These books were made for walking
Derek James takes a look at a new set of walking guides to encourage you to get out and enjoy the beauty of Norfolk.
They are new pocket-size books which are bound to tempt you to get your boots out and get walking – to sample the delights that Norfolk has to offer.
Author and walker Tony Rothe has just come up with a pair of cracking little books offering 10 leisure walks of discovery.
These delightful publications are the ideal travelling companions now that the weather is picking up and countryside is starting to blossom again – and dear old Norfolk is starting to look better than ever.
And they are not aimed at serious long distance walkers so you won't need long woolly socks, plus-fours and heavy rucksacks.
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As Tony says: 'Use these little books to explore a very beautiful corner of a wonderful and varied part of the UK, and have fun doing so.'
So let's take a look at them.
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A Boot Up The Norfolk Broads: Book One.
'The area known as the Norfolk Broads, or just Broadland, contains some of the most remote scenery you will find anywhere, and yet you are rarely more than 10 miles from Great Yarmouth or Norwich,' says Tony.
He points out that much of the area's charm stems from its isolation and inaccessibility.
Many of the Broads themselves are only accessible by boat, with few footpaths and even fewer roads taking you along the Broads themselves.
Covering 300 sq km, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads form Britain's largest area of wetland, including 43 separate Broads and six rivers, offering 126 miles of lock-free navigation.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act of 1988 effectively gave the area National Park status, but with its own tailor-made legislation to protect both the diverse wildlife and navigation interests.
The 10 walks in this book explore the area around four Norfolk rivers, the Yare, the Bure, the Ant and the Thurne.
The routes taken by these waterways are described as the walks unfold.
The landscape includes rivers, shallow lakes, woodland, fens, grazing marches and farmland, usually in a context of startling beauty, and with an amazing variety of wildlife habitats.
And, as Tony points out: 'This book is not aimed at serious long distance walkers. All the walks are circular and are between 1.3 and four miles long, can take between half an hour and more than two hours and it is difficult to get lost.'
A Boot Up The Norfolk Coast: Book Two between Wolferton & Overstrand.
The Norfolk coastline must be one of the most varied in Great Britain.
It boasts wild desolate fenlands, thriving docks and ports, towering cliffs, gently rolling countryside, isolated salt marshes, world famous bird reserves, single beaches, deserted sands, colourful heathlands, a steam railway and charming seaside towns and villages.
'And you'll find that the north-section section belies Norfolk's reputation for flatness – the last Ice Age just clipped the North Norfolk coast, and the glacier stopped a mile or two inland,' said Tony. 'Therefore this stretch of coast is built mainly of moraine, ie: debris left by the melting glacier when the Ice Ages finished some 12,000 years ago, and has been continually moulded and shaped by the weather and sea ever since.'
This second book covering the North Norfolk coast contains 10 more walks, covering the area from Terrington St Clement, not far from Wolferton, near King's Lynn, to Overstrand, just to the east of Cromer.
There is something for everybody in this corner of the county – seaside, cliffs, fields, hills, marshes and heath – walks which will appeal to every member of the family and will take from 30 minutes to two hours.
And to be honest, you don't even need boots, just a pair of decent walking shoes.
Both books are published by Pixz, Halsgrove, at �4.99 each. If you can't find them in the shops call Halsgrove Direct on 01823 653777.