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'He who would Old England win,
Must at Weybourne Hope begin.'

Weybourne lies on the North Norfolk coast between Sheringham and Salthouse. Its name derives from 'felon's stream' and may have been a place where criminals were drowned. It is a charming village with many flint and brick houses clinging to the coast road.

Weybourne Beach

Weybourne Beach

Weybourne is famous for having a steeply shelving beach and for having deep water close to land. This has always made it a potential invasion site and, as a result, it was heavily defended by Elizabeth I in 1588 against possible Spanish attack. It was also defended during World War I and World War II. Today, many of the pill-boxes from the last conflict still remain.

In my sequence entitled Seven Songs from the Norfolk Coast there is a poem about a swimmer who bathes at night off Weybourne beach:


I swim at night
Off the shingle here
When the moon rages
And the stars are clear

When stones are thrown
By an angry sea
Onto the beach

I float like a seal
And you can tell
Iím quite at home
On this dark swell

No longer a creature
Of the land
I could grow gills
Or burrow in the sand

Or flip my heals
And take a dive
Into the deepness
And still survive

For I was never made
For solid ground
My legs too weak
To walk around

My heart
Always too cold
For human things
Has now grown old

So Iíll be here
When the sea grows still
Or the old wood comes
Down Dead Manís Hill

For I swim at night
Off the shingle here
When the moon rages
And the stars are clear

I have also written a shorter poem about the skylarks which are often seen above the cliffs at Weybourne:

Above the cliff-top
Meadow today, the skylark
Rises up into

The sun's face - higher
And higher and higher; its
Brown speck vanishing

Beyond neck-crick and
The eye's sudden blindness - and
From this height it pours

Down its river of
Sound - bubbling and sparkling and
Glitteringly clear.

The North Norfolk Railway line runs through Weybourne and the station has frequently been used as a film location.

Weybourne Station

Weybourne Station

Most famously it doubled for Walmington-On-Sea in the wonderful Dad's Army episode 'The Royal Train' (1973). It also featured in Stephen Poliakoff's The Lost Prince (2003) and was Arcady in Love on a Branch Line.


More Photographs of Weybourne





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