WIMPS GUIDE TO THE SIR PETER SCOTT WALK

 

Sir Peter Scott LighthouseThe Sir Peter Scott lighthouse (East lighthouse) lies alongside the River Nene and commands the entry to the Wash and fabulous open views for miles around.  It is also at the start of the Sir Peter Scott walk to King’s Lynn

In August 2011 the Snowgoose Wildlife Trust was granted planning permission to build a new visitor centre at the Lighthouse with the aim of encouraging people to connect with the environment.

As the one accused of doing the most encouraging, it was suggested that I did some connecting myself by trying the Sir Peter Scott Walk and then writing about it. 

Protests that I was nearly sixty and hadn’t walked more than four miles anytime over the last thirty of those, merely brought self satisfied nods and general agreement. This was exactly the non walking type of person we were looking for to test and describe the walk for ordinary mortals.

The thing is that although there are rumours that many adults and children have actually survived the walk, information relating to it is fairly sparse. Several articles have been written but as the writers have had to fit them into scarce column space they are far from being guides and sort of say they are starting and then after telling about the area, they finish.

For normal people contemplating an unknown ten mile walk for the first time they need to know a lot more, like what to take, what hazards to expect, are there any ways off the walk if they can’t make it, plus telephone numbers of the nearest taxi services, the ferry, hospitals and psychiatrists!

Sir Peter Scott Blue PlaqueSo follow me, the world’s worst bird spotter, photographer and walker on a travel across some of the most spectacular open coastal landscape in this wimps guide to the Sir Peter Scott Walk. The walk runs from West (King’s) Lynn Ferry, Norfolk to the Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse in Sutton Bridge Lincolnshire. 

Serious walkers may wish to cease reading at this point as the contents could be disturbing.

What to take? For the end of October it was expected to be a warm day at around 15C but it was also going to be very windy across such vast open spaces, the forecast being 20 mph from the west. That could be a lot stronger along the top of an exposed sea wall.

Wind whips away body heat, so wind and rainproof gear is vital in this type of environment, especially as the weather can change quickly over the duration of the walk. There is no need to fork out vast sums of cash on special gear though because for most of us wimps, ordinary lightweight waterproof jackets with pull up hoods are just fine.

By taking extra layers such as jerseys and vests in your pack, you need never to get too hot, or too cold but bear in mind that if for any reason you are forced to stop, you have to be able to keep warm and keep dry.

A vest, shirt,  jersey and jacket was just right for these conditions with another lightweight waterproof in my rucksack to put over the other if needed. If rain is a good possibility take waterproof leggings. I took a good bobble hat, gloves, flask of coffee, reasonable walking boots, compass, mobile phone, Landranger Ordnance Survey maps 131 and 132 (the start is right on the join), two KitKats, two flapjacks and two bags of crisps. A ghastly high calorie diet but easy to carry and good if energy levels get low.

 Oh, and the only pair of binoculars I can lay my hands on. Not sure where the smaller ones have gone to?

West King's Lynn FerryAlthough modern rucksacks look impressive and like you’re effortlessly carrying a piano around on your back, with the additional space there’s a temptation to take more than you need. In windy areas anything that big can also annoyingly catch the wind. This small rucksack is made of plastic backed cloth and every few years or so it’s required to do its stuff, which it does and needs no leap of faith to see that it will keep water out, unlike the apparently open weave fabric of many modern ones.

I plump for starting the walk at the West Lynn ferry end. This is largely because the landmarks at that end are unknown to me but the lighthouse at this end should be clearly visible from miles away and that might just be needed to provide the necessary courage to complete the walk!

I scale off the length of the walk while waiting for the taxi at the East Bank picnic site car park.

There has been some confusion in past articles over how long the walk is but I make it just under ten and a half miles. By the end of 2012, the Snowgoose Wildlife Trust hopes to have a lighthouse visitor centre here and that should mean tea, cakes, a loo plus somewhere to collapse at the end of the walk in future.

Peter Scott at 25 years (National Portrait Gallery)The taxi effortlessly covers the road miles that I will soon have to walk back along on the costal path, as we discuss how the young Peter Scott came to the lighthouse in the early 1930’s. He came here as a wildfowler and went through a seismic change to become the worlds most influential conservationist of the twentieth centaury. founding both  the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and World Wildlife Fund among many other things.

 A blue plaque on the side of the lighthouse commemorates this.

In addition, he just also happened to become a world famous artist, author, Olympic sailor, world standard ice skater and British gliding champion as well. I would like to say that this was a natural result of people not having television in those days but as he happened to have squeezed in twenty five years of his own television and broadcasting  shows as well, I guess we’ll just have to assume it was probably something in the water.

West Lynn lies just a short ferry crossing across the Great Ouse from King’s Lynn. The notice on the wall of the ferry office says open Monday to Saturday twenty minutes to the hour, on the hour and at twenty minutes past and between 7am to 6pm. So walkers please note – nothing on Sundays and it’s a good two and a half miles more to walk if the ferry is shut.

Everything at the West Lynn ferry looks in top shape, with notice boards describing the history of the fens and King’s Lynn. The ferry looks fun too and means a walk could just as easily end up here with a final crossing to King’s Lynn. I think a lot of people do just that.

Finger Post to Ongar HillA wooden finger post stands beside a board extolling the virtues of the Sir Peter Scott Walk. The taxi driver is interested. He lives nearby and has never noticed it before.

It points to the start of the walk and says ‘Ongar Hill’ three and a half miles. I’ve seen finger posts like this in western films, wind battered, bleached and pointing aimlessly into death dealing deserts.

Oh well, its now just after 11am, so down a track that looks like it’s heading into someone’s back yard and up onto the grass covered sea wall.

The tide is nearly at low water and the wind is almost straight down river. Hang on a moment that means it’s coming from the south and not west as forecast - weather forecasters - I don’t know!

Black Headed Gulls on sand spitThis is a spectacular day with almost clear blue skies overhead.

A flock of terns skim across the river from the mud below flying to the far shore like a squadron of small jet fighters. Further along is a flock of black headed gulls loafing around on a sand spit. Others are standing in the shallow water looking bored.

Despite bearing the name black headed, they never are black but more of a beautiful deep chocolate brown. Right now they are in winter colours, so their heads are white with just a small circle of brown behind the ears.

Over the stile I spy a small lady with a huge dog approaching and so drop down onto the lower bank pathway. This is dry and easily manageable especially with the tide being low. 

Houseboat WreckA hedge on the left shields the wind and the sun is warm on my back. King’s Lynn, once possibly the most important trading port in the country basks in the sunlight on the other side of the river. Just along from the modern port a ruined houseboat lies beached on the mud, a sea going relic from ages past.

No Gentelmen Two male mallards take to the air on my approach, leaving the ladies behind. The term gentlemanly is never associated with them

 

 

The transitional zone as it is called between the bank and the river is marked along this stretch by irregular muddy pillars and castles standing proud of the surrounding mud, each with its own crop of clinging plants. The mud around them deeply imprinted with the footprints of gulls, thrown into high contrast by the bright sunlight.

Mud Castles 2ud Castles 1Fishing boat in jaunty blue and white 

Footprints in the sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cockle fishing boat in jaunty blue and white passes by heading up river for the fisherman’s quay. The Wash holds huge stocks of both cockles and mussels.

After a mile the path rises to rejoin the main track. The walking has been very easy so far over short flat grass and continues to be so. Further along on the left lies a huge complex of industrial buildings, catering for the effluent of King’s Lynn and surrounding areas – was that put sensitively enough? 

Pylons aheadHuge pylonEstablished inland fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

The electrical power needed must be immense as two towering pylons have been erected to carry the cables across the river higher than any sailing ships masts.

The fields inland are big here compared to much of the country but even so, are smaller than they will become further along the walk. Old barn structures, farmhouses and plenty of trees make the landscape seem more interesting than elsewhere locally. The flatness of the reclaimed marshes however makes this a unique landscape with distant views and huge skies in every direction.

The pathway enters a long sheltered field with hedges on either side, ending with a fence and stile. To the left at low level is a fenced enclosure. Metal gates block the track with big E A initials welded to them, leaving no one in any doubt that they belong to the Environment Agency. 

Billy Kirkham Sluice fenceHawthorne tunnel

Signs proclaim this to be the Billy Kirkam Sluice, an outlet of the intricate but essential myriad of interconnected inland drains and ditches that keep many square miles of reclaimed marshland dry. To the right lies the sluice outfall.

Rather than taking the clearer lower pathway over the gate I duck under the wooden fence. There is a stile by the fence but it is not complete. heading between a narrow row of hedges, the hawthorn branches are beautifully festooned with bright red berries. This will be a haven of sheltered food resource for any bird crazy enough to be out here in winter.

In the open again and a post with a yellow label (courtesy of Norfolk County Council) points onwards. A sunbathing pheasant moves off down the landward slope throwing a dirty look over its shoulder. The wind strength increases further out  and the back of my neck is freezing but this has been a really easy flat and delightful walk along the river so far.

Eastuary in viewBigger fields inland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bigger fields are in evidence now as the river banks begin to open out on the other side. The width of the river has been remarkably consistent so far giving one a feeling that it will never turn into an estuary. Over on the far side a flock of black shapes, tiny in the distance, skim low across the water and settle onto the grass below the sea wall. Off with the rucksack and out with the binoculars.

These were confined to the pack a while ago because their weight was making my neck sore. Small, cheap, light ones are of far more use to the average non specialist user. These weigh a ton and are the size of two factory chimneys.

I never spend much on binoculars (-£20). Partly because they’re really easy to damage by knocking, dropping, or leaving in a hot car but also because cheap pairs do 80% of what extremely expensive ones will anyway but test them first. Unless intensive bird watching where minute detail under all conditions is intended, I would rather not have to worry about just chucking them around my neck or into my pocket as and when I wish.

It was Dark Bellied rent GeeseA 10X20 pair is fine for general use even on these extensive marshes. The more powerful the binoculars the heavier they become and as sunshine on the marshes often produces a heat haze, even the best optics can’t see far. Today however it is very clear.

The black dots with traces of white under their tails prove to be a flock of about 80 Dark-bellied Brent (Brant) Geese. These began to appear over the last few weeks, flying vast distances from the boggy Artic tundra of northern Russia to spend the winter here. Around April, they will leave.

In front of them at water level are more black headed gulls.

Three herring gulls with their black wing tips, follow a fishing boat in past the red and green channel marker buoys, veering and jinking around as they beat against the wind.

The footpath veers away from the Great Ouse as a wooden farm gate, stile and notice board block the way. The notice board shows the Sir Peter Scott Walk but sadly, despite the helpful ‘you are here’ signs, it shows no place names, nor where ‘Ongar Hill’ as advertised on the finger post might lie. I presume it has to be where the first ‘P’ for parking is shown. According to the ‘key’ public footpaths are supposed to be indicated by pink dots but although the ‘P’ sign is inland, there are none shown leading to it.*

Runway Lake GatesMap but no place names or footpaths markedA small lake lies on the marsh side, reflecting the deep blue of the sky. The shape reminds me of a miniature aircraft runway, with a long main runway and short crosswind leg to one side.

Juggling Landranger maps 131 and 132 together, I make the distance two and a quarter miles, so only eight to go but even that's twice as far as I’ve walked for some years now.

My brooding eyes turn from the warnings of deep pools, hidden creeks, soft mud and being cut off by the tide for anyone daft enough to leave the main sea wall. They fall on the distant dots of the Brent geese. They’re not much bigger than mallards yet they’ve just flown thousands of miles. If they can do that, I must have it in me to do the next eight.

Over the style and off. No more worrying, it’s the other end or nothing now.

Deep inland ditchesThe inland fields are really big and incised by the widest deepest drainage ditches I have seen around here. They must be at least three metres deep with the fields themselves some two metres lower than on the seaward side. The marsh soil is dark and has presumably sunk as the peat content dried out after enclosure. Some parts of the inland reclaimed Fens have shrunk by around six metres.

 

In a distant field is what must rank as the worlds largest haystack. It’s made from absolutely massive rectangular bales and beyond that lies the ruins of the WWII Ongar Hill coastal defence battery. Built to house a pair of 6" guns, the battery commanded a large part of the Wash and the entry to King's Lynn which was still a busy port during the war. The guns were ultimately moved to Northumberland. The empty windows of this decaying but once powerful and friendly defender now stare blindly out to sea.

Giant HastackWWII Olgar Hill Gun BatteryA quarter of a mile further along and the main sea wall swings right to follow the line of the latest marsh enclosure whilst the old sea wall branches to the left for Ongar Hill. There are no signs as to whether it's permissible to use the old track or not but you would have to go that way if the distance were to match the 3.5 miles claimed on the ferry finger post.*

I stay with the main sea wall, and again as it bends left. Navigation for the whole walk is as easy as it gets, involving simply keeping to the main sea wall. Although not expected today, it is important when on any strange coastal walk anywhere, to keep track of where you are in case a sea fog rolls in. If you know where you are, then by using the compass there will be no panic or difficulty.

Everywhere the walking proves to be flat and easy on good short grass. It seems highly unlikely that this walk would ever need more than a normal pair of walking boots.

With no sheltering banks or trees, the wind is ferociously battering away on my side now. This feels  more like thirty miles an hour than the forecast twenty. In the warm sun and with a good bobble hat pulled down over the ears however, I’m comfortable and don't need gloves.

Outfall CreekEverything to seaward looks like solid rough grazing land but the occasional glint of water suggests the hidden existence of deep drainage channels. Without prior knowledge this is dangerous ground to walk on.

There are far fewer birds in evidence than expected at the moment although there are always small groups of gulls high in the blue sky passing out to sea, or crabbing their way across the wind. The tide is low of course and that means most birds will be on the unseen foreshore or out of the wind in the sheltered creeks.

If the gulls overhead make any noise, I don’t hear it over the tearing sound of the wind.

Track to Ongar Hill Car ParkA mile of straight walking and to the left, a pathway runs down some steps and over a wooden bridge. That is definitely a path to the Ongar Hill car park because there's a  van parked in it. If one were to take this route to Ongar Hill, it would be almost four and not the three and a half miles stated.

 

 

Far in the distance is something that looks like a tiny black exclamation mark. It's the first person I’ve seen for nearly three miles.

I speed up with the incentive of closing the distance but as if on cue, the figure turns around and begins moving away. So begins the exciting Ongar Hill sea wall chase! A pair of gates with more giant E A letters in red blocks the path; it is but a momentary obstacle as I leap over the stile beside it. The figure is definitely nearer now as it follows a tight left hand twist in the path.

Momentarily my attention is distracted by high pitched piping as a flock of oystercatchers spring from a hidden creek and get blasted sideways across the marsh towards the coast. A struggle to get the camera out of a zipped up pocket. One, two, three – eight of them but too late for the camera.

The Great Ongar Hill Chase GatesMarsh CattleDisappearance bend monument

 Just ahead are some beautiful multi coloured cattle grazing on the marsh, so they get photographed instead including some nice zoom shots.

I turn to continue my quest but what’s this? The figure has vanished!

Speeding onwards I come to a corner post and stile with nothing on either side. Standing absolutely solitary they look more like a dramatic monument rather than bits of a long gone fence.

Down below is the  solitary figure walking away along a lower track. He's gone down the side of the sea wall and been hidden by an older bank running at right angles.

On again. In the distance, the path zigzags sharply and the roof of what looks like a farm house appears above the sea wall. I check the map – nothing. This map was given to me. It’s in good condition but what’s the date of it? Ah, possible reason for not having the building marked on it is that the map is eighteen years old.

A sudden explosion of tiny black dots

A sudden explosion of tiny black dots the size of pinheads fills the air half a mile away, the circular form changing from almost solid black to invisible as the hundreds of tiny bodies throw themselves around the sky in unison soaring and falling before the circle stretches to one side at the bottom to form a pocket and then deflates rapidly as the birds flow from the pocket in a torrent across the top of the sea wall and out into the fields beyond.  I have no idea what they were.

 Then another cloud of bigger black dots swarm around the far bank and glide in to land almost exactly where the others took off. These are bigger birds but identificaion will have to wait until I get closer because the wind is really ferocious here having twice blown my bobble hat off, so the binoculars can stay where they are.

another cloud of bigger black dotsThe second lot of birds have settled near a small lake on the marsh. The inland drainage ditches form a graceful ‘D’ bend as they lead to a sluice that must feed the lake on the other side of the sea wall. A gate blocks the path over the top of it.

The culprit behind the disturbance skims past below, following the land side of the sea wall. The wind is so strong that the marsh harrier hardly moves a feather.

Passing over the wooden stile, I see that the incoming birds are a flock of two hundred and fifty Brent Geese. They seem to be enjoying just resting in a wind shaded fold of the land.

Cattle Shed LakeThe deep blue reflections of the sky from the small lake are stunning. An Egret stalks the small sand island in the middle, lord of all it surveys, while redshanks wade about the shallows. Two sleepy black headed gulls drift around with heads tucked into their shoulders.

The smaller dots have come to rest some distance away but I’ll catch up with them soon.

Another half mile and the building turns out to be a cattleshed, complete with feed silo, cattle troughs and stacks of hay. It all looks highly civilised for a building so far out on these lonely marshes.

Cattle Shed miles from anywhereI make it nearly five miles so far and decide to have a break. It’s one o’clock. Nearly two hours since I started but as I have been photographing, observing and writing, this was never going to be a speed walking attempt.

 I take the binoculars out and sweep the horizon. At the edge of the marsh, a gull covered line shows where the marsh meets the waters of the Wash. In the distance and to the east is the Norfolk coastline. Even through the haze it can be followed all the way to the tiny white Hunstanton lighthouse and the point where the coast slips shyly around the corner.

To the west is a faint smudge marking Skegness, twenty three miles away.

I wade down the face of the sea wall through the deep grass. This is weird stuff, far deeper than it seems and with a sinking in the mud sensation that must be some kind of spongy root formation.  Up there the wind still rages but in the sheltered lee of the sea wall beside an almost dry creek is a real sun spot with only fitful gusts of wind - lovely! I’m not mad enough to take my jacket off, but undo the zip.

For some reason the ends of my toes are sore as if the boots are too small. Can’t think why because they‘ve always been OK before. I daren’t take them off though, as tales of people never getting their boots back on again run through my mind. Otherwise I feel absolutely fine.

The sky is without a cloud and there’s not a soul in sight anywhere. The grass rustles as I lie back. Coffee hasn’t tasted so good in a long time and this feels a good day to be alive. If this was a still day, the air would be filled with the sounds of the marsh and cries of birds.

Distant view o the trial banksThe big features on the next leg of the walk are two grass covered mounds. The first is some half a mile out from the sea wall and connected by a soil causeway. The second lies nearly two miles out into the Wash.

These were made in the mid 1970’s when there were plans to form a wall of sand across the Wash and turn it into a huge freshwater lake. These two trial banks were apparently made to test the theory. The furthest out one became known as the ‘Doughnut’ because it’s hollow in the centre.

Exactly how these outsized sandcastles were supposed to prove anything I’m not entirely sure and after having spent £3 milion I think everyone else came to the same conclusion and wandered off.

‘Doughnut’ is the only high tide island in the wash and is now of major importance to breeding and roosting seagull colonies.

I carefully put my rubbish into the pack before scrambling up the bank and into the wind once more. Take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.

Around the next bend and another flock of oystercatchers explode from a hidden creek before vanishing into another. Swallowed up by the marsh.

From this point onwards low groynes of soil banks stick out from the base of the sea wall every now and then. It’s not immediately obvious why they should only be from here on but someone must have thought they were needed.

Lapwings down among new wheatI pass through an open gate, another with the E A letters on it.  The black dots previously seen pouring over the sea wall are closer now and spaced out over two absolutely massive fields.

I struggle to extract the binoculars as the wind turns things into a bit of a farce, sucking the map out of the pack, blowing it around and generally knocking me about as I try to hold the binoculars steady. They are lapwings, at least four hundred of them in amongst the green shoots of wheat and making a lovely pattern.

Inland across six open miles, the power station chimneys at Sutton Bridge peep from among distant trees. To the west, the white RAF fire control tower for the Wash target range shows through the haze. I have found it difficult throughout this walk to make any sense of the distances out here because although there are land features, they are simply not to the normal scale of towns and cities despite the fact you can see for miles.

Hammerhead by inner trial bankThe track leading to the first trial bank draws near. A small lane leads to a hammerhead turning space for coaches on the land side.There are gates at each end of the hammerhead with a stile and a big green and white Environment Agency warning sign. These state that driving on the sea wall is forbidden. The penalty for said offence is ‘£5 on conviction’. Hmmmm, this sounds more like a fee to do it rather than a penalty!

A rusting metal cut-out of an open winged bird sports the letters FWA. It looks a bit like a totem pole. The initials stand for the Fenland Wildfowlers Association who help manage and control the foreshore along here. Whatever the views one holds about wildfowling, it is far better when organised than when not.

Inner Trial BankThis hammerhead is not a marked car park but this it is an ideal drop off or pick up point for anyone wanting to do just part of the walk. I make it about three and three quarters of a mile from here to the East Bank picnic site car park by the Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, or six and three quarters of a mile to West Lynn ferry.**

Thoughts of walking out onto the trial bank fade as I consider the hours of daylight left, the unknown walk still remaining and having no knowledge as to the tidal conditions it can be accessed under.

Flight PondI pass a small copse of Cypress leylandii trees sheltering a large pond network. This is probably all part of a flight pond and farm reservoir. It’s nice to see these features developing in such an open landscape. They are of huge benefit for all wildlife.

On the other side of the sea wall the colour of the marsh grasses seems to have changed to a more brownish shade than previously as the path enters a series of sharp bends.

These bends are caused by different land enclosures that have taken place over the years and that sets the sizes of the fields too. At one time these marshes extended eleven miles inland to Wisbeach.

A third of a mile beyond the last sharp turn and we step over the line from Norfolk and into Lincolnshire. Not that you would know it however as no signs are in evidence. This boundary could mark a historic outlet of the river Nene into the Wash before the new cutting was made in 1830 but I'm not sure.

From here at last I can see where the mouth of the river Nene is beginning to open up. On the field beside me stands a heron and around twenty oystercatchers. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of tiny brown dots too but I’m afraid they’ll have to stay that way because I’m no good at identification from here and the binoculars are definitely not coming out again.

Although it’s nice to know what the birds are, more people seem to be put off coming out because they think they are no good at bird identification than for any other reason and that’s completely nuts. It’s simply not essential to the enjoyment of seeing them and sharing the same habitat.

 These small birds seem to be taking it in turns to leapfrog the flock as they work across the field. The wind is not as fierce now, probably due to the inland tree line.

Lighthouse shows up in the distanceHexagon CreekThe lighthouse shows in the distance and with the walk more or less in the bag I decide to settle beside a creek, enjoy the landscape and have another cup of coffee.

The mud sides of the steep creek have dried out into small hexagons, each lifting slightly at the edges. The sun picks them out in sharp relief as the creek silently waits the flood of the tide.

The last bend now approaches before the sea wall turns south heading inland alongside the River Nene. At 100 miles long, it is the tenth longest river in the UK.

My toes are killing me as I pass over a newly patched section of the sea wall, the bright green new grass is growing from some special matting. This is all that’s left to show where a huge breach was cut in it a few months ago to lay cables for the offshore wind farms.  Nestled in the corner of the bend below are the portable contractor’s buildings. They will remain until a second cable is put through next year.

silhouettesThe sun is getting lower now, its light more silvery, as it makes silhouettes out of the first people I have seen for five miles.

The first is looking through a scope for seals that often haul themselves out onto the mud banks at the end of the river. His name is Tony. He comes here whenever he can.

Assuming I am returning from slightly further along the sea wall, he asks if there is anything worth seeing there. I casually announce that I have actually come from West Lynn and he is hugely impressed. The furthest he has apparently managed to go in five years is two corners further along the sea wall and that took half a day.

Lighthouse outpost Painful toes now forgotten and I am onto the home straight as the Sir Peter Scott lighthouse, bravely flying the Union Jack flag and looking exactly like a small foreign legion outpost draws near.

I reflect on what a great day it has been and how surprisingly easy a ten mile walk actually is if one simply takes ones time.

 

Got there!Oh, and the toe problem….  sorted in five minutes with the scissors. Wimps remember to trim your nails before a walk of this length!

 

 

 

 

* Later research shows the footpath does go the direct route to Ongar Hill and from the car park to the sea wall. So a really nice loop.

** Please note that car access to the Hammerhead may be restricted.

October 2011

Time taken on walk 5 hours

Walk distances - overall 10.33 miles

West Lynn ferry to Runway Lake                                                 2.27 (2.27) miles

Runway Lake to Ongar Hill car park turnoff on main sea wall      1.3 (3.57) miles

Main sea wall at Ongar Hill to cattle barn.                                     1.4 (4.97 miles)

Cattle barn to inner trial bank hammerhead                                   1.7 (6.67 miles)

Hammerhead to county boundary                                                 0.97 (7.64 miles)

Hammerhead to river Nene                                                          3.06 (9.58 (miles)

River Nene corner to picnic site and Sir Peter Scott lighthouse  0.75 (10.33 miles)

Map link click here (long distance walkers association)

Map grid West Lynn Ferry starting point    = 52’45’23 N   X  0’23’16 E

Map grid Ongar Hill car park                      =  52’47’50 N   X  0’20’43 E

Map grid trial bank hammerhead                =  52’48’41 N   X  0’17’10 E

Map grid Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse           =  52’48’30 N    X   0’12’50 E

West Lynn Ferry07974 260639   

Ferry charges at the time of publication (Nov 2011) are a very reasonable 80p for Adults and 60p for children one way and £1.40 and £1.00 return.  

Further Information

Natural England 'The Wash'  click here

Natural England access and informaion about  'The Wash' click here

Trial bank report click here

Wash estuary report click here

Nearest Hospital A&E = Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk
PE30 4ET  Telephone 01553 613613

BUS SERVICES. The Norfolk Line bus route goes from Sutton Bridge to West Lynn. This however requires additional walking along East Bank at the Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse end of + 3 miles (straight and flat) and another mile at the West Lynn end to the ferry. For all details and charges  click here

Taxi numbers This is simply a selection from the internet only.    (I paid £20 from the Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse to the West Lynn Ferry but charges will probably vary between companies and the number of people being carried.)

Kings Lynn Taxis 01553 763636. A & J Taxis 01406 351773. Nando's   01553 782863.

Delta Cars 01553 777577.  QJ's Executive Travel 01553 775475