day 3: Brancaster to Wells next the Sea
From Brancaster we head into Nelson country, a world of birds, creeks, wind and sky. England’s famous hero, Horatio Nelson was born at Burnham Thorpe in 1758 and the area oozes the maritime theme, with inns such as the Nelson, the Victory and the Trafalgar. We can imagine him as a young lad rowing his boat along the creeks and through the reed-beds that we pass. At Burnham Deepdale we follow the wide sweep of the sea bank stretching towards Scolt Head and Gun Hill before the marvelous vista of Holkham Bay opens up before us. It is the largest nature reserve in England and Wales, comprising grazing marsh, salt marsh, sand dunes, woodland and foreshore. We finish in Wells next the Sea. 12 miles (19km) with minimal ascent.
Day 4: Wells next the Sea to Blakeney
As we leave Wells next the Sea, salt marshes begin to dominate the landscape as we walk along paths of springy turf. The flint village of Stiffkey is only 1km off our footpath and famous for its cockles and a former parson. The cockles known as ‘Stewkey Blues’ used to be gathered by the women of the village, but the fishery declined in the 1950’s. The parson Rev Harold Davidson was involved in a famous scandal in the 1930’s. Spending much of his time in Soho, Davidson became known as the ‘prostitutes parson’. He embarked on a campaign to clear his name which involved appearing in a music hall, sitting in a barrel on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, and in a lion’s cage in Skegness. He died after been mauled by a lion. Continuing along the coast is Morston village and as the footpath zig zags alongside Agar Creek, the cobbled cottages of Blakeney come into view. 8 miles (13km) with minimal ascent.
Day 5: Blakeney to Weybourne
We walk along the top of the sea bank, curving out towards Blakeney Eye with stunning views and a sense of solitude. Cley next the Sea with its distinctive windmill was a port where wool from Norfolk sheep was shipped to the Low Countries in the 13th century. It provides one of the many places along the trail where a well-placed tearoom might tempt us to linger. From Cley the sound of waves is our constant companion and exquisite vegetation such as sea holly and yellow horned poppy may be spotted. The shingle of Weybourne Hope signals we are nearly at the end of our day. The water is extremely deep and is the only place on the Norfolk coast thought to be deep enough for submarines to approach in World War II. A short walk brings us to Weybourne, an old-world village with flint houses. 8 miles (13km) with minimal ascent.
Day 6: Weybourne to Cromer
Our final walk commences with an energising cliff walk to Skelding Hill and the old coastguard lookout. The views are impressive, as we start our descent to Sheringham. Sheringham is renowned for its lobsters, crabs and whelks, and fishermen still set their crab pots as they have done for generations. With no natural harbour the boats are hauled up on to the beach with their catch. Beeston Hill marks the end of our coastal walking for a stretch as we head inland up to Beacon Hill with views back through woodland to the sea. Walking through the forest we reach the highest elevation in Norfolk at 105 metres (346ft). Dropping back to the sparkling sea of Cromer, a short walk along the front takes us to Cromer pier where we can celebrate our journey’s end. 8 miles (13km) with 700ft (210m) of ascent.
Day 7: Departure Day
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
The nearest station to the start of the holiday is at Kings Lynn. There are direct trains every hour from London King’s Cross to Kings Lynn, with the journey taking 1hour 35 minutes.
Our first hotel is located in the village of Old Hunstanton, a 25-minute drive from Kings Lynn train station. To reach Old Hunstanton, you can either take the Coasthopper bus, which takes 40 minutes; or a taxi. There may be taxis available outside the train station but it is a good idea to book one in advance.
Timetables for the Coasthopper bus can be found at: www.coasthopper.co.uk or by phoning: 01553 776980
Our last hotel is in Cromer approximately 450 metres from Cromer railway station. The hotel staff will be happy to arrange a taxi transfer where required. Cromer is situated on a branch line with hourly trains to Norwich; journey time around 45 minutes. From Norwich there are regular trains on to London and the rest of the UK.
You can leave your car in the hotel car parks whilst you are resident at each hotel, but you cannot leave your car at either hotel for the duration of the holiday and therefore you will need to move your car halfway through the holiday. Your leader can help you manage this.
We propose that you drive your car to the start of the walk on Tuesday morning and then leave it in the car park at Wells next the Sea (small charge payable locally). At the end of the day we will return you to Wells next the Sea so that you can then continue the drive to your hotel in Cromer.
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Dates & Prices
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- 6 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ guide
- All luggage transfers and transport is provided on walking days
Prices are per person
- Single room: £78 (complete holiday)
If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead.
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person