Things to do in West Runton

Deep History Coast

In 2013, a team of scientists from the British Museum, Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University, made an incredible discovery while conducting a geophysics survey on the Happisburgh shoreline

The shoreline had just been scoured by high seas to reveal estuary mud and the area they were looking at would have been a great plain thousands of years ago. Several hollows were discovered in the mud, revealed by 3-D photography to be footprints of five adults and children.

The 850,000-year-old footprints were found in what was once a great estuary of a river system that flowed into the North Sea and included the Thames. These are the earliest footprints ever to be discovered outside Africa.

Doggerland, the link to the European mainland, was lost after the final thawing of the Ice Age approximately 7,000 years ago. Fossils continue to be found every year along Norfolk’s Deep History Coast which stretches 16 miles from West Runton to Happisburgh via Cromer’s chalf reef, the Cromer Ridge and the prehistoric Cromer Forest Bed.

The name of the Deep History Coast came about because it pushed back our understanding of the area’s archaeology hundreds of thousands of years; like Deep Space, we don’t know what else we might find. Watch the video below to learn more about Norfolk’s Deep History Coast!


Important Information


Browse days out that you can access across the Bittern Line.