Many of our beaches are certainly worth a visit and with the East Norfolk Coast from Great Yarmouth, Horsey and Winterton, through to Happisburgh, Mundesley, Overstrand and up to the North Norfolk Coast of Cromer, Sheringham, Wells and Blakeney and Holkham, within a 15-50 minute drive, all are in easy reach from our cottages.
Happisburgh is within 6 miles of the cottages and this is where the only independently operated and oldest working light on the Norfolk coast is situated, Happisburgh Lighthouse. It is open for visits during April-September on specific days, but the view from the top is worth the 96 steps!
Cromer, a traditional Victorian seaside resort, with a sand and shingle beach popular for swimming and surfing and its pier, Mundesley, with its long sandy beach and colourful beach huts and Overstrand for its quieter appeal.
Sheringham and East/West Runton beaches have many rock pools when the tide is out, great for children, and Great Yarmouth is the place to go if you like fairgrounds and amusements and the more traditional seaside resort.
Stunning Holkham for its far stretching unspolit sands, and nature reserves, Winterton for it sandy beach and dunes and Wells, a 'must-see' beach for its beach huts and mile-upon-mile sands and shallow waters when the tide is out.
The historic village of Happisburgh has a secluded sandy beach and a fascinating history showing the earliest signs of humans in Britain. The constantly changing coastline, its 18th century lighthouse and 15th century church makes Happisburgh a fascinating place to explore.
Mundesley is a pretty Victorian seaside village where families can enjoy a traditional holiday away from the hustle and bustle. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Mundesley offers great coastal walks and is close to the Broads National Park.
Mundesley’s Blue Flag wide sandy beach, with colourful beach huts and shallow rock pools, are an ideal playground for children of all ages, and there is also great year-round sea fishing.
Cromer is a traditional seaside resort and is famous for its pier, home to a lifeboat station and Pavilion Theatre, where the UK’s only remaining traditional end of the pier variety show takes place each Summer and Winter. The pier is an enduring example of Victorian architecture, having withstood many storms, tidal surges and even an attempt to blow it up by the Government in WW2 to prevent the pier being used as a landing strip for enemy invaders!
All year round, spending time on the beach at Cromer is a must. Have a go at crabbing, building sandcastles on the family friendly sands or try surfing and paddle boarding. The Norfolk coast path passes through the area offering fantastic scenic walks.
Sheringham, a traditional seaside town, was once an old fishing village and that heritage is still evident today. Sheringham’s Blue Flag beach is family friendly and has scenic walks along the promenade, which houses a row of colourful beach huts.
In the town, you will find pubs, cafes, tea rooms, museums and a theatre, as well as plenty of accommodation. In the centre of Sheringham is the town clock, built on the site of an 1862 water well. A market is held on Saturdays throughout the year and Wednesdays from April to November.
The town’s name is Scandinavian origin and has the meaning, The Ham of Scira’s people. In 900AD, Vikings first settled in Sheringham and it is thought that Scira may have been a Viking warlord who was given the land as a reward for his performance in battle. This history is celebrated with the annual Viking Festival each winter.
Sheringham has many other carnivals and festivals all year round including the famous Crab & Lobster Festival and Sheringham Carnival. There is also a Steam Gala in the Autumn, celebrating the heritage North Norfolk Railway which runs from Sheringham to Holt, through Kelling, with fantastic sea views along the way.
Blakeney, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At the heart is Blakeney National Nature Reserve with wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the coastline, ideal for walking and spotting local wildlife including seals and migratory birds. The village has pretty flint cottages, once home to local fisherman, and there are plenty of places to eat as well as pubs, gift shops and art galleries to visit.
Tucked away in an alley just off the quay is Blakeney Guildhall, where you will find the remains of the house of a prosperous Blakeney merchant, which has a fine 15th century brick-vaulted undercroft. On the village outskirts, lies St Nicholas church, built between the 13th and 15th century, which unusually, has two towers. A couple of miles walk away is Cley-next-the-Sea offering great views across the marshes and it was this marshland that was used for horse races up to the early 19th century as well as being a regular haunt for smugglers!
From Blakeney, you can take a boat trip to Blakeney Point (as well as Morston Quay) to visit the seal colonies in this National Nature Reserve, managed by the National Trust. Blakeney Point is a perfect breeding site for grey seals and their pups, born during November to early January, and is the largest seal colony in England with over 2,000 seal pups born annually. The Point is created by a longshore drift across the River Glaven and is constantly re-shaped by the tides and currents. These conditions provide an ideal spot for the local delicacy samphire to grow.
Wells-next-the-sea & Holkham
Holkham is home to a 25,000 acre estate on the north Norfolk coast, in which stands Holkham Hall, an 18th century Palladian house, home to the Earl of Leicester. Surrounding the house is rolling parkland with Fallow Deer and Red Deer.
The unspoilt picturesque beach at Holkham, which won the Coutryfile Magazine Beach of the Year 2018 award, has expansive white sands backed by sand dunes and pine woods. The setting for many films and popular with walkers and bathers alike, it can feel almost empty even at the height of summer. Behind the shoreline lies a basin, which, at high tides, fills to form a spectacular shallow lagoon (check tide times here). Holkham beach is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
Between world-renowned Holkham beach and the unique bird sanctuary of Blakeney Point, lies the pretty harbour town of Wells-next-the-Sea. Its harbour is sheltered by salt marshes from the open sea and was once one of the great ports of eastern England in Tudor times. Today the harbour is still used by sailing and crabbing boats and is overlooked by an imposing granary dating from 1904.
Wells town has a leafy Georgian Square and on Staithe Street you'll find a mix of traditional and contemporary shops. On the outskirts, is a light railway which takes on a four mile train ride to Walsingham. You can walk from the town to Wells beach, or take the seasonal narrow-gauge railway.
Take a walk through shady pinewoods to the sandy beach, and you'll be greeted with a row of colourful beach stilted huts and seals basking on the sand banks. Set in north Norfolk’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wells is part of the largest coastal nature reserve in England and Wales, and is a magnet for bird-watchers. Its marshes provide the perfect habitat for wading birds, bitterns, avocets, marsh harriers and winter geese.