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Norfolk’s Best Beaches

The beaches in Norfolk are a match for anywhere in the world.

Often deserted in winter, early spring and late autumn – these are the times to appreciate the Norfolk coast’s magnificent solitude.

Summer is perfect for the great traditional seaside experience with picnics, ice-creams, Frisbee and sandcastles to enjoy.

Here’s our pick of Norfolk’s best beaches.

Hunstanton Beach, Hunstanton

Best for: family beach days

Famous for its dramatic striped cliffs and excellent beach, Hunstanton is unique, being the only west-facing resort on the east coast of England.

There are many tranquil beaches along the unspoiled North Norfolk coast including the neighbouring village of Old Hunstanton, but if it’s a livelier beach experience you’re looking for, Hunstanton is perfect.

There are lots of things going on, making it ideal for families with young kids: from playing on the sand and exploring rock pools to Crazy Golf and Pitch-and-Putt.

Holkham National Nature Reserve, Wells-next-the-Sea

Best for: glorious stately home and grounds

The magnificent Holkham estate is best known for its stunning panoramic beach, deer park and the rich and varied wildlife found on its salt marshes.

The beach is popular with locals and tourists alike but if you’re visiting for the first time, we urge you to make a day of it. The estate has gardens, a holiday park, shops and the acclaimed Victoria Inn for a reviving break.

If you’re into outdoor music concerts, check Holkham’s website for events. Sir Elton John, Jools Holland and others have performed in the estate grounds.

Photo by Chris Herring

Brancaster Beach, Brancaster

Best for: panoramic seascapes

Busy in the summer months and peaceful in winter, Brancaster is a popular destination for lovers of nature, and is perfect for long beach walks and family seaside picnics. It’s dog-friendly too, so don’t leave your four-legged friends at home!

This is also a great place for water sports enthusiasts. Kite surfing and kite buggying are really popular here. Remember to check the tide times before you visit, since the beach road gets covered at high tide.

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach, Wells-next-the-Sea

Best for: bird-watching

Part of the Holkham Estate, Wells is a great place for long seaside walks.

Don’t miss the beach huts – they’re great fun, and many are painted in fantastic colours and bear quirky names like ‘Linger Longer’ and ‘Dolly Mixture’!

Cross the dunes behind the beach and you’ll discover a wonderful walk through a belt of pine trees, part of The Peddars Way, which leads through Holkham Nature Reserve. This part of the coast is a paradise for bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts and ramblers.

Photo by Chris Herring

Horsey and Winterton, Great Yarmouth

Best for: spotting seals

The stretch between Horsey and Winterton has some wonderful stretches of sandy beach and sand dunes. Winterton has a really large expanse of sand dunes and is always popular with dog walkers and bird watchers alike.

The dunes at Winterton are particularly lovely in the summer when the heather comes into flower. But the star attraction is the grey seals.

Every year between November and January around a thousand seal pups are born on the beach. It’s possible to get quite close from designated viewing areas too!

Photo by Chris Herring

Great Yarmouth Beach, Great Yarmouth

Best for: traditional seaside atmosphere

With two piers and over 10 beaches along its coastline, Great Yarmouth is synonymous with seaside fun.

At the northern end the Britannia Pier has loads going on for all the family from live entertainment shows to rides for the kids, arcades and lots more seaside fun.

The Wellington Pier, towards the southern end of the strip is open all year round. It has an amusement arcade, a ten-pin bowling alley and a bar at the end of the pier. A great place for nights out with friends.