If you’re looking for a decent little walk suitable for all the family (our boys are 5 and 9), this round route that starts and ends at The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe is ideal. Plus the fact that it ends at a great place to stay and eat (as well as also passing The Jolly Sailors – equally well suited for family refreshments) is a perfect bonus.
Park in the car park below The White Horse and make your way down to the end where steps lead you onto the Norfolk Coastal Path (1).
Turn left and walk along the track, following yellow long-distance path signs, until you come to a cluster of small boats.
(2) After this, turn left after 100 yards at the main slipway road and then turn almost immediately right along a narrow path between a building and parked boats.
Turn left and right, following signs, and then keep straight ahead on the boardwalk by the marsh edge. The calls of wading birds (even a drifting Marsh Harrier if you’re lucky) and the view is lovely.
After about a mile you’ll pass the entrance to Branodunum Fort on your left. Take a little detour to read about the site before returning to the path.
After a while, you’ll pass several pretty flint cottages. Ignore the first footpath sign and gate to your left and instead turn left after about 200 yards by an Anglian Water building to walk straight ahead into London Street.
(3) Turn right at the main road (the A149 coast road) and walk a long a little way before turning left into Marsh Side, a quiet lane that runs parallel to the main road.
After 400 yards turn right and meet the main road again (we had a short stop in the park before rejoining the route). Continue along the main road for a little way before crossing to walk on a path by the roadside for 300 yards.
(4) Turn right on a wide track that leads gradually up hill to Barrow Common.
The hedgerows either side of the track are apparently full of elderflowers and wild roses in season and the view from the top back down to the sea is fantastic.
The track bends left and, after 250 yards, right to become a narrower, grassy path.
(5) Go through a metal gate and turn immediately left on to a woodland path that leads along the edge of a wood with excellent views along the coast.
Eventually, turn right out of the wood by an old concrete building into heathland before turning left onto a lane (beware of vehicles!). At this point in our walk, we were treated to a magnificent hail storm that was so grand in its delivery upon us that we could do nothing but watch in awe!
(6) Follow the lane downhill towards Brancaster Staithe. The Jolly Sailors appears conveniently on your right before you hit the main road. We popped in for a drink (though when I spied what the table behind us were eating, I wished we were eating there too!). Real fire, rugby on the tele. Warm Sunday-afternoon type atmosphere. It was a wrench to leave to be honest.
But, leave we did. Turning right back on the main road, we made our way back to The White Horse, where bed and board awaited us.
We checked in to our room and shortly after, enjoyed a delicious meal in the White Horse Bar.
The Bar is ideal if you’re dining with children or dogs (or both) and on the Sunday of Half Term when we stayed, there were plenty of both – all very well behaved.
The food is high quality for ‘bar food’, with classic crowd-pleasers like Steak and Sausage and Mash, but with all the flair and finesse you’d expect from a multi-award winning, 2AA rosette Inn. (The Steak is local, obviously, and the Sausages are Venison with Black Pudding Mash). I had delicious ‘Superfood Salad’ – ideal after an afternoon of walking. A Children’s menu is available, and the Children’s Burger looked every bit as impressive as the adult version I’d imagine.
All in all, an experience we’d recommend and happily repeat.
Total distance: 4.4 miles
Time walking: 2.5 hours
Terrain: Mostly flat but not 100% accessible for buggies or wheelchairs.
We stayed in Room 7 at The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe after our walk (an immaculate, spacious and lovely Garden Room room equipped with everything you could need for a totally indulgent and relaxing getaway, and opening onto amazing views. The whole experience was fabulous, but stand-out aspects for me were the amazing team at The White Horse, the Aromatherapy Associates toiletries in the rooms (LOVE Aromatherapy Associates), the incredible Breakfast and the breathtaking view out across the marshes. Got to be one of the best views around. Ever.
Walk route based on Walk 5 from from ‘Pub Strolls In Norfolk’ by Will Martin.