Sunday, 27 June 1999

Coastwalk , Peddar's Way / Norfolk Coast Path

Wells-next-the-Sea → Burnham Overy Staithe

[Holkham Bay]

Distance: 6.9 miles
Ascent: unknown
Duration: unknown

Endless miles
« Sheringham | Hunstanton »

And so I gave up. Seven miles where I would've preferred seventeen. As I reached Burnham Overy Staithe (no hyphens) my heart wasn't in the walking, and the drizzle started to annoy. I took a bus back to the car and cheated: I drove to Thornham and sneaked a preview of the next walk; I walked out to Seahenge.

The walk from Wells has a unique charm to it. For the first mile you're heading directly north to the coast, where large signs explain the use of sirens that warn bathers of the fast incoming tide that gallops across the wide beaches of Holkham Bay.

The next two miles are spent meandering in and out of trees as you make your way west to the road from Holkham Hall (home of the Earl of Leicester and the Coke family; their website has a deep read background: I'm not sure if this is a joke or not).

West of the road to the hall (Lady Ann's Drive), the path crosses the sands of the bay, before heading inland to Burnham. It was here that the closing shot of Shakespeare in Love was filmed: Gwynneth Paltrow's Viola de Lesseps (as Miranda?) emerging from a shipwreck on what looks like a Caribbean sea. Only, it's not the Caribbean: it's Norfolk. And it's not a deserted island: it turns out that west Holkham Bay is a nudist beach. (Don't let that spoil the moment though: this is a glorious space.)

Posted by pab at 22:38