Things To Do
We are still quite new to Norfolk ourselves so if you find any place to recommend please let us know. To get you started these are things we and our guests already enjoy...
Sheringham (2 miles)
Perfect for an old-fashioned day at the seaside. Winner of a Blue Flag (awarded for cleanliness) Sheringham beach is backed by the town so it’s a short stroll for ice-cream, fish and chips, tubs of cockles and sunhats (or rain capes). Smooth pebbles lead onto a good expanse of sand when the tide is low. Turn right to find the Funky Mackerel Cafe and eat delicious toasties overlooking the waves. Turn left along the promenade to find the beach with lifeguards on duty from the Spring Bank Holiday to the end of the school summer holidays in September. Dogs are not allowed on the main beach at this time. Even on a hot day it’s never too crowded so it’s easy to find a spot to make your own. Good for swimming on a calm day.
West Runton (4 miles east)
There aren’t many rock pools in Norfolk but this beach has loads. It’s also good for fossil hunting on the foreshore. Look out for the Geology Walks and Rockpool safaris taking place over the summer. Pay about £2 for the car park, walk down the slope and you’re there. Lovely gentle shallows and often warm sea water pools form on the beach which are great for little splashers. There is a basic cafe which sells fruit cake, tea, ice cream and buckets and spades on the slope and a couple of public loos. A mammoth’s skeleton was found on this beach and the woman in the cafe has fossilised poo left by the hyenas who ate him. She will show you if you ask.
Cromer (5 miles east)
Another clean traditional English seaside beach backed by cliffs and the town. Perfect for families and for indulging in nostalgia, sparkly End of the Pier shows and donkey rides. A great spot to watch the spectacular Red Arrows at the annual Cromer Carnival and there are fireworks off the pier on New Year’s Day.
Weybourne (5 miles west)
This steep pebble beach is where the sandy cliffs in the east turn into a shingle spit which finishes at Blakeney Point. Swimming is not a good idea due to strong currents. It is lovely for watching the fishing boats puttering out and good starting point to walk across the cliffs back to Sheringham.
Salthouse (7 miles west)
This dramatic pebble beach is peach-scented with gorse flowers in spring. It’s one of our favourite walks for wandering across the reedbeds and marsh to the sea. My son loves to make set-ups with action figures on the mossy grass and play in the old Second World War gunning placement. This is not a swimming beach, the current is strong and unpredictable and the sea falls steeply to deeper water at the shore. It’s popular with on-shore mackerel fishermen who sit out there in icy weather drinking coffee and wearing balaclavas. Tough guys.
Holkham (20 miles west, about 40 mins)
A vast, majestic sweep of luminous coast. In 2011 Coast Magazine readers voted Holkham the Best Beach in Britain for the third year running. Fringed by sand dunes and pine forests it is part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve. We love it in all weathers but especially on a pearly December day when the sky, sea and sand become a magical play of light and scudding shadows. Samphire grows in the patches of shingle and mud from late June to early September. Break a bit off and nibble the translucent green saltiness. It’s a VERY long walk to the sea so take bribes to keep weary children going on the way back.