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Best Beaches in Norfolk

Set foot on one of these Norfolk beaches and be rewarded by golden sands, open landscapes and the highest quality of water, each one offering its own distinct touch on the Norfolk coast.

From the resorts of Cromer, Hunstanton and Hemsby to the serene beauty of Holkham Bay and Horsey, our 10 best beaches in Norfolk are sure to impress.

Continue reading to discover the best Norfolk Beaches…

1. Cromer Beach

Cromer Beach

Perched on the edge of the Norfolk coast is the Victorian seaside resort of Cromer. This bustling town plays host to a wide beach, offering a perfect blend of sand and shingle, backed by colourful buildings that date back to the Victorian era.

Look forward to basking in the sunshine upon this Blue Flag-awarded beach, where fishing boats bob at anchor or are catching the famous Cromer crab. Alternatively, families can partake in popular pastimes, including sandcastle building, swimming, watersports and rock-pooling, whilst the pier is great for sea angling for cod and bass.

End your afternoon at the intimate Pavilion Theatre or venture to the high cliffs that are rich in fossils dating back to the Pleistocene era.

Type of beach: Sand and shingle
Dog-friendly: Dog restrictions apply between May – September
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR27 9AL

2. Holkham Bay Beach

Holkham bay beach

Widely considered to be the finest Norfolk beach is Holkham Bay, a pristine stretch of sand resting close to the town of Wells-next-the-Sea.

Following a short amble along the boardwalk, be rewarded by endless miles of unspoilt golden sands and wide open landscapes. Even in the summer months, you will be able to find a peaceful spot at this Norfolk beach!

Holkham Bay is rich in nature, with its wild beauty captured in the final scenes of Shakespeare in Love, as well as in The Avengers and the TV series, Kingdom. It is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the UK, featuring windswept dunes, salt marshes and the Holkham Pines, together forming habitats for rare animals and plants.

Those with canine companions can also enjoy one of the many dog-friendly walks along the Norfolk coast from this stunning beach.

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Yes, all year round
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR23 1RG

3. Wells-next-the-Sea Beach

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach

Neighbouring Holkham Bay is the harbour town beach of Wells-next-the-Sea. This Norfolk beach is the epitome of a traditional English beach, complete with colourful beach huts, miles of golden sands, unspoilt scenery and great birdwatching opportunities.

This beach is located just a stone’s throw away from the town centre, with plenty of car parking opportunities, whilst in the summer, you can travel to the beach by the Wells Harbour Railway, a 10¼” gauge miniature railway!

As well as being dog-friendly, this beach is exceptional for families, boasting wonderfully soft sand for sandcastles and calm waters for paddling. Whilst here, be sure to admire the wonderfully decorated beach huts, something that younger visitors are sure to love!

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Yes, all year round
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR23 1DR

4. Old Hunstanton Beach

Hunstanton beach

With a sprawling vista of the sky, Old Hunstanton Beach is one of the best kite surfing beaches in the UK, close to the Victorian seaside town of Hunstanton.

Old Hunstanton Beach enjoys an expanse of fine golden sand, backed by renowned striped cliffs. The famous cliffs are strongly divided into three layers: red chalk, white chalk and cornerstone, truly setting Old Hunstanton Beach apart from the other Norfolk beaches.

It is a great spot for families to enjoy, with the sand gently sloping into the sea and lots of space to spread out, even during the height of summer. Continuing to impress, with its west-facing position, this Norfolk beach is well-sheltered and is a great spot for captivating sunsets!

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Yes, all year round
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: PE36 6JJ

5. Horsey Beach

Horsey, Norfolk

Backed by the largest sand dune system on the east coast and often deserted outside of summer is Horsey Beach.

This Norfolk beach enjoys an unspoilt and peaceful position on the east coast – great for escaping the usual crowds and traditional seaside amusements. However, the main attraction of the beach is the opportunity to catch a glimpse of seals taking to the sands in the winter or bobbing around in the waters during the warmer months.

After basking in the sunshine at the beach, be sure to explore Horsey Warren, which is the largest dune in East Anglia. Here, you can savour the views across the barren dunes and spy on the differing types of wildlife that retreat here each year. Another attraction of this Norfolk beach is the Horsey Windpump, a National Trust landmark with a wealth of history to uncover.

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Yes, however, advised to not bring them during the winter, to avoid disturbing the seals
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR29 4EQ

6. Sheringham Beach

Sheringham beach

Enveloped by imposing cliffs and picturesque wooded areas is Sheringham Beach, an exceptional beach on the north Norfolk coast.

This Blue Flag award-winning beach rests just moments away from the bustling town of Sheringham and features miles of golden sands, with areas of shingle and larger stones. With miles of sands to enjoy, as well as a collection of rock pools filled with marine life, this Norfolk beach is perfect for families.

Choose to walk along the West Promenade to the top of the cliffs, where striking views of the sea and uplands, covered with golden gorse and purple heather await you.

Type of beach: Sand and shingle
Dog-friendly: Dog restrictions apply between May – September
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR26 8BH

7. Winterton-on-Sea Beach

Winterton-on-Sea Beach

Perched on the edge of the quaint coastal village of Winterton-on-Sea is our next sublime Norfolk beach.

Winterton-on-Sea Beach is covered in fine golden sands, backed by imposing sand dunes, which are considered the best in Norfolk. Impressively, the Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve is both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is a haven for wildlife, with rare natterjack toads and seal colonies in residence.

This Norfolk beach is great for escaping the hustle and bustle of the busy Norfolk towns, despite being within half an hour of Great Yarmouth!

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Yes, all year round
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR29 4DD

8. Mundesley Beach

Mundesley Beach

Positioned near North Walsham in Norfolk is the Blue Flag award-winning Mundesley Beach. With a fine stretch of golden sand, excellent water quality and a promenade lined with colourful beach huts, it is easy to see why this Norfolk beach is popular with families.

Imposing cliffs form the backdrop to the beach, where you will find the Mundesley Maritime Museum, believed to be one of the smallest in England. Whilst here, savour the spectacular views over the sea before uncovering the local maritime history. Another point of interest is the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal memorial, for the men who were killed while clearing World War II landmines from Norfolk’s cliffs and beaches.

Back at the beach, look forward to safe swimming at low tide, as well as the traditional charm of a popular seaside resort. Bring your loved ones to this Norfolk beach to relish in a traditional seaside break that’s away from the usual hustle and bustle.

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Dog restrictions apply between May – September
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR11 8BG

9. Hemsby Beach

Hemsby beach

Offering two miles of sandy beach, with lots of shelter for sunbathing, is Hemsby Beach, one of the more popular Norfolk beaches on our list.

Hemsby is a charming coastal resort that sees tourists flock from all over to enjoy the golden beach, relaxed atmosphere and unique attractions. With amenities, exciting arcades and funfairs, this Norfolk beach has everything for a fun-filled family visit.

The water quality here is exceptional and with the presence of a lifeguard during the summer season. You can enjoy a plethora of watersports, including swimming, surfing and canoeing with peace of mind.

As well as a wealth of entertainment, this beach has lots of history to uncover, just like many of the other Norfolk beaches. Here, you will find remains of anti-tank blocks and a concrete bunker, used during World War II as their coastal defences.

Type of beach: Sand
Dog-friendly: Dog restrictions apply between May – September
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR29 4HS

10. Weybourne Beach

Weybourne Beach

Concluding our guide to the best Norfolk beaches is the pebble paradise of Weybourne Beach, sitting to the north of the archetypal English village of Weybourne.

This beach is truly a hidden gem, where you are sure to find a stretch of shingle beach that you can enjoy all to yourself! It is said to have been the favourite haunt of smugglers many centuries ago, and its deep waters were considered a possible site for invasion. Today on this secret Norfolk beach, you are more likely to see fishermen than smugglers!

Discover the beach by following the coastal path along the cliffs, making a great spot for avid ramblers, beachcombers and dog walkers alike!

Type of beach: Pebble,
Dog-friendly: Yes, all year round
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: NR25 7AH

Feeling inspired to visit one of these magnificent Norfolk beaches? Use our free travel guide to find the perfect place to stay before securing your next holiday with us! Alternatively, uncover lesser-known delights with our guide to Norfolk’s hidden gems.

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