August's hidden gem - West Runton
West Runton is our August hidden gem.
West Runton is situated on the beautiful north Norfolk coast, just two miles from Sheringham and three miles from Cromer. West Runton, although small, is a significant part of the Deep History Coast and has helped us understand the fascinating history of our county.
The pelvic bone of a mammal was discovered by Harold and Margaret Hems at the bottom of the cliffs at West Runton in December 1990 after a night of storms and disruption. About a year later, after another raging storm, more bones were discovered, and an exploratory dig began in January 1992. A three-month excavation began in 1995 and the oldest mammoth to have been discovered in the UK was unearthed.
85% of the Steppe Mammoth was unearthed which made it the most complete Steppe Mammoth skeleton to have ever been found in the world. The remaining 15% of the skeleton had been eaten by hyenas, however it was discovered the mammoth stood at 4m tall at the shoulder and weighed a massive 10 tons.
Parts of the mammoth can now be seen by the public in Cromer Museum and Norwich Castle Museum. The huge skull and amazing tusks can be found in The Norfolk Collections Centre at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.
The amazing cliff faces of West Runton are full of amazing fossils. The site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and more specifically, a Geological Conservation Review (GCR) site. These amazing sites display significant geological and geomorphological features. Sediments, rocks, minerals, fossils have been found in these sites, as well as other features which have been vital in helping us understand the geological history of the UK.
Fossil hunting is a fantastic thing to do with the whole family as it can be very exciting to find something historical. On a sunny day, head to the beach of West Runton and see what you can discover. Who knows – maybe you will discover the next Steppe Mammoth!
West Runton beach is also a fantastic location for rock pooling. When the tide is out, beautiful rock pools will be uncovered and will be home to interesting creatures, both swimming and crawling.
West Runton is Blue Flag beach, meaning it is kept clean, has clean toilet facilities, has ‘excellent’ water quality, a lifeguard is available, plus much more. The beach is a fantastic place for children to be children – no need to worry about the beach being dirty or unsuitable.
A couple of things to note of when visiting West Runton beach – six metre stacks line the west of the beach and they have been put in place to protect the cliffs. However, children can still play on the surrounding sand to their heart’s content. Secondly, the one mile walk from West Runton to East Runton is a fantastic dog walk, however make sure to check the tide times as you may get stranded when the tide cuts off the corner.
West Runton properties
Half Moon Cottage is one of three pretty, thatched, single-storey cottages located in West Runton. Situated less than a mile from the sea, this comfortable holiday home sleeps two and welcomes one pet. The studio style of this coastal bolt hole is ideal for a romantic retreat or family getaway if booked alongside the other two properties.
Sleeping three, Jasmine Cottage is the second of three gorgeous, single-storey cottages which can be booked individually or together in West Runton. Jasmine Cottage is beautifully spacious and welcomes two pets. Well-equipped and comfortable, this beautiful bolt hole has a garden to the rear and a small terrace to the side.
Vine Cottage is the third wonderful, thatched, single-storey properties. Sleeping four and welcoming one pet, Vine Cottage is a stylish yet comfortable holiday home, complete with an open-plan living area, two bedrooms (each with an en-suite), and French doors in the living room which open out to the rear garden.
Sleeping four, Bluebird Cottage is a wonderfully renovated and well-equipped cottage, just a short stroll from the beach. Overlooking the village green, this delightful coastal cottage provides all the creature comforts to ensure you enjoy a cosy and relaxing holiday. Close to the village shops, Bluebird Cottage is in fantastic location for a seaside break.
South View is a well-appointed, stylish coastal retreat which sleeps six and welcomes one dog. Located just a short stroll from the beach, this lovely brick and flint chalet-style cottage is close to all amenities and has plenty of room for all the family. This gorgeous cottage is complete with a wood burner, French doors leading into the fully enclosed garden and a lovely range cooker.
Sleeping eight and welcoming one pet, Hillside is ideal for larger families or groups of friends travelling to the north Norfolk coast. This charming detached flint cottage is within walking distance of the beach and boasts a spacious garden and two patio areas. The cottage is complete with period features, a wood burner and AGA, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere.