Visit Sandringham – on Peddar's Way

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Sandringham Estate Gates

Peddar’s Way Walk, Norfolk, UK

We had stayed overnight at the Ostrich Inn in a delightful village named Castle Acre. It was a clear morning. Only one cloud on the horizon and that was today’s walking distance from her to our next accommodation at Hunstanton 32 km away. It was too far to walk in one day.

Breakfast in the hotel’s large dining room. The cleaner’s 5 year-old son Joseph was showing off his Spiderman tattoo (removeable). Mary, Ray’s (the manager) girlfriend arrives. We get talking and she comes up with a solution, she offers us a lift to Sandringham which we accept. From there we only have about 15 km to Hunstanton.

A quick visit to St. James Church in the village to take some photos and return to the Ostrich. Pack the bags in Mary’s car and off we choof to Sandringham. On the way Mary tells us about how she and Ray met again after first having been at school together.

Mary let us out at the entrance gates at Sandringham and we thanked her for her hospitality. Sandringham is the Royal family’s country estate in Norfolk. Entry was free and the estate is open to the public all year. We walked past the ornate Norwich Gates and into the main building.

Our guide Martin spent some time with us giving the background to the place.

Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. The house, set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk and is at the heart of the 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate, 600 acres of which make up the woodland and heath of the Country Park.

Then a stop at the tearooms for an Eccles cake and a cup of tea. Followed by a visit to the museum, featuring a series of Christmas cards sent out by the Queen. There was also quite a collection of the automobiles the Royal Family have used. A walk through the gardens to the ornate Church of Mary Magdalene. Then to the visitor centre.

Carol catches a bus to Hunstanton, while I have decided to walk there.

I use the O/S map to find the quickest way via lanes and back roads. It’s quite enjoyable making my way across the countryside. I pass some interesting villages. Lots of partridges and grouse around. Some rabbits too. A clear blue sky. Some bridle paths enable me to limit my walking over metalled surfaces.

I walk along St. Thomas’Lane, and later along a private road and then past a lavender farm. Through Heacham and finally, quite done, in I arrive at Hunstanton. I find Sutton House Hotel and walk up the stairs to Room 2. Carol’s there.

After a shower and a change of clothes, some washing and a cup of tea we walk along the main road to Marine Hotel, which Mike (our host) recommended for dinner. Hunstanton being a seaside town, a seafood dinner was in order. We sit at a table next to Michael, who is up from London on his annual holiday.

Back at the bar of our hotel we meet two British vacationers who love country music and have been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Australia three times.

Tomorrow onto Burnham Overy Staithe, 24 km away.

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