Friday 24 April 2015
Happisburgh to Sheringham, N Norfolk
Sheringham Youth Hostel
It was a later start today than I intended as I got talking to the pub landlord at breakfast, and he can talk. He used to be an aircraft engineer for Hawker Siddeley; a proper engineer (Gareth I can introduce you if you want?). He now owns The Hill House Inn.
Another sunny day and I was sure to put lots of suncream on as I burnt yesterday. I walked a couple of miles on the cliff top before I had to hit the beach in order to get around the enormous gas distribution centre at Bacton. Apparently 60% of our gas comes into the UK here, this I gleaned in the pub last night.
I popped into the Mundesley Coastwatch hut to check that I could get all the way to the next town along the beach and I can only say that the Coastwatch man didn’t know his coast! Walking the beach was hard work as it was near high tide but I did see lots of sand martins nesting in the eroding cliffs and watched a fisherman land a sea hound (looks like a small shark).
After about 3 miles I reached an impass, where the fallen cliffs had obstructed the beach and the sea was still crashing against the protective groynes.
Here I met Kristina, a quantity surveyor, originally from Germany but now resident in London, on holiday in Norfolk and also waiting for the ride to recede. We were stuck for almost an hour before we felt able to run along the barrier wall without getting too wet.
It was a relief to get off the beach at Overstrand as I was starving by then. Fortunately the Cliff Top Cafe came to my rescue and I was able to refuel and enjoy the magnificent view out to sea. Apparently from the cafe to Tower Bridge by sea is 178 miles (it’s a lot further if you take the coastal route!).
Two miles over the cliffs and through the Royal Cromer Golf Course to Cromer and the obligatory crab sandwich. Suddenly the visibility deteriorated a bit, it almost went misty and the sun disappeared; I don’t know where because clouds didn’t roll in. It was almost like someone turned the dimmer switch and the sky went from sunny and blue to grey. Very strange.
Cromer appeared like a typically pretty seaside town. As if to emphasise the fact I noticed the sea no longer looked brown but had changed to blue and looked very clear from the cliff top. I ate my crab sandwich and then pressed on to Sheringham, once more on the beach but by now the tide was out and walking on the wet sand was lovely. I passed Cromer pier, winner of pier of the year 2015.
For the final couple of miles I was able to get onto the cliff top again and experienced my first hill of the trip, Beeston Hill. It’s a whole 65m above the shore but affords great views of the area and was the site of a WW2 Y Station (phonetic abbreviation for Wireless Intercept Station).
A night in Sheringham YH awaited and a chance to do some laundry.