Best Norfolk beach walks
The beaches of north Norfolk are world-renowned for their beauty and variety and we’re ready to the share the best Norfolk beach walks.
From the striped cliffs of Hunstanton, along the wild, windswept shores of Holkham and onwards to the shingle banks of Cley, there is a beach to suit every activity and moment. Journey with us along the coast as we pinpoint some of our favourite seaside spots.
Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton beach
Stratified red chalk, carstone and white chalk cliffs dominate this unique beach. As the only west-facing beach on the whole of the east coast, it also offers visitors the chance to enjoy sunsets over The Wash. Its southern beaches are thronged with visitors and food outlets. These give way to the wider and wilder beaches of Old Hunstanton and the peace of marram dunes and the distant wetlands of Holme. Stop in at The Lodge in the heart of Old Hunstanton for some well-earned refreshments.
Beyond the nature reserves of Holme and Thornham, the coast curves around to Brancaster. Walk just a hundred metres or so from the beach entrance and you’re largely left to yourself with beautiful views towards Scolt Head Island. See also the shipwreck of the SS Vina, used by the RAF for target practice before becoming stranded on one of the many sandbanks around this area. Visit it at your peril, however. The tides are dangerous and many an explorer has been caught out in the channel.
No beach tour is complete without a visit to this famous spot. Each year the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment enjoys its annual seaside splash at Holkham, as do many thousands of visitors. A shady pine belt rings the wide beach and offers cool relief on the hottest Norfolk days.
Beyond the marshes of Stiffkey, Morston and Blakeney, the beaches become narrower. At Cley, home to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best-known nature reserves, the beach is mainly shingle and accessed via the marsh. A must-visit for nature lovers its vegetated shingle provides a rare habitat for plants such as sea poppy.
This beach tour ends at Cromer, home to a fine Victorian pier and a pebble shoreline. This largely unspoilt English seaside town is indeed a ‘gem of the Norfolk coast’, as its road signs have long boasted.