Norfolk Coastal Walks:
Morston to Cley-next-the-Sea

We were really looking forward to walking the section of Norfolk Coast Path between Morston and Cley-next-the-Sea as this was our evening walk when we stayed in Blakeney for our holidays almost twenty years ago. This stretch of coast is where we fell in love with Norfolk, and even now, the glorious North Norfolk coast draws us back year after year.  Our Norfolk coastal walks series details our attempt to walk the Norfolk Coast Path between Hunstanton to Cromer, in a series of days out from our home in Northamptonshire. This sixth section is a short one of about 4 miles and is very easy to follow. And as we’re in Norfolk, it’s almost completely flat.

On a fine late October morning we left our Northamptonshire home for the drive to Morston, where we parked the car at Morston Quay. If you’re a National Trust member, remember to bring your membership card as the parking will be free. For more information about Morston Quay, please visit the National Trust website here.

Our plan was to walk from Morston to Cley-next-the-Sea and get the bus back to Morston. If you’re feeling more energetic and prefer a circular walk, you could combine our Blakeney to Morston and Blakeney to Cley-next-the-Sea walks for a walk of about 6.5 miles.

Sunset at Blakeney Harbour © essentially-england.comSunset at Blakeney Harbour ©

Norfolk Coastal Walks - Morston to Cley-next-the-Sea Map

Our walk follows the Norfolk Coast Path, which is well signposted, but we do recommend taking some form of map just to make sure you follow the route correctly. If you use mapping software, then you can follow our route on your mobile device. If you use a GPS tracking device and need the gpx file, then use the “Discover more info about this tour” link on the Komoot map to download the file. We usually carry both forms of mapping on us just in case something goes wrong!

Depending on the time of year, the weather, and the tides there may be the chance to take a ferry trip from Morston Quay out towards Blakney Point to see the seals. During our summer holidays we used to walk out to Blakeney Point from Cley-next-the-Sea Beach, but recently we got in the habit of coming up on Christmas Day to lunch on the beach before walking out to the seals. Over the years we’ve been visiting the number of seals has certainly increased - which suggests they love North Norfolk, and find plenty of food just off the coast.

Morston Quay on the North Norfolk Coast © essentially-england.comMorston Quay ©

We left Morston Quay on the arrow-straight Norfolk Coast Path signposted towards Blakeney. The path runs along the top of the sea defences towards the twin towers of St. Nicholas’ Church in Blakeney on the horizon. The path was in good condition even after all the rain we had in early Spring 2024.

Walking here brought back so many fond memories of our summer evening walks after a day out cycling all those years ago. I think every evening dinner would have included asparagus and then we’d have a trot along the coast listening to the birds settle and watching the sun go down. On one evening in Blakeney we caught the sunset perfectly, ending with a fantastic pink and purple sky.

The Norfolk Coast Path Between Morston and Blakeney © essentially-england.comThe Norfolk Coast Path Between Morston and Blakeney ©

The path enters Blakeney at the end of the small harbour. We just love the view here and were so lucky to find it during our first Norfolk holiday. In the Middle Ages, Blakeney was a port large and deep enough to accommodate trading ships, but the deposition of shingle on Blakeney Point led to the entrance channel and harbour silting up. Now it’s only suitable for small pleasure boats.

Before you leave Blakeney to continue on your walk, we'd recommend having a look around this lovely village. There are cafes and pubs for refreshments, a small supermarket, a deli, a few seaside shops, the remnants of the Guildhall, great views from the church tower, and a lovely little duck pond with information boards to help you identify the birds. We got some tasty ice cream and watched the ducks.

Also, make sure you check the tide heights marked on the wall of the Blakeney Hotel. They’re quite worrying!

Blakeney Harbour © essentially-england.comBlakeney Harbour ©

After walking to the other side of the harbour, we rejoined the Norfolk Coast Path on the far side of the large car parking area. The gravelled footpath along the top of a flood defence bank leads away from Blakeney and heads seawards past lots of parked boats, and out into marsh land. Here you can look over to the right and see the windmill in Cley-next-the-Sea, which was our finish point.

Depending on the time of year, this area is very good for bird watching, and several times as the sun was setting after we’d finished our Christmas Day walk to Blakeney Point, we would see a murmuration of starlings swirling and dipping. It’s quite a special sight.

Footpath Beside the River Glaven Heading Towards Cley-next-the-Sea © essentially-england.comFootpath Beside River the Glaven Heading Towards Cley-next-the-Sea
Fishing Boats on Cley Beach © essentially-england.comFishing Boats on Cley Beach

The footpath eventually joins the bank of the River Glaven and heads in an easterly direction. Cley Beach and the North Sea are just a few hundred metres away and you can see fishing boats drawn up onto the beach. On a nice clear day, you’ll be able to see a windfarm out at sea. However, if you want to get to the beach the only way is to go into Cley-next-the-Sea, cross the river, and go back out again.

The Footpath into Cley-next-the-Sea © essentially-england.comThe Footpath into Cley-next-the-Sea ©

The last stretch is always great if it’s a windy day as the reed beds are close to the footpath. Their rustling, plus the wind singing through the stalks is a lovely sound that will stay with you as you drive home. There are also good opportunities to capture nice photos of the windmill.

The footpath joins the A149 road, and we turned left to go into the village. It’s well worth having a look around Cley-next-the-Sea as there are some lovely galleries, a smokery, a great deli, and a pub for food and refreshments. We timed our walk just about right and only had a few minutes until the bus arrived to take us back to Morston. What a lovely section this was in our Norfolk coastal walks series...

The Windmill in Cley-next-the-Sea © essentially-england.comThe Windmill in Cley-next-the-Sea ©

Are You Planning a Holiday in Norfolk?

Where You Could Stay

Norfolk has no shortage of fabulous holiday accommodation whether you want to spend time on the beach, love boating or want to explore inland. You may covet a tiny fisherman's cottage like the one in Blakeney we kept returning to. You may like something larger and more modern like a loft overlooking the Norfolk Broads, or the right place for you may be a chic city apartment perfectly placed to explore Norwich...

Sleeps 2

The Clockhouse
North Lopham
Sleeps 2

Lakeside Lodge
East Harling
Sleeps 2

To see other holiday cottages in Norfolk click here. Or check out holiday cottages in other parts of England by clicking here.

Or you could try a family orientated holiday resort in Norfolk. There's plenty of choice...

If you need to find a hotel, then try one of these search platforms...


What You Could See and Do

It's next to impossible to be bored in Norfolk, there's just so much to do and see. The list below includes some of our favourite places

For more ideas try our Things to do in Norfolk page...

For more walking ideas return from our Norfolk Coastal walks page to the Norfolk page.