There’s so much to do in North Norfolk, that with just a few days to fill, we were spoilt for choice with how to spend our time. Staying at Burnham Deepdale on our Margin’s Glamping holiday, we had the North Norfolk coastal path literally on our doorstep. A walk along the path to see the salt marshes and glorious beaches was top of the list, closely followed by a boat trip to see the seals.
Being a national walking trail, the path is well signposted and as we were walking down the coast there wasn’t really a chance of getting lost. We got the kids looking out for the acorn fingerpost and off we went towards Burnham Overy Staithe. The walk is easy and flat as you walk along the bank, past salt marshes, little creeks and eventually harbours and beaches. It’s an AONB and there’s an abundance of birds and pretty wildflowers. I was kicking myself that we had forgotten the binoculars!
It was a sweltering day, even early on, so once we reached the village of Burnham Overy Staithe we stopped at The Hero pub for much needed refreshments. Having cooled down slightly we set off again, the kids eager to reach the beach.
As the path become more of a boardwalk the little legs in the family seemed to pick up speed. We had spotted the great sand dunes in the distance and the kids were eager to reach them. For beyond would be a paddling opportunity!
Holkham national nature reserve is a wonderful expanse of stunning beach, sand dunes, woodland and salt marshes. As we walked through the huge dunes there was a collective “wow” as we emerged onto the beach. It was huge! And gorgeous. Despite the bank holiday it wasn’t rammed, although further along near to Holkham itself it was busy. The kids were soon in the water having discarded the walking boots and we walked down the coast to Holkham. One thing that did surprise us was that at this quieter end was lots of naturists! Each to themselves but be warned if you’re with kids, mine helpfully uttered things like “ewww gross” at appropriate moments!!! We loved walking along the beach, the deep sand certainly worked my hips and legs. We arrived sweaty and hot at ‘The Lookout’ visitor centre just in time for lunch. The plan had been to catch the coastal bus along to the next village of Wells Next to the Sea. There was a bit of a wait, it was now red hot and there was little shade. Only one thing for it…to the pub! The Victoria quenched our thirst and we sat on the lawn in the shade. We could see the road and what should sail past but the bus. It was however 20 minutes early or was it running late? Argh! We decided to try and get the next bus anyway and dutifully waited at the bus stop at the correct time. It didn’t come but being a bank holiday Sunday, I had expected there may be a delay. On impulse when we saw a bus coming the other way, we decided to get that ‘home’. Wells would wait another day.
Top tips: Don’t forget some cash to buy an ice cream outside The Lookout. If the walk is too much you can park at Holkham, but it does get incredibly busy during the summer.
Check the tide times and stay safe.
Whilst doing my research I saw that there were various seal boat trips and at this time of year you were almost guaranteed to see a seal. The only spanner in the works is that my Hubby gets incredibly sea sick! He wasn’t going to let it stop us having a family adventure though, and we decided to go ahead and book a trip. There are a few boats to choose from, but I decided to book with Beans Boats. The trips are popular so book ahead, you pay when you get there, and it was £40 for our family. The trip sets off from Morston Quay which is a National trust site and Blakeney nature reserve. The trip lasts about an hour as the crew give you a bit of history about the area, the migrating birds and the seals. As we reached Blakeney point there they all were, a beach full of seals sunbathing. There was even one that was a few months old that came and swam next to the boat. It was a lovely trip and the bonus was that the water was quite calm. Hubby wasn’t even slightly green! There were plenty of photo opportunity as they turned the boat around a few times so everyone gets a look. I’m so glad we did it and that the seals were all there waiting for us.
Once back on dry land we bought ice creams from the National trust shop and sat looking out at the boats and birds on the nature reserve.
Top tips – Bring cash to pay for the boat, booking ahead of course! The car park gets very busy so perhaps go early if you can. There are parking machines for the car park but if you’ve no change you can pay in the shop.
Don’t forget your binoculars and camera.
Just a couple of our adventures whilst we were in North Norfolk and we only scratched the surface. I loved the area, the coastal footpath and the beaches. The kids were busy planning what they would do next time and I know there’s still plenty of places left to discover.
Have you been to North Norfolk? Have you any tips for my next visit? Let me know in the comments.
I received no incentive to write this, just wanted to share our outdoor family adventure with you.