I’m currently trying to explore as much of my home county as possible in a mini blog series called ‘Exploring Norfolk’. I’ve already driven a boat along the broads in Wroxham and spent a day chilling in Cromer. This weekend, we ventured to sunny Sheringham!
We hopped on the 10am train from Norwich, with our swimwear packed and a picnic big enough for five people. On arriving an hour later, we stepped of the tiny platform to find ourselves in the middle of a beer festival. Usually we would have been excited by the prospect of trying out some new, local beers. However, on this sunny Saturday, we were both suffering from a hangover and decided against punishing our bodies further! It was taking place on the platform of the old railway station which was pretty cool though. The steam train actually still operates between Sheringham and Holt, so rather than walking there (which takes around 2-2.5hrs) you can get the train! Or you can walk there, and get the train back 🙂
COASTAL WALKS IN SHERINGHAM
We had heard from friends that there are some lovely clifftop walks in Sheringham, but had no idea where they started or finished. Luckily, the tourist information centre is only a few metres away from the platform, so we popped in to grab a map and get some further information. The coastal walks follow one main path leaving Sheringham towards Holt, weaving through smaller villages and viewpoints along the way. You can see from the map below that when leaving from Sheringham, you can walk to Weybourne, Kelling Heath or Holt. You can pick up the train from either of the three locations if heading back to Sheringham 🙂 We decided to attempt to walk to Weybourne and back – around three hours in total. The train was £12 for a single – it would have been a novelty and a fun experience, but we’re saving our money for bigger adventures, so we decided to walk!
Once we had decided on our route, we set off to reach the start point, detouring through the narrow high street lined with boutique gift shops, pubs, fresh fish stalls, arcades and ice cream shops. The street starts where you get off the train (you can’t miss it) and leads towards the sea, branching out into a walkway at the end which overlooks the beaches below.
Gary has a particularly sweet tooth, so our first stop was an ice cream shop! We’d heard good things about a place called Ellie’s, so we walked along until we spotted it on the left – closer to the beach. The selection is HUGE and all ice creams are made locally with fresh produce and no nasty artificial ingredients. There is even a good sorbet selection, which is suitable for vegans 🙂 Gary opted for two scoops of chocolate fudge brownie and honeycomb. I can safely say it’s the most generous portion of ice cream I’ve ever seen!! Great value for money at £3.40 but a small (1 scoop) is definitely enough!
Once we reached the end of the High Street, we walked along the seafront for a couple of minutes before heading under an archway and up a small hill which leads to the beginning of the coastal walks.
The walk runs parallel to Sheringham’s beautiful golf course which stretches for miles along the clifftop, and the views are INCREDIBLE! You trek along dirt paths that are ingrained between the long grass that tickles your legs as you walk. You’ll find loads of lush greenery (and golfers!) on one side and a sheer drop to the sandy beach on the other. The walk is hilly, but mostly downhill away from Sheringham, so not too strenuous if you were planning to walk one way and get the train back. We walked back as well, which was definitely more of a struggle!
Once you have walked along the cliff for around 40 minutes, you take a left across a field on to another path. This path leads towards a main country road, which you have to (carefully!) cross on a bend to reach the next section of the walk. This part leads you along corn fields and under sweeping oak trees to a side road which veers off to the left and into the woods.
This woodland area is the outskirts of the National Trust’s Sheringham Park – you’ll see a sign when you reach it! The park is huge (1000 acres) and we barely touched on it, so we’d definitely like to come back again to explore it further. Once in the woods, it’s not long before you see another path which leads up a set of steps. After a few minutes walk up the steps (tiring when you are as unfit as me!), you’ll reach a bench and the bottom of the viewing tower (called ‘The Gazebo’). A tightly winding set of 192 metal steps takes you to the viewing platform which overlooks the cornfields, clifftops and sea. The views were beautiful and we decided it would be the perfect place to eat our huge picnic!
On the map above, I’ve highlighted the section we walked in purple. You can see the golf course on the right, the road crossing to get to the woods and also where the ‘Gazebo’ (viewing platform) is. It took us over an hour to reach the gazebo, which hopefully gives you an idea of size!
After half an hour chilling in the viewing platform and rejuvenated after a spot of lunch, we set off back to Sheringham. Unfortunately, there wasn’t another way to walk back, so we just walked the way we came. As I mentioned earlier, the hills were mostly going UP on the way back, which was killer after 2 hours in the sunshine! Warning – the last hill is the worst… It felt almost vertical and took me a while to get up! Once back in the town, we had an obligatory (icy) paddle in the sea and a quick round in the arcades!
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO IN SHERINGHAM?
Well, aside from relaxing on the sandy beaches, eating lots of ice cream, spending your money in the arcades or enjoying a beautiful coastal walk, there are a few other things you can do!
- Explore Sheringham Park – We touched on the outskirts, but it’s HUGE and there is lots to see. Aside from reaching dizzying heights up The Gazebo, you can also check out the Wild Garden with flowers and trees from all over the world… or look out for the UK’s smallest bird, the Firecrest, which breeds there! You can also go bug hunting, explore the sensory garden, meadows or ponds within the Bower.
- Visit the Sheringham Museum – Wander through impressive galleries and walk amongst Sheringham’s historic fleet of lifeboats and fishing boats. The collection includes photographs, social history items, agricultural and fishing artifacts as well as a fleet of boats!
- Visit Priory Maze and Gardens – Get lost in the classic hedge maze or opt to relax in one of the many gardens and meadows. There’s a wild flower meadow, plenty of ponds and streams, a pine walk, a winter garden, a herb garden, and even a ‘romantic’ garden!
- Check out Peter Coke’s Shell Gallery – This charming display contains over 100 remarkable shell-art creations made by actor Peter Coke. The seaside gallery is home to intricate gardens and flower arrangements ….all made from shells!
- Learn about Sheringham’s history at the Fishermen’s Heritage Centre – This Centre is dedicated to demonstrating the history of the lifeboats provided by the Upcher family of Sheringham Hall.
I hope this proves useful if you are planning a trip to Sheringham. I would definitely recommend the coastal walks 🙂 If I’ve missed anything out, please comment below and I’ll add it in!