From Holme village centre on Kirkgate Street, head west to the crossroads junction with Peddars Way and turn right on to the gravel drive, passing cottages on the left. Follow this round to the left and enter Redwell Marsh Nature Reserve, the path follows close to the eastern hedge boundary. This 35-acre reserve is a mixture of pool, scrapes and grazing meadow and is owned by the Norfolk Ornithologists Association.
As the path reaches a gate at the reserve’s northern boundary, cross the footbridge over the River Hun and turn right into Broadwater Road. Follow the gravel access track to the western entrance of Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Holme Dunes Nature Reserve.
Next walk immediately diagonally left and follow the boardwalk as it meanders though the marram grass-covered sand dunes towards the pinewoods. Landward, extensive grazing marsh views embrace vast areas of internationally vital habitat, the wintering grounds for flocks of migrant birds. In the foreground the dunes and scrub host linnets, skylark and meadow pipits. Seaward views provide tantalising glimpses of the beach, from Gore Point eastwards.
At the pine woods you can turn right to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre. Otherwise the beach is on the left, where the vast sandy expanse merges with sky to the east and west. Once on the beach, turn left and enjoy the feel of soft sand underfoot, or walk the harder sands at the margins of tidal ebb or simply paddle through the surf. You’re now following the line of the Norfolk Coastal Path, a route that picks up from Peddars Way, where the latter meets the coast.
The mysteries remaining under the sea’s eternal swells along this length of coast are often exposed at low tide, amid the calcified remains of an ancient forest. You may see trackways and wooden henges dating from the Bronze Age; the circular henge structures provide an enigmatic legacy from a previous era.
Recent excavations here have raised more questions about origins and purpose than answers for archaeologists. Peddars Way is an ancient track extending from Thetford to the coast, and it may be no coincidence that these henges are present where the path meets the sea.
Your beach stroll now heads towards Gore Point, where you pick up the dune edge for about 275m. Look out for oystercatchers, ringed plovers, dunlins and sanderlings along the way, as they beachcomb the inter-tidal areas to make the most of the varied food supply.
Head left into the dunes until you meet the track, then drop back to the Wildlife Trust’s reserve entry point. Follow the gravel track to the bridge crossing into Redwell Marsh Nature Reserve, go over the footbridge and follow the path back to the centre of Holme.
Level grass meadows, a boardwalk through dunes
and sandy beaches.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: Approaching from King’s Lynn, take the A149 coast road. Holme-next-the-Sea is the next village after Hunstanton. There are car parking and toilet facilities at the end of Beach Road Holme.
By public transport: The Coasthopper bus service and King’s Lynn-Hunstanton buses pass within walking distance of Holme-next-the-Sea.
The White Horse
Kirkgate Street, Holme, Hunstanton PE36 6LH
Tel. 01485 525512
Deepdale Camping, Deepdale Farm, Main Road, Burnham Deepdale PE31 8DD
Tel. 01485 210256
Searles Camping and Caravanning Park
South Beach Road, Hunstanton PE36 5BB
Tel. 01485 534211
Redwell Marsh Reserve
Norfolk Ornithologists Association
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Visitor Centre, Holme, Hunstanton PE36 6LQ
Tel. 01485 525240