Norfolk coast walk: Sea Palling to Caister (10 miles)
PUBLISHED: 11:34 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:05 22 May 2020
Archant Norfolk 2014
Soothe the soul, stretch the limbs and soak up our wondrous landscape by exploring the Norfolk Coast Path this summer
Stretching from Holme-next-the-Sea to Hopton-on-S ea, meandering through fields, salt marshes and dunes, along seaside promenades, tidal channels and dramatic cliff tops and in the footsteps of ancestors and their ancient legends and tales, the Norfolk Coast Path promises wild beauty and a sense of adventure at every step.
Some people like to walk the entire 80 or so miles in one trip, stopping at night along the way in some of the county's most beautiful settings; others like to explore a few miles at a time. For those living close enough, it might even be their daily dog walk. Which ever way you decide to take the coast path, and whatever the season, you are almost certain to see something different every time.
Here is our guide to two of our favourite sections, perfect for a stroll this summer.
Sea Palling to Caister (10 miles)
The 10-mile stretch of coast path from Sea Palling to Caister, which then continues a further 10 miles on to its conclusion at Hopton-on-Sea, is part of the most recent to open, connecting the east and west of our coastline and perfectly highlighting its extraordinary diversity.
From the village of Sea Palling the path takes you along cliff tops, through small bird-filled coppices and into dunes, flanked on one side by wide open fields stretching far into the horizon, peppered with towering churches and ancient barns, and the sea on the other.
There are clear signs of the devastating vulnerability of this part of Norfolk's coastline and it is wise to be aware of any closures or diversions caused by coastal erosion. The stretch of path between Horsey and Winterton is a haven for wildlife lovers young and old. Veer off the path and explore the extraordinary dunes, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
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It is the only significant area of dune heath on the east coast of England and is home to a rich variety of species, from dragonflies and rare butterflies to natterjack toads. Spot lizards and adders hidden in the scrub and watch birds of prey circling above, hunting. The beach is also home to a carefully-managed little tern colony and, of course, it is famous for its large seal population. Winter brings thousands of visitors to the beach to see the hundreds of grey seal pups born on the beach and the huge groups of adults gathered. Come summer and while the pups have long gone, so have the crowds, though there are still plenty of seals to be seen bobbing around in the waves. Often it might just be you, and a seal or two, enjoying this wild stretch of sand.
Stop at the popular Winterton Dunes beach café for refreshments; ever-popular thanks to its delicious home-cooked menu and dog-friendly set-up. Then follow the path along to the beaches of Hemsby, California and Scratby where sandstone cliffs replace the dunes. When you arrive at Caister, head to the old lifeboat shed, now a museum, where you can learn about the station's proud lifesaving heritage.