The official visitor website for Norfolk
Family fun at Wells-next-the-Sea

A-Z of Norfolk's super seaside!

If you want to see the full gamut of Norfolk's seaside offering then the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the place to start. It is book-ended by Hunstanton in the west (otherwise known as Sunny Hunny) and Mundesley in the east, and includes Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Blakeney with its seals and Cromer with its tasty crabs.

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 A lot of destinations have beach huts, but none more striking than Wells-next-the-Sea. Here there are 200 multi-coloured, higgledy-piggledy huts stretched along the beach, backed by an enormous pine forest. You could even hire one for the day from Pinewoods.

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It’s got a great beach. It’s got a pier. It’s got brilliant fish and chips. And it’s got the eponymous Cromer Crab, so tasty because it feeds off the world’s longest chalk reef that’s just offshore. It’s true!

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The best marram-topped sandy dunes can be found on the beaches between Great Yarmouth and Eccles. Natural sea defences, they’re great for diving off and playing hide and seek in but watch out for warnings about nesting birds. By the way, marram comes from Old Norse, meaning sea and grass.

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Cromer is home to the world’s last end-of-pier theatre, the Pavilion on the Grade II listed Victorian pier. Don’t miss the superb Summer Variety Show – it’s proper old school!

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You’re coming to the seaside, you’re having fish and chips. It’s the law. Douse liberally with vinegar, sprinkle with salt. That’s the etiquette. Have them in a chippy by all means, but they’ll taste better for unwrapping them and tucking in when you’re sat on the seafront, looking at the sea. Trust us.

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The East coast’s premier seaside resort, Great Yarmouth has fabulous beaches, lots of attractions and shows on the famous Golden Mile, and the last wooden rollercoaster in the UK.

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Or Sunny Hunny as we call it, famous of its famous disposition, stripey cliffs and the fact that it is the only east coast resort that faces west… and therefore has spectacular sunsets.

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You’re coming the seaside, you’re also having an ice cream. You could try donuts, or candy floss, but ice cream is the pukka seaside treat. In a cone. With a flake.

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Which is what you’ll be filled with when you have a care-free holiday or day trip to Norfolk’s superb seaside. Play beach cricket, dune dive, go crabbing or rockpooling. All guaranteed to make happy memories. Or ride a Snail at Great Yarmouth’s Joyland!

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A blustery day on the east coast at Gorleston-on-Sea is the ideal place for adrenaline seekers who want to surf the waves. Or go to Hunstanton where the water is more shallow and flatter.

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For two days in May Cromer and Sheringham host the Crab and Lobster Festival, a celebration of all things crustacean, including the World Crabbing Championship. We reckon our crabs and lobsters are the tastiest and meatiest because they feed off the world’s longest chalk reef that’s just offshore.

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You’ll find some of the plumpest, scrummiest mussels anywhere on the north Norfolk coast, where they are bred in the tidal salt marshes and creeks. If you see them on a pub menu, don’t hesitate – you won’t regret it.

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Who doesn’t love the National Trust, a national treasure up there with Her Majesty. Most famous for stately homes, here in Norfolk they also look after a lot of our coastline, such as Sheringham Park (above). God bless ‘em.

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They’re good here for the same reasons as mussels (above). Ignore anyone who says they’re the dustbins of the deep. Instead, relish the plumpness, the creaminess, the salty taste of the sea. Ummmm…

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Take off your shoes and socks, roll up your trouser legs, head into the briny. Simple as that. The best paddling in Norfolk, we believe, would be found at Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea beaches with the tide going out.

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Escape the hullabaloo of Hunstanton, the commotion of Cromer and the great din of Great Yarmouth and find yourself a little haven of peace and quiet on one of Norfolk’s secret beaches. But shhhh! Don’t tell anyone else.

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The Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth has the only remaining wooden rollercoaster in the UK, and one of only eight in the world. It’s also only one of two where a brakeman is required to ride the train to control its speed – because there are NO BRAKES on the track. Eeek!

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You want to build sandcastles? You want to bury dad up to his neck? You’ve come to the right place. With 90 miles of coast, we have A LOT of sand and it’s all brilliant. Above is Holkham beach - at high tide! Just a point on burying dad. Not head first, okay?

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After a tiring day on the beach what could be better than letting someone else entertain you and the family? A seaside theatre is what you need. We have five locations with theatres – in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, Sheringham and Cromer. And there are venues such as the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome too! Take your pick!

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This region has one of the best climates in the UK, with lots of sunshine and long days, but occasionally, just occasionally, the Welsh or the Scots send us some precipitation. Don’t worry though, Norfolk has lots of indoor activities too, particularly our visitor attractions which are nearly all weather-proofed!

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V is for Voila!

Flat sand is perfect for beach cricket

You want a holiday or short break by the coast, with fabulous beaches, brilliant family-friendly visitor attractions, great local food and drink and superb value accommodation? Welcome to Norfolk. You’ve chosen well.

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W is for Wildlife

Snettisham spectacular

Best birdwatching in the UK. Tick? Boat trips to see the country’s largest seal colony? Tick. Crabbing off piers and quays? Yep. Herds of deer in huge country estates by the sea? Got that too.

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X is for Xenophobia (not!)

Happisburgh lighthouse

We’re not a boastful lot, and we do hide our light under a bushel, but you won’t meet friendlier people than us. And we simply love welcoming visitors. Caister-on-Sea had the country’s first holiday camp. And, of course, the Victorian railways brought people in their thousands from industrialised cities. But, would you believe, Norfolk is also home to the first tourists ever to come to Britain at Happisburgh… 850,000 years ago!

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Y is for Yomping

Happisburgh on the Deep History Coast

Norfolk’s not as flat as Noel Coward implied. In fact, Cromer Ridge is the highest point in East Anglia and our malting barley is so good because it’s grown at height (that and the salty sea frets). But you won’t need crampons and ropes when you visit Norfolk. Which makes it great for walkers, particularly on our Norfolk Coast Path which stretches the entire coastline.

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Z is for Zoos

Banham Zoo tigers

If you’re looking for something more exotic than migrating birds and waders, we have a plethora of zoos by the coast, like Amazona and Thrigby Hall, all of whom do brilliant conservation work. There are also two Sea Life Centres, in Hunstanton and Great Yarmouth.

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Family fun in Norfolk

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