An extensive sandy beach, with the option of hitting West Runton or Cromer (depending on conditions) is what you’ll find at East Runton. The area is known as a surfing spot and as such has a thriving scene of board riders who are hardcore and always on it when swell conditions are good.
Paddlers have been growing in numbers over the years and you’ll now find plenty of kayakers who are just as keen to get a ride in when the surf pumps. For anyone thinking of venturing into the line up; you’ll need your wits about you and decent level of paddling skill to be able to mix it up with crowds of water users at optimum times.
During quieter periods of calmer weather, it isn’t unusual to find plenty of kayakers on the water all raring for some spoon action. The summer months sees the beach quite busy with many out on the water.
From a surfing point of view; low tide is usually pretty flat as an offshore reef blocks nearly all the juice – most head for Cromer at this state of tide. Higher water sees better surfing conditions and when a big North Sea winter storm rears up you get some significant lumps pulsing down from Scotland.
The main issue at Runton is the breeze. Scoring clean conditions is actually quite tricky – usually it’s a choppy/lumpy/rippy affair that puts most off. However, luck out and arrive during a solid swell and offshore winds and you’ll have some extremely pleasant rides.
During flatter periods it’s possible to paddle along the coast and hunt out those quiet nooks and crannies and soak up the atmosphere and take in the scenery.
The village is a traditional fishing type that’s now a popular caravan and camping destination. Most housing and accommodation is found a mile or so away from the beach. There are two main pubs, the Fishing Boat and the White Horse, and overall the atmosphere is quite sleepy – particularly out of season. There’s also a social club, that was previously an amusement arcade, but this changed to its current form in 1982.
A few B&Bs can be found in East Runton with more options available towards Cromer – a bigger town that has a wider range of amenities and services. Visitors could also choose to stay in the surrounding Norfolk countryside – although this will mean more of a journey to the put in every day.
How to get there:
Follow directions along the A148 towards Cromer before taking the A149 to East Runton. Trains alight in Cromer where public transport can be found to take you on to your final destination.
Car park, local shop, restaurants, two caravan parks and a couple of pubs for afterwards to wet the whistle are within the local area.
Large flints at high tide are all worth keeping an eye out for. The North Sea can also be very chilly, even during the warmest of summer months. It may be worth considering appropriate paddling attire – just in case you end up with a dunking.
Ins and Outs:
Dropping your vehicle in the main car park, it’s then a little walk with your gear (even more so if the tide is out) to the water’s edge. You can drag your boat along the sand once on the beach.
East Runton is one of the most popular beaches for waves in the whole of East Anglia. The spot faces north and can get waves during a big northerly swell or significant North Sea breeze. The seabed is a mix of flint rocks and sand.
A reef, just offshore, is exposed during big low tides and can be a bit of a swell blocker – at this point you’re better off heading for Cromer to the south.
The village is set back a little from the beach and is part of the Runton parish which makes up East and West Runton. Norwich is 21.7 miles north. East Runton is a quaint little village that has most of its residents nestled around two village greens.
East Runton holds the attention of most surfers in the area as it’s noted as a good location for waves and quite consistent for this area. The Surfer’s Memorial was unveiled in 2003 and is designed as a commemorative weather vane.
It’s home to a plaque that remembers four young surfers from the area and is inscribed with: waves come and go my friends but your lights shine on.
Kayaking in the area has started to gain momentum over the last few years and nowadays you’ll find a bunch of keen paddlers on it when conditions are favourable – be that surf or flat water.