North Norfolk Coastal Walk

239 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

February, 2017

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A free car park with toilet at Blakeney Village Hall has to be the best preparation for any winter walk (after Bucks Fizz, petit pain au chocolat and croissant for breakfast) and the way down to the shore is a delight of restored fishermen’s cottages.

It was a slightly overcast day but promised better to come. We turned left past the slipway to join the path, which runs along a raised bank. All the way there were signs of the recent tidal surge, unfortunately also signs of the profligate way we discard used items. Locals we met said there would be a clean-up once the risk of further high tides had passed. Agreed there are inevitable cast up items: what looked like a gangplank, for example, and a sign washed off its berth, but too many were plastic containers.

Time to raise the sights, we decided. The seal banks were visible under a small blue patch that gradually increased as the morning developed. Near at hand was an elusive pair of grey plovers. Further off were little egrets, in a less than neighbourly relationship with gulls. Then the first small flock of barnacle geese, resting on the mudflats after a night raid on farmland. Further on two fields had larger flocks. Busy, beautiful teal were in the channels. A mobility vehicle passed us, proving how accessible the path can be. We had no need to hurry: Morston is in view most of the time, so decisions about the next phase could be considered.

The walk is just over a mile along the coast; add the distance from the car park and it is perhaps approaching two, and certainly was two by the time we settled on lunch at the Morston Anchor. Like her parents we had resisted the little girl’s cry of “But – but! – they have ice cream!” and the immediate gratification of an open-air coffee.

The Anchor is a good fishermen’s pub, offering seal trip tickets in season and a fairly priced range of fresh seaside food. If the fishermen are of the Burnham Market kind, no matter because it keeps the locals in employment. A welcome indoor coffee gave us time to decide on food: nothing huge, because we had dinner booked at Wiverton Bell that evening, but the choice was inviting. A starter portion of moules mariniere and a chowder of haddock with brown shrimps and sourdough bread seemed right, if hardly what an old time fisherman would have chosen. Not only seemed, they were right: very well prepared, fresh tasting and delicious.

Warmed and not too full, we were soon ready to return. Birdlife seemed more active, as though also fresh from the pub. Grey plovers were less shy; a pied wagtail on a boat was anything but shy, and a skein of geese flew inland from beyond the village. Nearing Blakeney there was a flock of rapidly aerobatic birds, possibly redwing (we could just pick out the colour as they turned). On arrival a small brown bird – one of the all-too-common ornithological records – turned out after a few minutes patience on a nearby bench to be a tree sparrow. Needing no patience at all is the Blakeney Conservation pond where native and exotic waterfowl are kept. Wonderful plumage on display and a duck house with no need of Parliamentary expense accounting.

We walked up along the village street parallel to our morning choice, then took a path at right angles to the village green opposite the car park. An enjoyable round trip and well worth repeating though, as the manager at the Anchor had said, not when the area is overwhelmed by tourists.


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