The Norfolk coast is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Britain and caters for every taste. For food lovers there is excellent sea food (especially mussels and crabs) and if you are a lover of wildlife you will not be disappointed as there are world renowned reserves all along the coast.
Below is an overview of some of the towns, villages and areas you will walk through on your chosen holiday option:
Hunstanton – (Norfolk pronunciation “Hunston” and affectionally know as Sunny Hunny!) a traditional seaside town famed for its distinctive striped cliffs. The beach and cliffs face west which means they capture the sunshine and are the perfect spot for viewing some spectacular sunsets. The shallow beach runs for two miles along the coast to Brancaster and the tide can go out a mile, allowing rock pools to appear around the groynes. The town has many places to eat, quirky shops and lots of traditional attractions for you to visit.
Old Hunstanton – the original village, is much quieter and picturesque. The empty beach is one of the finest in Norfolk, is very popular with Kite Surfers and sports a row of colourful beach huts that lie just behind the sand dunes.
Holme-next-the-Sea – where the Norfolk Wildlife Trust run Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve. Salt and freshwater marshes, pine woodland and reedbeds which attract waders and migrant wildfowl, as well as nesting birds such as oystercatchers and ringed plover in spring and summer. It was here in 1998 that gales uncovered a prehistoric circle of timber posts. 'Seahenge', as it inevitably became known, can now be seen in the King's Lynn Museum.
Thornham – a quaint village of flint cottages with excellent pubs and a deli that was once a smugglers haven. The RSPB’s Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve is a short walk from here.
Brancaster - the Staithe is popular for fishing, sailing and trips to Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve. The vast sandy beach is popular for kite flying and water-sports, with a golf course amongst the sandhills.
Burnham Deepdale – visit Dalegate’s arcade of shops and pop up market stalls for some retail therapy plus there a few great places to eat. The terrain changes here to a mixture of dune, shingle, marsh and mudflats and is haven for wildlife.
Burnham Overy Staithe – a picturesque harbour where you can paddle in the mud creeks at low tide and watch the fishermen at work.
Holkham Bay – one of the most dramatic beaches in the UK and the perfect setting for many TV and film productions such as Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow. The wide open expanse of beach is backed by an aromatic pine forest. At low tide you’ll wonder where the sea has gone!
Wells-next-the-Sea – here you will find the infamous colourful beach huts standing on stilts in front of the pine forest on a vast expanse of sandy beach. The mile long sea defence takes you into the attractive harbour and an array of shops, cafes and pubs for you to peruse.
Morston harbour – take exhilarating boat trips to see the seal colony at Blakeney Point, a 3-mile long sand and shingle spit which is an important breeding ground for terns while also being home to Common and Grey seals.
Blakeney – Narrow lanes of flint cottages and a popular spot for yachts and pleasure craft as well as fishing boats. You can also take a boat trip to Blakeney point from here.
Cley – is a bustling village of flint cottages and has one of the most photographed and painted landmarks in Norfolk, the Cley Windmill. There is also a great pub, deli, smokehouse and a few gallery’s here. You can also walk to Blakeney Point from here a 3 mile sand a shingle spit home to common seals.
Norfolk Wildlife Trusts Cley Marshes. Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve. The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reedbed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit. An eco-friendly visitor centre opened in 2007 containing a café, shop and viewing areas. The view from the visitor centre across themarsh to the sea is breathtaking.
Sheringham and Cromer are both charming seaside resorts. At Sheringham you can take the North Norfolk Railway, known as 'The Poppy Line', which stretches 5 miles to the pretty Georgian town of Holt with stops at Weybourne Heath and Kelling Halt. Cromer is famous for its delicious fresh crabs and the Victorian pier with a popular theatre that presents shows throughout the year.
Sea Palling, Waxham and Eccles-on-Sea, here the land changes to sand dunes and impressive beaches
Happisburgh - the picturesque red and white striped lighthouse stands defiantly on the cliff. It's the UK's only independently-run lighthouse and in the summer, you can climb all the way up to the lantern.
Horsey to Winterton-on-Sea – here the Norfolk Broads overlap with the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural beauty where in the winter seal pups are born on the beach. A viewing area is available a short walk from Horsey. Winterton Dunes Nature reserve is a bird-watchers delight and a haven for wildlife with tern and seal colonies in residence, along with the rare Natterjack toad.
Caister-on-Sea - you'll see one of the two independent lifeboat stations in the UK (the other is a little further along the coast at Hemsby), famous for its crews' bravery.
Great Yarmouth, one of the top holiday destinations in the UK and a mecca for families and fun-lovers who want to enjoy a traditional seaside break. The action here focuses on the Golden Mile, with its two piers, amusement arcades, rides and attractions. At the northern end of the Golden Mile, by the racecourse, the beach is tufted with marram grass and dunes.
Gorleston - Great Yarmouth's quieter sister, which has a magnificent beach backed by a low cliff with esplanade walks and a links golf course at its southern end.
So there is something to suit everyone in Norfolk. Come and see for yourself……
For more detailed information on the Norfolk Coast path visit the websites below: