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Secret beaches in Norfolk

Norfolk has some Premier League beaches, including Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Hunstanton and Cromer.

Oh yes, and the beach voted by readers of BBC Countryfile magazine as the best in Britain at Holkham, right next to Wells-next-the-Sea with its 200 higgledy-piggledy multi-coloured beach huts.

But there are others where you can escape the crowds and you might just feel that you’re Robinson Crusoe on your own desert island.

So here’s our top secret beaches in Norfolk. But ssssh… don’t tell anyone!

Burnham Overy Staithe

The Footpath From Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham

Nearby Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea get the applause, but nearby north on the coast path you’ll come across a huge expanse of unspoilt sand. If you park on the quay be warned – many people have come back from the long walk to find their car submerged by the rising tide!

Holme-next-the-Sea

Holme Dunes beach West Norfolk

Situated in a National Nature Reserve between Titchwell and Old Hunstanton this is where Seahenge, a 4000 year old Bronze Age timber circle, was discovered in 1998. It was removed for conservation reasons (see a replica in King’s Lynn Museum) so few people now come to this delightful stretch of sand.

Overstrand

Overstrand beach

Backed by vertiginous cliffs, few people know there’s a great beach below and yet it’s just a mile away from the hustle and bustle of Cromer. In fact, there’s a cliff-top path from Cromer you can take if you fancy stretching your legs too.

Happisburgh

Happisburgh beach

Not so much for its beach but because of what it stands for. This is Deep History Coast, where the earliest evidence of man in the UK has been found, a family of four people from 850,000 years ago. And, would you believe it, scientists think they were rockpooling. This was in the days when this was the last stretch of land connected to the Continent.

Eccles

Eccles Dunes

The name Eccles comes from the Latin ecclesia meaning church so it’s likely this was an early British Christian site. There’s no longer a church here, just a small community of pre-second world war bungalows called the Bush Estate (an early holiday retreat), but it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many people.

Sea Palling

Sea Palling beach

The laying of stone reefs off the shore to protect from coastal erosion has meant Sea Palling has developed into a unique bay-like beach, with shallow water and few waves, making it perfect for toddlers. Avoid the crowds by the amusements and shops by parking in the car park to the north of the hamlet.

Waxham

Waxham at sunrise on the Norfolk Coast

Horsey and Winterton attract more visitors, but nearby Waxham, like them backed by grassy dunes, has its fans too including the Daily Telegraph, which voted it one of Britain’s 40 best beaches. There’s a nice café in a converted 16th century barn too.

Scratby

Scratby Beach

Situated between the busier beaches of Hemsby and Caister, Scratby is an altogether quieter proposition, ideal for paddling and swimming. Dogs are allowed year-round too, so it’s a great place to stretch your legs with your four-legged pals.

California

California beach, Great Yarmouth

Yes, you can go away on holiday and tell your friends you’ve been to California. Just not the one on the Pacific Coast of the United States. So if you think you might see Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson bounding through the surf to help save a struggling swimmer, think again. That said, it’s got lovely fine sand… perfect for building sand castles.