Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path
Total distance covered; 105 miles (169kms)
7 days walking, based in Cromer
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail is a 93 miles (150kms) route which starts in the Brecklands, and finishes in Cromer on Norfolk's North Sea coast. The route splits naturally into two diverse sections which together make up an scenically varied walk through terrain and scenery which is easy and relaxing throughout.
The first half of the walk - Peddars Way - commences on Kenttishall Heath and follows, as far as possible, the line of a Roman road which was, in turn, based upon an even older trading route. Peddars Way follows an arrow-straight route along field paths and well-drained tracks, often lined with wild flower rich hedgerows, through a landscape of sandy Breckland, woodland, fertile arable farmland, and peaceful brick and flint villages to reach the North Sea coast at Holme-next-the-Sea.
Rick Bowden / Loop Images
From Holme-next-the-Sea a short diversion to the west visits Hunstanton, before the route turns east along the North Norfolk Heritage Coast and into the Norfolk Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The route passes through a wonderful coastal landscape of colourful sea cliffs, sandy beaches, tidal salt marshes, extensive dune systems, and picturesque villages to reach Cromer, one of Norfolk's best known seaside resorts.
Highlights of the walk include the open heathland and scattered Scots Pine of Knettishall Heath and Brettenham Heath, the Pingo Ponds (geological phenomena left behind by a retreating Ice Age) around Thompson Water with their wealth of associated flora and fauna, St Andrew's church in Little Cressingham with its collapsed tower, the ruins of Castle Acre Priory, the charming Lifeboat Inn at Thornham, the extensive views across the creeks and inlets of the salt marshes at Brancaster, Overy, Morston and Warham, the dunes and pinewoods at Holkham Gap, the colourful rows of traditional beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea, and the Victorian pier at Cromer.
Gordon Scammell/Loop Images
Birdwatchers, botanists and nature lovers will find something of interest at every turn, and 'collectors' of Norfolk's elaborate and much-photographed village signs may be able to 'bag' those at Watton, Castle Acre, Sedgeford, Old Hunstanton, Hunstanton, Holme-next-the-Sea, Thornham, Titchwell, Brancaster Staithe, Burnham Overy Staithe, Wells-next-the-Sea, Stiffkey, Blakeney, Weybourne, Sheringham, West Runton and East Runton!
Day 1: Knettishall to Watton 15 mls (24kms)
Day 2: Watton to Castle Gore 15 mls (24kms)
Day 3: Castle Gore to Sedgford 16 mls (26kms)
Day 4: Sedgford to Thornham 15 mls (24kms)
Day 5: Thornham to Burnham Market 13 mls (21kms)
Day 6: Burnham Overy Staithe to Blakeney 15 mls (24kms)
Day 7: Blakeney to Cromer 16 mls (26kms)
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