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Walking to Holkham Beach

June 23, 2013

It had been over twenty years since I last went to Holkham Beach in Norfolk.Norfolk 2013 140

The other day, we walked there from Wells-Next-The- Sea on one of those days that started out with dull weather but turned delightfully sunny as we walked along the high dike known as the Bank from Wells – lots of Viper’s Bugloss and the water far out on a low tide, with boats picturesquely stranded on the sands. A couple of miles on the North Norfolk Coast Path, which runs below along stretches of Scots Pines on one side of a good track and marshy grazing on the other.

We left the path at Holkham Gap, crossing the grassy dunes and on to the beach itself, that seemingly limitless area of sand with the sea a good way out.

The little waves crashed noisily on the foreshore. There were thousands of Razorshells lining the edge of the tide, driven up on to the beach by recent storms, their remaining contents stripped by the noisy black-headed gulls and little terns that thronged the edges of the beach.

We walked along the edge of the sea for a good two miles along the great beach. Many a Norfolk Coast walker seems to go this way rather than the delineated path.

The beach gives the impression of being endless and eternal, its limitless stretches leading away into an almost unimaginable distance.Norfolk 2013 169

After a while we turned, walking up to where the beach met the dunes and headed back to Holkham Gap. Hard going now in much softer sand, though we were  entertained by the the busy little terns nesting nearby.

It was sad to leave the beach, now hot as the sun in the sands reflected the heat back on to my face.Norfolk 2013 168

We walked back the same way to Wells, stopping at the beach cafe for some of its excellent baking before turning inland.

By now the sun was diminished by low clouds that had rolled in and the water channel up to the town had filled with water, giving quite a distant aspect to the scene.

If you have never been to Holkham Beach do go! But do it at the lowest of tides to get the atmosphere we enjoyed. It is one of those English places that everyone should see at least once.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2013 10:59 pm

    By heck, you get about some!

  2. coastcard permalink
    November 29, 2013 1:09 pm

    I hadn’t been either for about 20 years … and sadly was amazed to see how busy the Holkham end had become. I remember those empty wide sweeps. Must go again at a less busy time of year …

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