The Paston Way is a 20 miles Norfolk footpath linking North Walsham and Cromer. The path takes its name from the Paston Family who, during the Medieval and Tudor periods, were the dominant and wealthy landowners in which much of the trail passes. The Paston Family in turn had taken their name after the north eastern coastal village of Paston. The route can be walked within a day and there is ample public transport connecting start and end of the route. The first time I walked this route I was so impressed that I walked it again the next year. It encompasses both coutryside and seaside and Cromer is a fitting end to the walk with plenty of refreshment houses to recuperate in.
Date of Walk:
Start point: North Walsham
End Point: Cromer
Start Time: 08:30
End time: 18:00
Distance: 20 miles
Walkers: Griffmonster, Kat
Weather conditions: Lovely warm and sunny day on both occassions
Path taken: The path starts in the centre of North Walsham and heads out to the old railway track. Walk as far as you can along the old trackbed where markers point you across the fields. An OS map is helpful here as the waymarkers could be a little better. Eventually you come to Bacton from where the route follows the beach to Mundsley. At Mundsley it heads inland to Gimmingham, then South and North Repps. At North Reps it heads over Hungry Hill and back to the Coast at Overstrand. Then a delightful walk over the top of the cliffs brings you into Cromer. There are a few offshoots to the walk adding in detours to the villages of Paston and South Repps. The second time we walked this we found that it was high tide at Bacton and was impossible to get along the beach. We had to walk the main road through to Paston from where a walkway/cyclepath takes you to Mundsley. In future it would be best to check the tide times and if the tide is high, take the spur directly to Paston in order to miss out the walk along the main road.
Walk difficulty: Easy
Pubs: (listed here from both walks)
- The Ship, Mundsley: (http://www.mundesleyship.co.uk/) I have vistied this pub a few times and although nothing spectacular they did serve a decent enough pint of Woodfordes Wherry. However, on the last occasion the only ales they had on were Greene King IPA, Ruddles County, Hardy and Hansons Olde Trip and Morlands Bitter. Don't be fooled, these are all Greene King brews and have nothing in common of their original brews. I tried Ruddles County and was appalled by what they had done to this once classic beer. In future I will seek another watering hole. Big thumbs down.
- The Manor Hotel Mundsley: (http://www.manorhotelmundesley.co.uk/) Visited as part of the Woodfordes Ale Trail 2009. Dissappointed with the Wherry as it was warm and stale but it was a hot day and I think it was the first pulled thrugh the line. However, I expect better from a hotel.
- Sea Marge, Overstrand: (http://www.seamargehotel.co.uk/) Another bar visited as part of the Woodfordes ale trail. A very plush establishment and I half expected to be shown the door as we entered with walking boots and rucksack. However, the staff were charming enough and served us up a most refreshing pint of Wherry. We sat on the veranda ovelooking the sea, and just out of the way of the ladybirds. The beer was as expensive as an Adnams pub, but I suppose you expect that from such a high class hotel!.
- White Horse, Overstrand: (http://www.whitehorseoverstrand.co.uk/) Once again, I have visted this pub on a fair few occassions and they always have at least one guest ale on. Last occassion it was Humpty Dumpty Little Sharpie from Reedham, which was excellent. It was sad to see the other pumps taken up with Greene King pretend brews.
- Ye Olde Red lion Cromer: (http://redlion-cromer.co.uk/) I first visted this hotel on completion of the Peddars Way and North Norfolk Coast path. I still go back there on account of their guest beers, always something different although not usually local brews.
- Preserved oil engine beside the Gimingham mill: (http://www.norfolkmills.co.uk/Watermills/gimingham.html) There is not much information about the mill, but the engine stands beside the road. Take a look at the website for better information before walking this route.
- Shrieking Pit up on Hungry Hiill: This is one of the real beauties of walking - I have tried to find information about this folklore on the internet and there is little out there - you have to walk up Hungry Hill to the Shrieking Pit find out what it is all about from reading the story that some kind soul has printed out and pinned to a tree, or maybe it is just a warning. Briefly, local legend has it that the pit is deep enough to drown a horse and cart and the story goes that after ending an adulterous affair the beautiful young maiden Esmerelda succombed to the pit. Some say she can still be seen and heard on a dark night! If you want to know the full story I suggest you get your walking boots out and walk up to the Shrieking Pit yourself..... but dont go after nightfall, just in case!
- A Host of Village Churches: The walk is charactersed by the numerous churches, in fact you can navigate the route heading for the churches! Those that can be seen include: Saint Nicholas, North Walsham; Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Knapton; All Saints, Edingthorpe; Saint Margaret, Paston; Saint Andrew, Bacton; All Saints, Mundesley; All Saints, Gimingham; Saint Botolph, Trunch; Saint Nicholas, Swafield; Saint Giles, Bradfield; Saint John the Baptist's Head, Trimingham; Saint James, Southrepps; Saint Michael and All Angels, Sidestrand; Saint Mary the Virgin, Northrepps; Saint Martin, Overstrand; Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Cromer
Notes: On the first occassion that we walked this there was a plague of ladybirds. I can honestly say I have never seen so many, they were so abundant theat the streets of Mundsley ran red with them quite literally.
Equipment: Day pack
Accommodation: North Walsham
Transport: Train from Cromer to North Walsham
View Paston Way in a larger map
Last Updated: 2014-01-02Z