Walk to Stiffkey
It was a pretty dismal Sunday, damp and dreary and not the sort of Sunday you think “let’s venture out!” More the sort of Sunday when you think “let’s light the wood burner, grab a good book and hunker down for the afternoon.” However, Ellie my daughter was coming over for the day, and being a city chic, she loves to come to Wells and go on healthy country ambles. So we pulled on our wellies, wrapped up warm and ventured out. I live in Wells-next-the-Sea and often walk down to the beach and along to Holkham, but on this occasion, we decided to walk to Stiffkey, on the bank and alongside the marsh. It is about 3 miles to Stiffkey and just under 4 miles along the Norfolk Coastal Path if you make a detour to Stiffkey Red Lion, which is well worth the effort.
Norfolk Coastal Path
The path was extremely muddy on this particular January afternoon, but as we dressed appropriately it didn’t matter one bit. The path is flat and good for all abilities, especially on drier days, and is a wonderful route if you are taking a well-behaved dog along with you as they will enjoy being off the lead for most of the way. The route is part of the Norfolk Coastal Path which runs from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea which is approximately 83 miles and runs through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, of which Wells and Stiffkey are part of.
Birds and Wildlife along the route to Stiffkey
The views are mainly of the beautiful wide expansive mudflats and marsh to the left as you walk and open countryside to your right. We spotted lots of different types of birds and wildlife, including an owl in flight over the marsh and ducks taking advantage of the flooded fields by swimming in the little lakes that had formed over the last week’s rain.
When we reached Stiffkey car park we knew we were weren’t far from warmth and something to eat and drink. We turned right along the road to the village. At the end of the road, a short walk to the left brings you out at the pub. We took a diversion away from the road along a path which is marked to the right to prevent us from having to dodge the cars, it brought us out in front of the Red Lion which was a sight for sore eyes.
Inside we were greeted with open fires, cosy seating and welcoming staff. We ordered some lunch and a couple of drinks and enjoyed the warmth of the pub. It began to rain just as we were finishing, so we googled the timetable for the Coasthopper bus and were delighted to see that we only had another 20 minutes to wait, so a couple of hot chocolates later we made our way to the bus stop. The bus journey back was very welcome as the heavens opened! That’s one of the benefits of walking along the North Norfolk coast, you are never far away from a bus stop should your plans change or if you think you have bitten off more than you can chew.
Once back in Wells, we had a wander around the town and then back home for a cup of tea, feeling very smug that we’d made the effort and had a lovely time in the process.