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The local Railway from Norwich to Cromer & Sheringham

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West Runton Walk

Directions

Stout walking shoes are advisable, a pair of binoculars would also be useful. Some of this walk includes country roads. Please be careful of traffic when walking on roads.

Follow the way-out signs from the station to the road. Turn left onto the road (Sandy Lane) and then turn left before the Links Hotel into Station Close. The road has a golf course on the right and the railway on the left. The road bends to the right and crosses the golf course. When it bends sharp right again by a picket fence, turn left down the footpath. This skirts the bottom of Incleborough Hill.

When the path forks, turn right, turning away from the sea, keeping the hill on your right. As you leave the hill behind you the path follows down the left hand side of a field, with woods to the left. Keep left when paths join from the right. The path then becomes enclosed and comes out on a road. Turn left, keeping the green on you right.

You will come to a t-junction, with a pond on your right. Look to the left and you will see two huge railway bridges. Turn left and walk under these bridges and you will come to the beautiful village of East Runton with its perfectly proportioned flint cobble cottages. It is well worth exploring. Retrace your steps back under the railway bridges and continue straight ahead until a field appears on the right. Take the public footpath signed on the left up a gravel drive between old and new flint cottages.

The drive forks three ways; take the centre path straight ahead which goes between two fences. Go through the gate, across the railway line. This stretch of line is known as the "Cromer Curve" so-called because it curls in a big 'u' shape back towards Cromer. Having crossed the line, turn left along the field boundary. At the edge of the next field follow the path right going up Roundabout Hill. The path passes through a patch of gorse.

When you leave the gorse the path goes between two fields towards a small camp site. You can see the railway on the left, and beyond this the sea. Just before the camp site, turn around and look back the way you came, and you can see Incleborough Hill to the right of the gorse clump.

Turn back around and continue through the camp site and follow the path where it is waymarked into a small wooded area. As the path leaves the trees it passes between two newly planted areas, bends left then right and follows a low flint wall with a waterworks compound to the left.

At the end of the wall the path reaches a track. If you want to head for Cromer station then turn left, cross the waterworks access road and bear right down an older tarmac road passing a railway bridge on your left. This road passes through houses and comes to a t-junction on a main road. Turn left and Cromer station is a short distance on the left.

If you want to return to West Runton then turn right onto the track and walk up the hill ignoring all paths to the right and left. The path descends and bends slightly to the right then goes under a brick railway bridge and comes to a road.

Cross this road and take the track straight ahead, which is signed Abbs Common. Where the track bends sharp left, take the footpath straight ahead. The path curls left then right and becomes enclosed, and emerges on a track. Cross the track and take the footpath over rough pasture signed Roman Camp.

Cross the ditch via the planked bridge, go through the kissing gate and walk up the left hand side of a grassy knoll. Where the path is crossed by another, turn left across the field towards some woods. Go into the woods and the path is straight ahead through the trees (Edwards Plantation).

The path rises up and becomes quite eroded. It then levels out and reaches the road opposite the Roman Camp. Cross the road and head for Roman Camp, Beeston Regis Heath and West Runton, all of which are signposted. Follow the track through the Roman Camp National Trust car parks, past the caravan park on the left. At the end of the track there is a turning circle. Go straight ahead down the path marked Footpath Only. Keep left along the fence, and the path descends through a wooded gully. The path curls left and joins a track, with sea views to the right. Turn right signed for the Runtons. The track skirts the seaward side of the woods. Keep left as you leave the heath and reach some houses. The track passes between two paddocks and then between flint cottages, turns left and joins the road.

Turn left onto the road, passing the Norfolk Shire Horse centre and Runton Common on the left. After the Links Hotel, the path to the station is just before the railway bridge on the right. Whilst waiting for the train admire the station garden, lovingly restored and maintained by Runtons Station Adopters.

Points if Interest

1. Incleborough Hill

This is an important wildlife site, dominated by gorse which makes a spectacular show when in flower. The southern boundary of this common is part of an ancient bank with a hedge of Hawthorn and English Elm. From the top of Incleborough there are wonderful views of the whole coast area between Sheringham and Cromer.

2. Elephant of Runton

The fossilised remains of a prehistoric elephant, believed to have lived around 600,000 years ago have been found in the cliffs at West Runton. It took five years to retrieve all the bones, many of which are now on display in the Castle Museum in Norwich, together with a life-size cut-out figure showing how large the elephant would have been.