Wells Beach

top north norfolk beaches

It's official - north Norfolk has the best beaches in England! There are now six Blue Flag beaches in the district with East Runton and West Runton beaches joining Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Sheringham in the top tier of English beaches. This means these north Norfolk beaches have the highest quality of water, facilities, environmental education and management, with superb levels of cleanliness and safety. Wells beach also received a Seaside Award after its Beach of the Year Award in 2016. Read more about our top beaches below and #niptonorthnorfolk!
Holkham:  Head to nature-rich Holkham if you're looking for white sands backed by dunes and pinewoods, which has been the setting for many films. The vast sands are ideal for building sandcastles and family days out. Behind the shoreline lies a basin, which, at high tides, fills to form a spectacular shallow lagoon. Holkham Beach is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.

Wells:  Just along from Holkham you'll find award-winning dog-friendly Wells-next-the-Sea, also part of the coastal nature reserve. Wells Beach was awarded in May 2017, a Seaside Award, which means visitors can enjoy a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch. You can reach the beach from the town by the Wells Harbour Railway which was the first 10.25 inch railway to operate a scheduled service and appears in the Guiness World Records (check running times). If you travel by car, there is the main beach car park with an excellent cafe. Walk through the pretty shady pinewoods and you'll be greeted with a stunning sandy beach, past the row of colourful beach huts. You can walk to Holkham beach by the two mile pine walk, part of the Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way. At low tide, children will love splashing around in The Run, which you can walk a mile or so out to its end. Head back when the hooter signals the incoming tide. 

Hunstanton:  Hunstanton beach faces west and so is one of the sunniest resorts in Norfolk. With that brings dramatic, beautiful sunsets. Hunstanton, or Sunny Hunny, is an elegant Victorian resort, and is most famous for its striped cliffs, providing an amazing back drop to the beach. The large sandy beach is ideal for families with rock pools to explore and is a great spot for kite-surfing.
Heacham:  Three miles along the coast is Heacham. Its north and south beaches face west and look out to a huge 20 mile bay. The water here is shallow and sheltered, ideal for children, as well as providing a perfect area to see impressive sunsets.
Brancaster:  Head east along the coast from Heacham, and you'll find Brancaster. The beach is stunning with miles of golden sand and is great for dog walking. These miles of flat sands are also ideal for kite surfing (in designated areas). Nearby are the tidal salt marshes of Scolt Head. When the tide is out you can see an old shipwreck, the remains of SS Vina which was used by the RAF for target practice before the Normandy landing.

Sheringham:  This Blue Flag beach set in a traditional seaside resort, is well known for its fine seaside setting and cliffs surrounded by picturesque wooded areas to the north with views over the sea. When the tide is out, the sands and rock pools of this pebbly beach are revealed, perfect for exploring.

Cromer: Just along the coast from Sheringham is Blue Flag beach, Cromer, with its Victorian Pier, great for crabbing. The beach is sandy and flat and you can enjoy watching the fishing boats catching the famous Cromer crab. Close to the shore you will find the Cromer Shoals Chalk Bed, created when dinosaurs roamed. It is the longest in the world at 20 miles long and you can see it by swimming out and snorkelling. The Cromer crabs feed off the reef, which gives the delicacy its rich and sweet flavour. The pristine sands, luscious green cliffs and dainty Victorian buildings make it a very enchanting place to visit.

West Runton and East Runton: Both West and East Runton are Blue Flag beaches. The beach at West Runton is part of the Deep History Coast. It's a sand and shingle beach, with rock pools when the tide goes out. The cliffs offer an impressive backdrop to the beach and is the site of the discovery of the West Runton mammoth - the largest and oldest mammoth skeleton ever found. The beach is an ideal spot for beachcombing for fossils. You can find a cafe along the gangway and car park on the cliffs.
Sea Palling: One of the most eastern beaches on the north Norfolk coast is Blue Flag beach, Sea Palling. This is a wide sandy beach with a series of shallow bays formed by man-made offshore reefs which calms the waters, making it safe for small children.
Mundesley: Family-friendly traditional Mundesley has a large flat beach backed by cliffs and a row of pretty, colourful beach huts. The resort is quiet, and a good choice for beach days away from the hustle and bustle.