Crossing green grazing fields, traversing a shoreline once overwhelmed by the sea and passing through a pleasant woodland, the Snettisham circular has a wonderful variety of landscapes to enjoy. The route is best enjoyed during dry periods between late spring and early autumn.
'Heroes and High Water'
During the Second World War a German invasion of Britain from the sea seemed inevitable, and defences were constructed along the Norfolk coast to repel an attack that never came. In 1953 it was the sea itself that invaded, inundating the land on one catastrophic night. Many families from Snettisham were deeply affected by both the war and the flood. Ironically, it was during peacetime that disaster struck. On the night of 31 January 1953, a North Sea surge caused severe flooding across the east coast of England. The beach area of Snettisham was particularly badly hit and twenty-five people died in the flood.
Agriculture was so vital to the war effort that some farming jobs were listed as ‘reserved occupations’, meaning that those employed in them were not required to join the armed forces abroad. Many local men, however, were still keen to play their part and volunteered for Snettisham Home Guard. Stanley Linge, whose father Walter owned Locke Hill Farm, joined and became a Sergeant. He was issued with a machine gun and detonators to protect the coast if there was an invasion. He and other men trained locally and guarded strategic points in the area. The land itself also gave to the war effort, with gravel from seaside quarries at Snettisham used to build airstrips across East Anglia - including RAF Marham, RAF Great Massingham and RAF Sculthorpe in Norfolk.
Snettisham Circular Walk passes along the front at Snettisham that was inundated in 1953. It carries on up Beach Road and past Locke Hill Farm. As the route skirts the edge of the woodland on Lodge Hill there are extensive views across the fields toward the beach.
(OS Explorer 250)