Six of Norfolk's Best Beaches
Escape to the north Norfolk coast and enjoy easy access to Norfolk's best beaches.
Have you children who get up monstrously early and long to get to the sea? Are you susceptible to this sort of thing yourself? If so, escape to Sheringham, for our award-winning Blue Flag beaches.
At low tide, the magic of the seaside comes alive, with picture-perfect views of the colourful beach huts and coastline. At Wells beach, pristine stretches of sand abound, making it easy to find a spot to lay down your blanket.
Burnham Overy Staithe
The sand is pale, fine and soft, and the water is crystal clear. Explore Burnham Overy Staithe's beach in the warmer months and take a dip in the shallow pools, which rise and fall as the tide ebbs and flows.
The Quay, Blakeney
Escape to the Quay at Blakeney to soak up the North Sea air, and recharge. Paddle into the water and along the saltmarsh. Climb up the bank, speckled with samphire, and feel the mud underneath your toes.
Are you eager for a little sea air? Then head to Cromer and breathe in the fresh air. The beach at Cromer is a wide expanse of sand and shingle, and it's as thrilling in rough winter as it is beautiful in fair.
Scolt Head Island
Explore Scolt Head Island, a wild barrier island that rises out of the North Sea. This spot requires some extra effort to reach. But adventurers who make it here can expect a truly calm space: tumbling sand dunes, saltmarsh and a great expanse of sky.
Three of Norfolk's Best Horatio Nelson sites
Of all the places in Britain that are associated with Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, Burnham Thorpe, on England's east coast, is probably the most evocative. Sail back in time and explore these three sites, all set within the village of Norfolk’s hero.
All Saints' Church
The Lord Nelson Pub
The Birthplace of Horatio Nelson
Explore All Saints' church in Burnham Thorpe for a serene place to reflect. In the Nelson family, the clerical connection was strong, and this is the historic church where Horatio Nelson's father, Edmund, was rector. Horatio Nelson was christened twice here: privately, in 1758, within ten days of his birth and publicly when he was a year old. The graves of Nelson's parents lie beside the altar, which itself is carved from wood from HMS Victory, the flagship of Nelson's fleet in his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The grand peaceful arena of this church is profoundly soothing. Look up, for vastness and light, at the winged celestial hosts in the roof and the fragile naval flags that hang in the nave.
Enjoy a scenic stroll from All Saints' church and be sure to pop into The Lord Nelson pub. Originally known as The Plough, Horatio Nelson was known to frequent this local alehouse. In 1793, a fortnight before King Louis XVI was executed at the guillotine, Nelson was given command of the ship, HMS Agamemnon. War was declared and, before going back to sea, Nelson hosted a final meal at this pub for the whole village. Nelson's great victories assured him of his country’s gratitude, and the manner in which they were won added glory to success. Thus, in 1798, The Plough became The Lord Nelson, in honour of Nelson's victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile.
From the pub, walk inland for less than a mile to the site of the old rectory, in which Horatio Nelson was born. Exposed to the bitter winds that came sweeping across the North Sea, the family home was situated close to a small but delightful and swiftly-flowing river Burn. The resources of a country living was hard, but Nelson's attachment to his home was strong, and he wrote of his "dear, dear Burnham," while aboard HMS Victory. Sadly, the commemorative plaque that marked Nelson's birthplace, shown above, was stolen in December 2022. Head a little further along the road and see the ship-shaped pond that Nelson designed in the gardens of the rectory.
Stepping into this history-rich village is a treat, and the quietude and open air are guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to dive back into Norfolk's sightseeing fray.