Norfolk Walk: Cley-next-the-Sea
PUBLISHED: 10:20 11 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:21 11 January 2013
This is a very varied walk from Cley Beach taking in its salt marshes, the picturesque village, its much-photographed windmill and the large St. Margaret's Church.
CLEY NEXT THE SEA
Start: Coast Car Park at Beach Road, Cley There is a charge but it is free for Norfolk Wildlife members (also see below).
Map: Explorer 251 G/R TG 048453.
Distance: 7 miles (or 3 miles).
Public Transport: The Coast Hopper runs a regular service from Cromer to Hunstanton stopping at Cley.
Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This is a very varied walk from Cley Beach taking in its salt marshes, the picturesque village, its much-photographed windmill and the large St. Margaret’s Church.
The route then goes on up to higher ground with excellent views over rolling countryside on good paths and along quiet lanes before descending back to the marshes.
On this walk there are several other places to park including the free car park in Cley village, passed on the longer walk, and the small Norfolk Wildlife car park near Walsey Hills, passed on both walks.
For refreshment there are several places in Cley and also the Visitor Centre on the short walk.
■ From the beach car park take the footpath on the bank beside Beach Road going away from the sea and towards Cley village. Continue on the path as it bends right towards the windmill. On reaching the windmill take the steps on the left opposite it and go out to the road in Cley.
■ For the short walk: Turn left along the Coast Road (A149) to the junction with Beach Road. Then go into the permissive footpath that runs parallel with the Coast Road. Continue past the Visitor Centre and follow the path to a small Norfolk Wildlife car park. Then turn left on the signed footpath and continue as below described below.
■ For the main walk: Cross the road and go into the narrow path opposite (signed to the car park). Follow the path round right and left bends, and then continue along the lane past Cley Hall. Go past the village hall and the car park. Then, just before Knoll House, go right on a track to the church. After visiting the church leave the churchyard by the main gate. The Three Swallows public house is on the right. Keep ahead across the large triangular green into the lane opposite. Continue to a crossroads where there are good views of Wiveton Church and the top of the tower of Blakeney Church to the right.
■ Turn left at the crossroads and go along the quiet lane past Thornhill Farm. Then, opposite a wide track on the left, look for a finger post on the right and go through the gap to a field and follow the path along its edge. At the end of the field, go through a gap to a nice wooded and fern covered area (the Hammer and Lavender Hills). Follow the winding path over the hills and out to another field.
■ Continue ahead along the edge of this field and the next field with a hedge on the left. Be sure to look back here - the rolling views of the trees and the church are lovely. On reaching a lane at a corner, turn left into an enclosed path (Hurdle Lane). Continue past a narrow wood on the left. Eventually the path comes out to a wide field edge path. Then, on reaching a road, cross over and go into the lane opposite.
■ Continue along this lovely wooded lane and, at the next crossroads, turn left (signed to Cley and Blakeney). These are indeed pleasant woods, especially in the autumn, and then there is gorse on the right, still holding some of its flowers so late in the season. At the next junction, go rightwards across a lane into a signed footpath signed to Walsey Hills).
■ Follow the field edge path downhill with bushes and trees on the left and wonderful views out to sea over the hills and salt marshes. After about a mile, at a finger post just before Walsey Hills, continue ahead on a path through the bushes. Just before meeting the road there is a Norfolk Ornithologist Walsey Hills Nature Reserve, which non-members can visit for a small charge. At the main road (A149) turn left to a small car park. Cross the road to a signed footpath on a bank.
■ The short walk rejoins here and for both walks: Go along the footpath on the bank towards the sea, over the salt marshes with lots of birdlife to observe. On reaching the shingle bank, turn left. Walk just on the land side (or if the tide allows, it is possible to walk along the beach on the other side). Continue back to the beach car park.
JOIN THE RAMBLERS
The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity which has been working to encourage more people to take up walking and to safeguard footpaths and the countryside for 75 years. Whether you’re an old hand or a complete beginner, the organisation can help you get the best out of walking through its network of local groups.
The Norwich Group has been established for more than 35 years and was the first group in the Norfolk Area of the Ramblers Association.
Non-members are welcome to join all walks in national festivals and some special events and programmes. Most regular walks are intended for Ramblers members, but you are welcome to attend two or three walks on a try-out basis.
■ For more information about the Ramblers’ Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk