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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Trimingham: The place we chose to call home

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

If you’ve read our blog on our garden makeover with Holt Garden Centre, you’ll know our story of buying our forever home in Norfolk. I won’t bore you with the detail again but we searched long and hard for the perfect Norfolk village to live….and after living here for a year now, I can definitely confirm we found the perfect place.

There’s probably very few of you that will have heard of Trimingham (unless you live locally), and for good reason; there isn’t really anything here. Which is why, on the day we moved in and got stuck in a huge tailback of traffic all queuing to get into the village, we were really confused. What on earth could all these people be flocking here for?

Turns out it was four very rare birds. In the same month they flew to England and decided to make Trimingham their home for the summer, as did we.

Thousands of people flocked to Trimingham. News spread far and wide and the village we purposely picked because it was quiet and sleepy, suddenly was the exact opposite.

Don’t worry, the irony isn’t lost on me. I have a moral quandary every day when it comes to running Norfolk Uncovered. Norfolk is beautiful and everything I do is about sharing hidden gems and shouting from the rooftops about them. I definitely don’t have the same reach as the Local and National Newspapers that were shouting about the rare birds in Trimingham and sending lots of people flocking, but I do know I often ruffle feathers when I find hidden little villages that people moved to specifically because they are sleepy and quiet and they don’t want someone ruining that.

I also know that shouting about beautiful places makes people get in their cars and travel, and more travel means more damage to our environment. When The Guardian did an article on “a car-free break on the Norfolk Coast” which featured Winterton-on-Sea, I think the words “car-free” bypassed the majority of it’s readers judging by the car park the weekend after the article was released.

What’s scary when it comes to the rare birds in Trimingham is that they shouldn’t be here. The climate shouldn’t be right for them. They are Bee-eaters and would normally nest in Southern Europe and North Africa before flying down to Southern Africa for the winter. It’s a stark reminder of our overheating planet.

That said, tourism is one of the greatest and oldest contributors to Norfolk’s economy. It supports more than 54,000 jobs and contributes about £2.8bn to the local economy, and part of what I want to achieve with Norfolk Uncovered is supporting local businesses to get more business. To uncover these hidden gems and get people flocking so that the small businesses that are based there can flourish.

Trimingham has been in the news a lot recently. Most recently because the Bee-eaters have returned to the same spot they nested last year (the first time this has ever happened in the UK). But also just because of just how beautiful and undiscovered it is, featuring heavily in The Telegraph’s article on “The 22-mile stretch of British seaside that has it all - except tourist” last month.

So here’s a locals guide to Trimingham. All the beautiful walks. All the stunning views. All the local businesses that you should visit. But most importantly, how you can get here by public transport. If these Bee-eaters are teaching us anything, it’s that we all need to play our part to be kinder to our planet and slow down this climate change as quickly as we can.

Public Transport Routes:

Train to North Walsham and then bus to Trimingham which runs roughly every hour.

Train to Cromer and then bus to Trimingham which runs roughly every hour (or it’s a beautiful walk along the coast path for those who enjoy longer walks).

Bus times can be found here.

For me, the best way to experience the magic of Trimingham is on this circular walk. Trimingham offers an incredible mix of coast and country (and now rare birds) and this walk offers you all of those things in one fell swoop.

When I mapped the walk I started from The Church, however, I’d recommend starting slightly outside the village and working your way round; saving the coast path for last. The views from the cliffs will take you breath away and you’ll want to sit and soak it in. So definitely leave it for the end! You absolutely won’t regret it.

My advice would be to get off the bus at Woodland Holiday Park, and then you’re going to walk directly into the park to start your walk.

Woodland has a lovely cafe / restaurant, Marlings, which does great coffee and also some incredible light bites (which we did a review of in this blog), as well as breakfast, lunches and dinners. It serves food 9am - 9pm so is a great option if you’re wanting to start (or end) your walk with some food!

If you’re not dining at Marlings, you’re going to want to walk through Woodland Holiday Park anyway. Walk all the way down the drive until you get to the main building with the leisure centre and restaurant inside and keep walking straight so that the building is on your right as you pass it.

Walk all the way down through the holiday park and when you get to the bottom turn left and you’ll see a children’s play park. To the right of the play park, you’ll see two bins and you want to walk directly in-between them. This will take you out of the park and onto a lovely track which heads towards a beautiful flint farmhouse (Blackberry Cottage). When you see the barn that’s slightly in front of their house, you’re going to turn right and head up and out of the farm on their drive (it’s a public right of way). Walk all the way down their drive, taking in the beautiful fields and when you get to the end, you will arrive on the ‘quiet lanes’.

When I did the walk today (a Friday afternoon in the middle of June), I didn’t see a single car on the quiet lanes. Cars can drive on them but they’re more footpaths than roads and it’s super rare you ever meet a car on them (and you can hear cars coming for miles given how quiet it is in Trimingham so you’ll have plenty of time to get out of the way).

Turn left out of the Blackberry Cottage's drive and you’re then taking a fairly immediately right. You then stay on this road all the way back into the village. It’s about a 15 minute walk and the views of all of the farmland are just incredible. The way the blue of the sky touches the green of the trees and the wheat dances in the wind, is mesmerising. The sky seems to be endless and if you’re lucky, you’ll see hare racing across the fields, or muntjack deer sauntering across the quiet lanes in front of you. It’s just magical.

This road that you’re now on will bend left at the end, about 12 minutes in, and bring you onto Middle Street, which is a gorgeous little lane of the cutest cottages.

The site where the Bee-eaters are currently nesting is actually now on your right (you’ll probably see some police tape cordoning it off) but you can’t access it this way. If you do want to tie in seeing them though, when you get to the bottom of Middle Street, turn right and along the permissive footpath along the field and it’s literally 2/3 minutes straight down.

For those who aren’t interested in the birds (and Trimingham is still beautiful and well worth the trip regardless), you want to go left at the end of Middle Street and walk along the pavement all the way down Mundesley Road to Trimingham Church (St John the Baptist’s Head). It’s a stunning building and well worth a look inside if it’s open.

Opposite the church is a little road (Loop Road) which has a signpost for “The Pilgrim Shelter”. This gorgeous little building is an architectural one off and was built in 1935 by the Reverend at the time and his gardener to be a social club for men in the village. Luckily, women are definitely allowed and during summer, some of my lovely neighbours often open it up as a community cafe, serving teas, coffees and cakes to those walking the North Norfolk Coast path. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s open on one of the days you visit as it is just the cutest little place (and all my neighbours are lovely). If you’re interested in learning about the “Deep History Coast” there’s also some really interesting fact to read on the monoliths that have been built outside the building.

What’s coming next on your walk though is truly the magic of Trimingham….the coastline. You’re going to walk past the Pilgrim Shelter (with it on your right) and curve left down a track that looks as if it’s just heading to a farm (it’s ok, it doesn’t). When you see our neighbours beautiful horses playing in the field on your left, you’re going to turn right into some woods. You should spot the Coast Path arrows on a post right by a sign for “Pilgrims Pottery Workshop”.

As you come out of the woods (you’ll literally only be in there for 1 minute), the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the beauty of this part of the coast path will fill your senses. There’s couple of viewing areas (and benches). I really could sit there for hours just watching those waves and enjoying the absolute peace and tranquility of this part of the coast path. It really is just a little slice of heaven.

The most incredible view of all, if yet still to come. Keep walking along the coast path and you’re going to go through another set of woods. In the middle of the woods you’ll find two trails. One left, and one right. Take the trail that takes you right and hold your breath as you come out of the woods and back onto the coast path….because the view that you’re about to see is exceptional. I might have seen this view hundreds of times now but literally every time I walk out of those woods, it stops me in my tracks. The way the coastline is etched away and meanders in varying directions. The white of the sand and the blue of the water. How far you can see. All of it, literally all of it, is just beautiful. Beyond beautiful. Catch it at sunset and you’ll never want to go walking anywhere else again in your life. It really is just perfection.

The rest of the walk is clearly signposted as Woodland Holiday Park have a sign on the coast path directing you to them (and their restaurant Marlings). As soon as you see the sign, you’re turning left and walking through fields to get back to exactly where you got off the bus.

It’s about a 40 minute walk in total (mostly flat) and for me offers everything that is beautiful about Norfolk…and you’ll most likely get it all to yourself!

If you fancy making more of a day of it I’ve got a few suggestions (all of which we do regularly). If you get the train to Cromer before getting the bus to Trimingham, either:

  • Stop at Fig & Olive in Cromer before getting the bus to Trimingham and get yourself everything you could possibly need for a picnic. It’s the most gorgeous deli (imagine Whole Foods but better). After your walk, you can then have a picnic on the coast path. Looking out at the incredible view of the rugged cliffs of Trimingham, all the way down to Cromer, is just the most amazing way to end your walk (and it’ll be the most delicious thing to do too if you’ve been shopping at Fig & Olive).

  • Get off the bus nearer the Bee-eaters (Middle Street) and start your walk there instead. This means you’ll finish your circular walk at The Mundesley side of Trimingham and then means you can finish by walking along the Coast Path to Mundesley (about another 40 minute walk). There’s a brilliant pub there called The Ship, which has it’s own Fish & Chip hut out the front. On a warm day, there’s nothing better than sitting in the beer garden (which has just been voted one of the best in the UK), looking out at the beach and the crashing waves, while enjoying some brilliant fish & chips. When you order them, they even give you a buzzer so you don’t have to queue and can just enjoy your drinks in the beer garden and your buzzer will go once they’re ready!

  • For the more adventurous (and this is something we do all the time), you can walk to The Suffield Arms (sister pub to The Gunton Arms) from Trimingham (we’ll add this walking route another day but in the meantime, it’s easy to follow on an OS map and takes about an hour). The food at The Suffield Arms is INSANE. If you’re wanting to sit in the restaurant I advise you book well in advance but in the stunning beer garden and inside the cozy bar area of the pub, it’s first come first served on tables and the tapas menu is out of this world. As is the pasta to be fair. When you’re done at The Suffield Arms, the even better bit if that there’s a train station right outside, which can take you back to Cromer (or the other way towards Norwich).

If you’ve followed us for a while on Instagram, I think you’ll recognise lots of the pictures I post now as being Trimingham and once you explore it for yourself, you’ll understand why. We love exploring Norfolk, but we also feel so very lucky to have made this beautiful village our home (and sometimes we just want to be here, enjoying it all for ourselves).

Don’t forget to tags us in your pictures if you do come, and if you happen to bump into us, please do say hi!


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