Inspirational Trails 15: Norfolk
Written By: Carmine De Grandis
Here, in part fifteen of a series featuring inspirational trails, Scarpa athlete and ultra-runner, Carmine De Grandis, describes the Norfolk Coastal Trails on the East Coast of England.
Whether you are a top trail runner or more of a “Trails Lover” who enjoys spending time in nature, North Norfolk has lots to offer. I started running years ago because I needed time to find myself and to satisfy a deep desire to experience the beauty and the power of nature. After a stint of road running and chasing times, I found my home within a community of runners who have in common a deep desire to “hit the trails and get muddy” regularly. Those who know me realise that I long to be in the mountains and regularly take trips to run, race or explore Wales, Northern England, Scotland or the Alps. However, I live in North Norfolk and I can confidently say that some of my favourite routes and landscapes are very close to where I live on beautiful, unspoilt trails. A few of these local highlights include the Roman Camp, Beacon Hill, West Runton and Beeston Regis Woodland and Heath.
The gem of the Norfolk Coastal trails is hidden in the woodland and heath around West Runton and Beeston Regis. This is also the location which the Norfolk Trail Runners call “home”. With incredible views, a great deal of technical, hilly or fast woodland trails I visit the Roman Camp as often as 2 to 3 times every week and do not need to run along the same paths. This is also a superb location for running with your dog and a fantastic place to watch some of our local wildlife. I often split my 10 km run into two sections. One is very hilly and can involve up to 400 metres of elevation within 5km. This section takes on the many inclines towards West Runton, Beeston and Sheringham. The second section follows flatter, faster and beautiful woodland paths on the Aylmerton side of the area. This mostly follows the trails along the boundaries of the plantation. Try running this section at night and your headtorch will spot the deer which inhabit the woods. Of course, you can also take in stunning views over the sea or the open fields on most days. You will find that it is easy to park and you are never too far from a good pub or two.
Photos: Credit to Carmine De Grandis & Unsplash