Monday 27 April 2015
Burnham Deepdale to Heacham
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
From South Hunstanton I walked the last 2 miles along the promenade to Heacham watching the clouds roll in slowly from the West.