8 of the most spectacular Norfolk coastal walks

Coastal, Walking, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Ruth on 28th August 2020

Norfolk coastal walks

With the Norfolk Coast Path stretching for an impressive 83 miles between Hunstanton and Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk is a brilliant destination if you’ve got your heart set on a holiday packed to the brim with breathtaking coastal walks. Wander along golden sands, across lofty clifftops and through picturesque fishing villages all under a giant sky, soaking up the scenery and breathing in the fresh salty air.

Starting in North Norfolk, the coastal path runs through the Norfolk Coast AONB – walks here can’t get any more picturesque – before concluding just before the Suffolk border. Whether you choose to meander to your heart’s content along the coastline before catching the bus back or you’re looking for Norfolk coast circular walks with some charming pubs and cafes en route, we’ve put together some of the best seaside walks in Norfolk to inspire you. And if you are looking for an equally lovely coastal cottage in which you can rest weary feet, take a look at our full collection of Norfolk coastal cottages below.

Norfolk coastal cottages


Hunstanton

Hunstanton to Thornham

Hunstanton is one of the few places on the Norfolk coast where you can see the sunset, due to its west-facing position, so it’s a great place to spend some time in. This easy walk follows the clifftops along Hunstanton, where you can see the three-tiered cliff face at low tide. When you get to Old Hunstanton, take the Norfolk Coast Path along the dunes towards the Holme Dunes Nature Reserve and Holme Beach. At Thornham, take the main coast road to Thornham Deli where you can pick up a reviving snack before catching the Coasthopper bus back to Hunstanton.

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking in Hunstanton and Thornham, plenty of lovely pubs in Thornham. 

Good to know: Holme Beach was where Seahenge was discovered – an impressive prehistoric monument made up of oak trunks arranged in a circle. 

Stay nearby: Alexandra House, Hunstanton | sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


Blakeney

Blakeney circular walk

If you enjoy the watery views and giant skies of North Norfolk’s salt marshes, this is one of the best coastal walks in Norfolk for you. Beginning at the car park in Blakeney, join the Norfolk Coast Path and the Peddars Way to walk out towards the coast and through the Blakeney National Nature Reserve, skirting around Morston Salt Marshes and Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. The inland stretch takes you towards the higher ground at Wiveton Down Nature Reserve before you head back towards Blakeney. When you’re finished, you can sip a refreshing pint at the White Horse pub or, in winter, set out in search of seals off Blakeney Point.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking, pubs and places to eat in Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton

Good to know: Trendy Wiveton Hall Café is close to the route and well worth taking a detour for.

Stay nearby: Honkers, Blakeney | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs


Salthouse

Salthouse circular walk

This is another beautiful walk taking in Norfolk’s spectacular salt marshes, but this time the route travels between the sprawling landscape of Salthouse Marshes and the wild North Sea allowing you to completely immerse yourself in nature. Begin in Salthouse before heading inland towards Salthouse Health, where you can admire the grassland and scrub scenery and spot wildlife including brown hares, kestrels and buzzards. Then head back to the coast for the final stretch along the seafront; breathe in the salty air and soak up those huge views.

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking and a pub in Salthouse

Good to know: For a true taste of the sea, pick up a seafood platter at Cookies Crab Shop in Salthouse after your walk.

Stay nearby: Cherub Cottage, Salthouse | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Weybourne

Weybourne circular walk

Weybourne is a slightly wilder part of the coast with relatively huge cliffs and a shingle beach, and you can take in these rugged sights on one of the most atmospheric North Norfolk coastal walks around. Begin at the coastal car park just outside Weybourne and walk to the beach, following the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path along the crunchy shingle until reaching Kelling Hard. Then trek inland towards Kelling Heath, where you can listen out for the sounds of nightjars mingling in the gorse as well as enjoying the incredible views back towards the coast. The walk concludes in Weybourne where there are plenty of pubs and cafes in which to refuel.  

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking by Weybourne beach; shop, café and pub in Weybourne. No public toilets.

Good to know: Look out for traditional fishing boats launching on the steep shingle shore – it’s a sight to behold.

Stay nearby: Mill Barn, Weybourne | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


West Runton

Roman Camp circular walk

One of the delights of walking in Norfolk is that there is little in the way of hills; however, if you fancy a little bit of a climb, why not take on this 9-mile circular walk which takes you to the highest point in East Anglia? Beacon Hill, also known as Roman Camp, rises to 103 metres above sea level (in comparison, Ben Nevis is 13 times as high), and you’ll come to this mini mountain after walking along the seafront between West Runton and Cromer. The circular route takes in both sea and countryside views, so it’s a great one to tackle to see the very best of the Norfolk scenery.

Distance: 9 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking, public toilets, pubs, cafes and shops in both Cromer and West Runton.

Good to know: Roman Camp was formed during the last Ice Age, but was never actually occupied by Romans.

Stay nearby: Sunset View, Cromer | sleeps 4


Happisburgh

Happisburgh circular walk

One of the most iconic sights along the Norfolk coast is the red and white striped lighthouse at Happisburgh, and this walk begins and ends very close to it, making it arguably one of the best coastal walks in Norfolk. Set off from the car park close to the beach and follow the clifftop towards Walcott, which has a fascinating history dating back hundreds of thousands of years; a prehistoric hand axe of world significance was found here. From Walcott, the walk meanders through pretty farmland before arriving back in Happisburgh, by the famous lighthouse.

Distance: 7 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking and public toilets on the beach road; a tea room and pub in Happisburgh

Good to know: If it’s not enough to simply stand outside the lighthouse, book a tour and climb to the very top – the views are incredible.

Stay nearby: Whympwell Cottage, Happisburgh | sleeps 5


Sea Palling

Sea Palling circular walk

Sea Palling is one of the most beautiful beaches in Norfolk, and you can appreciate it to the maximum on one of the best walks along the North Norfolk coast. Beginning and ending at the car park, you walk away from Sea Palling along the golden sands before doubling back around Eccles on Sea. Sea Palling has many offshore reefs which have created small bays; these are lovely places to stop and soak in the coastal views. You may also spot seals bobbing around just off the shelter of the shore too, making this walk perfect for nature lovers. 

Distance: 6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking, shops, cafes, restaurants and a bar all in Sea Palling.

Good to know: You’ll walk past the site of the medieval village of Eccles-Juxta-Mare which succumbed to the sea in the late 16th century.

Stay nearby: The Hayloft, Lessingham | sleeps 5


Gorleston

Gorleston circular walk

This short and sweet walk in Gorleston is on firm ground along the South Norfolk coastline, making it one of the best beach walks in Norfolk for those in wheelchairs, as well as those with little legs who want to explore too. Begin at the Pier Hotel walk out to the Spur breakwater before turning around to follow the traditional promenade, taking in views towards Scroby Wind Farm out at sea. When you get to the end of the promenade, simply turn back around! If you fancy a little more exercise, instead head back along the clifftop path for some beautiful views.

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Public toilets, parking and a café along the promenade; more facilities in Gorleston town.

Good to know: Look out for the Mia-Lucy Rose Trim Trail – there are 15 pieces of equipment for you to build up your muscles!

Stay nearby: Cygnet, Reedham | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Norfolk's best coastal walks on a map


Further inspiration

If you’ve been mesmerised by the Norfolk coastline, why not take a look at our other blogs that celebrate this fantastic part of the world?


Stay with us in Norfolk

From cosy cottages by the coast where you can practically smell the sea, to historic piles slightly further inland, we have a wide range of fantastic self-catering accommodation by the Norfolk coast. Take a look at our full collection below to find your beach haven; where will you choose to stay?

Norfolk coastal cottages




Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.