Some capitivating photographs of Stiffkey saltmarshes at sunset
Stiffkey is a very typical North Norfolk village made up of Norfolk Red Brick and flint cottages built beside the narrow and winding A149. Getting through the village can be hazardous in the height of Summer, and at any time too when the well used Norfolk Coast Hopper bus service goes through the village. Where else can you find a single track A road? Many visitors opt to walk into the village from the Norfolk Coast Path. Going west, the Coast Path takes you to Wells-Next-The-Sea and going east takes you to Morston and Blakeney. Whichever way you go it is all wonderful!
Stiffkey is sometimes pronounced Stookey. Stiffkey was well known for its cockles and they are also known as Stewkey Blues. Named thus because they are tinged blue. You can also pick delicious samphire from the saltmarshes, and its well worth the walk out to the big sea to collect a little of this very local delicacy!
Stiffkey is also associated with some famous characters. Henry Williamson bought a farm in Stiffkey just before the Second World War. He did this using the proceeds he made from his famous book "Tarka the Otter". Williamson desperately wanted to become a farmer, and when he moved up to North Norfolk from Devon he warmly talks about the area being unspoilt and rural in comparison to the bustle of North Devon. Another character is the Rev. Harold Davidson, the Vicar of Stiffkey, who was defrocked from his position in 1932 for "immorality". However, he was a very popular vicar and many people said that he was rescuing the ladies of the night rather than cavorting. There are many local tales to be heard too. The tiny house built in the valley of the Glaven, near to the Red Lion, frequently had its roof taken off when the army trucks passed by in the Second World War. There was an Army Camp down Greenway adjacent to the marshes during the Second World War. In those days Stiffkey had a Post Office, bakery, dairy, two butchers, two petrol pumps and three Public Houses.
This area of the marshes now houses a Maritime Centre and there is also a camp site, High Sands Creek Campsite. On the main road, The Red Lion pub serves delicious local food and retains that old Norfolk feel. Years gone by it was a farm labourers' drinking pub and you entered by the door adjacent to the road. The floors in the pub were deep in sawdust to absorb all the mud from the labourers' boots. These days you enter by the side door, and step down onto pamment floors, old beams and fireplaces greet you, and there is a real "feel for the past" in this pub with a display of photographs of last century Stiffkey ! Dog friendly too !