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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.

Gorleston gets worldwide fame!

Gorleston-on-Sea cliffs

Better get to the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea before the rest of the world does!

The beautiful sands star in the new Beatles-inspired Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film Yesterday.

In May 2018 more than 6000 people gathered to be extras on the film, which stars Himesh Patel, Lily James and Ed Sheeran.

'It's one of the great secrets of England, Gorleston beach,' said Danny. 'It's beautiful.'

We're sure you'll agree too.

Norfolk film locations

Danny Boyle films new movie Yesterday with Richard Curtis and 5000 extras on Gorleston beach

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. 

Explore Great 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


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


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 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


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


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 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

See more of Winterton-on-Sea beach

The Dunes cafe at Winterton-on-Sea

Old world charm at 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

And one more... Titchwell and Holme are best for birds


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


Bacton beach


Californa beach


Sheringham beach


Gorleston beach


Hemsby beach




Sea Palling beach

Sea Palling

Scratby beach


Holme-next-the-Sea beach


Rockpool rummage by Matthew Roberts

West Runton

Waxham beach


Weybourne beach


Other coast-related stories...

Watch why our coast is so wonderful

Norfolk Coast

Where to see the seals