Winter walks & cute cafés
Blow away the cobwebs with these great walks and slightly cheaper eats along the way!
We’ve pulled together 12 lovely walks in Norfolk, but you need sustenance right? Hot sausage roll and a slice of cake – that should keep those energy levels up!
1. Ringstead Circular Walk & The Urban Jungle Cafe, Costessey
This 7 mile circular walk takes you around the pretty Norfolk village of Ringstead and it’s surrounding countryside. It starts (and ends) at the Gin Trap pub, taking in a section of the Peddars Way, Sedgeford borehole (where local drinking water is drawn from the rock below) and Courtyard Farm – home of conservationist, Lord Melchett.
The walk then continues up and onto some quiet grassy tracks with magnificent views over the coastline, before continuing down onto quiet country lanes and back into the village.
Warm up in the tropical Urban Jungle cafe which is a short drive away but worth it to experience the greenhouse café bursting with big leafy plants and a Koi pond.
2.Horsey National Trust beach walk & Poppylands Cafe
A short 2 1/2 mile circular walk starting at the National Trust car park (bring change) and along the top of the dunes for approximately 25 minutes. There is a smaller viewing platform about 1o minutes walk from the carpark – suitable for little legs, especially if it’s cold – it can get very windy!
You can walk back the way you came or drop down behind the dunes onto the more sheltered coastal path.
Then step back in time at Popplylands tea room – an homage to vintage 1940’s where you’ll be served hearty home cooked food. There’s also a great vintage shopping floor upstairs and a chance to get a quarter of cola cubes at the wonderful retro sweet store.
3. West Runton circular walk & Clementines Cafe
The West Runton Circular is a lovely 3.5 mile route for families and easy for both little and slightly older legs. Following the base of Incleborough hill you take the sunken pathway between hedgerows and fields and on the edge of East Runton, you’ll pass beneath two railway viaducts.
If it’s not too cold, explore the rock-pools at West Runton and keep an eye out for fossils – the skeleton of the famous West Runton Mammoth was found in the cliffs here!
Quaint little tea shop Clementines serves up a great full English, traditional cream tea and home made teacakes!
4. West Harling circular walk & Peppers Tea Room
Impress your family and friends with your archaeological know how on this five mile walk in the Brecks area. Along the way you’ll pass through the campsite at Thorpe Woodlands which was the site of a mediaeval settlement until the early eighteenth century. At West Harling Heath you can see a Bronze Age burial ground (or Tumuli if you want to use the correct terminology … maybe a step too far – don’t blow your cover!)
You now deserve to feed that almighty brain of yours with a stop-off at Peppers Tea Room – a 17th Century chocolate box cafe serving great homemade cakes and savoury food treats.
5. East Wretham Circular Walk, Thetford Forest & Lime Kiln Kitchen
This 7 mile circular walk follows part of the Peddars Way and the Great Eastern Pingo Trail. It will take you past a Saxon Cemetery, various meres (ponds) and the site of a Stone Age settlement.
If you want somewhere a little more child friendly, High Lodge is my go-to place in the Brecks with 26 walking trails including an Adventure Sculpture Trail for kids. Plus a fantastic adventure play area in the woods, Go Ape, bike hire and Segways.
Lime Kiln Kitchen is not far away at Thetford Garden Centre. Don’t judge – this place is incredibly cool with it’s eclectic decor ranging from Colonial to Victorian and a nod to Art Deco. Big oversized sofas and a roaring fire – perfect place to warm up and indulge yourself with an afternoon tea.
6. Burnhams Circular Walk & Tilly’s Cafe, Burnham Market
A 4.5 mile walk through the atmospheric salt marshes and past a couple of pretty churches. Ladies you might like to take a detour at Burnham Market and look around some of the lovely little boutiques!
Then time for tea at Tilly’s!
7. Walcott circular walk & Small Sticks Cafe, Happisburgh
Leave Happisburgh along the cliff top path and you’ll walk above the site where early human footprints (over 800,000 years old) were found in sediment on the beach in 2013, famously the earliest evidence of human occupation found outside of Africa (good educational fact for the kids). Plus, further along the cliff are the remains of a World War II radar station.
I’m not being clever, I’m referencing all this stuff just in case you need to try and motivate the kids! You’re also not far from the iconic Happisburgh lighthouse – the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia and the only independently run lighthouse in the whole of Great Britain.
Small Sticks cafe is a cute little place to grab a bite (excellent fresh sea food) at Cart Gap – a stones throw from the beach and a slightly shorter walk to the lighthouse if you just want a good hit of fresh air.
Depending on how many Quality Street you ate, there are a few lovely walks varying in distance.
If the tide is out you can walk along the beach to Old Hunstanton and around the multicoloured cliffs or a slightly easier option on the calves is to take the cliff top path. Walk up behind the beach huts and on to Holme Dunes. Stopping off en route in our 2018 Muddy Award Winning Cafe – The Old Boat House Cafe!
Now if you’re like me and ate the whole tin – continue along the Norfolk Coast Path through Holme Dunes Nature Reserve and onto Thornham (6 miles total). Here you will find the glorious Thornham Deli and cafe packed with all sorts of yummy treats.
9. Wells-next-the-Sea & The Beach Cafe
A great walk for all ages and dogs plus plenty of parking!
We tend to do a circular walk (about an hour)- head onto the beach and then walk back through the woods finishing at the very funky Beach Cafe with a log burner to thaw out by.
If you want to head into town for proper fish ‘n’ chips – it’s a good 20 minute walk but for little legs (and exhausted grown ups) jump on the miniature train.
10. Snettisham & The Granary
A short dog-friendly woodland walk with scenic views over The Wash. The walk starts at the car park signposted off the A149 to The Beach, Snettisham and there you will find the well trodden path.
I’ll be honest – the main reason I’m sharing this walk is so I can tell you about The Gallery – a treasure chest full of crafty loveliness, antiques, Shabby Chic vintage and a cafe.
11. Winterton beach & Dunes Cafe
Possibly my favourite beach walk and I’ll definitely see you up there in January with our three very excited hounds. The kids – who admittedly will not be so excited can be easily bribed by a hot choc and warm sausage roll at the Dunes Cafe.
12. Sea Palling to Waxham & Coast Kitchen Cafe
Last but certainly not least – new kids on the block the Coast Kitchen Cafe is housed within Waxham Barns – a magnicant Tudor Barn and pretty fabulous wedding venue to boot. Perfect stop after a stroll along the sand dunes between Sea Palling and Waxham (you’ll spot lots of seals too). Dog friendly, great fresh food and licensed if you fancy a winter warmer!
So there we are – we’ve come full circle to sausage rolls again! More details on the walks including maps can be found HERE
If you fancy a walk with a little tipple – check out our Winter Pub Walks!