The Bogtrotter

Norfolk coast walk – Thornham to Hunstanton

by on Oct.29, 2011, under British Walks, Walks

This is a six mile walk along the western end of the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Thornham to Hunstanton.

Wide open beaches of North Norfolk

Park the car or take the bus to Hunstanton, then get the Coasthopper bus towards Wells and Cromer as far as The Orange Tree pub at Thornham. From the bus stop take the road towards the coast, walking past Thornham church on the right and a mix of traditional cottages. At a fork in the road, bear right and carry on until the road takes a sharp right turn. At this point, turn left and follow the footpath (signed with a National Trail acorn sign). After 50 yards turn right and cross a small footbridge, then continue on the path with grazing fields on your left and saltwater marshes to your right. Keep an eye out for herons who like to stand beside some of the shallow water channels looking for food.

At the end of the path turn right and follow the track for a short distance, before turning left and joining the footpath on top of the sea dyke. As you walk you now have an elevated view across the marshes, where myriad wading birds potter along searching for tasty morsels to eat. The path slowly winds its way along the dyke towards the sand dunes and Holme Bird Observatory.

Hunstanton Cliffs

From the onservatory, carry on through the small pine copse and follow the duck-board footpath into the sand dunes. To your right you get to see the full expanse of the wide beach, more often that not completely deserted. The path reaches a junction at the edge of Hunstanton Golf Club, where the Peddars Way joins the coastal path. (There are public toilets just across the golf course at the start of the Peddars Way.) Follow the footpath along the right hand edge of the golf course, continuing through the low dunes. Further along you will find a group of beach huts, hidden away from the wind in the dunes. The footpath goes behind the huts and continues alongside the golf club fairways until you reach a path crossroads.

If you want to spend some time on the beach – turn right here and drop down onto Old Hunstanton Beach. The main route continues straight on – climbing up and onto the Hunstanton cliffs. The path narrows to go past the cliff-top car park, then becomes a wide open grass area. Go past the old coastguard lookout and continue through the manicured flower beds, putting and bowling greens to return to the town centre of Hunstanton.

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