D41: HUNSTANTON to BURNHAM DEEPDALE
Monday 7th September 2020
Today miles: 10.5 Total miles: 628.9
I’m so far from home that it’s a five hour drive before I arrive to resume my walk of the English Coastal Path. I arrived in Hunstanton with both Gemma and Alfie to keep me company for the next four days as we walk around the Norfolk Broads towards Cromer. The weather forecast is set fair for the next few days so we shouldn’t need our waterproofs on this trip. The journey down was thankfully uneventful and after parking in Sunny Hunny we set off along the coast. It’s a lot quieter, people wise then it was in mid July and we left the town behind fairly quickly.
I stood around near the foot of the famous Hunstanton cliffs for a few minutes admiring the contrast between the vivid red sandstone and the white chalky layers. I saw the first national trails acorn logo, this confirmed we were, as expected now walking along the Norfolk Coastral Path. We spent the next few miles walking along the cliff edge then a little later through a soft red sandstone path. Various coloured beach huts lined up neatly on our left. Gemma commented about how far out the sea looked. We’d usually let Alfie off his lead at this point however he’s almost obsessively drawn to water and we had visions of him running across the vast marsh in an attempt to dip his paws in the sea. We saw lots of other couples walking along the coastal path, each moving to one side in accordance with the current 2m social distancing guidelines. We took our first short refreshment break just before the Holme bird observatory, sitting on a bench looking out across ‘The Wash’ and towards the Lincolnshire coastline. As we resumed our walk we approach Thornham and just ahead there’s a short section of footpath approximately 200mts long. There’s a small sign on the entrance to the path from the Parish Council informing me that the path isn’t two metres wide, therefore they would like me to use an alternative route into Thornham. As I often do with these overly protective signs I considered the options and decided to ignore the Parish Council advice. As I anticipated we were able to pass along the path in less then 2 minutes, easily avoiding any contact with the single dog walker we encountered. Thornham is one of those picture perfect little villages, with lots of pretty houses and a conveniently placed old pub recently renamed ‘The Orange Tree’
Our next destination is Brancaster and I had two options to get us there, 1. Stick to the Norfolk Coastal Path which heads a mile inland and then crosses several farmers fields, 2. risk walking along the side of the A149, might be bit dangerous, especially with a dog. We decided to go with option 1 which was an additional 1 1/2 miles but a much safer prospect. After a swift alcoholic drink in Thornham we diverted down a minor road following the Norfolk Coastal Path waymarkers. After a mile or so the route turns left and through some tree lined country lanes.
After a further 2 straightforward miles we entered Brancaster and we made towards the bus stop to catch the coastliner bus. I wanted to walk a little further but there’s limited daylight and the next bus stop is 2 miles further at Burnham Deepdale. The bus arrived and after about 30 minutes we’re back in Hunstanton. Shortly after arriving at the caravan I’ve hired in Hunstanton for 3 nights I received a telephone call from home. A family emergency meant that we had to pack up and return back home. Another 5 hours of driving and more annoyingly no more walking this week.