Day 45: English Coastal Path

Day 45: WINTERTON to GREAT YARMOUTH

Sunday 18th April 2021

Today miles: 13.4 Total miles: 7

Last Thursday I had set out to walk the 70 or so miles from Brancaster to Great Yarmouth in 5 days, however due to the previous two 20+ mile days I should probably arrive there some time later today. Despite the cold I had slept reasonably well and after my usual breakfast I set off feeling pretty good. The pain in my left ankle that I had experienced following yesterday’s long day had mainly disappeared but there was definitely some minor discomfort around that foot.

I entered Winterton-on-Sea shortly after setting off and the majority of the villages residents were still tucked up in their nice warm beds. Unlike the other towns and villages I had passed through in the last 3 days, the vast percentage of properties in Winterton appeared to be of wooden construction and not the more usual and prettier red brick and flint stone I had associated with Norfolk. There’s a nice church and pub in the village but I missed them. After Winterton I walked along the edge of the sand dunes attempting to keep to the Norfolk coast path which isn’t easy as there’s literally dozens of different tracks running through the sand. I occasionally caught a glimpse of the national trails (acorn) logo as I went along. Two hours later I arrived on the Eastern edge of Caister-on-Sea and I’m ready for my daily dose of bacon buttie, washed down by a large coffee. Unfortunately I asked a local couple and was hit with a double whammy of bad news, the nearest cafe was closed on a Sunday and the nearest shop is a 10 minutes walk inland and I ain’t doing that.

I checked my map again and saw that the fringes of Great Yarmouth aren’t that far away. Soon after I found a public toilet, filled up my water bottle and sat down for 15 minutes. After re-setting off from Caister I quickly arrived in Great Yarmouth and sat down again at a beachside cafe with the aforementioned buttie/coffee. The sun had come out and so it appears had the entire population of Norfolk. It’s busy and I play dodgem with the crowds, trying to avoid knocking somebody over with my pack. The Great Yarmouth train station which is my final destination for today is less then a kilometre away but due to the geography of Yarmouth I still have more then 4 miles to walk. The town is on a spit of land between the North Sea and River Yare and I intend to walk first the Eastern side then back up the Western edge. Part of this section includes the Golden Mile. On reaching the end of the pleasure beach (that’s it’s name, not my personal opinion) I’m then subjected to walking through a heavy industrial area until I reach the security barrier blocking my advancement. I trekked the last 2 miles towards the train station through the heavy industry, each vehicle that passed me by the driver glaring, I clearly look out of place with my walking pole and backpack. The lady at the train station was fantastically helpful and let me store my pack and charge my phone in her office whilst I went over to the nearby superstore for some train snacks. After transferring at Norwich I was back to Cromer before 4pm and home before 10.

In summary it was a great trip. All the new gear I acquired in 2020 including tent, air bed and stove all worked out pretty well. I definitely noticed the reduction in weight on my back. I did 74 plus miles over the four days from Cromer to Great Yarmouth and really looking forward to returning in a few weeks.

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