Norfolk’s coast is one of our favourite places to be all year round, but there’s something extra special about Norfolk beaches in the summer sunshine.
Rays of light glimmering on the north sea, waves lapping away footsteps etched in the golden sands, life seems to slow down. I know, it’s not easy to describe, but there’s just something about our coastline that is so tranquil and timeless.
So, we wanted to include a stretch of beach in to our next walk because, well, we know you love it just as much as us. Part of this latest walk is along a small part of the Norfolk Coastal Path (a long distance walk, which is approximately 83 miles).
This walk is a circular walk that starts off at Weybourne’s Beach Car Park, which is adjacent to the shingle beach, continues along the beach (this can be tough going!) along to Kelling Hard, then heading inland to Kelling, ascending through Kelling Heath, before walking back to Weybourne village and the shingly shore once more.
So, let’s commence the photographic walking journey!
A small fleet of fishing boats launch from Weybourne, so there’s often boats pulled high up on the shingle beach. If you scroll through our social media I’m sure at some point you’ll find artistic pictures of the tractors whose job it is to take the boats to/from the sea!
The shingle beach can be tough going during a walk. A few years ago, during a walk from Brancaster to Sheringham on the Norfolk Coast Walk, this stretch of beach was almost the end of me! After 20-odd miles of walking, having to then traipse across the shingle was, to put it politely, knackering! Luckily, on this occasion it was just a short walk, so much more enjoyable!
In some sections there is a flatter easier walk close to the fence (to the left of the photo below), however, this does also have some uneven terrain too and takes you through some greenery (the kind not suited to wearing shorts!)
The Muckleburgh Collection is close to this stretch of beach. You can see some of the collection as you walk along, and occasionally you may see a vehicle taking visitors around.
Along this stretch of coast you can also find remnants of Pill Boxes – concrete bunkers built as part of Britain’s coastal defences. They were mostly built during World War 2, but some date back to the First World War.
As we move inland towards the village of Kelling, we walk through an area known as Kelling Quags (The Quag), a coastal fresh marsh area of pools and wet grazing marshes behind a shingle ridge (which can be seen above). We stopped and said “moo” to the cows (don’t worry, they’re behind a gate!) and they let us observe them grazing in this unique environment.
Arriving in Kelling, one of the first sites you see is the war memorial. Just behind that, the very welcome site of the tea rooms. Time to stop for a cuppa and a slice of cake!
One thing I must mention here, is the need to take care crossing the road. The village of Kelling has a speed limit of 20mph, but the approach road to the village is around a bend either side, particularly hazardous from the Weybourne direction. Although the speed limit kicks in a couple of hundred yards before vehicles reach the village, we observed several road users (particularly tradespersons in white vans…) not adhering to the limit. Because of the blind bends, its difficult to see or hear speeding vehicles. So, please take care at this junction.
As you walk away from Kelling towards Weybourne, there is a path running parallel to the road, which can be accessed at a couple of spots, though the best place to do so is next to the path taken from the beach so that there is less road to walk along.
On to Kelling Heath, a biological “Site of Special Scientific Interest”. There is a bit of an incline to the first part of the walk through Kelling Heath. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for birds, mammals and insects as you walk through this oceanic heathland. Kelling Heath is considered the best example of a glacial outwash plain in England, and is one of two distinct outwash plains (alongside Salthouse Heath) dating from different halt stages of the same glaciation.
There were several butterfly species fluttering around the heath. I had hoped to see a Silver-studded Blue, but they’re pretty rare. I managed to take a picture of this one before it flew away. I think it may be a Speckled Wood Butterfly.
Holgate Hill road intersects Kelling Heath, and this is the route back to Weybourne. Unfortunately it involves walking along the side of the road for about a mile.
As you walk through the heath, as well as the birds singing and chattering in the trees and vegetation you may also hear the distant sound of steam engines. The Wells to Walsingham Light Railway is not far away. In fact, at the point where you join Holgate Hill, if you crossed over and continued on the public footpath it would lead you to the railway line.
Returning to Weybourne, look out for the use of flint in the construction of many properties. This is a distinctive style used by coastal communities in North Norfolk, though it was used further afield too (for example, Norwich’s Guildhall). Even this low wall near the village hall utilises local flint.
For the final stretch back to the beach car park, there is a path that runs alongside Beach Lane, which is a relief after the long stretch walking along the roads!
As we return to Weybourne Beach Car Park, we find ourselves drawn to the beach once more. It’s nice just to sit on the shingles, and watch the sea lapping up on the shore. Beyond the cliffs is the popular seaside town of Sheringham. The walk along that stretch of the Norfolk Coast Path is for another day!
FACILITIES – There are toilets at the Weybourne beach car park. There is a Tearoom/café is Kelling with toilet facilities, and when you return to Weybourne there are cafés, pub and shops.
DOGS – Weybourne is a dog-friendly beach. Watch out for seasonally roped-off areas (to protect ground-nesting birds) and also take care near to Muckleburgh Collection area too.
SAFETY – The walk does involve walking along the road at certain stages, as well as crossing the road too, therefore it may not be suited to young family members. There is no lifeguards on the beach, and warning signs advise against swimming. There can be trip hazards in some places too. Care should also be taken near Pill Boxes or other constructions, which may be unsafe.
WHEELCHAIRS – Because of the shingle beach it would be very difficult to follow most of this route on a wheelchair.
CLOBBER – Normal comfortable footwear should be okay. We walked on a dry day and wore trainers.
DISTANCE AND DURATION – The circular walk around Weybourne was approximately 5 miles. You should allow a couple of hours for this walk (longer if you want to stop and enjoy the scenery, or walk at a leisurely pace).
Where to Next?
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