Beacon Hill Walk, Norfolk Walks, England, UK
Beacon Hill Walk was about 7.5 miles in distance. The terrain of this route included a beach, coastal path, woodland track and trails, and field paths. Note that the beach section between East Runton and Sheringham may be impassable at high tide. You are advised to consult tide tables. There were 3 stiles to negotiate on this walk.
Norfolk is not as flat as you may have been led to believe. Plenty of the county has an charming landscape of gentle rolling, wooded hills, as is the case with its coastline. Although there are huge bands of saltmarsh and drifting dunes, there are also striking cliffs of chalk and glacial clay that provide vantage points for sweeping views. Beacon Hill is one of the highest vantage points on the 100 mile long Norfolk’s coastline.
The first section of this walk is below crumbly cliffs, which are often undermined by spring tides and occasional storms, crumbling to reveal fossils. The most notable fossil find was during 1990, when the pelvis of a giant mammoth was discovered. Aptly named the ‘West Runton Elephant’, further excavation uncovered most of the skeleton, some of which are on display at the museums in Cromer and Norwich.
Starting from the car park at East Runton Gap, leg one of this walk headed west along the beach to Sheringham. Leg two went east on the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path which then wound its way southwards on field paths and tracks to the viewpoint at Beeston Regis Heath.
Leg three went east on woodland paths and tracks over Beacon Hill. To complete the walk the fourth and final leg zig-zagged north west on woodland paths, a field path, tracks and short road sections back to East Runton Gap car park.
Get an OS Map or a Walking Guide for your Walks
- Landranger 133 OS Map - North East Norfolk: Cromer and Wroxam - 1:50,000 Scale
- Explorer 252 OS Map - Norfolk Coast East - 1:25,000 Scale
- Norfolk Walking Guides
Beacon Hill Walk Route
The Beacon Hill Walk route was circular in an anti-clockwise direction with four legs.
On this first leg we started from East Runton Gap car park and headed west along the beach to Sheringham.
- After consulting tide tables, we turned right out of the car park to walk down Beach Road towards the beach at East Runton Gap.
- As we approached the beach we veered right down a slip road on to the beach.
- Turning left along the beach we headed west with the easiest walking being on firm sand left by the falling tide.
- At West Runton, we passed through a break in a tall groyne and continued ahead on the exposed chalk bedrock and scattered slippery flint.
- After we negotiated a succession of groynes and passed a flight of steps below Beeston Regis, we reached steps at Sheringham promenade.
Having walked about 2.5 miles to this point, the second leg turned east along the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path when then wound its way south along field paths and tracks to Beeston Regis Heath viewing point.
- Here we ascended the steps from the beach on to the promenade.
- After walking along the promenade a short distance we ascended more steps and walked up a wide public footpath to the edge of town by the putting green on the left.
- At the top we turned left beside the putting green to join the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path and ascended steps to the top of Beeston Hill.
- We continued ahead along the coast path, descending steps beyond to a junction with a waymarker post before entering a caravan site.
- Here we turned right along a path across a field then between bushes to cross a railway through two gates.
- Continuing ahead along a track we emerged onto the A149 road.
- Here, we crossed the road diagonally to the left to a drive.
- Following this drive we curved right, passing buildings on the left.
- Continuing ahead the drive became a track which ascended gently towards a wooded hill and a junction on the edge of Beeston Regis Heath.
- Here we left the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path, turning right onto a grassy track and passed a cottage on the left.
- Continuing ahead the track became a path on the fringe of trees.
- Next we took the second path off to the left and climbed a wooded gully.
- At the top we swung to the right and followed the path to the cairned viewpoint on the edge of the heath.
At around the 4.5 miles mark, the third leg headed east along woodland paths and tracks over Beacon Hill.
- Next we returned to the first fork in the path and went right to a fence.
- At the fence we went left beside it and on reaching the fence corner, we kept straight ahead and then veered left on a tree lined path.
- After about 800 metres, at a junction, we curves left between trees to a track.
- We turned right along the track and were now back on the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path.
- Following the track we came to the summit of Beacon Hill on the left with a flag pole on a mound, a stone pillar, and a National Trust (NT) sign with the name “Roman Camp” on it.
- Continuing along the track, passing a caravan site on the right opposite the summit, we emerged on a lane.
Having walked about 5.5 miles to this point, the fourth and final leg zig-zagged north west along woodland paths, a field path, tracks and short road sections back to East Runton car park.
- Continuing straight across the lane onto the track opposite, we almost immediately turned left along a path.
- Descending on this path we passed West Runton Camping and Caravanning Club site on the left.
- On reaching a four-way junction we turned left along a path enclosed by trees, leaving the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path for the final time.
- On reaching a stile on the left shortly afterwards, we went over the stile to follow a path which contoured the base of Incleborough Hill.
- On climbing over another stile, we continue ahead to contour the hill, crossing a meadow.
- Near the far end of the meadow we went over a third stile on the right.
- Turning right when over the stile onto a path, we immediately fork left onto another path.
- Continuing along this path we arrived at a junction with a track.
- Here we went left and over a railway bridge to follow the track out onto the A149 main road.
- We turned right along the road into East Runton, left into Beach Road and right back into car park.
When Done & With Whom
I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a Norfolk hiking holiday during November 2014. We drove from our holiday accommodation in Wells-Next-The Sea, Norfolk to the starting location of East Runton, Norfolk and parked in a pay and display car park off Beach Road, at grid reference TG200427, which was also the start location of the walk.