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Sheringham Weekend - April 2014

23 members attended our return to the north Norfolk coast. 16 hardy souls stayed in the youth hostel, while 7 enjoyed the luxury of a B&B, although they did, mostly, join us for evening meals.

Everyone met in the hostel car park bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Both parties walked westwards along the Norfolk Coast Path. The 'A' party headed inland after Salthouse Marshes, as it was tough going on the shingle, and stopped for lunch at the Visitor Centre overlooking Cley Marshes Nature reserve. Fortified by extra rations, we continued on via Cley-next-the-Sea and passed a picturesque windmill. We arrived at Blakeney, admired the yachts then caught the bus back to Sheringham. Stopping for tea at the railway station, we met the 'B' party who arrived in style by steam train. The 'A' party had walked 11.5 miles.

The 'B' party walked westwards to Kelling Hard then headed inland to Holt (8 miles), returning by steam train on the North Norfolk Railway. The signal box at Weybourne was inspected by Colin and Ian and found to be in good order! Led by Nick, we found a nice pub in Sheringham in the evening that served a variety of good real ale. A satisfying end to a first good day's walk.

Saturday: Bright but cold.
Both parties took the cars to Wells-next-the-Sea. The 'A' party set out to walk 13 miles. They took a longer route through Holkham Park via the Great Barn to the Obelisk and met up with the 'B' Party. No tea stop was possible due to long queues! They continued to Holkham Gap for lunch and were rewarded by the sight of an ice cream van. Then returned to Wells via the Bank (not in the monetary sense) and did another short circular walk to the east of Wells. Some alpacas were seen going for a walk along the sea defence (pic on website). A nice tea shop in Wells completed the day's walking.

The 'B' party walked 8 miles. It was a circular walk from Wells-next-the-Sea. We went into Holkham Park and were more fortunate than the 'A' party as we arrived earlier at the tea shop and so enjoyed a brew. We walked to the Obelisk and had lunch by Holkham Hall in the sunshine. Refreshed, we walked down to Holkham Gap and onto the beach, admiring the colourful huts as we strolled along. 4 of us stopped off at Stiffkey on the return journey where there is a blue police box. I just had to take a photo! There is also a very nice cafe there. Apparently we missed the discovery of an unexploded bomb on Holkham beach. Always expect the unexpected on our walks!

In the evening we enjoyed a couple of quizzes set by Martyn and myself.

Sunday: Heavy rain did not occur as forecast. It fell in the south-east instead. Hurray! Both parties took the train from Sheringham to Gunton.

The 'A' party walked 14 miles, inland and coastal. We climbed Hungry Hill but waited until Overstrand for lunch. Colin and Debbie sampled some local crab. We then walked via Cromer along the beach back to Sheringham where we found a very nice tea shop called Raffanelli's.

The 'B' party walked 9 miles following the same route but went via John of Gaunt's house and caught the bus back from Cromer. I was informed that someone visited the shrieking pits at Aylemerton, where the ghost of a woman wearing a long white night dress is said to roam.

Monday: The sun was shining and it was the warmest day of the weekend. About half the group headed home in the morning. The rest of us walked as one party for a distance of 9 miles. It was a circular route from the hostel via Beeston Regis Common and into Sheringham Park. We had lunch in the grounds of the park then walked up to a very high observation tower named, confusingly, The Gazebo, from which we had a great view. Later we stopped at a bridge near Dead Man's hill to wait for a steam train to pass underneath us. Aline noted this train as GNR 1744 - these things are important. We continued onto the coastal path and returned to Sheringham for another visit to Raffanelli's before saying our goodbyes and heading home.

Big thanks to Aline for organising such a great weekend and to Greg, Colin and Peter for leading the walks.

Chris 'the chronicler'