Day 23 There’s No Coast Path Through the Sandringham Estate!

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Heacham to Kings Lynn
10 miles
Beverley’s house (Airbnb)

No second breakfast required today after a stay in a lovely B&B that I fully recommend if you’re ever in Heacham. Jo you would have been proud of me, I ate until I was full and then ate some more. It was a wonder I managed to get moving, but I did and I set off early to try and beat the rain that was promised in the afternoon. It was unbelievably windy.  So windy that I almost had to dig my hat and gloves, which would have looked funny as I was wearing my shorts. Too much tea meant pissing in the wind became a literal rather than metaphorical phrase for me as I struggled along the coastal path taking shelter behind the sea wall whenever I could. 

Where’s the sea? Looking out at The Wash
I passed through Snettisham RSPB reserve, where I should have turned inland to Dersingham, but I didn’t know that. Suddenly the coast path seemed to disappear and before I knew it (call it lack of attention in the howling gale) I was in the middle of marshy land trying to cut through the spiky bushes that were scratching my legs (now I was wishing I’d worn trousers). The sensible thing at this point would have been to retrace my steps, but no, why do that when you’re convinced you can find a way through. Idiot. I struggled on, jumping ditches and forcing my way through waist high grasses until I finally got out onto the raised bank. Unfortunately, on the way I disturbed a nesting greylag goose (I’m not sure who was the most shocked) and she flew off her nest of eggs. Not my finest moment.  

Greylag goose eggs
The only way out, other than heading back up the coast, was through a gate marked private so I decided to risk it. I could see a man walking towards me so I got my map out and pretended I was lost. It turned out he worked for the RSPB (thank goodness he hasn’t turned up 15 minutes earlier when I was blundering through his reserve disturbing the wildlife) and very helpfully showed me the way out. He did suggest that I might get yelled at if anyone from the estate saw me as they are strict about trespassers. Fortunately no one saw me and I made it out to Wolferton, passing a little memorial to a downed RAF pilot on the way.  

memorial to a Tornado pilot who crashed near Wolferton in 1983
It was only when I reached safety that I realised it was the Queen’s estate I had been trespassing on.  

Oops. Definitely shouldn’t have been there
Seeing as the Queen doesn’t have a coast path through her estate I thought maybe someone ought to complain about it, and so I decided to walk to Sandringham and tell her. First I stopped off at the Wolferton Royal Train Station for a quick peek into the past.   

Wolferton Royal Train Station, closed 1969
I took advantage of my last few days in the military granting me free access to Sandringham and enjoyed a couple of hours looking around the house, museum and church (lovely place to get married Chris). Unfortunately the Queen wasn’t in so I had to have tea on my own in the cafe.  
View of Sandringham House from the grounds
After a nice and relaxed afternoon I hopped on the bus from Sandringham straight to Kings Lynn to avoid walking on the roads. We drove through Castle Rising and I must come back to look at the castle there sometime. 

A strange but fulfilling day.  

2 thoughts on “Day 23 There’s No Coast Path Through the Sandringham Estate!

  1. chris frazer April 29, 2015 / 4:06 am

    Lots of place names there that both Gins and I know……The boss’s estate is riddled with footpaths so they are used to seeing travellers……also no one shouts on Sandringham Estate…..its unbecoming!

    Whenever I get a little navigationally confused I always make myself stop, get out my flask have some tea which allows me to think before pushing on……it is a valuable lesson that has taken me many years to learn when I too have been jumping streams and pushing through unyielding bush……

    On on dear Juice……..bye bye Norfolk hello Lincolnshire…..cannot wait to see what your going to write about Skeggy!


    • Lucy April 29, 2015 / 4:53 pm

      Today was a day for tea, sheltering from the rain. Good advice though, hopefully I’ve learned my lesson.


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