8 of the best quiet beaches in Norfolk
Fancy a walk off the beaten track? Whether you prefer sand or shingle, these secluded seaside spots are perfect for a little peace and quiet.
For a spot of fossil hunting or shell collecting, Trimingham on the North coast should be your first port of call – that’s if you can find it! The easiest way to reach it is to park at nearby Mundesley and walk down, but it’s worth the extra steps. Watersports enthusiasts, dog walkers and anglers are all fans of the sandy stretch, but it’s advised you don’t set up too close to the cliffs due to erosion.
The deep waters and strong currents of this tucked-away shingle beach make it popular with anglers – and with smugglers, back in the day! – but swimming is a no-go, which make it a quieter prospect than the more popular Sheringham beach, a three-mile walk away via clifftop road.
Fancy a long walk? This sandy beach set between Happisburgh and Sea Palling goes for yonks in both directions – it might change its name every mile or so, but it reaches most of the way around the Norfolk coast, so you’re in no danger of hitting a dead end. For coffee and cake beforehand, visit Smallsticks Cafe – there are enclosed gardens for dogs and kids alike to run around in and views across the farmland to Happisburgh lighthouse.
If seal spotting is high on the agenda, then Horsey Gap, near Waxham, is one place on the Norfolk coast where you can expect to see them pop their grey heads above the waves as you take a dip. The quiet, unspoilt beach is ideal for those who prefer a peaceful stroll along the sand away from traditional seaside attractions.
If you’re after sand, then you need to work for it at Stiffkey, as reaching the sandy part of the North Norfolk beach requires a walk through wetlands rich in wildlife – from short-eared owls and hen harriers soaring above, samphire growing underfoot and razor clams and cockles in the wet sand. If you get peckish, be sure to check out the menu at the Red Lion pub.
With its swathes of golden sand, big skies and unspoilt beauty, it’s not surprising that Holkham on the North Norfolk coast was voted the best in Britain by 101 Holidays. This beach is vast, so doesn’t get too crowded, even in the summer months. Plus, with Palladian mansion Holkham Hall nearby, you won’t be stuck for things to do should the weather let you down.
Well known among the bird-watching community, Titchwell Marsh is a popular RSPB reserve with a great visitor centre and shop. Expect to see marsh harriers, bearded tits, avocets, gulls and terns, or walk through the reserve to arrive at a beautiful sandy beach peppered with sea shells.
Golfers might know this secluded stretch of sand thanks to its proximity to Hunstanton Golf Club, but it’s more famous for being the site of the Seahenge discovery (which is no longer in situ, of course). With its deep, powdery sand, grassy dunes and nearby Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve it’s the ideal peaceful spot for a contemplative wander – or a picnic.