10 of the most stunning beaches in Norfolk

Beaches, Coastal, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 19th May 2022

Hunstanton Beach

Norfolk is bursting with exciting things to do but the glorious coastline is the true highlight of this county. Uncover the most stunning beaches in Norfolk and enjoy unforgettable family days out, set sail on wildlife cruises or take part in exhilarating water sports during your holiday by the sea. 

Seek out travel inspiration by browsing our collection of coastal cottages in Norfolk and you’ll soon uncover the perfect bolthole for your next beach getaway.

Norfolk coastal cottages

Take a dip in the ocean and go for a seaside swim, follow the coast path to new heights for far-reaching coastal views, or simply head to one of Norfolk's dog-friendly beaches to explore with your four-legged friend. Which of these stunning Norfolk beaches will you escape to first?

Holkham Beach

1. Holkham Beach

One of the top beaches in all of Norfolk, we have to mention the seemingly endless sands of Holkham – just one part of the exquisite Holkham Estate which includes an unspoilt nature reserve, manicured Holkham Park and magnificent Holkham Hall. If you are seeking a place to visit for exploration, there’s a wealth of beauty to discover at this North Norfolk beach.

Take the family pet along on your adventures at this dog-friendly beach and keep an eye out for wildlife, dine at The Lookout beach café, and let youngsters and big kids clamber about and whoosh along zip lines at the ropes course.

Dogs: Dogs are welcome all year round on Holkham Beach but should be kept under close control or on a lead as it's a national nature reserve. Sections of the beach are restricted to protect ground-nesting birds. 

Café: The Lookout 

Toilets: Nearest toilets are at Beach Road in Wells and The Lookout at Holkham 

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service

Accessible: There are dedicated Blue Badge spaces in the car park and a sturdy wooden track that leads to a viewing platform which overlooks the beach. There is also a 1-mile route to the George Washington Hide. 

Stay nearby: Buffers End The Sidings, Burnham Overy Staithe | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs 

Holkham holiday cottages

For more fantastic places to go with your four-pawed pal, take a read through our guide to dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk or discover our pick of fantastic pet-friendly days out

Gorleston Beach

2. Gorleston Beach

The golden sands of this Norfolk beach curve gracefully around the bay and behind the shore is the lush green of grassy cliffs where there’s a bowling green, tennis courts and children’s playground providing a charming backdrop to your day by the seaside. Gorleston Beach often draws surfers too, for its impressive waves rolling in off the North Sea.

Surprisingly serene for a beach so close to the bustling coastal resort of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston offers a tranquil alternative to its popular neighbour while still being within reach of all the wonderful attractions and eateries in this corner of Norfolk.

Dogs: The north end of Gorleston Beach is out of bounds to canine companions during the summer months, but the sandy south end is dog-friendly all year round.

Café: Yes, there are several locally. Jay Jays Café is popular and on the beach 

Toilets: Public toilets by the pier 

Lifeguard: Summer lifeguards service 

Access: A choice of steady ramp access or steps down to the beach 

Stay nearby: Tidal Sands, Caister-on-Sea | sleeps 6

Great Yarmouth holiday cottages

Find a selection of mouth-watering dishes cooked up from fresh local produce on a visit to one of these top places to eat in Norfolk

Mundesley Beach

3. Mundesley Beach

Considered one of the best beaches in Norfolk, Mundesley is a traditional British seaside getaway that will leave you with wonderful holiday memories. With the vibrant colours of beach huts lining the shore and wooden groynes dividing up the sand, it offers an enthralling destination in which to throw down your beach towel to lie back and unwind by the sea.

Besides the lively huts, this beach is backed by sloping, grassy cliffs topped with serene gardens, making it one of the best beaches in North Norfolk for idyllic scenery. 

Dogs: Dogs are banned during May to September from most of Mundesley Beach 

Café: The Beach Hut Café

Toilets: Public toilets behind the beach 

Lifeguard: Summer lifeguard service 

Access: Steps or steep sloped path lead down to the beachfront from the raised promenade behind 

Stay nearby: Old Coastguard Hut, Mundesley | sleeps 2

Mundesley holiday cottages

Hunstanton Beach

4. Hunstanton Beach

One of the few coastal destinations in Norfolk where you can watch the sun sink below the horizon due to its west-facing shores, Hunstanton Beach is made up of rugged shingle and boulders to the west and wide stretches of golden sand to the eastern end, which is better known as Old Hunstanton.

This breathtaking Norfolk beach – considered one of the best beaches in North Norfolk – is backed by striped cliffs and the sand stretches for miles, giving that remote, wild feeling that can only be found on a trip to the coast.

Dogs: There are restrictions between April and October, and they are banned year-round from the very north of the beach. Dogs must be kept on a lead on the promenade. 

Café: Several with Old Town Beach Café at the western end of the beach a popular choice 

Toilets: Public toilets at Hunstanton Cliff Top Car Park 

Lifeguard: There is a lifeboat station at Old Hunstanton beach but there is no active team of lifeguards on duty 

Access: Sloping trails lead down to the beach 

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

Hunstanton holiday cottages

Heacham Beach

5. Heacham Beach

Down the coast from exquisite Hunstanton, you’ll find the golden sands of Heacham. Another of the best North Norfolk beaches, one that is set on the county’s only west-facing coastline, you can take in magnificent sunsets from this stunning seaside destination.

Behind the dunes meanders the tranquil Heacham River, while the Norfolk Coast Path creates a wonderful connection between Heacham and Hunstanton – strike out on the 3-mile walk to take in this scenic stretch of coastline.

Dogs: It’s dog friendly all year round but must be kept on a lead during nesting season to protect the ground-nesting birds (April to the end of August).

Café: Chatterbox Cafe is located in the town behind the beach 

Toilets: Public toilets behind both Heacham North and South Beach

Lifeguard: There is no lifeguard service at Heacham Beach 

Access: Step directly from the pavement onto sandy paths that lead through dunes and onto the beach 

Stay nearby: Lavender Bungalow, Heacham | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

Heacham holiday cottages

Great British Coast

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach

6. Wells-next-the-Sea Beach

Possibly one of the best beaches in Norfolk, and certainly one of the most popular, this exquisite shoreline offers up sweeping sands, colourful beach huts and is backed by fragrant pinewoods. The delightful town and port of Wells-next-the-Sea is a mile away and you can walk or take the charming miniature-gauge railway that connects the two – a fun way to travel to the beachfront while on holiday!

Build sandcastles at this family-friendly beach, swim in the sea and, as this stunning Norfolk beach is part of the unspoilt Holkham National Nature Reserve, look out for ground-nesting birds who live in this exceptional coastal setting.

Dogs: Canine companions are welcome all year round on part of the beach - the dog-free zone is signposted. 

Café: Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Cafe

Toilets: Public toilets at the entrance to Beach Road Car Park 

Lifeguard: Summer lifeguard service 

Access: Follow Beach Road until you reach the car park. From here, there are steps and a ramp down to the sandy beach. There is a beach walk that is wheelchair friendly and has ramps at both ends.

Stay nearby: Curlew Cottage, Wells-next-the-Sea | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs

Wells-next-the-Sea holiday cottages

Horsey Beach

7. Horsey Beach

Surrounded by fascinating nature reserves and the famous Norfolk Broads, Horsey Beach might be the best beach in Norfolk for anyone who adores spending time soaking up the natural world. Fluffy white seal pups are born every year at Horsey Gap and are a wonderful sight to see during your holiday.

Other places to visit near this seal beach in Norfolk include Horsey Mere and the Horsey Windpump. Follow this National Trust walking route to get the most out of this remarkable location.

Dogs: Horsey Beach is dog friendly; however, it is recommended your dog remains on a leash during the seals’ pupping season.

Café: Poppylands 

Toilets: None

Lifeguard: There is no lifeguard service at Horsey Beach 

Access: There is a car park leading to the coast path which runs behind Horsey Gap. A steep grassy verge separates the path and the beach with steps and narrow grassy paths that lead over it. 

Stay nearby: Isabel's Cottage, Winterton-on-Sea | sleeps 4

Horsey holiday cottages

Cart Gap Beach

8. Cart Gap Beach

If you’re searching for a tranquil coastal destination for a trip, Eccles-on-Sea may be the ideal place. It is an ancient fishing village that’s gradually being washed away into the sea, and in 1895 the village church was submerged. Local fisherman used to say you could still hear echoes of the church bell ringing under the water.

Peaceful Cart Gap Beach, otherwise known as Eccles Beach, with its golden sands and grassy dunes, could be described as one of Norfolk’s secret beaches and is an intriguing place to sit and reflect, providing a safe haven for anyone seeking a quiet coastal escape while on holiday in Norfolk.

Dogs: Cart Gap Beach is dog-friendly all year round 

Café: Smallsticks Cafe

Toilets: No public toilets

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service at Cart Gap Beach 

Access: Cart Gap Road is the main access route to the car park and there’s a ramp for walking down to the beach itself 

Stay nearby: Lighthouse View Lodge, Happisburgh | sleeps 4 and 1 dog

Happisburgh holiday cottages

9. Sheringham Beach

This popular, picturesque beach is surrounded by wooded areas providing spaces for exploration before you unwind on the massive expanse of beach. Sand, shingle and cobbles combine to create the shoreline, a promenade runs along behind it, while there’s a delightful boating lake at the west end of this North Norfolk beach.

The characterful resort town of Sheringham itself is full of eclectic places to eat and visit: walk up Beeston Bump for views of this stunning Norfolk beach, pop inside the Sheringham Museum, or step aboard the North Norfolk Heritage Railway to discover more of this phenomenal coastline.

Dogs: There are restrictions in the summer months at Sheringham Beach 

Café: Several by the beach and in town. A popular seafront cafe is Whelk Coppers Tearoom.

Toilets: Public toilets by the East Promenade and in the centre of town

Lifeguard: There’s a lifeguard service during the summer months which varies between Sheringham East and West Beach 

Access: At the end of Beach Road there’s a ramp that leads down to the sand 

Stay nearby: Kipper Cottage, Sheringham | sleeps 4 and 1 dog

Sheringham holiday cottages

Titchwell Beach

10. Titchwell Beach

In an area renowned for the astounding RSPB nature reserve that dominates the local landscape, visitors often forget about the impressive Norfolk beach that sits along this endearing stretch of coastline - another that can claim to be one of the best beaches in Norfolk. Pristine sand that extends for miles provides a wonderful place for a day beside the sea. You can even see the remains of a World War II tank and an ancient forest at this unique beach.

After paddling in the waves and picnicking on the sand, explore the saltwater marsh and freshwater lagoon to see what curious creatures and rare birds you can spot during your adventures.

Dogs: Canine companions are welcome, but as it is part of a nature reserve dogs must be kept on a lead.

Café: There’s an RSPB-managed café 

Toilets: Yes, accessible public toilets near Titchwell Marsh car park 

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service at Titchwell Beach 

Access: There’s parking at Titchwell Marsh and a footpath leads to Titchwell Beach 

Stay nearby: The Roost - Norfolk, Titchwell | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

Brancaster holiday cottages

A map of 10 of the most stunning beaches in Norfolk

Take a look at our map of these stunning Norfolk beaches to plan your holiday beside the sea.

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Beach breaks in Norfolk

Make your escape to one of these stunning Norfolk beaches for a seaside holiday to remember. Discover a few of our favourite Norfolk cottages or browse our full collection of holiday cottages by the coast - discover everything from five-star luxury retreats to sea view properties, and you’ll soon find a holiday let to suit you.

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.