Things to see and do at West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath

Looking over the trees to the sea beyond

See the best ways to spend your time at West Runton, with its wonderful views, wildlife walks and iron-smelting heritage.

North Sea views

Looking from Roman Camp over West Runton Heath the North Sea looks deceptively inviting. In the distance you can see Holy Trinity Church in West Runton.
 

Incleborough Hill

Incleborough Hill is not much more than a pile of sand and gravel washed out as a glacier melted. Enjoy a climb to the top for wonderful views. Look up and you may see birds of prey circling over your heads.
 

Woodlands

Why not take a gentle walk in the woods? There are lots of paths to follow. Many of the trees you will see started growing here when myxomatosis decimated the rabbit population and the windblown seeds from silver birch grew into young trees that shaded out heathland species.
 
Look out for rowan (mountain ash), oak, ash and sweet chestnut, as well as our old beech trees, some of which have been pollarded.
 
Download the welcome leaflet below featuring a marked walk but please note that the signs for the walk aren't yet in place.
 

Rare species

Our heaths are home to the white admiral butterfly, the rare barred chestnut moth, hummingbird hawk moth, silver-washed fritillary and - most years - nightjars. There are also lizards, grass snakes and adders.
 

The heathland

Our heaths here are diverse but the dominating plant is common heather. You may see lizards, adders, grass snakes, toads, green woodpeckers and, at dusk, nightjars. Butterflies are less numerous in the colder months.
 

Go for a walk

The land is a ridge of sand and gravel left by ice and retreating glaciers. Following the route in our wlecome leaflet (below) you can see eight species of tree and a variety of flowers, birds and insects. You'll also be able to enjoy some spectacular views over the countryside towards the North Sea. But please note that the signs for the walk in the leaflet aren't yet in place.
 
 
 
 

Iron working

Iron nodules were used in the medieval period to smelt iron. Some of the shallow pits from which ore was dug can be seen just to the north of the car park. Up to 150 tons of iron may have been obtained over the years.
 

Geology of the site

Melting glaciers left behind a free-draining soil, perfect for our heathland plants. Trickling water washed soluble minerals lower down, producing iron ore that was smelted in the medieval period.