Ramblers’ Walk

This beach­side route along the de­light­ful dunes, from PETER JAMES of Nor­folk Ramblers, is per­fect for a fes­tive fam­ily walk

EDP Norfolk - - Inside -

A brac­ing win­ter walk at Win­ter­ton


1 From the car park head to­wards the fish­er­men’s huts. There is a marker post for the new Nor­folk Coast Path which takes you be­tween the huts. Fol­low the path to the gap to the beach where you fol­low the marker posts on to the dunes. Wind your way along the top of the dunes where there are marker posts. At Win­ter­ton Ness you leave the dunes - there is a good chance of see­ing seals in the sea or on the beach. If it is too windy for the top of the dunes, there are many other paths wind­ing along be­hind the dunes that can be used in­stead.

2 Fol­low the fin­ger­post to the back of the re­serve. At the next finger post where the new coast path goes to the right you carry straight on, pass­ing be­side the gate to fol­low the track to a con­crete pad with build­ings to your right. Cross the pad di­ag­o­nally to the left where there is a finger post. Fol­low the field edge round to the left. At the end of the field turn right.

Fol­low to a con­crete track where you turn left. Fol­low track to the junc­tion where you will see Somer­ton Church on the hori­zon. Turn left, then right, pass­ing an at­trac­tive cot­tage on the left. At the end of track turn left be­side the gar­den wall off Burn­ley Hall. At the end of the wall you can see the hall with its im­pres­sive chim­neys. Fol­low on to the end of the track.

3 Just be­fore reach­ing the end of the track, on the right are the re­mains of St Mary’s Church. At the road carry straight on, fol­low­ing the road to the right, then left - you will come to a track in front of you, fol­low to a path to the right, this will take you to Win­ter­ton church. If you wish to walk through the vil­lage, turn left fol­low­ing the road to the car park, or you can re­turn to the track fol­low­ing to the road. At the road turn left, tak­ing you back into the re­serve where there are some in­for­ma­tion boards. Turn right here, tak­ing one of the many paths to­wards the fish­er­men’s huts and the car park.


The re­serve is man­aged by Nat­u­ral Eng­land. This site was given the high­est pri­or­ity as an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of a dy­namic sand dune sys­tem and for the rare moths found here. To­day, it is a Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve and sup­ports a num­ber of habi­tats, such as dune slacks, heath, grass­land and birch woodland. Lit­tle terns breed on site, marsh har­ri­ers hunt over­head and nat­ter­jack toads breed in the shal­low pools.


The ru­ins of a 15th cen­tury Per­pen­dic­u­lar par­ish church are among the most picturesqu­e and largest of all ru­ined churches in Nor­folk. St Mary’s was once in its own par­ish but was swal­lowed up by the nearby Win­ter­ton par­ish and the church fell into dis­re­pair.

C Win­ter­ton is a very at­trac­tive coastal vil­lage, with a pub, post of­fice and vil­lage shop. The Dunes Cafe at the car park is open Thurs­day to Sun­day dur­ing the win­ter and has a good rep­u­ta­tion for its food.

You may be lucky enough to spot seals in the sea or on the beach

The track from the re­serve towards Somer­ton

The top of the dunes with one of the new coast path sing posts

The open space is great for a brac­ing win­ter walk

St Mary’s church ru­ins

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