Day 42: English Coastal Path

Day 42: BRANCASTER to WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA

Thursday 15th April 2021

Today miles: 14.6 Total miles: 643.5

On April 14th 2021, with COVID lockdown restrictions finally lifted I’m able to continue my journey clockwise around the English Coastal Path. I made the five hour drive down to Brancaster and was lucky enough to find a parking spot almost exactly where I had ended my previous journey last September. I was quickly walking along the Norfolk Coast Path boardwalk with great views out across the salt marshes. The flocks of wading birds were also out enjoying the sun. After less then two miles I had reached the outskirts of Burnham Deepdale and used the opportunity to grab some provisions from the local Nisa store, including a huge pork pie.

The next four miles was along the flood embankment towards Burnham Overy Staithe. On reaching BOS I decided to have my first proper sit down, ate half of my pork pie and watched the boats in Burnham harbour. Thirty minutes later I was back on the coastal path at Holkham Bay walking amongst the dunes.
I had already noted the warning signs on the path and was aware of the restrictions on wild camping inside the nature reserve. It’s such a beautiful location and the temptation to set up camp was very strong, however it’s still only 5.30pm and I’ve got plenty of daylight and miles left to do today.

I left the Norfolk Coast Path just prior to Holkham Gap and decided to walk across the beach all the way to Wells-Next-The-Sea. There’s the obligatory row of multicoloured beach huts on the way into Wells. These sheds were all securely locked up, except for one which containing several noisy youths and a plastic bag now half full of Carling lager. I left the beach just after the coastguard lookout tower and walked up the wooden ramp onto the embankment which runs adjacent to the miniature railway line.

I lingered around Wells for a while before checking out my map for any suitable wild camping spots. I noted a few possibilities and then set off again with about an hour of daylight remaining. About 20 minutes and 1 mile out of Wells I found a track at Warham Greens which was set back away from the nature reserve. There’s a perfect patch of flat grass at the side of the track so I stopped, sat down, made myself a coffee and ate the remains of my pork pie. I was happy with my choice of camping spot so for the first time ever I set up my new Six Moons Design lunar solo tent, not set up perfect but adequate for tonight. As the sun was setting I could already feel that the temperature was starting to drop, I climbed into my sleeping bag and started to watch some crappy programme on my iPad. Great day of walking, hopefully lots more to come.

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