Day 46: GREAT YARMOUTH to LOWESTOFT
Monday 26th June 2021
Today’s miles: 11.5 Total miles: 714.1
This is my second trip to the English Coastal Path since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown. Unlike my first visit to Norfolk in April I’ve got some company this time. When I’m walking on my own I just amble along at my own pace and then pitch my tent at the end of the day, with Princess Gemma joining me I’ve got to put more thought into the planning stage and I have to consider more luscious accommodation options. I once again drive the tortious three hundred plus miles from Alnwick to Great Yarmouth train station. After arriving in light rain I set off with an excited Alfie whilst Gemma made her way towards ‘The Plough’ in Wangford, our chosen accommodation for the next four nights.
After only a few minutes of walking I arrived at the final section of the Norfolk Coastal Path which now ends somewhere in Lowestoft. I crossed the busy River Yare and walked through the heavy industry that’s usually found on the edge of a large town or city. I can’t pretend that the next two miles was anything other then arduous, noisy and generally boring and I was pleased to finally arrive at the far prettier and quieter Gorleson beach. There’s a long row of modern wooden sea defences along this section of the coast and I’m thankful for there protection. The tide is already crashing violently into the safety structure as I pass along the thin strip of beach between them and the foot of the eroding cliffs. On reaching Hopton-on-Sea the high tide eventually cuts off any further progress along the sand so I’m forced to descend from the beach via a set of steep metal steps. A quick check of the map shows a clear public right of way running across the top of Corton Cliffs but after only a few hundred metres of walking it disappeared, another obvious example of coastal erosion. I cut a few hundred metres inland and carried on along a minor road into Corton before finally returning to the cliffs for the next mile into Lowestoft.
I’ve walked hundreds, maybe thousands of miles along various roads in the last twenty+ years. I’ve had several near misses with vehicles but today for the first time ever I’ve been berated by a foul mouthed motorist, obviously displeased with my chosen route along the single lane carriageway into Corton. I’m no shrinking violet so I answered his vile remarks in kind.
At Lowestoft North Beach I rejoined the coastal path and walked along the promenade joining the many fishermen who were scattered along the concrete strip. At the Southern end of the promenade I’m once again walking through heavy industry. I then telephoned Gemma to arrange to get picked up. There’s a RNLI lifeboat station less then a mile away and that’s where we arrange to meet. It’s been a relatively short day in terms of the distance walked but it’s a good start and I’m looking forward to some longer days as I continue South on the English Coastal Path.