Day 22 Brancaster Bay and Lots of Wildlife

Monday 27 April 2015

Burnham Deepdale to Heacham
15.5 miles
St Anne’s Guest House

My tent was virtually dry this morning so it was easy to pack up, and even better that I could nip to the cafe next door for breakfast mid packing. I’d definitely stay here again.

There were some lovely big houses in Brancaster facing out to sea across the marsh. Brancaster Staithe also has a tiny quay dating back to the 1700s when grain and coal were brought in; the grain for making huge quantities of beer. Sadly no longer.   

the tide was out at Brancaster Staithe Quay; not as busy as it was in 1700
 As high tide wasn’t until 2.20pm I decided to walk along the miles of fine sandy beach rather than stick to the coast path. On another glorious sunny day what could be better? 

miles of Brancaster beach in the sunshine
 I needed to cross a small channel of water crossing the beach from a creek just before Titchwell. Before I took my shoes off for a short, and cold, paddle I walked up the creek a bit and was rewarded with a seal show. There were 4 small seals in the creek, probably waiting for the tide to come in so they could swim back out to sea and they were very curious of me. They kept looking at me, diving down and waving their tails in the air and then swimming right up to the shore where I was stood. It was such a lovely experience.  

seals stuck in a Brancaster creek at low tide
 I had to come inland at Titchwell RSPB reserve as there was another, bigger channel further on that I knew I wouldn’t be able to cross. The birders were out in force and I was subject of a lot of strange looks in my shorts and thin t-shirt (it was a hot day) while they were in trousers and winter coats and hats. Oh well. There was plenty of bird life about all day and I saw flocks of oyster catchers and lots of sanderlings on the sea shore, terns dive bombing into the sea to catch fish, a lapwing dive bombing a kestrel and plenty more besides. I didn’t see a grasshopper warbler that one birder I came across was searching for, but I did hear it. 

I walked through the very pretty village of Thornham, which looked like the sort of place where the village council demand you paint your house a certain colour and keep the front garden up to scratch. It worked. After Thornham I was able to walk all the way to Hunstanton on the beach in the sunshine. The beach was littered with pretty shells, particularly razor clam shells that crunch underfoot. 

lots of lovely sea shells on the Brancaster sea shore
 I arrived at the North end of Hunstanton early afternoon and decided, once I reached the other side of town, that this was the posh end. It had big houses up on a cliff by the ex-coastguard lookout and lighthouse, both of which are now dwellings. There was also the remains of a chapel dedicated to St Edmund, the Saxon King, who is supposed to have landed here in 855 and was then martyred by the Danes when they beat him in battle a few years later. From the cliff top I could see Lincolnshire, in fact it was such a clear day that I’m sure I could see the whole of the Lincolnshire coast as there were hills further up, which must be the wolds? 

The view across The Wash to Lincolnshire from Hunstanton
 From South Hunstanton I walked the last 2 miles along the promenade to Heacham watching the clouds roll in slowly from the West. 

11 thoughts on “Day 22 Brancaster Bay and Lots of Wildlife

  1. Tracey April 27, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Loving your informative posts Lucy – I had no idea you were a bit of a twitcher, or are you making it up as you go along? Looking forward to hearing your review of Heacham beach – we loved it. Look out for the win turbines! X


    • Lucy April 28, 2015 / 5:31 am

      I should get a better view of Heacham beach this mornings it was high tide when I arrived yesterday. I’m definitely not a twitcher but do like the birds


  2. jstumm April 28, 2015 / 3:37 am

    I think those twitchers were probably German! They are renound for hats in all weather, and snow suits (or thick wooly tights under double layered trousers) till May! All the birds sound lovely, though how do you know if it is a grasshopper warbler or another warbler? Has Mom been prepping you? Am getting rather worried, reading your blog every day, and hearing about the lovely beaches, is making me homesick. I now long for summer holidays on the beach – maybe in the future i wont be sending just Evelyn for a camping holiday…


    • Lucy April 28, 2015 / 5:28 am

      So for all those doubters out there, knowing a grasshopper warbler is easy when you’re stood chatting me to the man with the big birdwatching telescope who’s looking for it. Obviously it sounds like a grasshopper…doh! The rest of the birds I know and I do have a handy bird guide app on my phone


  3. chris frazer April 28, 2015 / 3:50 am

    Awesome post…..I feel as if I am there but without the North Sea wind cutting through me…..

    The twitchers were looking at you and wondering………?????

    And how do you know what a Grasshopper Warbler sounds like ‘Miss Oddy’……your bluffing.

    Wrap up warm for the Artic Plumb that has just hit the north its bound to find you in your tent.

    How far have you gone? I estimate you have covered around 352 miles so far which is impressive. I been looking at Google Maps you have some beautiful coast ahead…..not so many people I fear though…..

    Whats your plan for crossing the Humber?


    • Lucy April 28, 2015 / 6:12 am

      I have no plans. Will have to look ahead this weekend. My weekly post will be issued soon I just haven’t got round to it. I have walked 285 so far but that hasn’t strictly been all coastline or taken into account the mileage done by bus, train and car. That is a roundabout way of saying the coastline I’ve covered is longer than the mileage I’ve walked so your estimate is probably good


  4. Val K April 28, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    Like everyone else I am very impressed with your twitching knowledge and never doubted your
    Recognition of the grasshopper warbler!! I think you will have to write a book when you get home
    your descriptions are so lyrical. Val


  5. Spike Martin April 28, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    Juice, you have completely brought back my childhood!!!! Playing on the beaches at Holkham and Brancaster until just dark. My house was just on the beach road by the church and was only a 3 min bike ride to the beach. Plus riding horses on the beach at Holme next to the Sea which you must have walked down before arriving at Hunstanton. Glad my old stomping ground has been kind to you and what a result seeing the seal, normally stuck out at Blakney. Walk safe, will be on the txt. x


    • Lucy April 28, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      Spike you grew up in a lovely place. I’ll definitely becoming back here. Unfortunately I missed the nudist beach…but there’s always next time!


  6. salmunday April 28, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    I have heard you are partial to a nudist beach….????


    • jstumm April 29, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      Oh yes, you’re not wrong there! She like to sunbathe topless as I remember 😄


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