Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Norfolk Coast Path day 2

Sunday, 23rd October, 2011

Another early start. As the buses don't start running till later on a Sunday morning, we decided to drive to Burnham Overy Staithe and leave the car there. Then we could get a bus back in the evening to pick it up.

We were walking before 9am and headed back out to the marshes. We saw a group of birdwatchers with their telescopes all set up and stopped to chat. They were from Switzerland and watching a spoonbill which isn't particularly common. Also it was awake and apparently they're usually asleep. They offered to let us have a look, but it flew away before we could get to telescopes.

We walked for a long time over the sea banks. As Norfolk is so low it needs these sea defences to prevent flooding. It reminded me a lot of walking in the Netherlands. We saw lots of joggers and lots more birdwatchers. It's a lovely place to run and the marsh atracts lots of birds, particularly now that we're going into migration season.

After a few miles we were walking on beach again. We walked for quite a way along the tree lined beach before turning inwards to have a look at a bird hide in the woods. We then walked through the woods which were lovely with several pools and more marsh. The actual path followed the path further along the beach before turning into the woods, but we were ready for something different.

Finally the path led to the beach at Wells and we walked the long straight road back into the town. This was my first chance to look around Wells and it is a really nice little town. There's one main street which is narrow and pedestrianised. We sat outside a small cafe for lunch before heading out of Wells back on the path again.

Although we were walking at the edge of the 'land' the sea was far away in the distance. Between us was a vast expanse of marshland. We bypassed Stiffkey (pronounced 'Stewkey') and came to a stop at Morston. This is a National Trust place with toilets (yay!) and a place to get drinks. It was a lovely day again and I was really in need of a long, cold drink by this time, so it was a very welcome stop. It's also possible to do boat tours from here out to Blakeney Point to see the seals. They have their pups with them at the moment so now is a really good time to go out there. There were crowds of people waiting for the boats so no doubt it's something that has to be booked in advance. We had no time anyway as we were on such a tight schedule with the walk.

From Morston we followed the path through the marshes to Blakeney. We were about hour early for the bus, but didn't think we could risk going further as the path loops far from the road and if we didn't make it back to the road in time we would miss the last bus. We wandered round Blakeney - more boat trips to the point - and then sat in the courtyard of the Blakeney Hotel having coffee. It was very posh, but quite reasonale prices.

Once we picked the car up we drove back to Wells for dinner. There's a lovely area with houses and a couple of pubs set around a green. We had a drink in one of the pubs and then went for food in the other one. It was nice, but I preferred the pea soup we'd had the night before. We couldn't go back to the boat though, as there was a private party on. After dinner it was nice to be able to drive back to the caravan instead of having to walk along the long dark road.

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