Norfolk coast walk: Brancaster to Holkham (11 miles)
- Credit: citizenside.com
This peaceful walk takes in stretches of North Norfolk’s beautiful countryside
One of the many joys of the Norfolk Coast Path is getting out into stretches of the countryside that you can't otherwise see. In several places even the coast road is miles inland. As a walker you are out on the very edge of the land. Here the birds have dominion over earth, sea and sky. In comparison, humans are clumsy and slow, interlopers in a landscape we have not shaped. Walking is obviously excellent exercise, and there are places on the Norfolk coast that can make you feel instantly tiny. So much better than dieting when this stretch of north west Norfolk also includes some very fine pubs and restaurants. Along the stretch of path between Brancaster and Stiffkey, there are places you can stand and look north and know there is nothing but sea between you and the Arctic ice, and no more land until you have skimmed over the North Pole and on to Siberia or Alaska.
Even the human history here is couched in vast distances. Walk west to Holme and the waves washing on to the beach are rolling over another wooden henge, probably a similar age to 4,500-year-old Seahenge, discovered here, 21 years ago. Walk west from Brancaster and you pass the remains of a Roman fort. And soon there is nothing but marsh and creek, a maze of twisting, branching channels with water seeping in and out with the tides. This is the Norfolk of almost infinite space, holding you in a vast bubble of blue on a bright day, or soft browns, greens and greys if it is cloudy. You can come up for air in one of the lovely Burnhams, where there are houses, pubs, boats and people - and also the wonderful Coasthopper bus, to take you back to your start point if you resist the temptation to just keep walking.