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Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals

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Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals
Author: NickC, Published: 08 Jul 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guidestar1 Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guidestar1 Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guidestar1 Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guidestar1 Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide
Norfolk, Norfolk Broads
Walk Type: Coastal
Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide boot Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide
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0002_sunny_intervals Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guideToday's weather
10 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 13 mph SSW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0001_sunny Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide 0004_black_low_cloud Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide 0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide 0009_light_rain_showers Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide 0001_sunny Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals walking guide

This is a circular walk that offers both Broads walking and a stretch of the coast, where there is the special treat of an opportunity to spot some seals – if you are lucky! The walk ends with a run along an old drain, but don’t worry, it’s not the unpleasant kind, just another word for a man-made ditch. Allow around two hours to complete.

As if this wasn’t enough, the walk starts at Horsey Mill, a drainage mill once driven by windpower. The mill has been through the mill as it were, having continued to work until 1943 when it was struck by lightning and has recently had to undergo further restoration when it lost its fantail in the storms of 1987. Another, unrestored, mill is also seen on the walk. Wind power of a more modern kind can be seen on the coast in the form of a set of turbines out to sea.

Finally, if you have time, take advantage of the Wildlife Boat Trips on the Lady Ann, a classic wooden boat, which goes out onto Horsey Mere, which is a SSSI (call 07791 526440 to book). These last an hour and are well worth it. There is also a tea room and public toilets by the windmill.

The (pay and display) car park is easy to find, just follow the brown signs for the Windmill. Horsey is reached via the B1159 via the A149 and sits just north of Martham. The postcode is NR29 4EF.

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Walk Sections

Start to Waxham New Cut
Start to Waxham New Cut

Start point: 52.7425 lat, 1.6381 long
End point: 52.7467 lat, 1.6246 long

Head out of the car park and head right, keeping the water to your left. After about a hundred yards the path heads right into some trees, following a small drainage channel to your right. Horsey Mere is now out to your left. You can also see the thatched roof of an old Marshman’s Cottage jutting up amongst the reeds. Stay with the path as it diverts to the left, indeed it’s nigh on impossible to get lost here, just keep the wooden fence to your left. The path bends to the right, thereby hiding the Horsey Mere. Stay with the path until you reach the rusty brown water of Waxham New Cut.

Waxham New Cut to Brograve Mill
Waxham New Cut to Brograve Mill

Start point: 52.7467 lat, 1.6246 long
End point: 52.7541 lat, 1.6267 long

Stay with the path as it bends slightly to the right where it meets the water, keeping the New Cut to your left. The path is fairly solid here and the walking relatively easy. Reeds occasionally hide the view of the Cut, but be assured it’s still there, as occasional glimpses will testify. This is a good spot for birdwatching, with plenty of trees on the opposite bank.

After around fifteen minutes of straightforward walking you come to the ruins of Brograve Mill. This was built in 1771 by local landowner Sir Berney Brograve to drain the Brograve Levels via Waxham New Cut into Horsey Mere.

Brograve Mill to Horsey Gap
Brograve Mill to Horsey Gap

Start point: 52.7541 lat, 1.6267 long
End point: 52.7546 lat, 1.6448 long

Having admired the Mill, bear right, with the mill to your back. Head down the (in places somewhat overgrown) path down the edge of a field, aiming for the clump of trees straight ahead. You don’t go into these however, diverting to the left to stop you going into a dyke, and then to the right, over a bridge. Continue on the path with the trees now to your right, heading for some houses.

On reaching an asphalt road turn left and then immediately right following signs for a public footpath, passing a handful of cottages in Horsey Corner. The path passes down the edge of a field and on arriving at a T-junction of paths in a corner of the field, turn left. The path bisects a large arable field. On reaching a road turn right and follow this to where it bends, where a large sign on the left announces you have reached Horsey Gap. Take this track.

Horsey Gap to Seal Viewing Area
Horsey Gap to Seal Viewing Area

Start point: 52.7546 lat, 1.6448 long
End point: 52.7511 lat, 1.6631 long

Head down the Gap down to the car park, and in the top right hand corner of this follow the large sign directing you towards the Seal Viewing Area. This requires passing through a kissing gate, with the grass covered banks of the high dunes characteristic of this area to your left. It’s worth a diversion any point here to catch the view from the dunes, including the long sandy beaches punctuated by a series groynes and, to the far right, the wind turbines mentioned in the introduction.

While the sign back at the car park was correct in saying this was the way to the seal viewing area, it did not manage expectations in as much as it’s a full three quarters of a mile to reach it! The spot is marked by a green metal hut and an information board. There’s a gap in the dunes to the left and you need to get over this and onto the beach to see the seals, if they are there. Alternatively, climb the dunes so as to observe without disturbing the seals.

Seal Viewing Area to End
Seal Viewing Area to End

Start point: 52.7511 lat, 1.6631 long
End point: 52.7424 lat, 1.6382 long

Leave the Seal Viewing Area to your back as you head right away from your previous path. The path is clearly marked and cuts across some marshland. Pass through a gate about half way down after which the path resumes its well defined course. Marsh gives way to more stable soil and crops begin to appear in the fields either side. On reaching a house, turn right.

On reaching a junction keep going straight in front of you onto the more major road. From here on it’s simply a case of following the road back to your starting point. Although initially this means walking on the road, a path soon appears on the verge on the left as the route takes you round a left hand bend and through Horsey. On coming through the village you will spot the unmistakeable landmark of the windmill and know that the car park and other facilities are nearly upon you.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Horsey: Windmills, Dunes and Seals"

Footpath was temporarily closed from the car park at Horsey Mill so we had to cross over the road and do a completely different walk. Hopefully drainage work will be completed before spring so we can try again.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know about the temporary footpath closure. We have added a note to the walk so that future walkers will know and we will remove this once we have confirmation from the National Trust that the flood work is complete and the footpath is reopened.

By Paulandrach1 on 2016-02-21 16:49:27

Please note the footpath is now "temporarily" open until further work is undertaken later this year,this is straight from the horses mouth so to speak.The dyke leading to the mere is to be drained to enable further drainage under the dyke to be completed.Hope this helps. Paul

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know. We really appreciate your help. The National Trust has emailed us too to confirm that the path is open once again and we have removed the closure notice from our walking guide.

By pjturner5 on 2016-02-29 08:26:02

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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