Our favourite Norfolk beaches, and eateries, as recommended by the team at West Lexham

Norfolk has the most beautiful 93 mile coastline with unspoiled sand and wide horizons, it is the county said to be where the “sky meets the sea”.

The team here have all spent many a day on one of Norfolk’s beaches with kids, dogs and blowing those cobwebs away in both 25 degree sunshine and 5 degree winter days. Here is our selection of our favourites to share with you. We do like to tag on a coffee to enjoy on our walk, or a good pub lunch so we have tried to include a recommendation for each beach too.

Beach #1

Holkham

Holkham Beach is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Norfolk Coast and on the British Isles. It is a vast horseshoe shaped beach with white sands, and sheltered by the pine forest. It is popular with families, walkers, horse riders and dog walkers.

One of my favourite walks is from the car park at Holkham and you head out onto the beach and walk to the right for about two miles until you reach Wells-next-the-sea. You will know you have reached Wells-next-the-sea when you see the pretty coloured beach huts. At the end of the beach huts walk up the lifeboat ramp and you will see the Beach Cafe where you can get a good coffee, slice of cake and some doggy treats. To make it a circular walk, head right out of the cafe and follow the Norfolk Coastal Path back through the contrasting scenery of the pinewoods to Lady Anne Drive. Once back in Holkham, The Victoria pub is at the top of Lady Anne Drive and we can highly recommend it.

Access to Holkham Beach is via Lady Anne’s Drive where there is a paid car park. 

Approximately a 30 minute drive from West Lexham

https://www.holkham.co.uk/stay-eat/the-victoria-inn/welcome

Beach #2

Old Hunstanton

Old Hunstanton Beach is part of the Norfolk Coastal Path and a year round dog friendly beach. It is the only village on the east coast to face west. Perfect for a spot of sunbathing, family time, dog walking, and kite surfing. When the tide is out you can walk towards Hunstanton and the famous red chalk, white chalk and carrstone cliffs, and you might even find some rock pools to explore. Old Hunstanton has a very cute beach cafe where you can get drinks, snacks and ice creams, as well as homemade doggy treats. Old Hunstanton is also home to The Marina Inn which has outside seating and is child and dog friendly – perfect for a bowl of cheesy chips and pint of beer after a day on the sand. 

Approximately a 45 minute drive from West Lexham

https://www.themarinerinn.co.uk/

Beach #3

Brancaster Staithe

Brancaster Staithe is our Sales & Marketing Manager’s favourite mainly because of The White Horse pub. The White Horse is set on the banks of the marshland with a beautiful conservatory and decking area so you can take in the glorious views.

This stretch of the Norfolk Coastal Path is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was once an old working port so you’ll find lots of fishing boats, and you can buy their catch from fresh fish stalls at the harbour or along the main road through the village. If you are a fan of mussels this is the place to get them – known to be the best spot along the coast for them, but be sure you are visiting in a month with an ‘r’ in it as these are the months they will be available. 

Approximately a 40 minute drive from West Lexham

https://www.whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk/

Beach #4

Blakeney

Blakeney is a beautiful coastal village. It was once a commercial port and is now a designated area of natural beauty and home to hundreds of migrating birds as well as large Common and Grey Seal colonies at Blakeney Point. You can get a trip by boat from Blakeney or Morston out to see the seals. You can enjoy crabbing with the kids from the quay, and there are numerous walks through the salt marshes, the coastal path and out towards Cley beach. If you walk at low tide you can walk out to the seals as well but be careful not to get caught out, and please keep dogs on leads.

Explore the pretty stress with art galleries, pubs and for the best catch head to one of the traders on the quay for a fresh crab sandwich.

Approximately a 40 minute drive from West Lexham

Beach #5

Thornham

Thornham Beach is private and secluded, and one of those hidden rather special gems. You do have a mile and a half walk through the boardwalk alongside the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Holme Dunes Nature Reserve, but it is worth it. Dog friendly all year round. 

There isn’t a designated car park for Thornham beach but there is some off road parking near the old coal shed at the bottom of Staithe Lane, or in Thornham Village by the Village Hall.

Approximately a 40 minute drive from West Lexham

There are three pubs to choose from in Thornham – The Lifeboat, The Orange Tree or The Chequers Inn. All three are great pubs offering fabulous food.

http://www.lifeboatinnthornham.com/
http://www.theorangetreethornham.co.uk/
https://www.chequersinnthornham.com/eat-1

Just a short drive you can also find Thornham Deli who serve great coffees and a great breakfast, and Drove Orchards where you can get the best fish and chips at Eric’s, or a wood fired pizza at The Yurt. There is a great kids play area as well as PYO.

https://thornhamdeli.co.uk/
https://droveorchards.com/
https://www.ericsfishandchips.com/
https://www.ericspizza.co.uk/

Beach #6

Wells-Next-The-Sea

We have another blog here  that is our recommendations for the great days out with the kids that features Wells-next-the-sea however Wells is so much more than just a day out we felt the need to feature it twice. It is probably one of the loveliest towns on the Norfolk coast.

You can easily spend a few days exploring Wells-next-the-sea with its cobbled streets lined with independent shops, cafes and restaurants. The harbour is always full of boats and children crabbing. There is a great children’s playground, and miniature railway (check operating times before you visit) which takes you on the mile long walk alongside the harbour down to the beautiful sandy beach lined with coloured beach huts. The sandy beach is bordered by pinewoods so you can have the best of both worlds walking through the woods and out over onto the beach. Explore the woods a little and you’ll find a couple of rope swings too.

The beach is dog friendly after the beach huts. It is all signposted from the Beach cafe taking you through the pinewoods and then up and over the steps out on to the beach.

Approximately a 30 minute drive from West Lexham