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Try a lovely coastal walk

If, like me, the thought of a wet, muddy walk up and down hills isn’t a great way to spend a Sunday (a little *too* much mud on those stilettos you see), consider whether a flat, coastal walk would be more enticing.

For starters, walking alongside a beach doesn’t tend to be muddy, plus it’s, er, flat which would make you less out of breathe. And there’s nothing quite like a sea breeze to blow away the cobwebs and make you feel energised.

Norfolk has many easy coastal walks which are as pretty as they are rejuvenating. A good one to do is the five mile circular, half-day walk from Blakeney to Salthouse (and back) in North Norfolk – a beautiful part of the county with broad, caramel coloured beaches and shallow waters.

map of circular walk from Blakeney to Salthouse

Blakeney itself is a real beauty with wooden boats bobbing up and down on the Quay, while Blakeney Point is a focal point for the four-mile-long nature reserve which offers a fantastic spectrum of wildlife, shingle spits, beaches, salt marshes and dunes. The sunsets are particularly stunning too.


Blakeney sunsetGet your energy levels up and start the day with a freshly cooked breakfast at the Blakeney Hotel – famed for its views across the estuary to Blakeney Point – before heading to the village shop (there is only one) to start the walk.

Follow the path running north of the marshes and delight in a bird haven boasting rare species breeding and feeding, including Gulls, Brentgeese, Pink-footed Geese and Redshanks. If you are an avid birdwatcher, don’t forget your binoculars.

Cley marshes visitor centre

birdlife at cley marshes

Now join the Norfolk Coastal Path heading towards Cley-next-the-Sea and follow Cley’s shingle beach heading east towards Salthouse, a village on the edge of the salt marshes. Here, the view splits with marshes and wildlife forming the right hand view,while shingle beach and sea monopolise the left. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition that’s good for the soul.

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As soon as you reach the church at Salthouse, head inland and stop at The Dun Cow pub for a well-earned drink and spot of lunch. Real ales from Norfolk and Suffolk sit next to nationwide favourites, while the beef for the burgers comes from Rex and Sarah Dawson in Salthouse itself. Fresh crab and lobster is through the door within a few hours of landing, making is super fresh. Try the surf and turf for the best of both – a Dun Cow institution. After all, you’ve earned it!


From: Blakeney Village
To: Salthouse
Length: five-miles, circular
Estimated time: half a day
Level: easy
Limitations: the shingle beach is unsuitable for prams and pushchairs
Visible: beach, marshes, wildlife, sea
Reward: lunch at The Dun Cow


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Norfolk