We had the most amazing time here! I cannot recommend a visit to this area enough. We only live 45 minutes away but this is somewhere I’d definitely come back to, to get some sea air and R&R.
Nestled between the popular seaside towns of Cromer and Sheringham, West Runton is the heart of Norfolk’s Deep History Coast – in 1995 the remains of a woolly mammoth were excavated on West Runton beach and it is a treasure of a place for fossil hunting and rock pooling. Not only that, it has the most amazing walks nearby – something for everyone.
The camp site
We stayed at the Camping and Caravanning Club’s West Runton camp site. As first-timers to pitching our own tent, it was a bit of a daunting prospect, but we were completely distracted by the corridor of stunning rhododendrons as we drive down the hill to the site. We were warmly welcomed and given lots of information from our host as we were shown to our spacious pitch and my daughter clocked the fabulous wood-framed play area within a few seconds. The toilet and shower block was clean and roomy. We were surrounded by woodland which made it feel nicely set back from the outside world. All in all, it was a great base for us.
We were using the Easy Camp range. Our tent was the Magentar 400 – even with our over-cautious and conservative efforts it tent only took us 20 minutes to put up. My daughter enjoyed getting involved too. She was delighted by the inflatable easy chair which became her entertainment for a good hour, but I loved the recliner deck chairs – brilliant for star gazing which was great as we were in dark sky territory! Sleeping bags – so soft and comfy, the temperature was just right. We slept really well.
There are many Norfolk Trails circular walks passing by here and the camp site is only about a mile from the stunning Norfolk Coast Path National Trail (84 miles). From the camp site there is waymarking to East Runton which bring you out on East Runton high street, where you will find a most excellent chip shop, coffee hut, convenience store and the road down to the beach. You will find Deep History Coast information dotted along this stretch of the Coast Path and it’s well worth a read. We enjoyed late evening sun here which was simply gorgeous.
There are great little walks here for kids – the National Trust’s Sheringham Park and Roman Camp are two that stand out but there are many more nearby. Felbrigg Hall is another National Trust property with lovely walks and look out for Pretty Corner too. Accessible walks can be found a few miles away at Cromer and Sheringham promenades.
This is a great National Trust park to explore, just 10 minutes from the camp site. It has a hardcore path through its centre making it great for wheels for an out and back walk, although it’s worth noting that gradients mean self-pushing wheelchair users may need assistance. In early May bluebells appear, and in late May it is full of stunning rhododendrons and azaleas.
We plotted a short 1 mile route for kids, through the centre and picking up the white trail which checks back through the undulating woodland (this woodland section isn’t suitable for wheels). Full of ancient trees and stunning flowers this time of year. It was breathtaking.
We also enjoyed the 2-mile blue route. Picking up much of the hardcore paths, before it turned back towards the temple and steeper gradients, this route has stunning sea views. We spotted a deer across the fields and you pass the beautiful Sheringham Hall and the temple monument.
Plenty of climbing opportunities for kids on deadwood and trees. Absolutely beautiful. Great facilities and you can hire mobility scooters here too.
A lovely walk – beautiful viewing points across to the sea which is about a mile away. There is a waymarked route of around 1.5 miles which will be fine for most pushchairs along its grassy paths.
There are no facilities or play areas, although you are only a mile inland from the coastal villages which offer this.
Dogs are welcome and the viewing spots are great to stop for a little picnic, although be aware that there are adders nesting in the summer in the heath.
West Runton beach is THE place to go for rock pooling. Look up the tide times, leave it a good few hours after high tide and follow the tide out as it presents crabs and other sea creatures in the little rock pools. Somehow this was the first time we’d done this and it was fantastic fun.
The shops on the coast road sell nets and buckets and we stopped off at the Beach Café for a sandwich and coffee – you can find a bijou museum with fossils and information about the woolly mammoth here too. Facilities here if needed and more Deep History Coast information boards.