Walking The Norfolk Coastal Path. Sea-Palling to Hopton on Sea

Drumroll please.

Time to finally hit the final section of The Norfolk Coastal Path. Picking up from where I finished the Norfolk Coastal Marathon 3 ½ years ago, in fact so long ago they’ve extended the path in that time – That’ll teach me.

During that post-Christmas time of year when you start to question if you are now actually made of 90% cheese, those things called legs – Do they even still move? And I’ve given up having any idea what day it is. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Recovering from a three-day migraine it’s safe to say my enthusiasm has been well and truly replaced with cheese, however I have challenges to complete so let’s do this. Or maybe I should just eat more cheese…

My children however are on hand to make the beginning of my walk much easier, as the bickering in the backseat of the car reaches ‘Where the chuff is the ejector seat button’ level, I practically leap out of the car as it reaches Sea Palling and make a beeline for the beach. *Deep breath*

Five minutes later I backtrack into town as I realise that’s not actually where I’m meant to be going, much to the bemusement of my family as I pass them. Just checking out the beach guys, totally know where I’m going. 😉

It’s a cold and grey day, and we’ve pretty much established that I’m tired and miserable, and to make matters worse my flipping pants keep falling down –argh! Maybe I’ve not had enough cheese after all.

Three miles in and I’m yet to see the sea, I’ve found my pace though and settled into the easy rhythm of walking. A dog walker stops to ask me how far I’m walking and is under the assumption I’m going the full distance, so at least I look a bit more competent than I’m actually feeling.

Reaching Horsey my path continues along the dunes, however it’s the time of year when the Seals are mostly on the beach to birth and raise their pups. If you can’t make a diversion to see those cute, chubby creatures that I suspect may well be my current spirit animal, should you even be allowed outside…

Leaving the hordes of visitors behind I follow the path through to Winterton on sea to discover I needn’t have taken the diversion after all. Bugger. The dunes are full of seals.

At points I’m practically stepping over them, giving them my biggest smiles obviously to let them know I’m blubbery kin and please don’t bite me. Admittedly not as scary as bovines but wild creatures deserve their space nonetheless.

I plod on towards Hemsby. I’m amused to see an area labelled ‘Hemsby Hole’ on my map. 

I’ve got to be honest; it’s an accurate description.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love Hemsby.

I’ve had some truly brilliant, tacky, sweaty, drunken weekends there with my girlfriends. 

You want details? No chance

Cock Rock. 🍆


That’s all you need to know.

With it being a grey and dreary day it’s not really adding to the *ahem* charm and I just want to push on through out of there. Sorry Hemsby. Love you really. 😘

Now that I’ve finally found the sea, it’s proving to be a day for beach walking as I pass Scratby and California, sadly not ‘that’ California – I didn’t get that lost. My only company a lone seal pup ‘Can I keep it?’ *flutters eyelashes*

As I approach Caister on sea I have a decision to make. (Uh-oh!) With it being winter the days are short and I’ll soon be running out of light, having walked 10 miles I have an achievable distance left so I could plough on through and finish in the dark. Do I want to though? Just for the sake of finishing. If I stop for the day, I’ll have a mere nine miles to complete but it’s a distance worth coming back for. With my head not really in the game I decide to call it a day.

A week later I’m back, and I’m actually looking forward to it this time. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact my kids have been horrors little darlings the day before. I set off from Caister on Sea with the sun shining and a spring in my step.

I set a good pace and am soon heading for more urban walking.

Great Yarmouth, not my favourite coastal town, but Snails!

If you never rode the snails at Yarmouth as a child, I feel for you, I guess there’s always therapy.

Today however Joyland is closed. Ridiculous.

I can only wave forlornly at my brightly coloured fibreglass friends as I walk off into the town. 😢

It’s an interesting aspect of the walk for me; despite many visits I’ve never actually ventured into the town itself, why would you when there are snails to ride? However there’s a lot of pretty interesting architecture to take in as I walk by.

Way marking however is pretty rubbish, many signs hidden by fly-posting so I’m glad I have a map.

An intriguing walk by the harbour and then crossing some pretty fast and busy roads in one epic game of chicken. It’s certainly a walk of variety today.

The pace of life becomes gentler as I near Gorleston on sea. A return to quiet, coastal walking and a mental note made to return here sometime with the kids.

After Gorleston It’s not entirely clear which way to go. I follow the final sign along a path, which then stops dead. Do I backtrack and hit the beach? Have I missed a route up the cliffs? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m none the wiser after consulting my map so backtrack a short way and take the beach. The tide is very high but it certainly makes for an exciting walk behind the coastal defences as the waves break above me.

As I approach Hopton I once again have options. The official route follows the beach, or an alternative path leads you up the cliff. Heading for the stairs I use the higher viewpoint (short girl problems) to weigh up my options. With the high tide and a rocky outcrop to cross I leave the official route and continue up the stairs. The official end of the path finally in sight.

I just have to make my way through a caravan park.

Easier said than done.

I get completely bloody lost. 

84 miles walked and I can’t complete the final 100m. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Such a Clare thing to do.

After getting intimate with every little nook and cranny of the park, I finally mange to make my way back to the coast.

A sweet sense of satisfaction as I run out of Norfolk to walk and finally wrap up this national trail.

I even have finally have cheers as I reach the end thanks to my children, too bad they forgot the champagne again. 🍾


4 thoughts on “Walking The Norfolk Coastal Path. Sea-Palling to Hopton on Sea

  1. Congrats!! Just can’t depend on young’uns to bring the champagne. Good thing about mine being older now (21 and 25), the possibility of being met with a congratulatory adult beverage has increased significantly.

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