Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Norfolk Coast Path day 3

Monday, 24th October, 2011

The final day was our earliest start yet. We had to pack the car up and drive to Cromer at the end of the walk in time to get parked, buy lunch and catch the first bus back to Blakeney.

The path took us straight back out onto the sea defences through the marshes, which followed in a big loop to Cley next the Sea. This is a lovely, little village with the windmill at which we'd orginally hoped to stay.

It was then back across the marshes to get to a very long shingley beach. We walked for 4 miles along here straight into a constantly strong headwind. The going was hard enough on the shingles without having to battle against the wind as well. The beach felt like it went on forever; it stretched out as far as we could see in both directions. Apart from a few fishermen we had it all to ourselves.

A very long beach
Ugly caravan park in Sheringham

At Weybourne the beach reached a grassy area that soon climbed up to become high sea cliffs (well, high for Norfolk). We followed the path along the top of these cliffs until it dropped down into Sheringham. Our first view of Sheringham was of vast ugly caravan park. I'm not a fan of these parks at the best of times, but at least the one where we were staying in Wells had lots of trees and so the caravans didn't stand out so much. This one had nothing. Really ugly.

We walked through Sheringham looking for a nice place to get coffee. Everywhere seemed to be plastic tablecloth, egg and chips type places and nowhere appealed. Eventually we settled on old fashioned tea shop with a carpet from the 1970s. The coffee was good and the staff were friendly, so despite the carpet it was ok.

The final stretch took us up over Beeston Hill and then inland through fields and woods, past farms and caravan parks, to arrive at the back end of Comer. We then walked down through the town to the pier and the end of walk.

For such a lovely walk the start and finish leave a lot to be desired. Both Hunstanton and Cromer are both shabby seaside towns long past their heyday. And, disappointingly, neither end has a nice sign to mark the start or finish of the walk.

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