Norfolk’s beaches from Sheringham to Great Yarmouth offer something for everyone. Seaside towns full of Norfolk charm, beaches full of wildlife and the excitement of full on entertainment!
Sheringham – Norfolk’s Beaches full of Charm
Sheringham is home to a quaint little high street. Here you will find some of the usual high street shops alongside various independent cafes, ice cream shops and pubs.
Towards the beach there are even some small penny arcades. I have to say, these are a firm favourite of ours at the moment. Although, sometimes i’m not sure who enjoys them more… the kids or the dad…
The high street leads down onto the promenade, which walks you along Sheringham’s pebbled beach.
Turn left and enjoy a walk along to the 100ft mammoth mural painted on the promenade wall, the boating lake and the RNLI Life Boat Station. Turn right and head to the Sheringham Museum, where you can learn all about the towns history and its people.
On our visit we took a flask of tea and bought a cake from the local bakery down to the beach. Then simply sat and tried to skim pebbles out across the sea. Sheringham has a lovely relaxed feel and the high street has all the amenities you should need for a day out.
Cromer – Celebrity on Norfolk’s Beaches
Cromer is a little bigger than Sheringham. The town is an assortment of endearing little streets, where sizeable and very homely looking traditional British pubs, bistro restaurants and fish and chip shops have been squeezed into all available nooks and crevasses. There are also a couple of very friendly and very small arcades for the kids to enjoy!
One of the biggest draws in Cromer is the pier. It is home to a 510 seater theatre where the likes of Bradley Walsh performed for three seasons and Steve Coogan filmed the final scenes of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
The pier is looked down on by the impressive red brick Hotel de Paris. It is here Oscar Wilde wrote A Woman of No Importance in 1892 and Steven Fry once worked as a waiter!
On a very wet and windy day we chose to be very British and enjoyed fish and chips sitting on the pier.
The beach is a mix of sand and shingle and if your lucky you might get to see the Cromer goats clearing the vegetation off of the cliffs!
Overstrand is home to a very small village that sits back away from the coast. It was once a small fishing station and now seems to be a sleepy village in the winter months offering pleasant coastal and beach walks.
Access to the beach is down a series of fairly steep ramps, so bare this in mind if mobility is an issue. There is also the option to do a bit of DIY litter picking! We, of course, jumped at the chance! Mainly to do our bit and teach the kids about cause and effect, but also so daddy and daughter could chase each other with the litter picker!
In all fairness we didn’t find one shred of litter down on the beach, so I would say the system seems to work quite well.
Mundesley is another very quaint looking village full of stone and thatched houses on pretty rural roads.
The village is also home to Adventure Island Crazy Golf, the Mundesley Maritime Museum (smallest in the world) and a couple of lovely tea shops.
We stopped off at the Corner Cafe for a coffee and a cake, which we found absolutely charming! The prices were fair and they offered beach hampers to take down onto the beach so you could picnic while you played!
The beach at Mundesley was big and sandy and access to the beach was easy.
The coast road runs right alongside Walcott beach, so the good news is you can’t really miss it.
It is a huge stretch of gorgeous sandy beach, which we loved! We flew our kites, we played in the waves and said hello to the friendly local dogs who also enjoyed running care free along the uninterrupted expanse of beach.
There is no village attached to Walcott Beach. There are public toilets, a corner shop and a fish and chip shop right on the front. However, there is nothing else. Walcott is a place to enjoy the beach and little else.
Happisburg beach is connected to a small village with a church and a pub, but generally it is residential – although very pretty to drive through.
There is a pay and display car park at the beach with a public toilet, which is handy if you are spending the day. The beach is a small sandy bay protected by huge clay cliffs.
Happisburgh is also the home to the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia! It was built in 1790 and was originally one of a pair. The lighthouse does invite people to have a look around inside, but only on specific open days. You can find a timetable of dates on their website.
Horsey Gap – An Unexpected Surprise on Norfolk’s Beaches
Horsey Gap is in middle of a stretch of beach that runs from Eccles-on-Sea to Great Yarmouth.
The best thing about Horsey Gap is that it’s a great place to spot wild seals all year round!
The entrance to the nearest car park is not sign posted and our sat nav didn’t fair well at all. I would recommend using Google Maps on your phone for the best directions. Although, if you get to the Poppylands tea rooms you are very close.
It’s advisable to wear good shoes on your visit as you’ll be walking up and down the sand dunes to get to the seals. However, once you get down on the beach it’s miles of wonderfully flat sandy beach covered in seals.
The best time to go to see cubs is October to February, however you can see adults all year round.
Great Yarmouth – Entertainment on Norfolk’s Beaches
Great Yarmouth is big, busy and rambunctious. There is so much going on with the pier, the pleasure beach, adventure golf, fun parks and arcades you won’t know what to shake your proverbial entertainment stick at first!
No doubt the kids will get lost in the excitement of the lights, rides, prizes and the never ending ways you can spend your money. However, you might find Great Yarmouth doesn’t quite exude the same sense of Norfolk charm like Sheringham or Cromer. Although, I don’t think it wants to. Great Yarmouth has a big town with lots of your favourite shops and restaurants and lots to keep you entertained.
The beach in Great Yarmouth is beautiful – big, sandy and wide. It makes for the perfect place to spend the day building sand castles and relaxing with your family. That’s in-between the calls to the arcades, crazy golf and pleasure beach – of course!