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Wells-next-the-Sea

Norfolk's top 10 beaches

Breathe in the fresh sea air of the tranquil Norfolk coast, walk on unspoiled sand where the kids can build sandcastles, play cricket, have a picnic, walk the dog, look for bird life and paddle in the shallow surf.

You'll find huge expanses of honeyed beaches backed by marram and dunes. Or simply lay back, relax and watch the scanty clouds skipping across the big blue sky.

Action-packed Great Yarmouth

Beach volleyball at Great Yarmouth

The beach at Great Yarmouth runs parallel to the Golden Mile so you can wander from the ice cream shack to your deckchair with the minimum of effort. There's crazy golf, trampolines, boat trips, donkey rides, and a range of attractions and amusements. No chance of the kids getting bored here. Nearby Gorleston-on-Sea beach is excellent too.

Explore Greater Yarmouth

Family fun at Wells-next-the-Sea

Beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells-next-the-Sea has a lovely wide sandy beach, backed by pine woods, but it's quite a distance from the town. Park in the beach car park and later on have a snack or drink in the beach cafe or pop on the little railway which runs from the town and save your legs.

Two hundred colourful beach huts add charm while there's also a lifeguard on duty for added peace of mind. Youngsters will love splashing around in The Run at low tide, at which time you can walk a mile or so out to its end. But remember the tide comes in quickly so if you hear the hooter, it's time to come back.

Explore north Norfolk

Brancaster for dogs

Brancaster

Drive up Beach Road in Brancaster, park close to the golf course, and then stride out onto the flat sand. Turn right and you'll head towards the tidal salt marshes of Scolt Head; left and you'll be faced with a huge expanse of doggie playground. Remember to bring a stick or ball.

Our top 10 dog-friendly beaches

Hidden away Horsey

Horsey

The eastern coast of the county has lots of little hideaways where you feel you have the place to yourself, but a great one is Horsey. Tucked down a little track it has no facilities – just peace and quiet. From the top of the marram-covered bank (marram is an original East Anglian word, deriving from Old Norse words for sea and grass) you might be able to spot a few basking seals... if they're not up on the beach, sunbathing. Nearby is National Trust Horsey Windpump.

Seals in Norfolk

Holkham's Hollywood connections

Holkham

Holkham Bay gained worldwide publicity when it featured in the Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar-winning movie Shakespeare in Love. The beach is enormous, totally unspoilt and has been voted the best beach in Britain.

There's a large car park, managed by the Holkham estate, and then a pleasant walk on boardwalks through the pine woods before you reach the beach proper. The Natalie Portman film Annihilation was filmed on the beach in July 2016.

Explore north Norfolk

Cromer's theatrical appeal

Cromer

The Pavilion Theatre on Cromer Pier boasts annual summer and winter shows which draw crowds from far and wide. The surrounding Cromer beach is flat and sandy and you'll see the crab boats dragged up at the foot of The Gangway – a reminder not to leave without sampling a fab crab sandwich.

Explore north Norfolk

Crabbing in Norfolk

Rockpooling and kitesurfing at Hunstanton

Hunstanton

Roll up your trousers at Hunstanton and go for a paddle or take the kids crabbing in the shallow salty rock pools. For the more adventurous, the shallow open water here (it's at the mouth of The Wash) is perfect for kitesurfing.

The cliffs look like a layered cake, and the seafront retains the air of a Victorian seaside resort – unsurprisingly, as it was purpose-built as a bathing resort in 1846.

Now known as Sunny Hunny, this is our only west-facing beach, so you can see incredible sunsets. Look to the horizon and you can see Holland... okay, it's Lincolnshire really!

Explore west Norfolk

Dunes dive at Winterton-on-Sea

Winterton-on-Sea

Winterton-on-Sea has probably the best in Norfolk. Seek out a little secluded spot for yourself and relax. You can hear the squeals of children in the distance, their laughter carried along on the gentle breeze, yet it all seems so far away, your eyelids grow heavy as the sun warms your skin and you drift in and out of a summer's snooze. There's also an excellent beach café.

East coast beaches

Old world charm at Mundesley

Mundesley

Mundesley looks as if it's been preserved in aspic, which gives it a unique traditional appeal. There are good facilities on the cliffs, so stock up before heading down the steep steps to the large flat beach. It was the Victorians who made it fashionable when the small community had its own railway station.

East coast beaches

Titchwell's best for birds

Titchwell

So many to choose from, but Titchwell has something for everyone. A walk from the excellent visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. Sit on benches or watch from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides.

The well-stocked shop has a wide range of RSPB gifts and books and a large selection of telescopes and binoculars. There's also a servery and inside eating area selling a selection of hot and cold food and drinks, as well as snacks and locally-made cakes.

Walk from here to nearby Holme Dunes Nature Reserve for more great birdwatching.

Birdwatching in Norfolk

And there are lots more fab beaches too...

Caister-on-Sea beach

Caister-on-Sea

Bacton beach

Bacton

Californa beach

California

Sheringham beach

Sheringham

Gorleston beach

Gorleston

Hemsby beach

Hemsby

Happisburgh

Happisburgh

Sea Palling beach

Sea Palling

Scratby beach

Scratby

Holme-next-the-Sea beach

Holme-next-the-Sea

Rockpool rummage by Matthew Roberts

West Runton

Waxham beach

Waxham

Weybourne beach

Weybourne

Other coast-related stories...

Watch why our coast is so wonderful

Norfolk Coast

Where to see the seals

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