I walked this, stage 17 of the Grand Norfolk Hike, on a changeable summer’s day in July 2016.

Setting out

The hike was an impulsive decision.

Left on our own for the weekend, Smithy dog and I were sitting back drinking coffee and diggin’ some Oscar Peterson, when the urge for adventure suddenly hit upon us.

We checked various timetables and consulted with a Great Yarmouth taxi firm.  Yes, it could be done but we’d need to step on it.

Martin and Smithy on the train to Yarmouth

The dog and I caught the 1.30pm train from Ely to Norwich, leapt onto the waiting connection to Great Yarmouth, sallied forth into a waiting cab and arrived at Winterton-on-Sea beach by 3pm.

On the beach

And oh what a joy it is to stand at the end of the land and take it all in.  The first sighting of the sea never fails to lift and inspire me. The sound, the smell, the colour, the size, the power.  I take in huge gasps of air while Smithy strains at the lead, desperate for his freedom.

Okay, so it’s not the brightest of days and a light rain falls intermittently but that hardly bothers Smith or I.

I release him from the lead and off he bounds in eager delight, ready to greet other mutts and drink seawater that he’ll later recycle back onto the beach.


The sand is soft and cool, I remove my sandals and head off slowly in the direction of Great Yarmouth, 10 miles or so to the south.

The beach remains largely empty, the weather moves quickly from sun to cloud and back again.


Smithy enters the sea for a quick paddle and emerges looking like something akin to a rare sea monster.


Marvellous dunes, dark clouds burdened with rain.


The wind farm is always in sight, out in the sea, where wind farms should be.


A solitary gull keeps watch.


I’m thrilled to spot a seal, Smithy barks at him, the seal floats lazily in the shallows, unconcerned with us.


We reach Yarmouth

We pick up the pace and after a few hours arrive at Great Yarmouth.

The Boating Lake Coffee house is closed and probably won’t open at any time in the future.


We wander along the seafront, looking for a sign to the train station.  We pass restaurants heaving with holiday makers digging into huge plates of fish and chips.

Smithy looks up at me, a question unsaid in his eyes.

We arrive at the station. I give Smith the last of our water and some scooby snacks which he gobbles greedily before settling down for a well deserved nap on the platform.


So, all-in-all a fine day’s hiking along the glorious Norfolk coast.

The Grand Norfolk Hike is almost complete!

6 thoughts on “Great Yarmouth to Winterton-on-Sea

  1. We did the Other Gt Yarmouth a couple times when I was a kid, borrowing a caravan from an uncle and going on the (then) scary roller coaster. Is the roller coaster still there? Also remember a very serious dig “to Australia” on the beach — must have been abt 7 and suffering from too much work ethic!

  2. This post inspired me and a friend to walk from GY to Winterton, slept out on the beach in sleeping bag and bivvi, enjoyed a disposable BBQ and then walked the 10 miles back the next day.
    I’m also going to do the River Wissey walk that is on one of your other blogs. Keep up the great work. Thanks, Jeremy.

    1. Hi Jeremy, I’m really pleased my post inspired you to wild camp out on the coast, did you see any seals? Let me know how you get on with the Wissey walk. Cheers!

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