Thursday 27th October 2022
A couple of weeks ago I took a ride on three bus routes operated by Norfolk based Sanders Coaches, in particular the company’s route 34 which takes a delightful route hugging the coastline as it links North Walsham and Stalham. Thanks to Ray Wilkes who kindly got in touch to suggest it’s a good route to enjoy a ride on following one of his walks along the coastal path.
To get to North Walsham I took Sanders’ route 55 (yellow on the above map) from Norwich which takes 45 minutes to reach North Walsham via Coltishall.
There are around a dozen journeys a day with alternate journeys operating a slightly quicker route through Coltishall and numbered X55….
… and as you can see from the network map above, Sanders’ also operate a route 210 (grey) between the two destinations which takes just over an hour operating five southbound and six northbound journeys.
The 10:33 from Norwich took 14 passengers out of the city picking another up in Horstead. It’s pretty much a straight route heading north on the B1150 including this very long straight section towards Colishall.
We arrived into North Walsham’s small but very functional Travel Hub not long after the scheduled 11:18.
The journey on route 34 I was aiming for was the 12:00 from North Walsham to Stalham.
It’s one of four daytime journeys aside from an early morning positioning run at 06:20. The route is a Monday to Friday only affair and each journey takes a slightly different route to ensure the small communities in this part of Norfolk are all served.
In general though, as the network route map on Sanders Coaches’ website shows, buses head north eastwards from North Walsham via Knapton before reaching the coast at Mundesley and following the narrow coastal road to Happisburgh with some journeys missing out Sea Palling and Sutton and taking a more direct route down to Stalham.
Four passengers boarded at North Walsham with three travelling to destinations along the coast and the fourth to Stalham while another boarded in Mundesley for a short ride down to Walcott and two boarded in Happisburgh – pronounced Haysbruh (thanks Dan) – and travelled to Stalham, making seven in all – about average I find for a rural route of this kind. All concessionary pass holders too.
The section of route that hugs the coastline is a lovely part of the ride…
… including some narrow sections of route.
The bus ends its journey at the “Old Railway Station” in Stalham ….
….. but the return journey begins on the Stalham by-pass by a Tesco store, as did my next journey on Sanders’ route X6 to take me down to Great Yarmouth.
There were six on board the 13:17 from the Tesco bus stop (which had come from Cromer as a 6A as far as North Walsham before turning into an X6) and we picked up three during the journey making for a total of nine.
As we travelled through Caister into Great Yarmouth we passed by the town’s former rather grand municipally owned bus garage which for the last 26 years has been in the ownership of First Bus…
….. and I alighted at the end of Northgate Street which is convenient as a setting down point …
…. for the nearby railway station via a short walk over the former Vauxhall road bridge.
The station is a shadow of its once grand presence…
…. but now has the benefit of nice new trains run by Greater Anglia on its network of routes.
Blogging timetable: 06:00 TThS