The Bogtrotter

Brancaster Circular Walk, Norfolk

by on Jan.26, 2009, under Britain, British Walks, Walks

This is a great 5 1/2 mile walk taking in several of the best things about walking in Britain in one go – salt marshes, a small harbour, some woodland, a common and a Roman fort.

Small harbour at Brancaster Staithe

Small harbour at Brancaster Staithe

Starting from the village of Brancaster the path goes across the marshes – mainly on a raised boardwalk to stop you getting your feet wet – to Brancaster Staithe.  You can often see the piles of reeds where the local reed-cutters have been at work – collecting the harvest for thatching local properties.

Brancaster Staithe is a small fishing port in the middle of the saltwater marshes, and seems miles from the sea itself.  Most weekends in the car park here you will find the cockle van, selling an amazing variety of seafood along with the obligatory cups of tea.

From here the route continues along the coastal path past the back of the White Horse hotel and the round mussel beds until you reach the track up to Burnham Deepdale. You then turn inland and the next stretch (the only bit of the walk along tarmac) takes you up the road towards the woods of the Downs.  In the summer the fields near here are awash with poppies, completely overshadowing the wheat crops beneath them.

Field of poppies near Brancaster

Field of poppies near Brancaster

You then get to cross Barrow Common – surrounded by the coconut scent of the Gorse bushes. The views from here stretch right across the marshes, giving you a full panoramic vista even though your only 50 metres above sea level.

The route then drops down towards Brancaster, and after crossing the coast road you end up in the Branodunum – the roman fort that gave the village it’s name. Although no remnants of the fort remain you can still clearly see the earthworks and outline of what was once there.

And then you’re back to your starting point at Brancaster.

You can download a routemap for this walk from the Norfolk County Council web site – it is the first half of Walk 09.

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