NORFOLK, UK: A Short Road Trip Along the North Norfolk Coast

Hunstanton

Hunstanton

It’s a brisk 6 degrees celsius as I picked Chryssie Koussia from Chryssie’s Greece up from King’s Lynn station on the last Saturday before Christmas. But it’s sunny and I’m back in the van I lived in for 4 months last year as I travelled around Europe and we’re both looking forward to a day exploring the north Norfolk coastline from King’s Lynn up to Wells-next-the-Sea.

Our first stop was Hunstanton or “Sunny Hunny” as the locals call it, only half tongue-in-cheek and as the wind lashed against our cheeks we caught the tail end of the wind-surfers, packing up after a morning’s arial stunts, somersaulting and skimming over the arctic-chilled North Sea.

Windsurfer at Hunstanton

Windsurfer at Hunstanton

After a delicious catch of the day fish pie at the Lifeboat Inn in Thornham, we pointed the van towards the Burnhams. Folks out this way evidently unmoved by the convention to call each village by it’s own name, all the little hamlets in this 10 mile stretch of coastline are just called Burnham something, You just add the suffix, “Market”, “Deepdale”, “Overy Staithe” etc to delineate the one you are talking about. Burnham Market is the most famous one because Johnny Depp bought a house there a few years ago and there’s a really good hat shop, but all are pretty and pulling off the coastal road to explore the windswept marshes of the Scolt Head Island Nature Reserve that forms the sea border running parallel to these villages opens up otherworldly and tranquil landscapes and in the middle of it all, a solitary houseboat, cosy looking and remote it would have been a fantastic place to live.

Houseboat on Scolt Head Island Nature Reserve

The light was fading fast, as it does in England at this time of year so it was time to hit the coastal road again and aim for Wells-next-the-Sea, our final destination for the day. We were treated to a beautiful, moonlit working harbour with fishermen preparing their boats for much more dangerous trips than ours, out into the blackness beyond the harbour walls.

Wells-next-the-Sea fishing boat

Wells-next-the-Sea fishing boat

The light had come to an end and so had our road trip. It’s just a small section of the road which you can follow all the way round to Cromer and then back down to Great Yarmouth if you want to take more time. If you do, it’s worth spending a few days doing it so you can stop off plenty along the way. There are far to many places to explore. If you don’t mind the elements, this time of year means no tourists and the only slow camper van winding it’s way down the narrow country lanes was mine. I highly recommend this part of the world for landscape, travel and wildlife photographers alike. There is plenty to see, and if the clouds stay away you’ll get great light too.