13 September 2023

  • Date:                           13 September 2023
  • Walk Participants:     Lynne Burge, Sandy Arpino & Lesley Stapley
  • Distance:                     14+ Miles

Day 2 Brancaster to Wells-next-the Sea, 13 miles

Well, the day dawned brighter than yesterday, though that would not have been difficult. The sun was in the sky as the taxi driver picked us up to take us back to where we left off yesterday- namely Brancaster.

We walked back down the lane to the coastal path and prepared to set off. Problem. There was a sign saying path closed as there were 83 faults with the boardwalk. Ignoring this missive, as many other walkers seem to have done we set along it and yes, there were areas you had to be careful in where the wood had rotted, but it was passable. We made our way along the path at the ends of the gardens from houses in the village. They were huge gardens, but afforded no glimpse of the sea due to the vast extent of the Brancaster Marsh.

Does someone live here?

At one stage we came across an area dedicated to boats and sailing, with an activity centre alongside. We passed between the various buildings towards the end of this part of the walk. The boardwalk and ended and it became a regular path, still at the end of long gardens. Reed beds abounded along with a fair few derelict boats left in various places to decay quietly into the mud.

Rotting ship

Eventually we started to walk along a raised bank which was the sea defences. This bank took us out away from the habitable land, between Deepdale Marsh and Scolt Head Island Nature Reserve. It was initially interesting but 2-3 miles of walking along the raised pathway with either reeds or mud on either side palled after a while. A windmill gradually came into view, we knew that was the point at which we left behind this tiresome stretch, but it was one of those illusions- it never seemed to get closer. All good things must come to an end and we reached the main road and the windmill, which is a holiday home.

The Windmill
Getting low to photograph the reeds

After a pit stop in the local pub (only tea was drunk) we continued on another, but more interesting raised path. We could see more water channels here where boats would, at the right stage of the tide, sail out to sea. Except up until now we hadn’t been able to see the sea it was so far away due to the extensive marshes. Nothing daunted we came to a huge are of sand dunes. Picking our way carefully along and through them we eventually reached the beach. It was enormous! It stretched for miles in both directions, with the sea still some distance away as the tide was out. We ambled along looking at the shells that littered the sand, admiring the vastness of it all and enjoying listening to the splashing of the waves. It was a delightful time. We sat and just admired the beach.

The Dunes

We made our way to Holkham Gap. We knew we were going in the right direction because there were many more people as there was a large car park close to the beach. Following the path that led away from the beach we reached the car park and then turned along the coast behind a large stand of conifers and mixed trees. The path was easy to walk on, the sun was shining and the end of the walk was not too far away.

A caravan park came into sight and we knew we would soon reach Wells-next-the-Sea. A large car park was situated near the sea with the inevitable ice cream sellers and cafes. We walked along the raised track that at one time took a miniature railway from the heart of the town out to the beach. It gave us good views of the town and the inevitable marshes off to our right. Wending our way through the town, past restored buildings now housing flats and holiday lets, we made our way to our B and B, thankfully sitting down for a rest after our 14+ miles of walking.


Tomorrow is another day and only 8 miles- can’t wait!

Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge

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