The Norfolk Coast Path

I came to Norfolk late.  I was well into my forties when, one summer, my partner Jim and I made the long drive from our home in Sussex to that marvellous North Sea coast – marvellous at least until a cold, thick sea-mist rolled in and pushed us back home.

Before the mist, we camped in a basic camp-site with no showers and a single toilet housed in a too hot, brightly carpeted garden shed.  Quickly, we learnt to take a deep breath before going in; and hold on to it.

Campsite wash

Shielding my vulnerabilities – same method, similar time, different camp-site

We washed with cold water from a bucket, crouched behind an opened car door to shield our vulnerabilities.

After the finest of camping breakfasts – a fried egg sandwich – we walked for hours through sand dunes;

Norfolk Coast Boardwalk

along bleached boardwalks;

Norfolk Beach

and across huge tidal beaches.  We got sunburnt.

We were struck dumb by an enormous, dead sperm whale washed up on the sands; and dumber yet by our dog rolling ecstatically on its stinking, rotting tail.  We washed our dog with tomato juice.

We moved to a different camp-site with non-carpeted toilets, a shop and a shower block; erecting our little dome tent beside much larger, grander ones boasting TV’s and fridges and watched as their owners erected miniature, plastic, white picket fences about their plots.  And wondered why.

We dined in a busy Stiffkey pub-garden where a puce-faced chef stormed out of the kitchen to scream at me.  I’d tucked into the food placed before me by the waitress, neither of us realising that it was meant for somebody else.

“Do you always f*****g eat whatever’s put in f*****g front of you?” screamed the chef.

To which I could only answer, “Um.  Well.  Yeah.”

Despite the queer picket camping fences, monstrous corpses and shouty, ever-so angry chef, we liked Norfolk very much but didn’t return for many years.

Norfolk Coast Path Sign

And then Jim’s cousin bought a holiday home near Burnham Market (featured in this post) and we began visiting again.  On day-trips to the nearby beach, we noticed signs for the Norfolk Coast Path; part of the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail.  We decided that the NCP was a path we wanted to follow.

In the spring of 2015, using the holiday house as our base, we planned a three-day, 45 mile walking holiday along the trail from Cromer to Hunstanton.  But after two bright and clear days, the weather turned foul and we left the final third for another time.

I was waiting until we had completed all of the path before posting this account but over two years later, with the months slipping by and the holiday home now sold, I’ll post the first two parts of our walk anyhow.  As soon as we walk the final day, I’ll add that too.  When will that be?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Day 1 – Cromer to Blakeney

Day 2 – Blakeney to Burnham Overy Staithe (coming soon)

Day 3 – Burnham Overy Staithe to Hunstanton (coming not so very soon)

10 thoughts on “The Norfolk Coast Path

    • And I didn’t even realise what a hair-style trend-setter I was, John. And you know I couldn’t possibly give-away behind the scenes info like car reflections and camera positioning (though I see no popping head. A peeping Tom maybe). D

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    • You can chop them if you like, Charles or just use a carton of juice or even a tin of chopped. I think amongst dog-owners it is a fairly well-known, effective remedy and I don’t suppose the dragons would be terribly impressed by my arrival with a Sainsburys can. Nice idea though, I could do with being fabulously wealthy.

      I’m sure you can dig deeper than two years for walks. I’m still waiting for your historic (and terribly complete, compared to mine) Hadrian’s Wall Big Adventure. D

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  1. I’ve been reading a book by Robert McFarlane called The Old Ways, about walking tours he’s taken on “traditional” pathways like the UK’s Roman roads. One essay is about the Broomway in Essex—a long way from Norfolk, I know, but your photo of the tidal beaches and description of the fog put me in mind of it. The book has made me think of your walks on several occasions, actually. It’s good to see you back here. xS

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    • Hullo Stacy, I have that book gathering dust by my bedside. Thanks for the prompt – I’ll put it to the top of the pile. There are so many paths here, many of which I’ve never heard of – The Broomway being a good example. Dx

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  2. Putting a loo in a too hot garden shed is one thing, but gussying it up with brightly patterned carpet? Is this NFN?

    The East Coast is not anywhere I know do I’m looking forward to reading about days 1 and 2 soon. And day 3 idc. Ceri

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    • Hi Ceri, I had to look up NFN – Normal for Norfolk isn’t a term I’d come across before. Perhaps the stressed-out chef was a case in point. I’ll try and slip NFN into a later post. The Norfolk coast may not be as challenging as Snowdonia but it’s pretty fine. Dave

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