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Sue Walker, The Ramblers
Thursday, March 29, 2012
This walk from the beach car park in Winterton is very varied, from the dunes next to the sea and along good tracks past the ruined St Mary’s Church in the woods that surround the impressive Burnley Hall, to the pretty little hamlet of West Somerton with another St Mary’s Church standing on a hill.
Start: Winterton Beach and Dunes car park
Map: Explorer OL40 G/R 498197
Distance: 7 miles
Public transport timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This little round-towered, thatched church is most interesting; it has wall paintings and also the grave of a giant in the churchyard. There are wide ranging views on Church Road leading to the church and also along Collis Lane when the walk leaves the church to continue to Hemsby.
The section back along the dunes (or, alternatively, via the beach) is always a pleasure.
For refreshment, there is the Winterton Dunes Cafe (call 01493 394931 for conformation) and the King’s Head, Hemsby.
Go to the far end of the car park away from the road and café, and turn left inland on a wide grassy track between the fishermen’s huts, and continue across the dunes towards the dwellings. On reaching the back of the houses, turn right for a few paces, then go left, leaving the dunes and into a loke between the houses to a road. ross over into Low Road opposite. Ignore the track on the left and continue ahead on the restricted byway soon with horse paddocks on the right. Go past Empsons Loke and the church over to the left and also eventually past a lane on the left. Follow the byway right and left and then past Manor Farm and ignoring another lane on the left. Still keep ahead on Low Road now through trees and soon past the ruins of the old St Mary’s Church on the left, now overtaken by ■ the trees, and on past the impressive Burnley Hall.
At the end of its tall brick wall turn right on a track through a gate and past a house. Then, after the next house, go left with the track and, as the concrete track bends right, go left on a signed track that soon becomes a dirt track. On reaching a metal gate, go beside it and then turn left along The Street past the interesting cottages. On reaching the road, turn right for a short distance and then carefully go left across the road into Church Road. Follow the road round to the left to visit St Mary’s Church.
On leaving from the church doorway, go to the hedge and turn right, being sure to look for the giant’s grave.
Continue round the east end of the church and left to a metal gate in the corner of the churchyard looking towards the tall tower of Winterton Church in the distance. Go through the gate and across a paddock to another metal gate. Then go down the bank to Collis Lane, turn right and continue past the wind turbines and on for nearly a mile to a T-junction. Turn left along Martham Road: it can be busy, but there is soon a verge. Continue past Mill Road, now on a pavement, to Hemsby.
Follow this road to a junction and go left, carefully across the road, to take the left fork, signed to the King’s Head (North Road). At the end of this road, just before the junction with The Street, go left past the public toilets, the bus stop and information board. Then go right across the planted area and cross the busy coast road on a pedestrian crossing. Turn left and then turn right at the mini roundabout into Beach Road. Follow the road past the holiday village and amusements. As the road bends right, go left into the Hemsby Beach and Dunes Car Park.
To walk back to Winterton along the beach, go across the car park and over the dunes on a steep uphill path and down the other side to the beach. Turn left along the beach for about one and a half miles until the café is spotted on the dunes with concrete blocks and orange netting fencing below on the beach. Go up the slope to the café and car park.
To walk back by the valley, go left to the end of the car park to a bank. Go through a gap and over a stile then continue ahead along the valley with dunes on either side for about one and a half miles. The path widens and narrows and there are several crossing paths. The path widens out with grass and pale green lichen again as it passes the old light house which is now a home, also the little round thatched houses of the Hermanus Leisure Centre. The path then narrows and splits into two, but either path can be used as they join together again further along. Go over another crossing path and continue ahead past some silver birch. There are some more crossing paths, but continue ahead past some new houses over to the left until reaching Beach Road. Turn right back to the car park
•This article was first published in December 2010.