West Runton – Just West of East Runton

The Beeston Bump between West Runton and Sherringham
The Beeston Bump. Between West Runton and Sherringham

Norfolk – June 12th – June 14th, 2017

I have posted about the natural beauty of the North Norfolk Coast once before, and as I expected, my return trip in June did not disappoint.  My first two nights were in West Runton, (map) at The Corner House B&B. (link). 

Sean and Daron were very sweet, although at times Sean seemed like he didn’t want to be there.  He cooked breakfast and after taking my order, would hold my gaze a little too long.  As if “what the hell have I done to my life, and why am I cooking this person breakfast,” had to pass in and out of his mind before he swiftly looked away and up, before scurrying off to do the actual cooking.    

I felt like I was in an episode of My Two Gay Dads.  I would come down to breakfast and both Daron and Sean, who were lovely people, would come to my table and it would go a little something like this…

Daron/Sean: Hiya!  Good morning.  Sleep well, did you?  Yeah?  Lovely.  Glad to hear.  Nice.  Please sit here.  Where are you going today?  Plans?  No?  No plans?  Go to the beach, yeah?  It’s right over there.  Look, right there.  (there is no beach right over there).  Just go down there by the pub, it’s 2 minutes.  You’re on your holiday, right?  Might as well go to the beach. It’s a lovely day.  Do you have sun cream?  You probably need sun cream.  Then just walk to Sheringham.  It’s only about 15 minutes, right?  Okay then.  Sean will see to your breakfast.  Have a lovely day.  You enjoy yourself!  Call if you need anything.

As usual when someone explains distance to you in England it is to be taken with a grain of salt.  Something they describe as just over there, or right around the corner, or just a 15-minute walk, is usually a very far walk from the truth.  I don’t know why this confabulation exists.  But it does.  Maybe they are bad at judging distance, or maybe it is a trick they like to play on foreigners.

The walk to Sheringham along the coastal path was absolutely stunning, and no it was not a 15-minute walk.  I didn’t walk there, but I did walk back.  On the way, I got a bit turned around in a Caravan Park and a lady in her 70’s asked me if I wanted a ride.  Since the beach wasn’t 2 minutes and since the Beeston Bump looked ominous without a bottle of water, I accepted the kind gesture.  She told me she was picking up two friends and would then drop me.  We drove for what seemed like 20 minutes, but was probably only 10, out into the forest.  That’s reverse time confabulation!  As we’re driving further from the town, and deeper into a thicketed, brambly forest, I thought…this woman is going to kill me.  That she was an old lady seemed beside the point.  There was a barking dog in the back that I never did actually see.  From time to time she yelled “Toby to quiet down,” at the rear view mirror.  God knows what she was hiding under a huge pile of pillows and clothes.  I recognized, at this moment, that I have a keen distrust of people.  Even if they are weakened by age in strength and agility!  There was no chance she had a gun living in West Runton, England. Not a hand gun anyway.  As she was carrying on about living in Wales and coming to the Norfolk coast to have a nice seaside holiday with her friends (probably code for gang), I was nodding and smiling and “uh-huh-ing” all the while sizing her up. 

I could definitely take her. 

The dog might be a problem. 

There’s no one on this dirt road. 

I could make it back unless I was badly injured.

After rounding yet another twisty corner in the forest we were suddenly right in the middle of a very large caravan park. 

“Oh, we’re here!”  I exclaimed swallowing the words THANK GOD before they came bellowing out of my mouth.  The elderly killer and her two nice friends took me to Sheringham and dropped me off at the Tesco.

I walked around the market and down along the sea front of this charming seaside village.  I sat on the corner in front of the abandoned Shannock Hotel, while a man wearing a trilby hat sang and played Neil Diamond songs on his guitar.  By the way, just in case you want to go sit in this spot one day and listen to Cracklin’ Rosie, the outside and quite likely the inside are covered in very tiny black spiders. 

After my brush with a killer in the forest and a sandwich by the sea, with two bottles of water in tow, I decided I would indeed tackle Beeston Bump. (Pictures).  The Beeston Bump is in a tiny hamlet between West Runton and Sheringham called Beeston Regis (Regis meaning: of the King).  It was a bit of a slog going up, but once at the top the view is breathtaking.  The sea sways, rolls and churns to the north, and a picturesque English village with a 14th century church lies to the south.

Exhilaration turned to exhaustion as I made my way back to the B&B.  Which was an hour and a half trek and not 15 minutes.

Hiya!  Did you go to the beach, yeah?  Ooow…you went over the bump?  Good for you.  You okay?  You need anything? No?  Just let Sean or I know if you do.  What’s on for tomorrow?  Beach again?  Cromer? No? You are going to Cromer the next day.  That’s right. I had forgotten.  You alright then?  Do you need more pillows? No, Sean already gave you more.  Alright then, lovely.  Just let us know. We’re here to help.  See you for breakfast then? Okay see you then. Bed is comfie then? Yes?  Oh good.  Okay, then see you in the morning for breakfast.  Bye. Bye.  Bye.  Bye-Bye.

Bench at the top of Beeston Bump
The Corner House B&B. West Runton/
The Corner House B&B. West Runton
Ascending the Beeston Bump
Top of Beeston Bump looking out at the north sea. A bee in the top left corner.
Looking back from whence I came

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