Dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk holiday cottages

Dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk

Elianne Reed 14 August 2019

You'll always find a stretch of sand to take your water-loving hounds to in Norfolk. Not just restricted to winter months, many beaches along the Norfolk coastline welcome dogs all year round. Some of the more popular beaches do have summer restrictions but even some of those have areas where dogs are welcome to have a splash about at certain times of the day.

We have chosen some of our favourites below and have also included a quick 'At a Glance' section where you'll see a list of dog-friendly beaches with and without restrictions, so you can plan your holiday safe in the knowledge that you'll always have somewhere for your beach babies to have fun! 

Dogs on Norfolk beach
From Instagram: @sprockers_figandmia


Remember our wildlife!

Norfolk is a very welcoming place for dogs, but please be careful in restricted areas and put dogs on short leads around wildlife. The Norfolk coast is home to globally important bird species, so be aware of both the breeding season and the wintering season. For more information, have a look at the RSPB website

Read on to find out our top 10 paw-friendly beaches in Norfolk:

1. Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells beach

One of the most beautiful beaches in Norfolk, Wells boasts unspoilt soft white sands backed by windswept dunes, salt marshes and fragrant pinewoods. This lovely beach with its collection of over 200 colourful beach huts is great for sandy pups who will love the swathe of sands at low tide. There's also a dog-friendly café for snacks next to the car park which will sort out rumbling tummies.

Restrictions: Some restrictions apply during the summer months.

2. Holkham Bay

Holkham Bay

Combine this one with a visit to the exquisite Palladian-style Holkham Hall. Park at the end of Lady Anne's Drive and walk through the pinewoods and along the boardwalk down to the vast 4-mile stretch of sands. Horses also enjoy a ride along the shores so be careful if your dog isn't equine friendly. You can turn right towards Wells beach with its famous line of beach huts or bear left to a more remote stretch of sand - just be aware that there is a nudist area in that part of the beach before you set off!

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round but bear in mind that the beaches at Wells and Holkham are home to various species of wildlife so they should be kept under close control.

3. Mundesley

Dog on Mundesley Beach
From Instagram: @norfolkthree


When dogs have been on their best behaviour all day and deserve a run about on the wet sand, bring them to Mundesley where they can whizz around, dipping their paws in the ocean as they go. Reach this sandy beach via the walkways down from the cliffs or walk along the promenade which is backed by a smattering of holiday beach huts.

Restrictions: Some restrictions on the promenade part during the summer months.

4. Sea Palling and Waxham

Dog at Sea Palling
From Instagram: @the_macdonalds_and_me_


This hidden gem tucked away from the crowds has a stretch of fine sand which your little sandcastle-bombers will love. Take the pups down when the kids have gone home and demolish the sandy monuments before the tide takes them away. Kite surfing is also much loved here on windy days so water sport-loving woofers will be in doggy heaven. Sea Palling has summer restrictions but Waxham is dog-friendly all year round.

Restrictions: Dogs are welcome on Waxham Beach all year round (take care with seals) but there are summer restrictions at Sea Palling.

5. Winterton-on-Sea

Winterton on Sea

Our salty sea dogs adore this blanket of white sand that leads out to shimmering seas. Scamper down the sand dunes (be careful in nesting season) and make good use of that frisbee. The views are spectacular and even the wind farm in the middle of the ocean lends a mystical quality to this beautiful beach.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round but be careful of grey seals towards the Horsey end of the beach.

For lots of great information about what to do on the Norfolk coast, have a read of our ultimate guide.

6. Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth colourful hut on beach

One for the holiday resorter, the traditional seaside town of Great Yarmouth is well-known as a holiday playground with its famous Pleasure Beach. Huge stretches of beach studded with marram grasses are not only great for families looking for a break from the attractions, but South Beach is also a doggy paradise! It doesn't get as crowded as Central Beach so it's great if you have a couple of hounds with you.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome on South Beach all year round but there are restrictions on the other Great Yarmouth beaches.

7. Gorleston-on-Sea

Dog on Gorleston Beach
From Instagram: @dougaldog_


Backed by gently sloping cliffs and an above-beach promenade, it's just as lovely to sit back and people-watch from the benches dotted all around the bay as it is down on the sandy beach. Picnic on the lawns and then take your beach hound down to the southern end of the beach for a scamper about the sands.

Restrictions: Some restrictions during the summer months.

8. Heacham

Heacham at sunset
From Instagram: Heacham at sunset @haylessealock


Known for its glorious sunsets, this is the one to head to if you love long afternoon walks with your hound. Stroll along the promenade with its traditional beach huts and cut through the golden dunes down to the beach. Active dogs can even walk the whole way up to Hunstanton if they fancy seeing the sun setting from a different viewpoint.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round.

9. Old Hunstanton

Old Hunstanton

We love this west-facing beach as you can take your four-legged family member at any time of year. Scamper along the sands and splash about in the shallow tidal waters with your furry pal - great for dogs who can't be trusted in the sea! Watch the kite surfers jumping the waves and enjoy the famous stripy-coloured cliffs as a backdrop as you set up a picnic filled with local Norfolk produce under the dunes.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round.

10. Thornham and Holme Dunes

Thornham Beach

Again, no restrictions here for our furry friends. Park by the creek and walk along the embankment to the beach. This tranquil and almost desolate spot is an ideal dog-walking spot, but make sure you keep nosy canines on leads around nesting birds in the sand dunes. This area is also home to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Holme Dunes Reserve, so this is strictly one for the well-behaved dog!

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round.



Dogs splashing in sea with owner

Hound pulling at the lead? Need to get out of the house quickly? Have a quick peek through our list of Norfolk beaches with and without dog restrictions and get on your way:

Beaches where dogs are allowed:

  • Brancaster
  • Caister Point
  • Cart Gap
  • Cley Beach
  • East Runton
  • Great Yarmouth South Beach
  • Great Yarmouth South Denes
  • Happisburgh
  • Heacham - South Sands Club
  • Heacham - South Beach
  • Holme-next-the-Sea
  • Horsey
  • Old Hunstanton Beach
  • Snettisham Beach
  • Trimingham
  • Waxham
  • Weybourne
  • Winterton-on-Sea

Beaches where dogs may be restricted:

  • Bacton
  • Blakeney Point
  • California
  • Cromer
  • Gorleston Beach
  • Great Yarmouth North
  • Great Yarmouth Pier
  • Great Yarmouth Power Station
  • Hemsby
  • Hunstanton Beach
  • Hunstanton South
  • Mundesley
  • Overstrand
  • Scratby Beach
  • Sea Palling
  • Sheringham
  • Titchwell
  • Walcott
  • Wells / Holkham
  • West Runton
So now you know where to bring your beach-loving canine, why not have a look at some pet-friendly pads to come home to at night? Our cottages don't just accept dogs, they welcome four-legged family members with open arms.
Have a look through our collection of dog-friendly cottages in Norfolk to find your next dog-friendly escape to the coast.

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.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

37 of the best things to do in Norfolk in the rain

With so many fun rainy-day activities on offer, you might feel like doing a rain dance on your next break!

Cottage garden ideas: inspiration from some of Norfolk’s prettiest gardens

We've taken a look at some bloomin' lovely cottages gardens to find horticultural inspiration.

The best things to do at the Norfolk Broads

Discover the walks, waterways and windmills of the Norfolk Broads with this guide to the best things to do in this wonderful national park.
The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210