Discover the best beaches in North Norfolk holiday cottages

Discover the best beaches in North Norfolk

Kate W 31 July 2019

We all know Norfolk is home to the breathtaking Norfolk Broads and the wonderful rides and the seaside attractions at Great Yarmouth, but the variety of beautiful beaches in north of the county may also surprise you… 

The nature reserves by the Norfolk coast are world-renowned and there are grand estates that go back centuries for you to discover. Family-friendly Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer both boast fun things to do for kids and adults alike, while beach huts line the coast and provide a great base for days at the seaside.

From dog-friendly beaches to popular tourist attractions and secret stretches of sand, North Norfolk has a fantastic choice of coastal spots for your holiday. Take a look at these great beaches and let us know your favourite!

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Holkham Bay

An expansive sandy beach backed by dunes, enjoy wide horizons and splashing about in the sea, and it’s part of the Holkham Estate. Go walking in the Holkham Nature Reserve to see what curious natural objects you can find, and what wildlife you might be able to spot, before heading down to the shore for a day at the beach.


The Lookout is beautiful building consisting of a café, WC and shop, otherwise there is little else for miles around. When not on the sand, you could be visiting Holkham Hall, gardens or having fun on the ropes course.


There are restrictions during the summer months.

Stay near Holkham Bay

Wells Beach, Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells Beach

Right next to Holkham Bay is beautiful Wells Beach, with the same natural surroundings, sandy shoreline and wide horizons. There’s an delightful old-fashioned train that can take you between Wells-next-the-Sea and the beach, a fun trip for families, while the town itself has delightful cafes and independent shops.


A car park, café, WC and beach huts – and it’s just a mile into the town of Wells-next-the-Sea.


Dogs are welcome all year round with certain areas of the beach dog-free during the summer.

Stay near Wells Beach


A sand and shingle beach fronts the wide open spaces of the dramatic Stiffkey Saltmarshes - part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve - and makes for a wonderful holiday excursion. Follow the Blakeney to Stiffkey Coastal Walk and keep your eye out for birds, seals and other wildlife.


There are few facilities in this remote nature reserve, but Stiffkey village has a couple of lovely pubs, perfect places to relax in after a blustery walk along the shore and past the marshes.


Dogs are welcome, although it can be dangerous when the tide comes in so keep a close eye on your canine companion.

Stay near the Stiffkey Saltmarshes


A beautiful sandy beach surrounded by all the amenities of a town including a beautiful boating lake, golf club, railway station, eateries, and independent shops. Dig in the sand, go for a swim in the sea then enjoy a picnic of fish and chips on the beach.


Beach huts are available for hire and this beach is right by the town so you can visit the cafes, pubs and restaurants in Sheringham – you could even end your beach day with a trip to the theatre!


Sheringham Beach is dog-friendly but with restrictions during the summer.

Stay near Sheringham beach:

Old Hunstanton

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With a fine sand beach, backed by dunes and the renowned striped cliffs, Old Hunstanton is a beautiful place to visit. As it’s partly dog-friendly year-round, this shoreline is a wonderful place for dog walking and families to enjoy days on a secluded and peaceful beach.


There are a couple of cafes and a pub, and sea view golf club - pop into Old Town Beach Café for a warm cuppa or a sandwich after exploring the sands of beautiful Old Hunstanton. 


Dogs are not allowed on parts of this beach, with restrictions in place all year.

Stay near Old Hunstanton


Heacham Beach

A wide sandy beach, great for family escapes and big group getaways, Heacham can be found on Norfolk’s unusual west coast making it an ideal location for watching the sunset over the waves. It’s also near the famous Lavender Farm - visit in the summer to see the flowers in full bloom!


With two car parks, WCs, and a bus service to and from Hunstanton town, there are lots of facilities at this lovely beach. 


Dogs are allowed all year round.

Stay near Heacham beach


Stretching all the way from Mundesley to Walcot, this pretty sandy beach is a quiet, peaceful place to walk or take the kids. When the sun's shining, you can build sandcastles, swim in the sea and lounge on a beach towel.


Walking down the beach, you’ll come across The Kingfisher Café, Sugar and Spice Café, and The Tea Shed. Besides these eateries, there is a slipway and shops in Bacton village itself.


Part restrictions during the summer, check before you visit.

Stay near Bacton beach


This seaside town of Cromer has everything you could ask for from a classic family holiday by the sea. You have the wonderful sandy beach to run about on, the exciting pier with games and shows, and local delicacy of Cromer Crab to taste while here.


As it's right by the busy town, there are cafes and restaurants, WC and seaside shops.


It’s dog-friendly to the west while no dogs are allowed on the eastern section of this beach.

Stay near Cromer beach


Next door to Cromer Beach is Overstrand: slightly quieter and laidback but still a perfect spot for a family day at the beach. Rent a beach hut and go swimming in the sea, or if you’re a golfer, you might prefer to start your day with a round of golf as there’s an amazing sea view golf club nearby before going for a walk on this pretty beach.


Visit the Clifftop Café for burgers or a Full English; there’s also a car park, WC and ice cream van on sunny days.


There are seasonal bans so check before you go.

Stay near Overstrand beach

Cley Beach, Cley-next-the-Sea

Cley Beach

This delightful shingle beach is really just a special extra for anyone visiting Blakeney Point or the renowned Cley Marshes, a 176-acre nature reserve where you’ll spot a variety of birds and might catch a glimpse of other wildlife that make this landscape their home. It’s perfect for long dog walks and exploring.


There’s a car park and shop, and it’s 1 mile into the pretty town of Cley-next-the-Sea where there are cafes and pubs.


Dogs are welcome in this beach all year.

Stay near Cley Beach


A quiet coastal gem yet considered one of Norfolk’s finest beaches, this sandy beach is wide and flat with rock pools forming when the tide goes out which make it a great place for curious kids to go investigating. There’s a circular walk you can take into town and a golf club for enthusiasts.  


There’s a lifeguard service in the summer as well as a café/restaurant and shop.  


Dogs are banned during the summer but welcome for winter walks.

Stay near Mundesley beach

Plan your Norfolk coast getaway

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Which of these wonderful beaches in North Norfolk is your favourite? If you still can’t decide, browse through our collection of coastal holiday cottages in Norfolk and let the property pick you! We have cottages with hot tubs, holiday homes with wood burners and properties with enclosed gardens that you can look through in lovely Norfolk seaside towns and villages such as Cromer, Hunstanton and Sheringham.

To find our more about this wonderful part of Norfolk, read our ultimate guide to the Norfolk coast and start planning your next magical getaway.

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.

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