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The local Railway from Norwich to Cromer & Sheringham

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Sheringham 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.

Walk out of the station ahead is the North Norfolk Steam Railway and a car park. Turn right down the main street (Station Road) which heads towards the sea. Stay on this main shopping street until you reach the seafront, where you can glimpse the beach. Retrace your steps, stopping to look at the cannon on the corner of Gun Street, and then take the next left into Wyndham Street. Keep left and fork into Cliff Road. This road climbs and turns into a cliff path heading towards Beeston Hill. Keep left along the steep cliff top path over Regis Hills, which the trig point measures as 63 metres. The path goes down and you then turn right at the entrance to the caravan park, following the path between two fields. Cross the railway line and continue down the track, bearing left.

On the right are the remains of Beeston Priory. The track ends at the main road. Cross over and turn left, forking right along another roadway waymarked as the coastal footpath. Turn right again to lead past Hall Farm on the left and Beeston Regis Hall. The track climbs towards a woodland, passing between two fields until it reaches Beeston Regis Heath. Turn left, following the long distance footpath sign, which follows the edge of the wood. After about 50 metres a yellow long distance footpath arrow points to a path forking right along the edge of a small pine plantation, signed to Roman Camp. Keep the fence and woodland on the right, ignoring any footpaths leading off to the left. The path then bends right and heads up into the wood and you are soon walking up through a gully carving a way into an enchanting woodland.

The route continues straight ahead from the wooded gully, passing through the car park and along the track used by cars visiting the area. A little way along on the left is a clearing with a glorious view. This is Beacon Hill, a site of ancient iron workings. The track continues past a caravan park on the right and comes out in another car park. This is Roman Camp. Continue on the track, take the left fork which comes out at a road. Cross over following the coastal footpath sign and turn left ignoring the ordinary public footpath sign which goes straight on. This gravel path goes down into a gully before emerging from the woodland landscape into more open countryside. At a junction in the footpath, continue straight on, passing a hillock, following the long distance sign and the Norfolk Heritage Coast sign. The path goes through a kissing gate and continues along the right hand side of a field. It crosses a small stream and carries on through an area of scrub to join a track. Turn left and head towards the village of East Runton.

When the road bears right, our route lies to the left, along a public footpath. It follows the line of a flint wall, bearing right at a fork in the paths. It then skirts to the left around the base of Incleborough Hill. It reaches a tarmac road running through the golf course. Turn right and follow the road as it bends round to the left and runs parallel with the railway on the right. The road meets another road leading into the village of West Runton. Turn right, and if your legs are tired, then you can catch a train at West Runton station, the entrance to which is on the right just before the railway bridge.

If you are carrying on back to Sheringham, go over the railway bridge, and then turn left at the main road which takes you through the village, past Holy Trinity Church. Just before the road crosses the railway bridge, there is a footpath passing to the right of the bridge, marked Footpath to Sheringham. It follows the railway line, past the backs of houses and passes in front if Beeston Regis church.

The path carries on to the level crossing which we crossed earlier in the walk. Turn right onto the track and then bear left towards the houses. This turns into a road which goes through a built -up area and joins Cliff Road. At the bottom turn left and then immediate right into Co-operative Street which emerges in the main High Street in Sheringham once again. Turn left for the station.

Points of Interest

1. Sheringham Museum

This independently run museum is housed in three former one-up one-down fisherman's cottages, subsequently used as wash houses and net lofts. Fishing was once Sheringham's principal industry with over 200 boats working out of the town. The town's long association with the harvest of the sea goes back well before the 16th century when England was a Roman Catholic country. Fish had to be eaten every Friday and on numerous saints' days. In the second part of the 19th century the so-called 'Great Boats' emerged which allowed the fishermen to carry out long-shore or deep sea fishing, remaining at sea for long periods to fish for whatever was in season. The fleet was at its peak in the 1860's when there were about 40 luggers but by 1890 it had shrunk to just 12 as the steam drifter took over.

When the long shore fishing declined, shellfish became the mainstay of the fishing economy, although fisherman continued to fish for what was in season.

2. Crabbing

A great revolution in the crabbing industry was the crab pot introduced in the 1860's. The pots worked on the mouse-trap principal. About 20-25 at a time were roped together in a line, called a shank. Each boat would work about eight shanks, emptying the pots each day and taking the catch to local markets. Peak years for the crabbing industry of north Norfolk were around the turn of the century. Today only a handful of boats work out of Sheringham.

3. Beeston Priory

Beeston was once on the pilgrimage route to Walsingham and the priory is thought to have been established in 1197. Like so many small priories it had a turbulent history, culminating when the abbots were accused of committing 'manifest sins' and of indulging in 'vicious carnal and abominable living'. Under Henry VIII it was dissolved in 1539 but it's remains today give an idea of its importance, particularly when it came to providing hospitality for travellers.

4. 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.