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Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path

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Beginning at Knettishall Heath Country Park in Suffolk, The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path follows an almost arrow-straight route along a Roman road to Holme-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast where a branch goes to Hunstanton in the west before returning through Holme and along the coast to Cromer. The two trails cover a distance of some 93 miles but the terrain is very gentle with almost nothing in the way of hills and the climate of this part of Britain is both mild and drier than the average for the country.    

Peddars Way

The initial part of the trail, the Peddars Way from Knettishall Heath to the area around Swaffham, is part of a region known as The Brecks. This area has a very distinctive landscape, being composed of a unique mixture of carefully managed open heath, quiet river valleys, pine forest and agricultural land. It makes for very pleasant walking. Keep an eye out for the characteristic 'pine lines'; lines of pine trees crossing the area.

Also along this stretch, you may spot a series of sculptures known as the Norfolk Songline. Passing through Little Cressingham with its windmill, a long section of tarmac roads begins which leads to the lovely village of Castle Acre. Beyond Castle Acre, the trail develops a distinct feeling of isolation and remoteness as the dead straight Roman road leads onwards through old heathland, long since turned over to agricultural use, to Ringstead, Hunstanton Park and, at last, the North Norfolk coast just beyond the village of Holme-next-the-Sea.

Following the coastline around to the west brings you to the town of Hunstanton, where you can check out the Sea Life Centre and the sensory park before a return back along the coast to Holme. Here we join the real, raw coast of the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   

Firstly, we have the dune systems just beyond Flaxley and these soon give way to tidal salt marshes to the north of Thornham, Brancaster and most impressively, Burnham Norton. You'll find even larger, forested dunes at Holkham and here too is the famous 19th century Holkham Hall in its huge and stately grounds; well worth a visit. Just a little further along the coast is the harbour and town of Wells by the Sea. You might want to take a ride on the steam railway down to Walsingham from here before embarking on the next leg of the trail alongside huge tracts of tidal salt marshes running through to Morston, Blakeney and Cley next the Sea with its marvellous bird sanctuary in the marshes.

The coastline beyond Weybourne gains some height and a pleasant walk along the modest clifftops follows before the trail dips inland just beyond Sheringham. Here is an uncharacteristically hilly section of woodland that serves as a final sting in the tail before a descent into the coastal terminus of the trail at Cromer where you can relax on the pier with a well-deserved pint and some of the famous Cromer crab. 







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