Training sesh, Norfolk Coast

Today was wonderful. I enjoyed every moment.

I set myself a goal of walking from Wells to Cromer, along the Norfolk Coast Path for about 25 miles, give or take. It would be a good chance to see if I was up to the distance, and to see if my kit was fit for purpose. Here I am at the start, with my determined face on:


So I started at Wells, and my critical kit was: walking boots, craghopper trousers, trunk style underpants, goretex jacket, medium thickness socks, rucksack with waterproof trousers, binoculars, water, 2 cereal bars, penknife, money.

I also thought I would keep a bird list, which turned into a no-binoculars bird list because I didn’t want to put those big boys round my neck. I headed off eastward with the wind on my back, through the first phase of the journey, in saltmarsh habitat (Wells to Blakeney). Easy walking, and I fairly bounced along, with parties of brents to my left, and flocks of lapwings to my right. At the Warham turntable, a spotted redshank flew over calling loudly.


I reached Blakeney in 2.5 hours, and had a welcome stop at the deli, where the lady was nice and polite. Veg and cheese pie! When I got to Cley, I stopped in the deli there, but they weren’t nearly so nice. Guess I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, the snobs! The weather started to turn a bit squally around Cley, but actually it was quite nice to have a drop of rain. That is part of my point. It may have been training, but actually this was just going for a fantastic long walk! NWT Cley visitor centre looked bust as I swished past.



After a terrific short-eared owl at Kelling, and a couple of wheatears, I decided to swap my footwear at Weybourne for sport sandals. However, I found them to be completely inadequate for walking, although they are very comfortable for everyday wear. I soon switched back after half a mile or so, but not before they had given me a small blister, the swine. I marched thru Sheringham like a man possessed, and took the beach route rather than the clifftop route to Runton, clocking a nice adult Med gull in the process.


The approach to Cromer was great – cheering crowds, people shaking my hand, children asking for my autograph. Well, in my imagination, anyhow. The beach walking was quite tough, and I wouldn’t want to do too much of it. Anyway, I got there. I have never walked 25 miles in a day before, and I feel enriched and energised by today’s odyssey. Recommended! Surprised and knackered face!





3 thoughts on “Training sesh, Norfolk Coast

  1. Hi! We at saltholme are looking forward to your visit! could you give us some details of the dates you’re looking at reaching us? and you should be fine to stay in our residential volunteer accommodation if you like!!

    1. Dear Lydia,

      With many thanks for your message.

      We have fixed the leaving date now, it is the 29th March, if everything goes to plan we will arrive at Saltholme RSPB the afternoon of Thursday 10th April. We very much look forward to getting to you and celebrating the successful completion of the walk!

      We would be happy to give a talk to Saltholme locals and reserve staff about Turtle Doves, our journey and Operation Turtle Dove on arrival too, should this be of interest.

      That is very kind of you to offer accommodation and it would be great to take you up on the offer. That way we can recover and reflect for the evening before heading off to our respective homes!

      All the very best,


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