Best beaches in Norfolk
Norfolk stands tall at top of East Anglia and is one of the biggest tourism hotspots in the UK. With over 90 miles of unblemished coastline, it’s easy to see why the county’s visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches.
You’re never short of options in this eastern county, and in order to help you separate the cream of the crop from the rest, we’ve put together this much-debated list of the best beaches in Norfolk. These stretches of sand feature along a wide spec of the county’s coastline, meaning you’re never too far from one of the best on a stay in this rural region. Several are close to some of the best caravan parks in the county, namely the heavenly Haven spots at Caister-on-Sea, Hopton, Seashore and Wild Duck. All that’s left to do is have a nose, see where to stay and get planning your next great staycation to Norfolk.
1. Great Yarmouth North and South Beach, Great Yarmouth
Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR30 3EH
No list of the best beaches in Norfolk would be complete without the inclusion of what is Norfolk’s seaside staple. Great Yarmouth is edged into UK coastal folklore, and with good reason. The beach is a centre of activity, with the famous pier providing more than a few slices of entertainment over the years. In fact, it’s been welcoming visitors since it was built in 1858, becoming a bastion of leisure throughout the calendar year ever since.
Formed by stretches of sand north and south of the pier structure, the latter is often considered the quieter with dunes ideal for quiet relax as you take in the fresh sea air. Whether you’re close to the centre or a little further afield, a dip in the North Sea is always enticing with some of the calmest waters in the region. Great Yarmouth’s beaches are also some of the most developed in the county, coming to life over the summer months with a whole host of events organised. There’s an array of rides just steps from the sand, and you can’t leave the Norfolk coast’s poster town without trying the poster meal. A firm favourite of this writer, the fish and chips options really are endless. Stick to the seafront and you’ll find something that’s sure to satisfy yours and the family’s tastebuds.
2. Winterton Beach, Winterton-on-Sea
Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR29 4DE
A short drive north of our Norfolk parks is Winterton-on-Sea, a fantastic addition to our list of the best beaches in Norfolk. The sand here brings fluffy to the next level, with the dunes widely regarded as some of the finest in the county. One of the quieter stretches on this list, it’s another where you can guarantee an escape from the hustle and bustle, and that comparison doesn’t just apply to the rest of the country, but to the busier places in Norfolk too.
Serene but easy to access, you’ll spot a range of wildlife making this part of the coast their home. The aforementioned seals of Horsey also show their face from time to time around here. The blustery breeze from the North Sea is often full of beans, which is just as well as there’s another rather large wind farm out in the distant water. When you’re done on the sand, head for the nearby quaint village to be fed and watered.
3. Cromer Beach, Cromer
Type of beach: sand and shingle Postcode: NR27 9HP
Cromer is a colossal name amongst Norfolk residents, and with good reason. Its sandy shores attract many visitors from far and wide, taking advantage of its position with great links to both the North and South of England. Located firmly within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Blue Flag beach is immensely popular amongst swimmers and surfers taking advantage of the waves the North Sea never fails to conjure up. A sand and shingle base forms the beach itself.
It’s the unique Victorian buildings standing over the sea that make this one of the best beaches in Norfolk, with one of the most quaint backdrops of any coastal stretch in the country, let alone the county. The Victorian vibe is joined by the charming pier and a whole host of seafood eateries that confirm Cromer’s place as one of the hubs of good food by the sea. Your tastebuds will be satisfied, and with it being just an hour’s drive from our Norfolk parks, you can’t go wrong on a day out here.
4. Holkham Beach, Wells-next-the-Sea
Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR23 1DR
One of the finest Blue Flag beaches in England, let alone Norfolk, Holkham sits north of the town of Wells-next-the-Sea on the county’s north coast. The geography here is peculiar and beautiful, with the beach separated from the town by a lovely fleet of water flowing directly from the North Sea south into the heart of this Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It may be one of the longer journeys from Haven’s Norfolk parks, but the extra effort is well worth it. Vast expanses of golden sand come to life on a stroll through this relatively rural paradise, and at low tide this expanse is nearly as long as it is wide. Even in the busiest periods, you’re pretty much guaranteed a relaxing spot here, and with all the town’s amenities just a 20-minute walk or short cycle away, there’s plenty of refreshment at hand too. The beach has featured in popular productions such as The Eagle Has Landed and The Avengers, so don’t be surprised if a few spots look a little familiar.
Vast expanses of golden sand come to life on a stroll through this relatively rural paradise, and at low tide this expanse is nearly as long as it is wide. Even in the busiest periods, you’re pretty much guaranteed a relaxing spot here, and with all the town’s amenities just a 20-minute walk or short cycle away, there’s plenty of refreshment at hand too.
5. Hopton Beach, Hopton
With direct access to our Norfolk holiday park at Hopton, Hopton Beach is one of the best stretches of sand to enjoy on a Haven holiday. A short step-free walkway takes you down to the beach that extends in parallel to all the great Haven accommodation our guests come to expect from us. You’re close to the easternmost point of the UK here, with the coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands around the same distance from Hopton village as London is.
Running alongside the low grassy cliff that hosts all of the park’s facilities, the beach overlooks the North Sea magnificently and forms a small part of what is effectively a coastal collection the whole way up to Gorleston-on-Sea. This is a great route to take if you fancy stretching the legs and taking in that all important fresh sea breeze. Suitable for all the family, dogs are allowed all year round so this is an ideal place to bring your furry friend along for the adventure.
6. Hunstanton Beach, Hunstanton
Hunstanton is unique in terms of beaches in Norfolk. The only major town with a beach that faces west, it has long attracted day trippers and staycationers for a day out with fantastic access to the sand and shingle that showcases neighbouring rural Lincolnshire across the bay in the distance. The resort itself was purpose-built for tourism in 1846 and retains a lot of the 19th-century character that made it an immensely popular hideaway in this era.
That popularity feeds through to the present day, with immense amenities and lovely scenery making for a great visitor experience.
The sunset is particularly gorgeous here given the beach’s position, and this unique standing as far as Norfolk goes is also illustrated in carstone and chalk white cliffs that occupy the beach’s vicinity. At just less than two hours, Hunstanton may be one of the longer journeys from our parks but the foray is more than worth your time.
7. Horsey Gap, Horsey
Horsey Gap is located at the point where the east Norfolk coast starts to be talked about as the northern edge of the county. A quiet beach even by East Anglian standards, a spot here is never a problem no matter what time of year you come, with easy access from a car park that puts you a matter of steps from the sight of the sea. Such is the serenity, seals migrate here every year between November and January, and human visitors flock here for a peek at these amazing animals.
The Horsey Windpump is the seal’s human made, visitor-enticing accompaniment. Owned by the National Trust, it sits just south of the sand in area of lovely waterways and lush Norfolk countryside. Seals or no seals, the beach and windpump are around a 30 minute journey from our parks, making it an ideal day out when you stay with us.
8. Sea Palling Beach, Sea Palling
A generously sized stretch of sand, Sea Palling is another beach that sits on Norfolk’s northeast corner and is formed by nine artificial offshore reefs that were originally created as part of a flood prevention scheme but undoubtedly add a certain charm to the surroundings. Another with Blue Flag status, its pristine waters are made all the more beautiful by the fact that the beach never gets too busy with locals or sightseers.
As great for a few games as it is for a swim, there’s a range of amenities to take the entertainment off the sand and enjoy some of the local seafood staples. Less than 45 minutes away from our parks, it’s one of the most viable options for a day out with the little ones, and a great way to see even more sights and sounds of Norfolk.
9. California Beach, California
We know what you’re thinking, but there’s no typo to see here. California is indeed the name of a pretty part of the Norfolk coast. It shares a name with the famous American state because of the discovery of gold coins on its beach in 1848, at a time where the gold rush stateside was capturing global attention.Today, California’s beach captures the hearts and minds of all who visit, with smooth sand sitting at the bottom of sloping cliffs. Quiet and peaceful, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle. This beach in Norfolk is only a short drive away from our parks at Caister-on-Sea and Seashore, making it a fantastic change of scenery when you come away for a break with us.
Today, California’s beach captures the hearts and minds of all who visit, with smooth sand sitting at the bottom of sloping cliffs. Quiet and peaceful, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle. This beach in Norfolk is only a short drive away from our parks at Caister-on-Sea and Seashore, making it a fantastic change of scenery when you come away for a break with us.
10. Sheringham Beach, Sheringham
Sheringham Beach is one that paints a dramatically different picture depending on the level of the tide. One of the largest in the region when the tide is out, it all but disappears when it’s in, making a check of the times essential before you make the journey of an hour or so from our Norfolk caravan parks. A popular spot for families, access is easy and the sand sits on the town’s promenade.
There is an abundance of things to do in the vicinity, including Sheringham Museum, a putting green and a whole host of easy-going pubs and restaurants for all the family to try the local specialities. The catch of the day is particularly great here, and the town’s love affair with fishing very much continues to the present day.
11. Mundesley Beach, Mundesley
Southeast of the much more widely known Cromer, Mundesley is a beach in Norfolk that seamlessly blends peaceful surroundings with all the amenities you’d expect from a much busier seaside haunt. You’ll spot the beach easily as you approach from land, its position marked by colourful beach huts and golden sand that glistens when the weather is spot on.
The beach’s history is marked by a clifftop memorial to bomb disposal teams that cleared this beautiful but once dangerous and strategically important stretch of Norfolk coastline of explosives. Blue Flag accreditted, you can access the sand past the memorial via a slope. Lifeguards are on hand in the summer and there are a range of walking routes in every direction if you fancy a bit of exercise. The icing on the cake is that you’re less than an hour from our Norfolk parks in the car from here.