The Norfolk Coast Path: Hunstanton to Cromer

The Norfolk coastline is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is internationally renowned for its prolific bird life. It has some of the finest salt marshes and sand dunes in Europe and a string of nature reserves on this fully guided itinerary, including: Holme Dunes, Scolt Head, Blakeney and Cley Marshes. This relaxed guided walking group tour trail allows plenty of time to watch the wildlife on this unspoiled and largely undeveloped stretch of the English coastline.

Between the bustling seaside resorts of Hunstanton and Cromer, a pristine section of the Norfolk coast stretches for some 47 miles. Punctuated by creeks and inlets, salt marshes and sand dunes, an experienced  Trail Leader will bring this enchanting section of the English coastline to life. Rare waders, migrant warblers, soaring raptors and huge flocks of geese share the coastline of Norfolk with a supporting cast of mammalian residents such as seals and otters.

Walk beside low sea cliffs with big expansive views, discover charming seaside towns and explore quaint villages with quirky pubs. This relaxed itinerary includes easy level walking across salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches that roll out into the far distance before the tide returns once more.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

77.5km

Days

7

Grade

Gentle

Theme

Coastal / Wildlife

Landscape Type

By Water

The Norfolk Coast Path: Hunstanton to Cromer

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This group tour itinerary is operated by HF Holidays – one of the UK’s largest activity holiday companies – who specialise in guided walking holidays in the UK and Europe.

Experienced and knowledgeable volunteer leaders undergo a thorough assessment to lead you on your Guided Trail and will also be delighted to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you. Your trail leader will carry all the necessary maps and guides.

All walking days involve minibus or local transport between the walking route and your full board accommodation which is included in your holiday price.

Through the course of your holiday you will be staying at two different hotels.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.

Itinerary

Starting in the holiday resort of Hunstanton, this route quickly leaves the built-up areas and continues along the coast along beaches, through sand dunes and beside salt marshes to Cromer. Along the way, you’ll stop off at pretty villages such as Brancaster, Cley, Salthouse and Weybourne and the atmospheric old fishing port of Wells next the Sea.

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Check–in at Caley Hall Hotel, Hunstanton is available from 3pm where your leader will join you for a welcome meeting prior to dinner.

Day 2 - Hunstanton To Brancaster

Leaving Hunstanton, with its famous striped cliffs, we pass through Holme Dunes where The Wash meets the North Sea. The Dunes are renowned for rare birds, especially in spring and autumn when migrating birds are blown off course by strong easterly winds. From Thornham we head inland through a lonely landscape, before approaching Brancaster, which once had a regular sea trade in coal and grain and what is believed to have been one of the largest malthouses in the country. 16km / 10 miles

 

Day 3 - Brancaster to Holkham Gap

From Brancaster we head into Nelson country, a world of birds, creeks, wind and sky. England’s famous hero, Horatio Nelson, was born at Burnham Thorpe in 1758 and the area oozes the maritime theme, with inns such as the Nelson, the Victory and the Trafalgar. At Burnham Deepdale we follow the wide sweep of the sea bank stretching towards Scolt Head and Gun Hill before the marvellous vista of Holkham Bay opens up before us. It is the largest nature reserve in England and Wales, comprising grazing marsh, salt marsh, sand dunes, woodland and foreshore. We finish at Holkham Gap where there is a new eco-friendly cafe and Visitor Centre. 16km / 10 miles

Day 4 - Holkham Gap to Blakeney

An easy walk takes us to Wells next the Sea where there should be time for a coffee or a stroll around. On leaving Wells along paths of springy turf, salt marshes begin to dominate the landscape. Continuing along the coast is Morston village with its traditional pub, and as the footpath zig-zags alongside Agar Creek, the cobbled cottages of Blakeney come into view. This erstwhile trading port is a fine place to end the day. 16km / 10 miles

Day 5 - Blakeney to Weybourne

After curving out towards Blakeney Eye, the trail turns inland alongside marshland which was once open sea, as the name of our next port of call, Cley next the Sea, suggests. With its distinctive windmill this was formerly a port where wool was shipped to the Low Countries in the 13th century. From Cley, the sound of waves is our constant companion and exquisite vegetation such as sea holly and yellow horned poppy may be spotted. A short walk brings us to Weybourne, an old-world village with flint houses. 14.5km / 9 miles

Day 6 - Weybourne to Cromer

Our final day starts with an energising cliff walk to Skelding Hill and the old coastguard lookout. The views are impressive as we start our descent to Sheringham – renowned for its lobsters, crabs and whelks. With no natural harbour the boats are hauled up on to the beach with their catch. Heading inland up to Beacon Hill, we reach the highest elevation in Norfolk at 105 metres (346ft). A short descent to the seafront takes us to Cromer pier where we can celebrate our journey’s end. 14.5km / 9 miles with 210m of ascent.

Day 7 - Departure Day

After breakfast depart for return travel.

Accommodation

Caley Hall Hotel,  Old Hunstanton (3 nights)

The original manor house at Caley Hall dates back to 1648 and was home to the Le Strange steward from 1842 to 1857. The stables and outbuildings were converted to provide 40 comfortable and well equipped chalet style bedrooms in 1976.  Close to Old Hunstanton beach and near to Hunstanton Golf Club, Caley Hall Hotel is the ideal location. All rooms have digital flat screen television (with radio channels) and alarm clock, WiFi, direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board and a hairdryer.

Cliftonville Hotel, Cromer  (3 nights)

This Edwardian Grade II listed seaside hotel is a complete contrast to Caley Hall. It has been welcoming visitors to Cromer since 1897 and as a listed building preserves the flavour of a seaside hotel of former days. It is located on Cromer’s west cliff. WiFi is available throughout the hotel and all rooms have a flat screen TV with Freeview including radio channels, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer and direct dial telephones.

All HF Walking Holidays are full board, from evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. There’s a vegetarian option at all meals and we cater for gluten-free diets.

Baggage Transfer

When you change from one hotel to another we will arrange for your luggage to be transferred for you. This is included in the cost of your holiday.

Travel

Air / Rail

Train from Stansted Airport via Ely to Kings Lynn (1hr 40mins). Eurostar to London St Pancras then train to Kings Lynn.

Ferry

Stena Line’s Dutchflyer Rail & Sail service provides city-to-city travel by rail and ferry from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Norwich, via Harwich International. Then either take a train or bus to north Norfolk.

The trail is well-served by the dependable Coasthopper bus service, making it easy to try a different walk every day from a fixed accommodation base or hop on and off the trail to explore whichever sections appeal.

Local Transfer from Kings Lynn

To reach Old Hunstanton, either take the Coasthopper bus, which takes 40 minutes, or a taxi. There may be taxis available outside the train station or you can book one in advance by phoning Paul Cross Travel: 07769 511991.

Timetables for the Coasthopper bus can be found on the Sanders Coaches website or by visiting the Traveline website.

For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950. For National Rail enquiries from overseas call +44 (0)20 7278 5240

Advice

This Guided Trail involves easy walking in a group on well-defined paths, with only modest ascents on the final day of your holiday. Most of the trail is on good paths but there are sections of beach walking and some walking on shingle.  HF want you to be confident that you can meet the demands of each walking day and get the most out of your holiday. Please be sure you can manage the mileage and ascent detailed in the daily itineraries. It is important for your own enjoyment, and that of your fellow guests that you can maintain the pace.

HF Holidays Grade: 2 – Easy

Food & Drink

All holidays are full board, from evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. There’s a vegetarian option at all meals and we cater for gluten-free diets.

 

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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