Norfolk Walk: Stiffkey and Wells-next-the-Sea
PUBLISHED: 09:05 14 September 2012
This walk starts with a stretch along the Norfolk Coast Path with notice boards about all the bird and wildlife on the salt marshes which are looked after by the National Trust and Natural England.
STIFFKEY AND WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA
Start: The car park at the north (sea) end of Green Way, Stiffkey.
Map: Explorer 251 G/R 965439.
Distance: 9.5miles (or shorter walks of 3.5, 6 or 7.5 miles).
Public Transport: The Coast Hopper bus stops at Wells and Green Way, Stiffkey.
Timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
The full walk starts with a stretch along the Norfolk Coast Path with notice boards about all the bird and wildlife on the salt marshes which are looked after by the National Trust and Natural England.
The walk then visits the busy town of Wells-next-the-Sea before returning along inland tracks with wide views.
The route crosses the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway — the longest 10¼” narrow gauge railway in the World. It was opened in 1982 on the former Great Eastern track and runs daily from April until the end of October.
The walk then passes through the lovely little village of Warham which, surprisingly, has two churches. On the way into the village, the walk passes St Mary Magdalene Church with its 14th century tower: it was saved from demolition during the latter part of the last century and is preserved by the Norfolk Churches Trust.
All Saints Church is in the village, behind the car park opposite the public house: it was restored by the Victorians but has lost its tower.
There are lots of places for refreshment in Wells and there is also the popular Horseshoes public house in Warham.
If a shorter walk is preferred there are three options.
■ Walk from Stiffkey to Wells and then use the Coast Hopper to get back to Green Way, Stiffkey (3.5 miles). Catch the Coast Hopper to Wells from the junction of the A149 with Green Way, Stiffkey then walk the inland part of the route back to Stiffkey (6 miles).
■ Start in Wells and follow the longer walk from there but, on reaching the Norfolk Coast Path, turning left back to Wells (7.5 miles). From the left hand corner of the car park take the Norfolk Coast Path (signed to Wells). Follow the path between a hedge and the salt marshes. Keep ahead when the path becomes metalled. Continue ahead on a grassy path when it bends right. Then go over a grassy area and, eventually, through a wooded area. Then go up onto a bank with the church and houses of Wells ahead and follow it all the way to a road in Wells. Continue past the slipway to a junction at the corner of the main road (B1105). Keep ahead under the old granary with the harbour along The Quay on the right. Then turn left up busy Staithe Street to a T-junction at the top and turn right.
■ For the 3.5 mile walk: Continue for a short distance to the bus stop for the return journey to Stiffkey. For the 6 mile walk: Alight from the bus from Stiffkey and, from the bus stop, go back a few paces and turn right into The Buttlands, then follow the instructions below.
■ To continue the full walk: Turn left into the Buttlands and go diagonally across the grassy area to the far right corner. Continue down Plummers Hill to reach the main road (A149). Turn left for a few paces, then cross the road to turn right up Market Lane. Continue past Alderman Peel High School. At the gates of the cemetery, bear left into a fenced track between the playing fields and the cemetery. Ignore a track on the left and one on the right just after passing some barns. At a junction of tracks at Gallow Hill, turn squarely left with Cuckoo Lodge on the right. Follow the track for just over a mile to the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway at Warham St Mary Halt.
■ Cross the train line and continue to the road. Turn left for a short distance (there is a narrow verge to walk along) and then turn right at the junction (signed to Warham). Follow the road past St Mary Magdalene Church on the left. Continue into the village on the pavement to the crossroads where All Saints Church, without a tower, can be seen over to the right.
■ Turn left beside the Horseshoes public house (signed to Stiffkey). Follow the lane gently uphill and all the way to the main coast road (A149). Cross over the road into the track opposite. Follow this pleasant track and go through the gate to return to the Norfolk Coast Path.
■ To complete the full walk: Turn right along the Norfolk Coast Path back to the car park at Stiffkey. For the 7.5 mile walk: Turn left along the Norfolk Coast Path (see directions above) to return to Wells.
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
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