Holkham Beach

beaches in north norfolk

North Norfolk has 45 miles coast with award-winning beautiful beaches, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Several are Blue Flag beaches and all of them are clean, family-friendly, safe and most of them welcome dogs.

explore north norfolk beaches

Heacham and Hunstanton face west and so are two of the sunniest resorts in Norfolk, enjoying dramatic sunsets. Hunstanton, or Sunny Hunny, is an elegant Victorian resort, and is most famous for its striped cliffs. The large sandy beach is ideal for families with rock pools to explore and is a great spot for kite-surfing. 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. 

Go east along the coast and you'll find Brancaster. The beach is stunning with miles of golden sand and is dog friendly. With the tidal salt marshes of nearby Scolt Head and the fantastically flat sands ideal for kite surfing (in designated areas), Brancaster Beach has something for everyone. 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.

Head to nature-rich Holkham for white sands, dunes and pinewoods, 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.

Just along from Holkham you'll find award-winning dog-friendly Wells-next-the-Sea, also part of the coastal nature reserve. Walk through shady pinewoods from the car park with excellent cafe, to the sandy beach, and you'll see 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. To get from the town to the beach, you can take the Wells Harbour Railway.

BUILDING SANDCASTLES

Popular traditional seaside town Sheringham, is well known for its fine beaches 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.

Just along the coast from Sheringham is Cromer beach 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.

HOW TO GO CRABBING

West Runton beach, part of the Deep History Coast, is 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 great for beachcombing for fossils. You can find a cafe along the gangway and car park on the cliffs. 

HOW TO BEACHCOMB

Family-friendly traditional Mundesley has a large flat beach backed by cliffs and a row of pretty beach huts. The resort is quiet, and ideal for beach days away from the hustle and bustle.

One of the most eastern beaches on the north Norfolk coast is Sea Palling. It is a wide sandy beach with a series of shallow bays formed by man-made offshore reefs. The calmer waters makes it a great place for small children to play.

Whatever time of year you're planning to visit north Norfolk, the beaches along the unspoilt coastline are ideal for walking and summer holidays. 

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