My family are ‘outdoorsy’ people and have memberships to RSPB nature reserves where they go to savour the natural beauty and wildlife on offer. I’ll be honest; I personally spend way too much time hiding behind my laptop so this year, I’m making plans to explore more of the UK and more importantly, learning how to get back to basics again.
Norfolk is a 4-hour drive away from home so is somewhere that we’d spend a few days exploring (any excuse for a mini-break is just fine with me). Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful cottages and retreats for us to rent which would allow us to take our time discovering nature in this charming part of Britain. I’m a sucker for itineraries so here’s what I have planned so far for our summer trip to the coast.
RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve
This reserve is free to visit and one place to witness two of the UK’s great wildlife spectacles. On big tides, as water covers the vast mudflats of the Wash, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed off their feeding grounds and onto the roost banks and islands in front of the RSPB hides.
In mid-winter, you may even be rewarded with the sight of thousands of pink-footed geese flying to or from the overnight roosts. Large numbers of common terns and black-headed gulls nest on the reserve in summer, when there is a spectacular display of shingle flowers. I’ll pack my binoculars then!
Address: Snettisham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 7LR
Tucked down a little track, Horsey Beach has no facilities – just peace and quiet. This appeals to me for so many reasons. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a picnic on the beach, perched on sand dunes while I read a book without any distractions. I can imagine taking a sunset stroll here and breathing in the evening sky.
From the top of the marram-covered bank (marram is an original East Anglian word, deriving from Old Norse words for sea and grass) there are occasionally basking seals. A lovely break from the usual seaside tourist noise and attractions.
Norfolk Coast Path
The Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton in west Norfolk round to Sea Palling on the northeast Norfolk coast. The majority of this walking trail runs through the dramatic landscape of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This would be a lovely opportunity to spot a few famous Norfolk poppies in spring too.
Do you have any other places to recommend in Norfolk?