Route details, maps, pubs, features, local history and folklore for a wide variety of walks focusing primarily on Norfolk and Suffolk

Thursday, 25 August 2011

North Norfolk Railway Beer Festival 2011

The 10th North Norfolk Railway beer festival

There was a selection of 120 ales from around the country plus a range of ciders and perrys all for the price of £2.80 a pint. Entertainment and food was available throughout the weekend together with both diesel and steam train workings to make a truly unique event. Even the rain throughout the weekend could not dampen the enthusiasm of those attending, with plenty of shelter available in the carriages alongside Platform 2 where the beer tent was situated. This was an excellent weekend with ample opportunity for some walking along the picturesque coast to Cromer. There was also a late bus between Sheringham and Cromer calling at Woodhill saving us the walk across Beeston Bump in the dark back to the campstie at East Runton. When it comes to beer festivals you cannot beat this one.

North Norfolk Railway Beer Festival 2011 - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
Sheringhamn View in OS Map | View in Google Map
End Point
Cromer View in OS Map | View in Google Map
Total Walk distance
9 miles
Walk difficulty


The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. The links include published hard copy as well as online plots and downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
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Online Ordnance Survey Route
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Online OpenStreetMap Route
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Online Google Route
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GPX data for route (download)


Woodhill Park CampsiteView in OS Map | View in Google Map
Located on the clifftops at East Runton, half way between Sheringham and Cromer, this highly recommended touring site is ideal for exploring North Norfolk with public transport available to many destinations from the entrance to the site.


Details of public transport that is required for the walk

Various Operators - Bus Service
Service Details
Coasthopper CH1, CH2, CH3 - Unfortunately, in recent years the highly acclaimed Coasthopper bus service has suffered from subsequent takeovers with a consequent deterioration of the service and continuing doubts upon is viability. Due to its constant changing operators, it is therefore best to use the Traveline website to determine the current timetables and services.
Sanders Coaches - bus Service
Service Details
44 - Linking Sheringham, Cromer, Aylsham and Norwich

Walk Data

Date of Walk
Walk Time
12:00 to 22:30
Griffmonster Kat
Weather Conditions
Blustery wind, some heavy rain with some sunny spells at the end of the day

Walk Notes

Without any shadow of a doubt this beer festival is my favourite. This is the third year in attendance and it never fails to disappoint, getting better with each year. This year we spent most of the weekend at the festival being in attendance on Friday evening, throughout Saturday and Sunday lunchtime. There were some excellent beers on offer and far too many to mention here - see the slideshow for a sample of some of the ales we tasted. My personal favourites were Betty Stoggs from the Skinners brewery of Truro, a full bodied pale amber ale; O'Hanlons Yellowhammer, a very moreish well balanced pale ale; plus all the brews from the Tydd Steam Brewery, all of which were very pleasing to the palette. The predominant beer style was pale and golden beers with very few stouts and porters, but I guess that is the trend these days. I did manage to sample one stout, Panthers Black Ale which was a a fine example of a Norfolk stout.

Saturday was our main attendance when we spent most of the day at the festival. The initial intention was to walk into Sheringham but the blustery day with constant heavy showers made us take the path alongside the road in as this was a little more sheltered. As we headed into West Runton the rain became heavier and we were getting drenched. Quite amazingly the open-topped Sanders bus stopped for us despite not being at a bus stop and despite not attempting to flag the bus down. This was appreciated as we did not really want to spend the rest of the day in damp clothing. We did manage to have a wander around Sheringham during the day and have a meal at the Jolly Tar restaurant. I hate putting places down, but this was not very good food. We had a plate of haddock in breadcumbs and chips and peas and the fish was so hard you needed industrial mining gear just to get into it. The service was also very slow considering there was very few people in the restaurant.

Music at the festival was most excellent with the the entertaining Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo playing throughout Saturday. These are a great fun band who cover songs in their own distinctive style including a reggae version of the Undertones Teenage Kicks and a skiffle version of Led Zeppelins Rock n Roll. On Sunday lunchtime we watched the Jazz of the King Size Papas. Although I would never consider myself a jazz aficionado, these supplied a relaxing and entertaining lunchtime in the sunshine.

This year saw the introduction of a late 44 bus by Sanders - leaving Sheringham just before 10pm. This was much appreciated and very well used and is a lot more convenient than getting a taxi or hiking across Beeston Bump in the dark or getting the late train to West Runton and walking.

All together, a well rewarding beer festival. We already have next years beer festival marked in the calender - see you there!

Steam train operate throughout the Beer Festival
Steam train operate throughout the Beer Festival


A simple circular route following clifftop paths in one direction and the beach in the other.

From Woodhill Park there is a path that runs along the cliff top, past West Runton and in front of Beeston Regis caravan site. Here it joins the official coastal footpath for the ascent up Beeston Bump. You can now follow the National Trail acorns down into Sheringham. Planning this walk right you will then be able to walk the shoreline all the way from Sheringham to Cromer. To return from Cromer follow the cliff top path to Cromer Bowls club where erosion forces the walker onto the road through to East Runton and back to where the walk starts.!

great music from The Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo
great music from The Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo


Sheringham Poppy Line: View in OS Map | View in Google Map

Sheringham is the terminus for the North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line. This preserved steam railway runs the 5 miles between Sheringham and Holt along the former route of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway and has recently been reconnected to the National Rail network allowing steam specials to run from London and Norwich.

Work on rebuilding the line started in 1965, and on 4 June 1967, two steam locomotives were delivered. The operating company, North Norfolk Railway plc, was launched in 1965 following the granting of two Light Railway Orders. In May 1973, the railway was the scene of filming of the episode The Royal Train of the popular TV programme Dad's Army. The main restoration sheds are located at Weybourne with new carriage storage sheds more recently built near Holt with Heritage Lottery Funding.

Sunday afternoon jazz from the King Size Papas
Sunday afternoon jazz from the King Size Papas


Below are a selection of images taken from from the photo album for this walk. Feel free to browse through these or click on an image to view a larger version in the Gallery.

Summary of Document Changes

Last Updated: 2018-12-16


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