Having lived in Norwich all my life I am lucky enough to be just 25 minutes to my nearest coastal town, and with over 90 miles of beaches in Norfolk it’s hard to pick my favourites.
There is plenty of variation in the coastlines, from sandy beaches, pine walks, marshland, clifftops, pleasure beaches and piers - if you’re feeling adventurous you can even jet-ski and wind surf!
Here are my top 4 Norfolk Beaches that are not to be missed.
First on my list of must see’s is Wells-next-the-Sea, a quaint harbour town named after the fresh water springs that once came up through the glacial chalk of this stretch of coast.
The most recognisable part of this seaside town are the 200+ multicolour beach huts that can be seen for miles lining the promenade, perfect to walk past and admire the different designs - however, to buy they cost around £50,000!
This part of North Norfolk forms a section of the largest coastal nature reserve in England and Wales. It is a prime location for birdwatching, as the reserve is a haven for bitterns and terns, oyster catchers, avocets and marsh harriers.
A favourite past time of mine, and of any Norfolk child, is crabbing. Although the most famous coast here for this is Cromer, Wells-next-the-Sea comes in a close second. The perfect spot to crab can be found at the harbour, it looks out towards the sea over salt marshes and if you’re lucky, you might even spot the seals whilst you hunt for crustaceans.
Want to increase your chances of catching a crustaceans? Pop a net at the end of your line and add a small bit of bacon, the crabs go mad for the salty bait!
Between Sheringham and Cromer sits West and East Runton, less known for their beaches but more for their cliffs, they are a host for finding fossils. The most famous of which was discovered in 1990, the ‘West Runton elephant’. This was, and still is, the most complete example of a steppe mammoth skeleton ever found in the world. The first bone that was discovered was the pelvic bone which is on display in Norwich Castle Museum.
The beaches here are perfect for the more quiet beach lover, my advice is to wait until low tide then take a walk along the shore to admire the views that go on for as far as the eye can see.
Sheringham is your traditional seaside town, it was once an old fishing village and that heritage is still evident today. Here you will only find a shingle beach, but the giant rocks that form the sea defence make for a beautiful view from the main promenade. Once the tide goes out small wells of water appear hosting all sorts of small sea creatures, making it the perfect place for a spot of rock-pooling.
If you wander further east or west of the beach, the rocks disappear and you are left with smaller pebbles and shingle which makes it a much more pleasurable walk.
Every year Sheringham links with Holt to host a 1940’s weekend. The forties weekend started life as a celebration of the role the railways played in the Second World War, from transporting troops to taking more than three million evacuees to their temporary homes. Now events range from music and dancing to ration book trails, a pigeon race and military vehicle parades.
Cromer beach is much like the other beaches in Norfolk, offering visitors a traditional fisherman feel. Here the quaint charm of seaside life is in full throw, if you are around in the late morning you might see the fishermen returning with their crab catch of the day. Head to one of the local restaurants to try the famous Cromer crab.
This seaside resort was popular in the Victorian ages and throughout its town there are still architectural delights to be seen. At the beach you will find a small funfair on the promenade, a museum and lifeboat station, however, Cromer is most recognised for the iconic pier with its pavilion theatre.