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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Proposed Route for the Norfolk Coast Path from Hopton to Sea Palling Released

Proppsed route through the Winterton dunes

Details of the proposed route for the 19.2 miles of the Norfolk Coast Path between Hopton and Sea Palling

Details have been published for the proposed route of the Norfolk leg of English Coastal Footpath between Hopton to Sea Palling. Much of the proposed route is along existing footpaths and walked routes as well as beach sections. The entire distance can be walked at present either following the proposed route or just using the beach, given the right tide conditions. This proposal, if adopted, will extend the Norfolk Coast Path from Hunstanton to Hopton.

Sea Palling to Hopton Walk - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
Sea Palling View in OS Mapnew window | View in Google Mapnew window
End Point
Hopton View in OS Mapnew window | View in Google Mapnew window
Total Walk distance
19.2 miles
Walk difficulty


The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. The links include published hard copy as well as online plots and downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.

Online Ordnance Survey Route
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Online OpenStreetMap Route
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Online Google Route
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GPX data for route (download)

Walk Notes

On the 29th September 2014 Natural England released their proposed routes for the Norfolk section of the English Coast Path between Hopton and Sea Palling. The details can be found at Natural England's Website with an overview and full details available from the website.

The proposed route uses a mixture of existing public footpaths, existing walking routes that do not have formal access rights, beach sections and some newly established paths. If implemented, this will give access to virtually all of the Norfolk Coast from Hunstanton to the Suffolk border at Hopton. The only remaining section without any coastal access will be between Kings Lynn and Hunstanton, a proposal for which is estimated to start in 2015/16. The section between Hunstanton and Weybourne, although part of the existing Norfolk Coast Path, is also expected to be included in the English Coast Path once initial discussions and investigations have been completed and a proposal prepared. The legislation that implements the English Coast Path will allow for coastal erosion so that the path will migrate inland with any encroachment.

This proposal has been submitted to the Secretary of State and is displayed both on line and at various public buildings. Formal representations and objections about the report can be made and must be received by Natural England no later than 5.30pm on 24 November 2014. Such objections will be considered before the Secretary of State makes a final decision about the report. If accepted, the proposal will become law and appropriate changes to the existing paths and work on new paths will begin in 2015.

Most of the proposed route can be presently walked with details of some of these walks available on this site. There is, however, one short section that will feature a new path to connect Waxham to Sea Palling via a route through the dunes. This is a very welcome inclusion. Although the beach is usually accessible through this section, at high tides and spring tides one is forced to walk the main coast road which is undesirable at the best of times. This was the case in October 2009 when the images on this page were taken. On that occasion, due to tide conditions, the road between Sea Palling had to be walked and the rest of the hike followed the proposed route, including the alternative route along the cliffs between Hemsby and California Gap.

The full route of the proposal can be found in five chapters available from website and also includes an index of the complete route, plus details for making representations.

  • Hopton-on-Sea to Sea Palling overview (PDF, 2.58MB, 36 pages) An overview of the proposed route

  • Hopton-on-Sea to Sea Palling index map (PDF, 488KB, 1 page) A small scale overview of the full proposed route

  • Chapter 1 - Hopton-on-Sea to Great Yarmouth (PDF, 7.41MB, 13 pages) The route uses the beach between Hopton-on-Sea and Gorleston Cliffs, then existing paths, pavements and promenades through Gorleston and Great Yarmouth,.

  • Chapter 2 - Great Yarmouth to Caister Point (PDF, 5.36MB, 7 pages) The route follows existing walked routes and public footways throughout keeping to the coastline and maintaining good views of the sea except between North Beach and Caister Holiday Park. Here the views of the sea are slightly reduced as the proposed route of the trail is set back from the coast.

  • Chapter 3 - Caister Point to Long Beach Estate, Hemsby (PDF, 4.82MB, 10 pages) The route follows existing walked routes including public rights of way throughout. The route is along the beach between Caister and Hemsby with a proposed alternative along the cliffs between California Gap and Hemsby which is subject to tidal encroachment and coastal erosion. From the beach car park at Hemsby northwards the trail will use existing paths through the dunes with limited views of the coast

  • Chapter 4 - Long Beach Estate, Hemsby to Warren Farm, Horsey (PDF, 5.55MB, 11 pages) The route follows existing walked routes, including public rights of way, throughout. The route will use the seaward side of the dunes between Beach Road, Winterton and Winterton Ness with the rest of the section routed through the dunes.

  • Chapter 5 - Warren Farm, Horsey to Sea Palling (PDF, 4.94MB, 8 pages) The route follows a mixture of newly established paths and existing walked routes. It includes short sections of public footpath and footway at Waxham and Sea Palling. OF particular note is the new proposed path between Waxham and Sea Palling where tidal conditions curently force walkers to use the busy coast road.

Path of proposed route at California
Path of proposed route at California


The details can be seen in each chapter of the proposed route.


Below are a selection of images taken from from the photo album for this walk. Feel free to browse through these or click on an image to view a larger version in the Gallery.

Summary of Document Changes

Last Updated: 2019-12-24

2014-09-30 : original publication
2019-12-23 : adjusted to take into account the relocation of the start of the Stour and Orwell Walk and the end to the Suffolk Coast Path


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