Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail
As its title suggests, this National Trail links together two separate long distance paths, each with very different landscapes and history. Peddars Way was a Roman military road built about 60AD, following much of the course of the older prehistoric Icknield Way. Peddars Way, of course, is not a Roman name, but dates from the Middle Ages. As with most roman routes it appears as straight as an arrow on a map, heading NNW from Thetford to the coast at Holme-next-the-sea. On the ground, however, the Way does not give this impression, although route finding is straightforward. Because it served a military function, that of getting Roman legionnaires from A to B as quickly as possible to suppress the activities of Queen Boudicea and the Iceni, Peddars Way does not link settlements. Consequently it is nearly always quiet and in places almost remote.
The Norfolk Coast Path, heading east from Holme-next-the-sea to Cromer, is a contrasting seashore environment of low cliffs, sweeping sandy beaches (amongst the finest in England), sand dunes, saltmarshes, mudflats and some internationally important bird sanctuaries. There is more habitation too, with many historic fishing villages along the coast and towns which can be busy during the holiday season. The initial overriding impression during the first part of the coastal section is of vast space, big skies and sand, sand, sand. The beach walk along to Holkham Bay is especially enjoyable, although walking on sand can be hard going. If you are interested in bird watching this area will be especially interesting.By linking the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path with the Weavers Way and Angles Way it is possible to walk the grand circular tour of Norfolk. (see LDP entries for these paths).
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