Beaches to Visit in Norfolk, England

The beaches of Norfolk, words that describe the Norfolk coast, are peaceful, stunning, fresh, tranquil, spacious and relaxing.  Norfolk is all of these and more.

There are wide expanses of perfect Norfolk beaches, high dunes and crashing waves that lull you along with seagull cries and a wide, blue as blue can be, sky!

What we love about Norfolk beaches is that they are spacious and often empty, or that’s how it feels.  Norfolk is known for areas of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and superb nature reserves like Snettisham and Titchwell that bring artists and photographers back year after year.

Norfolk peels back the years, taking back to when you weren’t so stressed out by modern day-to-day life and had time to enjoy family and surroundings more.

Each year, Norfolk is always represented in the Blue Flag Awards, giving you peace of mind that these beaches are among the best in the world for water quality, safety and cleanliness.  Here are more details about a few of them.

1.  Hunstanton

Hunstanton has wide, sandy beaches with interesting rock pools by the cliffs.  There’s the Promenade, where the funfair and the Sea Life Sanctuary can be found and the Seafront beach with all the seaside shops with buckets and spades and everything else you need.  You can rent beach huts, take donkey rides, kite surfing, and beach patrols exist throughout the Summer.

2.  Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells is like a time warp but good you’re whisked back to a more relaxed beach experience with its colourful beach huts and quiet picnic spots.  The main town and lovely harbour are within walking distance, and there are good shops and restaurants.

For those who love water sports, Wells is great for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking, while boat trips depart from the harbour to see the many seals that live on the Norfolk coast. The town is also home to the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, the longest 10¼” narrow gauge steam railway in the world! A great experience for the whole family, the train winds through the picturesque countryside to the quaint village of Walsingham, which has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries.

3.   The Point at Blakeney

Blakeney is a small village close to several resorts in the area.  It is small and quiet but in an area of outstanding natural beauty and has fantastic views across the estuary to the Point, a long spit of sand and shingle.  The Point is a breeding ground for terns and home to seals. You can get there on foot or by ferry boat.  It’s perfect for a day scouring the coastline and beachcombing.

4.  Holkham Bay

Holkham Bay beach is magnificent in any weather but really popular in the Summer.  The bay featured in the final scene of the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’ a few years ago as it has the most spectacular, uninterrupted views.

A lagoon forms at high tide in the semi-circular basin behind the shoreline, attracting a lot of bird life as it lies within one of the largest nature reserves in England. It’s also close to Holkham Hall and the Bygones Museum, so if you’re bored of the splendour on the beach, you can pack up and go inside!

5.  Brancaster

Brancaster is famous for seafood and is full of great eateries to enjoy gastronomic delights from the ocean.

The beaches are beautiful and, again, often feel empty.  If you’re up to it, the Norfolk coast footpath runs from here for 47 miles along the coast.  The views are amazing, and pink-footed geese fill the sky in the Winter months, but during the summer, the weather is generally great for sailing and kite surfing.

6. North and South Beach, Heacham

Both beaches in Heacham look across a large bay, which is often mistaken for open sea but is sheltered water.

Heacham gained popularity as a tourist beach in Victorian times when a railway link was established from King’s Lynn and is still popular now as a caravanning spot.

The bay is beautiful, and the water is often quite still, which allows the sun to leave a pathway across the water and reflect into magnificent sunsets. Holidaymakers exclaim over the breathtaking colours of the sunsets on the bay.

7.  Cromer Beach

Cromer is a sand and shingle beach with cliffs at the back and rock pools to explore.  It’s ideal for swimming and surfing and safe enough for kids.  Lifeguards are on duty in the Summer, and there is a first aid point, toilets, huts and a public shower.  It’s easy to feed the family at Cromer as there are many cafes, ice cream vendors, and restaurants and a promenade with a theatre and gardens to keep everyone amused if they want to get off the beach!