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Winterton and its Dunes

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Winterton and its Dunes
Author: NickC, Published: 08 Jul 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Norfolk, Norfolk Broads
Walk Type: Coastal
Winterton and its Dunes
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This is a circular walk of two halves, with the first half taking you along solid tracks through houses and along rural landscapes, whilst the second half, by way of contrast, takes you through the Winterton Dunes Nature Reserve, where you have the option of either staying on the path, keeping away from the dunes, or following one of the various tracks amongst the dunes to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. This is a Nature Reserve though, and a word of warning, you may spot adders, which are, of course, a protected species.

If you start at the car park take a quick glance out to sea to spot the Blood Hill wind turbines. These were amongst the first to be installed in this country and have been operating for over twenty years.

Allow at least a couple of hours for the walk. There are toilets and a café at the car park.

Winterton is reached either via the Winterton Road from the west via East and West Somerton from Martham off the A419, or from the south from Caister-on-Sea. Park either in the pay and display car park on the sands, or find a spot in the village by the village hall. These directions start from the car park, postcode NR29 4AJ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Low Farm
Start to Low Farm

Start point: 52.7176 lat, 1.698 long
End point: 52.7172 lat, 1.6835 long

Walk away from the beach from the car park using the pavement on the left hand side of the road, heading back into the village, aiming for the village hall. On the way, look out for the strange circular cottages on the hill to your right. The Village Hall is not to be confused with the Church Rooms on your right, but it is just after, on the left, at the first road junction. Pick up the path opposite, adjacent to a turquoise timber-clad house. Follow this down the back of some houses and on reaching Old Chapel Road turn left and on reaching a T-junction at the top head right. On reaching Low Road head left.

Continue down this road, which becomes more of a track and is in fact a restricted byway. There are occasional glimpses of the impressive tiered tower of St. Cecilia’s church to be had here. Stay with the path until you reach Low Farm Holiday Cottages on your left.

Low Farm to Burnley Hall
Low Farm to Burnley Hall

Start point: 52.7172 lat, 1.6835 long
End point: 52.719 lat, 1.6693 long

Maintain your direction, passing through some tall hedges either side. The track merges onto an asphalt road at a bend and you head straight ahead with a high hedge to your right. The road describes an S-shape, bending to the right and then to the left. You are now amongst some houses, including a lot of barn conversions, one of which has an attractive pond outside.

When the road bends to the left again, keep going straight ahead, onto a concrete road, which is in fact still Low Road. This leads up to the Georgian edifice that is Burnley Hall, with its high brick wall and towering chimney stacks. Continue to the top of the wall where there is a T-junction.

Burnley Hall to Commissioners Drain
Burnley Hall to Commissioners Drain

Start point: 52.719 lat, 1.6693 long
End point: 52.7265 lat, 1.6634 long

Head right at the T-junction, staying on the concrete road past a metal gate. The road bears left at the pretty Honeypot thatched cottage, whose colour matches its name. A couple of hundred yards later the road bears right at a Y-junction. The path becomes incredibly rural here and it’s difficult to accept that you are just a short hop from the coast. Cultivated fields lie on one side, with grazing also occupying some of the land.

The land is flat, offering long distance views, including to the nearby Broads. The road is long and straight with views over to a large farm at 10 o’clock on the left. Without warning, the road passes over the Commissioner’s Drain, one of many such ditches in these parts.

Commissioners Drain to Information Board
Commissioners Drain to Information Board

Start point: 52.7265 lat, 1.6634 long
End point: 52.7363 lat, 1.6793 long

Continue up the track until you reach a gate marking the start of a private road. The path diverts to the right here, following the edge of a field with a high hedge to the left. Stay with this as it bends to the left after which you will see some old farm buildings up ahead (Winterton Holmes) and to the right. These are your next target. Stay with the path, hugging the edge of the field, until it swings right and out over the farmyard of these buildings and picks up a track directly in front of you.

The dunes which will be the finale to this walk, become visible briefly to the left. This is a long straight path and it’s worth keeping an eye (and an ear!) out here for local birdlife, including, if you are lucky, skylarks. There can also be a profusion of butterflies at appropriate times of the year. On reaching a gate, pass to the side and head for the information board in front of you.

Information Board to End
Information Board to End

Start point: 52.7363 lat, 1.6793 long
End point: 52.7176 lat, 1.698 long

You are now in the Nature Reserve, and a repeat warning here about the possibility of adders. Another (remote!) danger is left over bits and pieces from when this area was used by the military. The rule here is, if it's unusual, don’t touch and report it!

The footpath heads right soon after the information board. The path itself remains solid, with occasional dips. The path continues all the way back into Winterton, and if you are parked in the village you can stay on it to retrace your steps back to your starting point. For those in the beach car park, there are options to pick out well marked tracks to follow the tops of the dunes, or even along the beach. Stretches of the beach may be marked off at certain times of the year to protect nesting grounds for Little Terns. Sand can make for heavy walking though, so make your choices wisely! Whichever route you take (and you can walk along the dunes and back to the village following the route described in Stage 1 of this walk), take time to enjoy the wonderful scenery and wildlife.

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

1 comments for "Winterton and its Dunes"

Really nice walk. Directions are a bit vague at the end but following the path on the ap using GPS was great.

By Terry on 09 Jan 2016

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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