N is for National Trust
They're world famous for looking after our wonderful stately homes, but the National Trust has also been championing our coastline since 1895, allowing visitors to enjoy its rare beauty and also protecting it for future generations.
Here's the top five…
Blakeney Point, within Blakeney National Nature Reserve, is a four-mile-long sand and shingle spit. Sand dunes have formed over hundreds of years on the shingle ridge and form a rare habitat valuable for unusual plants, insects, birds and, as of last Winter, the largest seal colony in England.
The surrounding landscape of saltmarsh, mudflats and fresh watermarsh shape the rest of the National Nature Reserve.
The Point is open throughout the year – you can either walk the spit from Cley-next-the-Sea or take a boat trip from Morston (where there's also a National Trust information centre) or Blakeney. Be mindful of cordoned off areas to protect breeding birds.
The striking five-storey Horsey Windpump provides stunning views over the coast and Broadland landscape. Set within the Broads National Park (and possibly the closest the inland Broads gets to the sea), the Horsey estate is an internationally important site for wildlife and offers a great spot for birdwatching and wintering wildfowl. Go to Horsey beach and it's likely you'll find a few seals basking in the water or relaxing on the sand.
PS Most of the buildings you'll see in Norfolk with sails are actually windpumps – used to drain the land – rather than windmills.
West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath
Just back from the sea but with fabulous views of it, West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath is the perfect place for a breezy walk along, or up and down, the hills of north Norfolk. Yes, hills! In Norfolk! This is part of the 8.7 mile-long and 100 metre-high Cromer ridge, the highest point in East Anglia and the result of the terminal moraine of a glacier, the front line of the ice sheet where less movement meant a bigger build-up of material. Imagine a rucked-up carpet and you'll get the point.
Enjoy the sun on the heaths or shelter from the wind in the woods and the views over coastal villages and Sheringham. Don't miss the signs of a Napoleonic signal station, near to the car park.