For our last Norfolk holiday, we rented a holiday cottage in Stiffkey (pronounced stew-key) as our usual Blakeney cottage had become a private residence. The criteria for our choice of cottage were the same as they'd been before: pretty village, quiet and relaxing, a dry space for the tandem, and access to the saltmarshes for an evening stroll.
Stiffkey had them all and just as in Blakeney, we came up with another of our short Norfolk walks. Around an hour long and ideal for making use of the long summer twilight, the Stiffkey route takes in the village, the saltmarsh, and a pristine, empty beach!
The North Norfolk coast is blessed with an abundance of paths and lanes, so Norfolk walks can start anywhere. If you're not staying in Stiffkey, then it's probably best to start this particular walk from outside St. John’s Church, as there is an area for off-road parking. It’s also worth popping in to the attractive flint-walled church and walking around the graveyard, where you can see the remaining towers from Stiffkey Old Hall.
If you use Komoot.com GPS mapping software or GPX files then you can download our walking route here.
Our 3.2-mile walk leaves the church and descends into Stiffkey along the A149. Some care is needed as there is not a pedestrian pavement and the road is narrow. Luckily, the traffic is light in this area, and we’ve never encountered a problem when walking or cycling through this short stretch!
At the junction with Bridge Street, take a detour and walk to the road bridge over the River Stiffkey, taking in pretty river views along the way. Perhaps an even better idea is to grab a coffee and homemade cakes from the popular village shop and sit by the bridge. You'll find the village shop just after the road junction. While wandering through Stiffkey, you’ll notice that most of the buildings are built with traditional flint stone walls, and intricately patterned!
Back to the A149, and soon after the village shop the road gains a pedestrian pavement on the left-hand side along with views over rolling green landscape. Outside the Red Lion pub, the pavement turns into a gravelled/stony track that leaves the road and enters woodland. There is a convenient bench here to take a break and admire the view!
The path follows the course of the River Stiffkey until it re-emerges back on the A419 road. Continue along the narrow pavement until you seen a turning on the right called Greenway. Walk to the car park at the end of Greenway. The Norfolk Coast Path crosses at this point.
To explore the saltmarshes and beach area continue straight along a well-worn track that will take you through the saltmarsh and across creeks to a stunning sandy beach.
After taking in the views, retrace your steps back to the car park, and turn left to join the Norfolk Coast Path in the Morston direction. From the path you will have terrific views across the saltmarsh and excellent opportunities to see the wildlife.
Turn right on to a narrow path at a break in the trees on your right-hand side. Continue along the path away from the trees and across fields towards a copse straight ahead of you. Follow the path along the edge of the trees to re-join the A419 about a 100 m northwest of the parking area outside Stiffkey church.
This made a lovely evening stroll, but could easily be a peaceful day out. You get to explore the small, pretty village of Stiffkey, the saltmarshes, and a sandy beach which would make a great spot for a picnic. We never saw a soul on the beach, so you may get it all to yourself!
We love this part of the country and were really sad when the holiday cottage we liked so much in Blakeney became a private home. However, it did make us research the area again and try something new - Honey Barrel Cottage in Stiffkey. Again, we were close to the salt marshes and could explore new parts of the north Norfolk coast path. So my selection of holiday cottages are spread along our favourite parts...
Or, if you fancy staying in a hotel here are some nice examples...
Please click here if you would like to review more Norfolk hotels.
Are you feeling in need of a holiday yet? Here are a few more pages that might give you ideas...