Stage 15 – Cromer to Happisburgh

I walked this, the 15th stage of my Grand Norfolk Hike, on 18th – 19th July 2012.

Route map
Route map: Cromer to Happisburgh (and North Walsham for the train home)

I took the train up to Cromer, arriving at about 8.o0pm.

My rucksack on Cromer beach
My rucksack on Cromer beach

I walked on down to the beach and experimented with an IPadio audio broadcast thing.

Audio post – Cromer beach

I then began the hike down the coast. The path took me up to Cromer cliffs and alongside the golf course. The views were wonderful, especially looking back towards Cromer with the sun making its way slowly down.

I arrived at my wild camp pitch at about 10.30pm but it wasn’t really suitable, another case of the (Google) map not being the territory, I wasn’t sure what to do at this point so made my way down to the beach hoping to find a spot on which to make camp for the night.

After a mile of trudging along the beach I found a likely looking location that was clearly high enough up the beach to not be reached by the tide.

I threw my stuff down and in the last snatches of light put the camp together. I snuggled up in the sleeping bag and poured myself a cup of good red wine and gazed up at the stars.

I was about to fall asleep when, out of the  darkness, I heard talking. I soon made out five people walking my way. At first I felt a little frightened and nervous, then I heard female voices, at least two, among the group and immediately felt more assured. the likelihood of anything ‘bad’ happening (in my view anyway) was greatly reduced by the presence of women.

As it was, the group of young people passed by without incident, either not seeing or ignoring me. They were more concerned with having some fun by the sea, under the stars, maybe with a spliff or two, good for them.

I fell asleep for a few hours and woke to the sounds of gulls and waves.

Wild camp, near Mundesley
Wild camp, near Mundesley

I made a coffee and filmed a short video clip:

I then packed my stuff up and hungrily continued the march on down the beach.

I was looking forward to breakfast in Mundesley but arrived rather early so I sat down and recorded another audio post.

Audio post – Mundesley beach

At 9am I made my way into Mundesley keeping an eye out for Cafe Lilia, a place I had researched earlier in the week.

Ah, Cafe Lilia, words are inadequate to describe the glorious breakfast that I ate that morning. Eggs, ham, fried potatoes, toast and tea, all for £6 and so well cooked!  The table service was quick and cheerful, the cafe immaculately clean, it really was a wonder.

Ham and eggs at Cafe Lila, Mundesley
Ham and eggs at Cafe Lilia, Mundesley

Actually, Mundesley as a whole is a jolly friendly place, everyone I came across had a smile and a cheerful word for a lonesome traveller on the road to who-knows-where. I rejoined the beach and took a self-portrait, it was the least I could do.

Near Mundesley
Near Mundesley

I was the only boy on the beach with only my quickly disappearing footsteps to prove I had passed by.

Steps in the sand
Steps in the sand

The two or three hours sleep started to catch up on me and I took a half hour nap on the beach just outside Happisburgh.

On waking, I took a path that climbed up into the village and found the Hill House pub had just opened.  I walked in an ordered a pint and wrote up my journal.

The Hill House is an excellent pub and served a fine pint of bitter, friendly locals as well. It was a this point I decided not to camp out another night.  I could see storm clouds gathering along the coast and I felt knackered from the two hours or so of sleep the night before.  So, instead of walking down the coast into the storm I headed west towards North Walsham where I could hop on a train back to Ely, a walk of another 10 miles or so.

Taking a rest on the march to North Walsham
Taking a rest on the march to North Walsham

By the time I reached North Walsham I was exhausted, the heavy rucksack and lack of sleep had sapped my energy and all I wanted to do was get home.

As I sat on the platform waiting for the train, the storm finally broke and what a storm!  Thunder, lightening, hail storms, I had made the right decision to go home.

4 thoughts on “Stage 15 – Cromer to Happisburgh

  1. Well worth the walk Martin . All places with which i have been familiar . Excellent GP practice at N Walsham too [ though hope you won’t need their services !]
    Bob

  2. Hi Martin. Really enjoyed your blog. The scenery on this stretch of the coast is lovely. Pity you aren’t able to sleep longer, Your breakfast looked fantastic!

    Love, Mum

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *