Walk 3416 - printer friendly version
Hunstanton from South Beach, Heacham Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km
Ascent - 100 feet / 30 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TF662367
Lat 52.90204 + Long 0.46961806
Postcode PE31 7LH (approx. location only)
This coastal walk offers expansive views across the Wash and some good exercise between Heacham and the pretty resort of Hunstanton. In addition the route will offer the chance to see numerous species of birds especially at low tide when their feeding grounds are not submerged.
The start is the small car park at South Beach, Heacham (grid ref. TF662367). At busy times of the year this is likely to fill quickly on fine days although there is additional roadside parking in the vicinity. Much of the land hereabouts is not far above sea level and you will see there are extensive earthworks to protect the area from flooding during storms and spring tides. From the car park climb the defences onto the beach. Immediately you get a good view along the sands and also across the Wash to Lincolnshire.
Navigation on this walk is simple and there are no worries about locating stiles and rights of way! Turn right and walk with the sea on your left hand side. Initially the walk is across the sand which is firmer nearer the water line. After just over half a mile you reach Heacham North Beach and from here onwards you have the benefit of concrete walkway on the top of the sea wall.
This walk offers a variety of interest from the neatly painted beach huts, caravan parks, a small theme park and amusements to an eclectic mix of food outlets. In contrast on the other side you have the unspoilt expanse of the Wash across which you can see the 'Boston Stump' or the large tower on Boston Church on a clear day. You will also see a wide variety of birds as this coast is one of the best place for bird watching in the UK.
Continuing along the beach you reach the centre of Hunstanton. There are a variety of cafes and other places to get fed and watered although I admit that during this walk the smell of Fish and Chips was too powerful to overcome. Although the coast has been quite flat until now, the centre of Hunstanton lies around 100 feet above the sea and you will eventually reach the start of the cliffs with their attractive bands of red and white rock.
Having reached the cliffs it is time to turn back and with the benefit of a clear path back to the start you can walk off any calories taken on board during the refreshment stop in Hunstanton! All that remains is to follow your outward route back to the start.