Splash! The best outdoor swimming spots in Norfolk
It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes! Now dive into our guide to the best open water swimming locations in Norfolk. Just kindly refrain from bombing, running or petting please.
Best for salt water lovers: CROMER
With 90 miles of coastline, we truly are spoilt for choice in Norfolk when it comes to sea swims. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s nice to have the added comfort of swimming with a lifeguard (especially if you’re with little’uns).
Sheringham and Cromer are two of the top Norfolk beaches where you can swim with lifeguards on duty – plus, they both have plenty of fab options for a cockles-warming post-swim drink. At Cromer’s North Sea Coffee you can even grab a hot chocolate or coffee with a shot of booze in it…bliss!
Best if you hate cold water (or fish!): BECCLES LIDO
We get it – neopreme hats, the prospect of unspecified slithery things nibbling at your knees and stony sea floors just aren’t for everyone.
If you want the hearty serotonin-boost of swimming outdoors, minus the chill or the gunk, Beccles Lido might be the place for you.
Ok, so it’s technically in Suffolk (and not exactly “wild”), but we don’t have our own lido in Norfolk and it’s right on the border. The lido has three pools heated to 28°C in summer, including a toddler and a splah pool.
Best for kids: CAEN MEADOW
If you’re looking for a sheltered, shallow and idyllic spot where the kids can splash themselves silly, Caen Meadow is a hidden(ish) gem in Wroxham. (You’ll find it just off Church Lane.)
The grassy meadow leading down to a sandy beach is perfect for playing and picnicing on, but just be wary of any passing boats.
Best for city slickers: ANDERSON’S MEADOW
The River Wensum weaves prettily through Norwich, but there are surprisingly few places where you can safely go for a swim. Local wild swimmers club to Anderson’s Meadow, where you’ll find a slice of inner-city peace and easy access to the water via a slipway.
The current can be strong, however, so it’s best to link up with a group such as Norfolk & Norwich Wild Swimmers rather than going it alone.
Best for making a day of it: ST HELEN’S PICNIC SITE
At St Helens picnic spot in Thetford Forest you’ll find sandy beaches, deep pools and gorgeous stretches of tree-lined river. It’s perfect for a summer family picnic – just don’t forget your swimmers.
Best for athletic types: WHITLINGHAM COUNTRY PARK
If you’re more into triathlons than casually bobbing around in the water for a few minutes (and if so, we can only salute you!), then the open-water sessions at Whitlingham Country Park (organised by Tri-Anglia) might just be for you.
Best for a charming atmosphere: FAIRHAVEN WOODLAND AND WATER GARDEN
Slip into South Walsham Broad for a swim at the enchantingly pretty Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, which offers supervised open water swimming on Wednesday nights. You’ll need to get annual membership to the gardens before you can join in.
Be safe – read the Outdoor Swimmers’ Code