Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path meander their way around and through Norfolk and a hike along the paths take the walker through beautiful scenery, gorgeous clifftops and beaches which al combine to give a lovely snapshot of country living
Peddars Way Walk and Norfolk Coast Path
The Peddars Way Walk and the Norfolk Coast Path form one of 15 National Trails that wend their way around England and Wales. Individually both routes encompass a wide variety of scenery and offer insight into the rich heritage of rural Norfolk, while together they provide a unique snapshot of the county’s captivating natural beauty.
Covering 93 miles in its entirety, the trail begins in Knettishall Heath Country Park amid the forested borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, and ends in Cromer on North Norfolk’s Heritage Coast.
Encompassing swathes of farmland divided by rows of flower-filled hedgerows, quaint villages, Roman history, and Norman churches, the Peddars Way follows a route sculpted during the Roman's battle against the rebellious Iceni tribe in AD 61.
Part of a prehistoric route often referred to as ‘The Greater Ridgeway’, it has served as a major thoroughfare connecting The Wash on the northwest margin of East Anglia, with the South Devon coast for hundreds of years.
Leaving Knettishall the first section of this National Trail leads amblers along footpaths and minor roads towards the wooded Breckland heaths and on to the ruins at Castle Acre, (where the route connects with the Nar Valley Way). Here it continues past magnificent stately homes and derelict windmills towards the North Norfolk coast and the seashore at Holme-next-the-Sea.
After taking some time to breathe in the fresh ocean air, amblers can choose to make the short journey west along the Norfolk Coast Path into the Victorian seaside resort of Hunstanton (this distance is included in the suggested 93 mile route), or continue east along the main trail.
A diverse landscape of grass tufted sand dunes, marshes, mud flats, tidal inlets, and chocolate-box seaside towns paint a picture of idyllic coastal living along the final leg of this journey.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty there’s a unique and endearing charm to North Norfolk’s Heritage Coast. Home to the spectacular seal colonies at Blakeny Point and a number of windmills once used to keep the fertile fens from sinking beneath high tides, there’s plenty of opportunity to head off the trail and explore if you desire.
Comprising predominantly flat terrain, with gentle gradients in parts, this National Trail is one of the more gentle walking routes on offer within Norfolk and is recommended for anyone with a moderate level of fitness.
For those with experience in long distance walking it is suggested to allow seven days to complete the full 93 miles, however there’s no need to tackle the entire route in one go. Circular routes extending off the main trail are ideal day trips, and spending one or two days exploring particularly scenic sections of the route would make an ideal addition to an active escape.
Both the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path are accessible by public transport and there are a wealth of accommodation options along the entire route. Book ahead to avoid disappointment during the summer months, or if you’re feeling adventurous consider camping out in one of the many designated campsites close to the trail.
For PDF maps of short circular walks off Peddars Way, see the links below;
Castle Acre (6 miles)
East Wretham (7 miles)
Harpley (8 miles)
Pickenhams (6.5 miles)
Pingo Trail (7 miles)
Ringstead (7 miles)
West Harling (5 miles)
For more information visit: www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddarsway