GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve

5 miles (8 km)

This walk takes you around the stunning Cley Marshes on the Norfolk coast at Cley next the Sea. You start at the windmill at Cley next the Sea and head through the reserve to the coast, before following a walking trail and country lanes through the countryside and returning to the windmill.
Cley Marshes contains 430 acres of reed beds, freshwater marsh, pools and wet meadows. An abundance of rare birdlife can be seen at the site, including pied avocets on the islands, western marsh harriers, Eurasian bitterns and bearded reedlings. There are five bird hides and an excellent visitor centre with a cafe, shop, viewing areas (including viewing from a camera on the reserve) and an exhibition area.
Plantlife at the reserve includes biting stonecrop, sea campion, yellow horned poppy, sea thrift, bird's foot trefoil and sea beet. Wilidlife includes Water Voles, hares and otters.
If you would like to continue your walk the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path runs through the reserve so you could follow this trail west to Morston Quay and catch a boat to Blakeney Point Nature Reserve where can you go seal watching!
A little further on is Stiffkey Salt Marsh where you will find a vast open expanse of salt marshes which attracts large numbers of birdlife including waders and wintering wildfowl.

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Cley Marshes Nature Reserve - - 980882

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. Viewed from Cley Eye, an extensive sand and shingle spit that extends to Blakeney Point, two kilometres further to the northwest. The footpath follows the fence seen in the distance.

This way to Cley Marshes - - 980892

View across a shallow lagoon at the northern edge of the reserve. Present-day Cley is not in the same location as the medieval village of Cley used to be. This was located south of St Margaret's churchand had a busy harbour, which was ruined by embanking in the 1640s by Sir Henry Calthorpe. A fire had already encouraged relocation in 1612. When Thomas Telford had been called in, in 1822, to advise on the problem of silting the Cley channel, his advice was ignored and the once busy port is now history. Many of the houses and cottages that line the narrow High Street (A149) through the village are built from flint and brick and date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Cley tower mill - - 842823

Cley tower mill. With its reflection in the drain running past it, viewed from the footpath through Cley marshes. Cley Mill, a 5-storey brick-built tower mill, was built around 1819; it had an octagonal domed cap with a petticoat, a gallery and an 8-bladed fan. The four sails were double shuttered and powered two pairs of French burr stones; there was a stage around the second floor. The mill is located by the 17th century deep water quay; converted into a holiday home in the 1920s it is now a B&B establishment.Reed beds cover the area beside the drain where a quay once used to be.

Where marsh meets beach - - 980903

Where marsh meets beach. A body of water here marks the border between the Cley marshes and the shingle beach at Cley Eye, which extends to Blakeney Point five kilometres to the northwest. The narrow strip of dark blue beyond is the North Sea.

View towards Cley Old Hall - - 842799

View towards Cley Old Hall. From footpath through Cley marshes; a lonely stone dog sits in the shrubbery. Cley Old Hall was modernised and partially rebuilt in 1948; the extensive range of farm buildings behind the house were converted to residential use during the 1980s.

Salt marsh behind shingle bank - - 1181027

Salt marsh behind shingle bank. The lagoons immediately behind the shingle bank are influenced by sea water and fresh water. At times they can be completely dry and sometimes they can be saltier than the sea. Due to these unique conditions, a rare assemblage of wildlife can be found here and saline lagoons are recognised as being one of the most important habitats for wildlife in Europe. Ever since management of the shingle bank has ceased it is getting shallower, spreading landwards at an estimated rate of approximately 1 metre/year, resulting in the saline lagoons being filled in.


GPS Files

GPX File

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)