The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path
130 mile national trail - Norfolk's best inland and coastal scenery
By Phoebe Smith
The 130 mile Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail combines the best of inland and coastal walking, and is ideal for people new to long-distance walks. Beginning near Thetford, the route heads north west to near Hunstanton, then follows the heritage coast to Hopton-on-Sea, taking roughly one week to complete.
Seasonsthanks to a reputation for the least rainfall in the UK and a normally sunny outlook, this long-distance path can be enjoyed year round
CentresKnettishall, Little Cressingham, Castle Acre, Snettisham, Hunstanton, Brancaster, Wells next to the Sea, Blakeney, Sheringham, Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Great Yarmouth
Difficultythe path is a waymarked National Trail so easy to follow. There are no huge sections of ascent or difficult terrain. Most of the walk is on forest tracks, country lanes, sand, waterside paths and cliff tops. Overall, it's easy-moderate with the length being the only thing some may find a challenge - especially since it has been extended to reach the border of Suffolk!
Must Seea proper walk of two halves, walkers will see/experience: an old Roman Road, an array of birds (observatories, too), windmills, churches, picturesque villages, castle ruins, earthworks, Bronze Age tumuli, carved stone sculptures, sand dunes, striped cliffs, extensive sea views, salt marshes and traditional British seaside resorts
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail is an easy-to-follow 130-mile trail that combines the best of inland and coastal walking in Norfolk, and one that, being well waymarked, largely flat and within easy reach of public transport for most of its length, is ideal for people new to long-distance walks.
Described in 11 stages, the route can be walked in just over a week but also easily split into day walks or over a series of weekends, with full information about access to start and finish points for each stage by public transport. This handy guidebook is illustrated throughout with extracts of OS 1:50K mapping and stunning photographs depicting the Trail in all seasons and describes points of interest along the way, including the Norfolk Songlines sculptures, and also facilities available in the towns and villages.
The trail is a walk of two halves. The Peddars Way begins at Knettishall Heath in Suffolk and follows the route of an old Roman road for over 40 miles to Holme-next-the-Sea, where it meets the Norfolk Coast Path (which begins nearby, at Hunstanton). This then follows the spectacular Norfolk coast to the seaside town of Hopton-on-Sea.
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By day Phoebe Smith is an award-winning travel writer, broadcaster and presenter as well as Editor-at-Large of Wanderlust travel magazine. By night she’s an extreme-sleeping outdoors adventurer who thrives on heading to the wildest locations she can find in order to sleep in the strangest places she can seek out. She was the first person to sleep at all the extreme points of mainland Britain – including the centremost location – which she did solo, on consecutive nights in 2014.
Phoebe is the author of 10 books including the bestselling Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper, Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventures in Britain's Rugged Corners and the first guidebook to Britain’s free-to-stay mountain shelters, Book of the Bothy. She has been an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion since 2016 in recognition of her work encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors. She is ambassador for the annual Big Canopy Campout (which helps raise funds for the World Land Trust), as well as Wild Night Out, the UK’s national night of adventure. She is also President of the Long Distance Walkers Association..
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