Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Blakeney to Wells-next-the-sea


We have just arrived in Blakeney on the second stage of our Norfolk break. We immediately set off on a walk along the coast to Wells-next-the-sea. Blakeney, like a number of towns and villages in this part of Norfolk is some way back from the actual sea, up a creek which passes through salt marshes.

It is a charming place. Here is the narrow High Street, with the White Hart hotel where we are staying.

And here is the so-called Guildhall, in fact the impressive undercroft of a medieval merchant's house.

A raised red clay path leads off to the west and I begin to understand what salt marshes look like: a vast grassy area, with small or larger channels of water. Sail boats can be seen on the sea in the distance.

Inland, the landscape is agricultural as these hay bales witness.

As we approach Morston, which also seems to be known as Blakeney Harbour, the water channels become wider, dotted with picturesque small boats.

The harbour area itself is crowded and lively as seen from a viewing platform.

Looking back the way we have come it is easy to see that this is a popular walk!

We head through the large car park and on to an altogether quieter track. There are loads of White butterflies, but not much else, although we can see and hear a few birds. After a while, we can see the sandbank of Blakeney Point beyond the immediate waterways.

We passed Stiffkey (apparently pronounced Stukey, another of those places to cause despair to foreign visitors) inland of us. Then we saw, far out into the salt marsh, this fine old boat. Noah's Ark we thought not very originally.

As we approached Wells-next-the-sea, the path became a sort of raised dyke separating arable land from salt marsh.

Our first proper view of the town revealed a restored grain warehouse on the left, a busy quay with boats and people crabbing, and a sandbank opposite.

Looking away from the quay there was a lovely channel with moored boats.

After a desultory late lunch of crisps and chocolate we caught the Coast Hopper bus back to Blakeney. Such a good idea!

Conditions: hot and sunny. A bit hazy at first and clouding over in the end.

Distance: 7 miles.

Map: Explorer 24 (Norfolk Coast Central)

Rating: four stars. Fascinating to see a coastline completely different from any I have walked along in this country.

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