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 here 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 1:50,000 mapping and stunning photographs depicting the Trail in all seasons and describes points of interest along the way, including the Nofolk 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 north Norfolk coast to the seaside town of Hopton-on-Sea.
History of Norfolk
History of the trail
Plants and flowers
What to take
Waymarking, access and maps
Using this guide
When to go
In which direction?
Health and safety
The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path
Stage 1 Knettishall Heath to Little Cressingham
Stage 2 Little Cressingham to Castle Acre
Stage 3 Castle Acre to Sedgeford
Stage 4 Sedgeford to Hunstanton
Stage 5 Hunstanton to Burnham Deepdale
Stage 6 Burnham Deepdale to Stiffkey
Stage 7 Stiffkey to Cley next the Sea
Stage 8 Cley next the Sea to Cromer
Stage 9 Cromer to Sea Palling
Stage 10 Sea Palling to Caister-on-Sea
Stage 11 Caister-on-Sea to Hopton-on-Sea
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful contacts
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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 and Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence at calm.com where she writes scripts for the likes of Stephen Fry, Joanne Lumley and Danai Gurira. 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.View Articles and Books by Phoebe Smith