The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path: Knettishall Heath to Cromer
Knettishall Heath to Cromer in 7 Days Walking Code: PN8
The full route can be undertaken in 6, 7 or 9 days depending on your pace and the amount of time you wish to look around. It is worth taking your time or adding in some rest days to visit the nature reserves along the coast and enjoy the peaceful beaches.
The 7 day walk allows you enough time to have a look around but covers a reasonable number of miles each day with a few longer days.
|Day 1||Travel to Thetford for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Transfer to Knettishall Heath then walk to Little Cressingham||15||24|
|Day 3||Little Cressingham to Great Massingham||17||27|
|Day 4||Great Massingham to Hunstanton||16||25|
|Day 5||Hunstanton to Brancaster||9||14|
|Day 6||Brancaster to Wells-Next-the-Sea||12||19|
|Day 7||Wells-Next-the-Sea to Blakeney||8||13|
|Day 8||Blakeney to Cromer||16||26|
|Day 9||Depart from Cromer after breakfast|
Knettishall Heath to Little Cressingham
After spending your first night in Thetford, a taxi will take you to Knettishall Heath, the start of your walk. The first few miles follow a wooded path before gently climbing to the raised Roman causeway to the river Thet. Make sure you bring your binoculars as you will be passing the Brettenham Heath, a large area of heathland with many bird species. You will soon arrive at the village of Stonebridge which has a pub for some welcome refreshments. After Stonebridge you will see a series of stone sculptures along the trail which are inspired by the rich history of the area.
Little Cressingham to Hunstanton.
A straight road leads to Castle Acre through largely agricultural land. The village of South Pickenham is worth a visit for its historic church dating back to 1075, a 15th century wall painting of St Christopher and a winged door organ. At Castle Acre you will arrive through the Bailey Gate, this is one of two stone gatehouses added to the town’s defences in about 1200. The road into the village runs between its towers. The Castle Acre Priory and castle are a must see, the priory dates back to 1090 and the castle was established just after the Norman conquest. There is a shop, pub and a couple of tearooms with homemade cakes. The road leads on through gentle countryside to Holme-next-the-Sea, the end of the Peddars Way. The last overnight stop on the Peddars Way is in Hunstanton three miles to the south-west.
Hunstanton to Burnham Overy Staithe
You can walk back to Holme-next-the-Sea underneath or over the top of the cliffs depending on the tide, When the tide is out it is well worth taking the beach route to admire the beautifully coloured cliffs. The village of Thornham offers a pleasant lunch stop with some historic pubs. The path continues along marshland and intertidal mudflats with plenty of birdlife, you will also pass some fishing shacks where you can buy freshly dressed crab, whelks and cockles. You will then continue towards Scolt Head through the dunes and marshes and finally on to Burnham Overy Staithe.
Burnham to Wells-next-the-Sea
A beautiful section of the coastline with plenty of beaches all the way to Wells-next-the-Sea, the white sandy beach of Holkham Beach being the most well known. The backdrop of pine woods and dunes make for a spectacular combination, on a nice day one of the best beaches in Britain! After passing through Holkham Gap the trail continues through the pine woods and past a boating lake. You can access the beach here to have a look at the colourful beach huts. If your legs have had enough at this point it is possible to take a miniature railway into town.
Wells-next-the-Sea to Cromer.
Another lovely day of coastal walking along salt marshes, there are a few nice little towns along the way where you can sample the local seafood. At Blakeney you will be able to see out to Blakeney Point, a 16 km long spit with a permanent seal colony and an abundance of birdlife. It is possible to take boat trips to Blakeney Point or walk in via Cley but you will need to factor in a rest day. Passing Cley next the Sea you will walk along a shingle ridge with wide views of the coast line towards Weybourne. The final stretch to Cromer follows the sea cliffs towards Sheringham, a pleasant town for a lunch stop with a large beach and a proud fishing heritage. A gentle climb takes you to Roman Camp and then on to the highest point on the route (102 m) at Beacon Hill. The walk finishes on Cromer pier, a fitting end to the seaside walk!
Easy to Moderate
This is a mainly flat walk, and can be completed by people with limited walking experience.
Terrain: Flat walking along coastal paths, country lanes, beaches and trails.
What’s it like underfoot? On the whole the paths are well defined and maintained.
How much up & down? Very little, the route is mostly flat, particularly the inland section. Along the coast it can be slightly undulating.
Signposting: As this is a National Trail walk the signposting is very good.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward.
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs. Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Maps||3 Ordnance Survey Landranger (1:50000) maps covering the entire route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
|Packed Lunches||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
|What’s not Included|
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
By Air: The international airports with best connections to the trail are Stansted or Heathrow. From Stansted it is 1.5 hrs travel time (change at Cambridge) from Heathrow it is 3 hours travel time, metro to Kings Cross then train to Cambridge, change for Thetford. Norwich has domestic flights and flights from Amsterdam (KLM). Train to Thetford (30 mins travel time).
By Public Transport: There is a train station at Thetford, your first nights stay.
By Road: From the south M11 (Cambridge) then A11 to Thetford. From the north: take M6 Toll and M6 to Newmarket Bypass/A14 in Cambridgeshire to Thetford.
By Public Transport: There is a train station at Cromer, travel time to London 3 hours with a change at Norwich.
The Victorian seaside resort of Hunstanton with it’s beautiful striped cliffs, beaches and colourful gardens is a great place for a rest day. There is plenty to see and do with shops, cafés, nature and bird reserves. If you want to give your legs a rest you can take the land train to the lighthouse or a boat trip to view Europe’s largest seal colony.
Wells is a lovely town with a little harbour full of crabbing boats, a white sandy beach, Georgian architecture and surrounded by pine woodlands. A pleasant laid back place to spend a relaxing day. There are plenty of small local shops and eateries.
A pleasant traditional fishing village, this is a good place to stop if you want to make a trip out to Blakeney Point. This 16 km long spit is home to a permanent seal colony and has many bird species nesting between April and July. You can take a boat trip out to the spit (times vary according to the tides) or you can walk in from Cley.
The seaside resort of Cromer is well known for it’s magnificent pier, beaches, birdlife and many family owned shops and restaurants. There are several nearby National Trust properties with beautiful gardens to while away the day. Alternatively you can take a boat trip to Blakeney Point to watch the seals or go bird watching in what is considered the bird watching capital of Britain.