Stout walking shoes are advisable, a pair of binoculars would also be useful. Some of this walk includes country roads. Please be careful of traffic when walking on roads.
Turn left out of the station heading towards the town down West Street, turning right into Hall Road on the corner of which stands the Methodist church. A recreation ground is on the left at the end of which the Weavers' Way long distance footpath is signposted. Like our route it follows the road, passing belts of trees and a large flint house on the right (Cromer Hall).
Just past a pair of cottages on the right is a Weavers' Way sign into a field. Take this, keeping to the left edge of the field and then crossing the field towards the right. The waymarking then points you to the right, passing to the left of a small copse. At the corner of this copse, continue diagonally towards the railway bridge at the corner of the field.
Cross over the red brick railway bridge and continue into the next field following the left edge. Keep to this field edge until it winds its way to the top left hand corner of the field, and an opening through a hedge. Walk down the few steps onto a road which is dwarfed by huge trees. Turn right and then after about 20 metres turn left along a narrow path, signposted for the Weavers' Way. The path starts off enclosed but then the countryside opens out, until it narrows again close to a cottage and barn and turns into a concrete road. This joins the main B1436. Turn right until you reach the tiny Felbrigg village green and war memorial.
Take the track to the left of this, leaving the main road, still following the Weavers' Way signs. The track ends at a gate just past some classic flint cottages. Go through the gate and follow the Weavers' Way sign which goes straight across the field towards the left of a bank of trees. Turn left when you join the road which then sweeps round to Felbrigg Hall.
It is worth taking time to explore some of the magnificent walks of Felbrigg which are listed on a noticeboard just before you reach the front of the hall.
Having finished exploring, do not retrace your steps the way you came in but follow the way out signs to the road. Turn right here and the road passes through 'the Lions Mouth', so called because of its shape. When this road rises level with the main A148 (Cromer to Holt Road) cross over the verge and this road. Take a narrow road which is visible to your left, signed to West Runton. This is also lined by trees and woods. Follow this road, which bends to the right, and then is joined by another road. Keep right until it reaches the centre to the National Trust Roman Camp and Beeston Regis Heath.
Turn off the road to the right and then take the first path which forks to the left. It is marked low down on a post with a yellow arrow and long distance path symbol. This takes you down into a gravel gully. The track turns into a path, passes a campsite, then at the junction of paths continue straight to the right of a large hillock. Go through a kissing gate and over a plank bridge. Cross a small patch of scrub and the path joins a track. Turn left, and immediately right up a track signposted Cromer on the coast path sign. The track quickly turns to a path, becomes enclosed, curls to the left and then joins a track on a bend. Bear left, passing some farm buildings, cross straight over the road and go under a brick railway arch and continue up the track between Stone Hill and Roundabout Hill, ignoring all tracks to the right and left. Ahead lies the church tower of Cromer. As you near the railway line, the track joins an Anglian Water access road. Cross straight over this onto an old tarmac road, and bear right, passing a railway bridge. The road comes out amid modern houses on the outskirts of Cromer. This joins the main road, turn left for the railway station.
1. Felbrigg Hall
Felbrigg is a magnificent Jacobean mansion set in acres of landscaped gardens. The house, which now belongs to the National Trust, has originally been built by the Wyndham family who had established their seat there in the 15th century. In 1863 the estate was sold to John Ketton, a successful Norwich merchant who had made his fortune out of oil-cake and cattle feed. His purchase of the hall, lock, stock and barrel was something of a talking point at the time. But it was through this purchase that the estate gained a worthy final owner. Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, a bachelor, inherited the hall from his parents in 1932. Affectionately known as the 'Squire' he continued the updating of the house and grounds which his parents had begun, installing electricity in 1954 and finally central heating in 1967 - but only in the modest flat which he adopted as winter quarters.
2. Woodlands of Felbrigg
As well as hosting a beautiful Jacobean mansion, the Felbrigg estate has a richness and diversity of historic woodland which goes back to the very earliest days of woodland management. When one of the Wyndham family, William Wyndham 1, began planting in the 1680's, he was pioneering and leading the way in creating tree plantations.
The last owner Robert William Ketton-Cremer, was also passionate about the woodland and is thought to have planted as many as 200,000 trees over 40 years, many of them in Victory Wood. With its two great rides forming a v-shape, it was conceived as a memorial to Victory in Europe Day. The Scots pines used to support a dense population of red squirrels, but these have now all but disappeared as grey squirrels have taken over.
3. Roman Camp
Do not be fooled, this was never actually a Roman settlement or camp of any kind. The heathland area around the camp is dotted with shallow circular iron-working pits dating from about 850 to 1100 AD. Beacon Hill is a more fitting name for this area, since it is known that it was used as a look-out point from which to keep watch for invasion from the sea.
4. Holiday Trade
Until the railway opened in 1877 Cromer was a select watering hole patronised mainly by the gentry. G Christopher Davies, a prominent local travel writer, in about 1873 wrote: "In the months of August and September Cromer is full of the better class of seaside visitors. In these months it is as nearly perfect as a watering place can be."
The railway put Cromer in the reach of many more day trippers, and the town soon responded with the opening of boarding houses and hotels to cater for the every whim of visitors. Some fishermen gave up their old cottages to let them to visitors and others turned their hands to the new fangled bathing machines.
Text from 'Discovering North Norfolk and the broads' by permission of Debbie Bartlet.