Your Guide to the Best Coastal Spots in Norfolk
Norfolk is a county famed for its coastline: its variety, its wildlife, its weather and its beauty. With 50 miles to explore, the Norfolk coast is home to seaside resorts, deserted beaches, pebbled shores and plenty of wildlife, all in equal measure. We also have over 400 holiday cottages spread across the Norfolk coast, from Hunstanton to Great Yarmouth, available for you to book and enjoy your ideal coastal getaway. But with so much choice on offer, it can be hard to decide what to do, so we’ve created this guide to help you decide where to go on the Norfolk coast.
Once a fishing village, Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast retains much of its historic charm. Pebble-dashed houses, colourful beach huts along the promenade and a busy little high street welcome you on arrival. Sheringham’s beach is always a hit with families, with its mixture of pebble and sandy shores perfect for little ones to explore and for everyone to enjoy a quick paddle, picnic and beach-side games. As part of Norfolk’s Deep History Coast, Sheringham also has a Discovery Point, a site which when scanned by the Deep History app will show you what the town was like thousands of years ago.
After some fun in the sand, head into Sheringham and choose from an array of local eateries to pick up a spot of lunch or dinner. There are multiple Fish and Chip shops, which are often busy but whichever you end up at, we guarantee it’ll be lovely! For something a little different, take a look down Station Road and Church Street and visit one of the multiple cafes, tearooms and bistros on offer. The Two Lifeboats and The Crown are both pubs with cracking sea views, a great selection of ales and regular events and live music.
If you want to extend your stay in Sheringham to allow you to discover more of the town’s attractions, including the Sheringham Museum and steam railway, then why not take a look at our Sheringham Holiday Cottages? As well as having lots to do, Sheringham is in a prime location for discovering more of the Norfolk coast and has a train station where you can catch services to other Norfolk highlights, such as Norwich and Wroxham.
This Blue Flag beach is one of Norfolk’s cleanest and is a popular swimming spot during low tide. With sandy shores and activities on offer such as surfing, kayaking and canoeing, Mundesley is a great option for those seeking an active day at the beach. But for those looking to relax, this beach is also ideal for setting up a romantic picnic-for two, or a long family walk along the water. However you choose to spend your time on Mundesley beach, lovely views and a brisk sea breeze are guaranteed. The best view comes from atop the cliff and The Ship Inn is a pub with not only a very tasty menu, but also windows and an outdoor seating area that look straight out onto Mundesley’s magnificent beach.
History fans may also take a particular interest in Mundesley’s involvement in the Second World War. The Bomb Disposal Memorial in Mundesley commemorates the men who lost their lives removing the bombs that littered Norfolk’s beaches after the war. Next to the memorial is the Mundesley Maritime Museum, which has an interesting collection of local artefacts, from prehistoric fossils found on the beach, to a section recreating how the coastguard lookout would have been in the 1930s and 40s.
A stay in one of our Mundesley Holiday Cottages would allow you ample time to discover these attractions and more, including Mundesley’s Gold Park and Adventure Crazy Golf Course. Furthermore, Mundesley is just eight miles from Cromer and just over 6 miles from Happisburgh, which can be accessed by foot via the coastal path that connects the towns.
Cley-next-the-Sea is another gem of the North Norfolk coastline and a real treat for nature lovers. The Cley Marshes nature reserve is described by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust as a ‘bird breeding sanctuary’ and is home to some of the UK’s largest flights of Marsh Harriers, Spoonbills and many more migrating birds throughout the year. There are four viewing houses on the marshes between Cley and Salthouse, which are free to enter, so bring out the binoculars and see what you can find!
Cley village is equally interesting and definitely one of Norfolk’s prettiest spots. Surrounding the lovely village green in the centre are streets lined with independent shops, cafes and pubs all in buildings with that distinctive Norfolk pebble-dashed exterior. Another of Cley’s many attractions is the iconic Cley Windmill. The Windmill is midway between the village and the beach and is well worth a visit to take a look and a couple of holiday snaps. To find out more about wonderful Cley and book a pebble-dash cottage of your own, visit our Cottages in Cley page.
Nicknamed ‘Sunny Hunny’, Hunstanton is one of Norfolk’s best seaside resort towns. Complete with fairground rides, crazy golf, arcades and leisure centre, Hunstanton is a great option for those looking for a family holiday packed with fun. The beach itself is home to one of Norfolk’s most fascinating natural landmarks, Hunstanton’s pink and white cliffs which are formed of white chalk and Norfolk carstone. The beach is also a hit with holidaymakers and the sand and shingle shores are ideal for building sand castles and pottering about in the waves. Be cautious though, as the tide is known to come in quite quickly, so a quick search of the tidal times for the day before you head down to the beach is recommended.
Old Hunstanton Beach lies to the North of Hunstanton centre, along Cromer Road. With a mixture of grass, dunes, sand and stones, Old Hunstanton Beach is a little quieter and more secluded than the main beach and is ideal for those seeking a calming beach walk. Old Hunstanton itself is also slightly more relaxed, but still has plenty going on. Hunstanton’s Golf Course is here, as is an independent art gallery and a couple of cute little pubs.
Hunstanton is also unique in that it’s Norfolk’s only west-facing seaside town, so the sunset here is a rare and beautiful sight. To see the view for yourself and experience all the fun of Sunny Hunny, check out our collection of Hunstanton Holiday Cottages.
Undoubtedly one of Britain’s best beaches, the sands at Wells make it obvious why this part of the Norfolk coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Miles of golden sands, dunes and an unending skyline are just a few of the highlights of Wells beach and that’s without mentioning its iconic colourful beach huts that are also ready for a photo opportunity! Wells beach is also backed by a pine filled forest, which you can walk through to get to neighbouring Holkham (more on that in the Walks guide).
Before or after you venture to the beach, be sure to visit Wells town. If you’re with the family, there is a miniature railway line between the quay in Wells town and the beach, perfect for little ones who may be inclined to be a little grumpy on the walk! If you are walking between the beach and town, there is a little precinct at the midway mark, complete with car park, multiple cafes and beach shops - ideal if you’ve forgotten any essentials! Wells was a vital shipping port in the nineteenth century, so much of the town’s infrastructure revolves around its key and harbour. From here, you can walk into Wells where you find fish and chips and an array of independent, quirky shops on Staithe Street.
You can read more about wonderful Wells on our Cottages in Wells-next-the-Sea page. Whilst you’re there, browse through our bespoke collection of homes in the area, which are truly some of our best.