Dog friendly beaches in Norfolk
No staycation is complete without all your loved ones making the trip, including the furry one in the family. Norfolk’s beaches are a great place to bring your dog, and with options in abundance, we’ve whittled them down to a shortlist of our favourites.
This special set of dog-friendly beaches tie in brilliantly with each of our Norfolk parks, all of which welcome your companion with open arms. There are a range of pooch-perfect features at each, and these coastal stretches are the perfect places to bring them on a day out especially if you choose to base yourself at Caister-on-Sea, Hopton, Seashore or Wild Duck. Each of the sandy locations featured bring something different to the table, cementing their place as the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk.
1. Caister Point, Caister-on-Sea
Dogs allowed: all year round Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR30 5DJ
A stay at our Caister-on-Sea park alongside your pooch tied in with a few visits to the Caister Point beach it sits on is up there with the most special staycation experiences, making the latter undoubtedly one of the best dog friendly beaches in Norfolk. There’s a whole host of space for canines to roam free along the water, while you admire what we’re happy to keep as one of Norfolk’s best kept secrets. The sand never gets too busy, giving you both the room to roam and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
A visitor centre adds context to the area, and explains how wildlife takes advantage of this peaceful corner of the county. Keep your eyes peeled for seals in the water as they migrate south from their colony up the coast at Horsey. All in all, it’s hard to believe that you’re only a short distance north of Great Yarmouth, which is close to where our other fantastic dog-friendly Norfolk parks are. You’ll find a whole host of dog-friendly places on our parks that welcome all your family members with open arms.
2. Gorleston Beach, Gorleston-on-Sea
Dogs allowed: all year round Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR30 5DJ
All year round south of the tennis courts, all other areas accessible 1st October-30th April Gorleston is another great option if you’ve decided to staycate at our Norfolk parks, particularly Hopton and Wild Duck which are both a very modest distance away. Undoutedly one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk, it sits south of Great Yarmouth but has all the charm and most ingredients of its famous northern neighbour. Popular with dog walkers and young families, the beach is patrolled by lifeguards during peak season but the place really comes into its own during quieter periods where there are zero restrictions on where you can both go. Parking here is easy, and there are ample places to sit and rest when you walk the two-mile stretch that forms the beach. Fish and chips is quite rightly the popular choice in town, alongside a range of other tasty options that top off a day out here in style.
Gorleston is another great option if you’ve decided to staycate at our Norfolk parks, particularly Hopton and Wild Duck which are both a very modest distance away. Undoubtedly one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk, it sits south of Great Yarmouth but has all the charm and most ingredients of its famous northern neighbour.
3. Cart Gap Beach, Eccles-on-Sea
Dogs allowed: all year round Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR12 0PP
This dog friendly Norfolk gem of a beach sits on the point where Norfolk’s east coast becomes more northern. One of the more off the beaten track features in this list, it’s ideal for a stroll with the pooch with fantastic routes in either direction giving you a great breath of fresh air and view out to the North Sea. The beaches in this area all marry into one, meaning you can explore for as long as you and your furry friend like without interruption.
Another stretch of sand that never gets too busy, Cart Gap is accessed at the end of a single track lane backed by miles of farmland. You might see as many tractors as cars around here, but there’s still the lovely little Smallsticks café just a stone’s throw from the beach’s car park and great for a refreshment or two. This local legend allows you to sit outside and sample the surroundings with your pooch whilst you refuel. The 40 minute drive from our Norfolk parks is scenic to say the least, and well worth the time spent to get here.
4. Happisburgh Beach, Happisburgh
Dogs allowed: all year round Type of beach: sandy Postcode: NR12 0PW
Neighbours with the Cart Gap, Happisburgh (pronounced ‘haze-bruh’) offers a total change of scenery with epic cliffs leading you down to the sand in this part of Norfolk. Formed to coastal erosion, the sand is peaceful even at the busiest of times and is a nice alternative to other beaches in the area.
You’ll spot an 18th-century lighthouse that has performed many vital duties over the years, and is thought to be oldest one still working in the UK. It’s possible to climb the nearly 100 steps and be rewarded with a great overview of the sand and the quaint village. Speaking of which, the settlement is a real Norfolk beauty, with the Hill House Inn pub, the church and cricket club all fantastic ingredients in what really is a quintessentially English place to visit.
5. Holkham Beach, Wells-next-the-Sea
Dogs allowed: all year round 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, especially if you're bringing the dog along!
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.
6. Hunstanton Beach, Hunstanton
Dogs allowed: at all times except summer Type of beach: sandy Postcode: PE36 5BF
Hunstanton is unique in terms of beaches in Norfolk. The only major town with a beach that faces west, it has long attracted dog walkers, 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.