The season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ has arrived and the main holiday season in North Norfolk has drawn to a close. We are now getting into the winter mindset, hoping that the ‘beast from the east’ won’t revisit. The lightweight walking shoes are cleaned and put away and the leather walking boots have been dragged from the back of the cupboard for their annual waterproofing treatment.
The area is still attracting visitors because it is half-term and we have been lucky to have some sun and warm days. Driving along the coast to Stiffkey recently I was surprised to see many cars parked at Salthouse Green and the Dun Cow public house was very busy.
Further along the coast road at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, the main and the overflow car park were full. I went inside and all the tables in the cafe were occupied. The place had a very pleasant ‘buzz’ about it. My experience is that ‘birders’ are sociable people and I love to see them making full use of the facilities at the Centre and, of course, enjoying the reserve.
The professional wildlife and landscape artist Steve Cale was exhibiting his very accomplished work at the Centre so I had a browse and – couldn’t resist – made a purchase.
I walked out across the marsh at Stiffkey – part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve – navigated my way around the twisting muddy creeks, crossed the three bridges and reached the beach. It was warm and the sun was shining; I paused to watch a curlew – my favourite bird – busily preening. From the foreshore the vastness of the flat open space of the saltmarsh becomes apparent. Just standing still and listening to the birds and the sea while looking across the water towards Blakeney Point was wonderful. What an enjoyable walk it was. I intend to do it again soon.
If you prefer you could walk from Blakeney to the car park at Stiffkey along the coastal path. There is a Coasthopper bus stop in Stiffkey village so getting back to Blakeney is not a problem.