The Year of the Coast 2023 celebrates the very best of England’s amazing coastline, including the north Norfolk coast, and marks the creation of the 2,700-mile King Charles III England Coast Path, the longest marked walking route in the world! 

The UK coastline ranks as one of the most exciting in the world; more than 185 million years old, and one of the most varied – rich in maritime port cities, smuggling villages, family resorts, natural beauty and unique sea life. And north Norfolk has so much to offer. With Blue Flag beaches, nature reserves, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, dark skies ideal for star gazing, unique wildlife, the Deep History Coast and of course fantastic walking routes like the Norfolk Coast Path, there is a lot to celebrate about the stretch of coastline in north Norfolk. Charming seaside towns, fantastic businesses selling locally produced food and wares as well as year-round events and festivals, make north Norfolk an ideal holiday destination. 

Coastal fun

Visit the coastline any time of the year for a fantastic day out where you can enjoy watersports like surfing, kayaking and kite boarding and stroll out over the waves on Cromer Pier where the where the UK’s only remaining traditional end of the pier variety show takes place each Summer and Winter.

For seaside fun, pick a beach bustling with plenty for all the family or head to quieter spots around the coastline like Sea Palling, Waxham and Overstrand. Further up the coast at Wells-next-the-Sea, the beautiful sands have a back drop of beach huts and pinewoods and you can walk to Holkham beach with its spectacular sand dunes. You can walk your dog on many of the beaches (check seasonal restrictions ahead of your visit) with lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants welcoming four legged friends.

Coastal Cuisine

The coastline provides unique and seasonal food to north Norfolk. The area is most famous for its Cromer crab (in season from April). The crabs feed off the Cromer chalk reef, producing the sweet taste the crab is famous for. Many local restaurants and cafes service crab dishes. Mussels are a must when you come to north Norfolk! You can often find Brancaster mussels sold by fisherman or in local shops along the A149 north Norfolk coast road, To prepare, steam lightly in white wine or cider.

Samphire is a delicious sea vegetable, also known as sea asparagus, and it thrives in tidal salt marshes in north Norfolk (in season in May). Not only is samphire incredibly delicious, but it’s good for you too! It has almost no fat, and is packed with essential minerals, including potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. You can use samphire fresh in salads or serve it steamed or boiled and dip in melted butter, to be eaten like asparagus. And of course a trip to the seaside isn't complete until you've eaten fish and chips! Freshly caught fish provides a real local flavour eaten in or as a takeaway.

Excellent Events

There are plenty of festivals and carnivals all year round celebrating the north Norfolk coast. Wells (28 July to 6 August), Sheringham (30 July to 5 August) and Cromer (12 to 18 August) Carnivals take place in the summer and celebrate the coastal towns' heritage. The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival (2 and 3 September) at Holkham is a great chance to find out about and sample local produce. Find more events on the what's on pages

Coastal Walks

As well as the Norfolk Coast Path that is part of the England Coast Path, there are lots of trails and routes to walk that take in fantastic coastal views. Choose from circular walks and short walks or longer hikes with amazing views. You can find trails here. There is also the Deep History Coast Discovery Trail which runs from Cart Gap to Weybourne with eleven discovery points along the way. At each point, you can find out about the deep history of that area as well as use a free app which brings the past to life.  

Finding Fossils

The north Norfolk coast is a great place to go fossil hunting. It is an exciting (and free) activity as you may well find your own piece of history dating back millions of years! There are many different types of fossils you can come across along the Deep History Coast, each telling a different story about the creatures that lived here. Find out more here.

Dark Skies

The Norfolk coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, boasts some of the darkest skies in the country. People are attracted to north Norfolk for its peacefulness, and the darkness plays a key part in creating this tranquillity. As Norfolk is a rural county, industrial activity is sparse, meaning there are less pollutants pumped into the air which can lead to a serious reduction in the clarity of the night sky. As a result, clear night skies in north Norfolk allow visitors an unrivalled view of the night sky. Find out more here.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The north Norfolk coastline is a unique area of remarkable beauty, diversity and scientific importance and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This means it is one of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes and has a legal status to ensure its preservation. The north Norfolk coastline therefore offers stunning views, wonderful wildlife and nature, beautiful beaches and coastline to enjoy.

See the Seals

There is nowhere like north Norfolk to get up close and see seals in their natural habitat, making it the natural choice for a visit. The colony at Blakeney Point, a nature reserve run by the National Trust since 1912, is home to Common and Grey seals, and with over 3,000 pups born each year, it makes Blakeney Point the largest colony in England. There are also large colonies at Horsey and Winterton-on-Sea and you can often see seals bobbing in the water or on the beach all along the north Norfolk coast. Seals can also be spotted in Wells harbour and on the sandbanks at Holkham. Both common and grey seals are protected species and 40% of the world’s Atlantic Grey seal population lives around the UK shores. Find out more here.

Marvellous Museums

North Norfolk has several museums along the coast, each revealing the area’s fascinating and unique heritage. Find out about the Deep History Coast at Cromer Museum and the North Norfolk Visitor Centre. The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer is free to enter and reveals the courageous history of life-saving at sea in Cromer. Just along the coast is Sheringham Museum and it tells the history of the town through its people and seafaring heritage. Find out more here.

Spectacular Sunsets

North Norfolk’s location means throughout the year, you will always catch sight of an amazing sunset. Wherever you are along the coast you won’t be disappointed with the sight of the setting sun. Some of the most impressive can be found at Wells-next-the-SeaCromerBrancaster, Hunstanton and Burnham Overy Staithe.




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