Not sure of the best spots to hit along the Norfolk coastline? Luckily, we've put in the leg work to find the 15 best Norfolk seaside towns for you to visit.
From family-friendly, attraction-filled resort towns to quaint fishing villages packed with history, we've got a bit of everything - so you're bound to find the perfect Norfolk seaside town for you.
Brimming with natural beauty (and home to a colony of up to 500 seals), Blakeney is a great starting point when exploring the Norfolk coastline. Hop on a boat tour and view the incredible sight of nature.
A landscape of mud banks, sand hills and marshes, Blakeney village is filled with traditional flint cottages (once home to local fisherman). You have to stop by the cutesy independent shops and art galleries to fill your time too.
An important trading port back in the Middle Ages, this town has taken a more laidback approach these days, being home to the Cley Marshes – a Norfolk Wildlife Trust-owned nature reserve. Six hides, decked out with amazing views are the perfect spot to settle in and watch out for migrating wildfowl and waders.
FYI You’re probably saying this one wrong, it’s pronounced as Cl•eye - everyone will be thinking you’re a local now.
Home to the much-loved Victorian Cromer pier, a collection of colourful beach huts and tasty Cromer crabs, loads of people would consider this their favourite Norfolk seaside town – and we really understand why. Not your typical attraction or fairground kind of town - it's more the quintessential crabbing pier, microbrewery and even a Banksy kind of town. Don't worry, there’s still a tonne to get up to.
Now, if you’re looking for a quaint and quiet seaside town visit, do not go to Great Yarmouth. This loud and proud town is great value and there's a load to do, it’s definitely one of the more popular resorts in Norfolk. From fairgrounds and crazy golf to bouncy castles and fast foods, it’s great sport for families – oh, and we can’t forget to mention our favourite attraction, get your SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth tickets here (it has an amazing ocean tunnel).
There’s an awful lot of natural beauty in Holkham. Being home to one of Norfolk’s top stately homes, a spacious beach and the Holkham National Nature Reserve, you’ll have plenty to explore. Holkham Hall, an 18th century sensational Palladian structure, has lovely gardens and is surrounded by extensive parkland – home to a herd of Fallow deer you need to keep your eye out for. Oh, and there’s always space at Holkham’s vast beach, even during the busy summer months.
Known for its iconic (and very photogenic) red and white lighthouse, Happisburgh is a sleepy village perfect for outdoorsy families and history buffs. Happisburgh’s beach actually made headlines back in 2013 when a layer of sediment was revealed by ride containing ancient footprints – later dated to over 850,000 years ago, now that’s a claim to fame. As a result of this (and the discovery of the West Runton Mammoth), the Norfolk coast is known as a key part of British ancient history – why not have a look fora fossil of your own?
BTW this is another one you’re probably saying wrong, this one is pronounced hayz·buh·ruh.
This small Victorian village is just 9-miles away from the busy town of Cromer, making Mundesley the idyllic, quiet seaside town. If you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of touristy towns, this is the perfect spot on the Norfolk coast for you – with a fine stretch of blue-flag beach, perfect for paddling. Oh, and this village is also home to the world’s smallest maritime museum, located inside an original coastguard hut dating all the way back to the 1920’s - get that checked off your list.
Sweetly nicknamed ‘Sunny Hunny’ by locals, this Norfolk costal town is the ultimate seaside resort – think fairground rides, crazy golf, a fab beach and many amusements. Hunstanton is one of those seaside towns which smells like hot donuts and chips – in the best possible way. One of the town’s biggest and best attractions has to be SEA LIFE Hunstanton, with loads of cool ocean dwellers and Norfolk’s only seal sanctuary, it’s not hard to see why it’s a family favourite.
Once a thriving fishing village, Sheringham is still home to many avid fishermen bringing in their catch each day. This is a great Norfolk seaside town to wander about, the streets stacked with cutesy cottages, cafes and local eateries. The town is also host to some of Norfolk’s biggest events, like the Sheringham Viking Festival in April and the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival in May – so be warned, it’ll get busy.
This cliff-top town overlooks a beautiful sandy beach and is just a 2-mile walk from Cromer. If you’re in search of a quiet start point that has excellent access to the bigger resort towns, Overstrand is the perfect place for you. Keen on walking? The Overstrand circular path makes for a fab coastal walk with great views – and the village is also on the Norfolk Coast Path and Deep History Coast Discovery Trail.
An area of immense natural beauty, Wells-next-the-Sea is a cutesy harbour town between the bird sanctuary at Blakeney Point and Holkham Bay. This one is definitely considered one of the best Norfolk seaside towns, and for good reason – there’s a variety of traditional and modern shops scattered throughout the town. Oh, and you just have to give crabbing a go here – it’s the top spot for crabbing on the Norfolk coastline.
A picture-perfect village stuffed with thatched cottages and loads of Sand Couch grass, Winterton-on-Sea is the southernmost point of Northern Norfolk. With a great pub to stop by and the Winterton Dunes National Reserve to explore, it’s a perfectly quaint seaside town. This one is great for winter trips, although visitors are asked not to walk on the beaches from November until late January whilst female seals have their pups.
An absolute must for animal lovers, Horsey Beach is the best place to see the grey seal colony – they're practically considered local A-listers at this point. Sightings are most likely during birthing season (November through to February), there are designated walking trails and viewpoints scattered throughout the dunes – you may have to zoom in for the pictures but it’s not worth risking a nasty bite from a protective mother seal (we’ve heard they sting).
This little village is sneakily tucked in-between Sheringham and Cromer, but now you know it’s there, you won’t want to miss it. Perfect for a quiet staycation, this sleepy village has blue-flagged beaches and is ideal for walking. West Runton is probably best known for the impressive discovery of the Steppe Mammoth in the cliff face back in 1990 – one of the oldest fossil elephants to be found in the UK. Tell the kids there’s chance they’ll find a super cool fossil here and be prepared to stay on the beach for hours.
Located not far away from the hustling and bustling Hunstanton, Thornham is a slower paced Norfolk seaside village, home to sweeping beaches and marshes. The town itself is home to a mere 500 residents, but rest-assured they like it quiet and peaceful – it's the perfect idyllic location for more low-key travellers, or even a longer stay.
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