Walk 1804 - printer friendly version
Cley next the Sea from Blakeney Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km
Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TG028441
Lat 52.95592 + Long 1.0176592
Postcode NR25 7ND (approx. location only)
This circular route starts from the harbour in Blakeney and uses a section of the Norfolk Coast Path to explore the salt marshes before reaching the picturesque village of Cley next the Sea with its fine windmill dominating the skyline. The return to Blakeney offers the opportunity to visit the fine Parish church, which can be seen for miles.
From the car park adjacent to Blakeney Harbour (Grid ref. TG028441) take the signed path to Cley next the sea. This is the route of the Norfolk Coast Path. Leaving the activity of the harbour behind, the path follows a raised dyke with salt marshes to your left and drained farmland to your right. Views are extensive with the tower of Blakeney Church and the windmill at Cley both prominent in this type of landscape.
The path continues seaward but does not quite reach the shingle beach. An intervening channel containing the outflow of the River Glaven blocks further progress and the route turns inland with this river on your left. Ahead the village of Cley and its dominant windmill are backed by low rolling hills. Nearing the village continue straight ahead to reach the A149 in the village.
Cley is worth further exploration with some interesting buildings and a pleasant atmosphere, which is tempered somewhat by the traffic of the A149. To explore the village, turn left past the café (one of a number of places offering refreshments in the village) to the road junction. Turn left again and follow the High Street towards the windmill. Many of the buildings feature pan tiled roofs and flint of cobble walls. Reaching the windmill locate the footpath sign on your right. This leads you down a walled alley into the Fairstead. Follow this road running parallel with the High Street as far as the car park. Turn right here on the signed path into the village centre. Turn right at the main road and then left at the road junction to continue the walk.
Sadly there is no practical way of avoiding the short section of walking beside the A149. There is a separate footpath, which does at least make the walk much safer. The road climbs gently up Howe Hill to reach Blakeney Parish Church, which is on your left. A visit is worthwhile as this is a fine church with an interesting history. After visiting the church continue along the main road to the next road junction. Turn half right here and follow Blakeney High Street down to the harbour and the end of the walk.
Note - It is worth noting that there is an excellent bus service operating along the A149 coast road between Sheringham and Kings Lynn. Operated by Norfolk County Council, this 'Coast Hopper' service is useful for many walks as the bus route shadows the Norfolk Coast Path. This enables one way walks to be undertaken with relative ease but also means that other walks can be altered to suit your needs.