This 4 day hike takes us into the heart of sleepy North Norfolk to explore a famously sedate coastline. Just 100 miles from London, yet it's one of the quietest corners of England and fantastic walking territory. But in the Victorian era this area seemed set to change. With royal patronage, celebrity visitors, a host of railway lines and some very fine sea-bathing, North Norfolk was the place to be. Today although this area is celebrated in its way, why is it a backwater? Over the next 50 miles or so, we're set to find out.
The download includes full day by day walking instructions with accompanying history guide
Our route begins beside the Wash at the Queen's private residence, Sandringham, before taking in the experimental seaside resort of Hunstanton. Crossing ancient agricultural land, much of which is still dominated by the county's largest estate, Holkham, our path leads us along spectacular coastline to the Victorian-inspired nature reserve of Blakeney Point. We steam our way to Sheringham on the train, before hotfooting our way to Cromer, the Victorian resort that became a battleground for the heart and soul of North Norfolk.
Begin at Sandringham House, the private home of four generations of British monarchs. Then head to Wolferton to discover how the royals journeyed back and forth from London to North Norfolk, and check out a bog, that is one of the largest remaining areas of lowland heathland left in the UK, before reaching the experimental seaside resort, Hunstanton.
Sandringham to Hunstanton via Wolferton and Dersingham
Distance: 13 miles
We're off to Holkham through ancient agricultural land to uncover how the landowners of the great estates kept the holidaymakers and the expansion of North Norfolk in check. We see the scale of the area's vast malting industry and pay a visit to the local pub of Britain's greatest naval hero.
Hunstanton to Holkham, via Thornham, Brancaster and Burnham Thorpe
Distance: 18 miles
Takes us along spectacular coastline, through saltmarshes, out to sea on a boat trip to the nature reserve at Blakeney Point, before reaching our destination, Cley-next-the-Sea, once one of the busiest ports in England, and now not next to the sea at all!
Holkham to Cley-next-the-Sea, via Wells-next-the-Sea, Morston and Blakeney Point
Distance: 11 miles (plus a boat trip to Blakeney Point)
The final day takes us to Weybourne where we jump on a steam train to Sheringham before heading to the Victorian seaside resort at the heart of the struggle for the soul of North Norfolk, Cromer.
Cley-next-the-Sea to Cromer, via Weybourne, Sheringham
Distance: 14 miles (including a 3 mile train journey)
Please use OS Explorer Maps 250, 251, 252 (1:25k) or OS Landranger 132,133 (1:50k)
All distances are approximate so please allow plenty of time