Our favourite Norfolk beaches
Those of us in search of the quintessential British seaside holiday are spoilt for choice. There are so many wonderful destinations in the UK to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. However, with ninety miles of pristine coastline, there are few places to rival Norfolk for beaches. If you crave isolation – to walk and walk with just the seabirds for company – or prefer the hustle and bustle of a technicolour seaside resort, Norfolk has it all.
The county has 30 accessible beaches, 4 of which have been awarded Blue Flag status, making them both family friendly and completely unspoiled. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites; whether you fancy yourself a Mr Punch or a Robinson Crusoe we think there’ll be a beach to entertain and explore here.
Titchwell, near King’s Lynn, is the beach of choice for wildlife enthusiasts, especially twitchers. The marsh abutting the beach is an RSPB reserve and you need only take a short and pleasant stroll from the visitor centre to access the sandy beach. The walk will take you past Titchwell’s freshwater lagoon, home to many different species of birds, including rare marsh harriers and bitterns. The pretty beach has a boardwalk and is fairly quiet all year round; you will often just have the birds for company.
2) Great Yarmouth
Blackpool, Llandudno, Brighton… Great Yarmouth is right up there among the UK’s best-loved seaside resorts. And it’s no wonder, Norfolk’s seaside capital has it all – souvenir shops, a fun fair, a Victorian pier and, of course, the obligatory, enormous beach!
The beach at Great Yarmouth is affectionately nicknamed the ‘Golden Mile’ and winding your way along the strip, between crazy golfers and deckchairs, is a great opportunity for people watching. Along the Golden Mile you can enjoy an ice cream, book a boat trip, take a donkey ride or visit the ‘Musies’. If you’re after a slice of ‘Kiss Me Quick’ seaside fun there’s more than enough to keep you and the kids occupied all day long!
Many people come to Brancaster, on Norfolk’s north coast, for the golfing; the club is ranked the 17th best course in England and has been conferred special royal status.
Less fore! and more four-legged, those of us with canine friends will love Brancaster too. The beach boasts vast stretches of flat, white sand at low tide – bring a ball and it’s a pooch’s perfect playground!
At low tide you can walk along Brancaster beach to the tiny island of Scolt Head but the real draw for beachcombers is the shipwreck a mile offshore. Be warned, the sandflats and tides are treacherous here and many lives have been lost as a result of carelessness – you’ll see the warning signs everywhere. The shipwreck is the remains of a coaster, the SS Vina, accidentally sunk when the RAF used it for target practice in 1944!
Roughly ten miles from Brancaster you’ll find another north Norfolk gem, the pretty fishing port of Wells-Next-The-Sea. The rows of brightly coloured beach huts here make for a great picture postcard photo opportunity! It’s world away from the hustle and bustle of Great Yarmouth and has olde-worlde seaside charm in buckets.
The beach is extremely pretty, with gentle, golden sands fringed by dark, scented pine woods. Little ones will be able to amuse themselves for hours on end; it’s a perfect sandcastle beach. Grown-ups might prefer a stroll along the beach towards Holkham Hall – try the delightful café run by the estate. The beach is a little way from town but jump aboard the little railway and save your pins for paddling!
If you’ve been on holiday to Norfolk we’d love to hear about your favourite beaches. If it’s your first visit – we’re envious – you’re going to have so much fun finding yours!