CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today CLICK HERE

7 secret beaches in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:36 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 21 May 2018

Beach at Cart Gap (photo: Antony Kelly)

Beach at Cart Gap (photo: Antony Kelly)


Such is the appeal of Norfolk’s magnificent coastline, it isn’t always that easy to find a quiet spot especially during the summer months – but there are still a few hidden gems where you can escape the crowds. Here are our secret seven seaside spots to savour. Shhh we don’t want everyone to know!

1. Titchwell

While Titchwell is best known as a RSPB nature reserve with an abundance of birdlife living among its mosaic freshwater and saltwater habitat, if you take the 1km walk through the reserve, across the marshes and reedbeds and out to the sea you will be rewarded with a fantastic beach.

Wide breathtaking expanses of sand, dunes to explore – and best of all, apart from a few bird watchers and walkers it often feels deserted. During the second world war, it was used as a military firing range and remnants of its past can be seen on the beach today, with crumbling pillboxes and the occasional sight at low tide of the remains of two Covenanter tanks. The ruins of the war bunker as you emerge from the path onto the beach, are often home to an amazing number of starfish, fascinating for young explorers. Walk for miles along the sand, spend a few hours wildlife spotting or have a picnic in the dunes.

2. Cart Gap

When the sun comes out, Sea Palling draws in visitors from afar – but if you like your seaside a little quieter, you can enjoy the same unspoilt beach just a short distance away at the neighbouring Cart Gap, but without the crowds.

Down a narrow lane, cutting through the flat farmland where agriculture meets the sea, Cart Gap is a lovely stretch of beach with sandy dunes and plenty of space to play, paddle and catch some rays. It has a large car park, toilet facilities and a small café half way down the beach road – the delightful Smallsticks Café set in an old flint barn.

3. Trimingham

These days, access to Trimingham beach from the village itself is very limited, which is precisely what makes this remote stretch of sand so special.

Park in Mundesley, get yourself an icecream or coffee and then head north west along the beach and you will soon leave the people behind. About an hour of walking will see you arriving on the secluded sands of Trimingham.

If you love having the beach to yourself for the day, this is the perfect spot. Take a picnic, make sandcastles, splash in the surf and search for fossils and shells – there are plenty to be found on the foreshore thanks to the fascinating geology of the cliffs and beach. Don’t forget to stick to low tide for the walk and stay away from the crumbling cliff base.

An evening sunset over Snettisham Beach, as the tide comes in (photo: Matthew Usher)An evening sunset over Snettisham Beach, as the tide comes in (photo: Matthew Usher)

4. Snettisham

Nestled between the royal estate of Sandringham and the bucket and spade resort of Hunstanton, is the large shingle beach of Snettisham - don’t let the lack of sand put you off. One one side is the sea, on the other is the RSPB nature reserve - but this isn’t just a bird spotters paradise, Snettisham is a great beach for all occasions. Endless space for beach games, including some excellent stone skimming opportunities, the children can paddle in the shallows as the tide goes out across the flats and if you like your beach days a little more active, there is a great sailing scene. The Snettisham Beach Sailing Club offers tasters sessions and is always looking for new members. Best of all it is one of the few places in Norfolk where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset as the sun sinks into the sea on the horizon, so come late afternoon and stay til dusk.

Blakeney Point (photo: Matthew Usher)Blakeney Point (photo: Matthew Usher)

5. Blakeney Point

Famous for its seals, and a haven for ground-nesting birds such as avocets and little terns, there are also idyllic secluded picnic and paddling spots around beautiful Blakeney Point. The western end of the nature reserve is permanently closed to visitors, but you can find your own patch of secret beach beside the channels and dunes elsewhere. Take a seal trip boat with an option of stopping on the Point, or walk from Cley (if you are in training for a expedition across a stony desert.) No dogs on much of Blakeney Point until after August 15.

California, Norfolk (photo: James Bass)California, Norfolk (photo: James Bass)

6. California

You might think it would be hard to hide a beach, and keep a huge swathe of glittering sand and water secret. But there are a surprisingly large number of ways to do it. Neglect to put in an access road or car park; snuggle it close to a really popular resort; suggest it’s actually on a different continent…

At the height of the mid 19th century American Gold Rush a hoard of gold coins was found on the beach near Scratby. When a name was needed for a new settlement here, California seemed the obvious choice. Like its US namesake, Norfolk’s California has a laid-back vibe. Sand, sea, and spaced out (in the sense of plenty of space.)

Weybourne Hope (photo: Mark Bullimore)Weybourne Hope (photo: Mark Bullimore)

7. Weybourne Hope

If you’re hoping for arcades, or fish’n’chips, or even sand, you will be disappointed. If you’re hoping for a stretch of steep shingle to yourself, the soothing sound of water clattering through pebbles and deep water for a close-to-shore swim, then this is the perfect beach. It was secret enough to be a favourite with smugglers in previous centuries, and the authorities were keen to keep it secret too - from would-be invaders attracted by that deep water. An old rhyme says: “He who would all England win, should at Weybourne Hope begin.”

More from Out & About

Every winter, a quiet, unassuming stretch of east Norfolk beach is transformed into a major visitor attraction drawing tens of thousands of people from all over the country

Read more
December 2018
Monday, December 3, 2018

We have gathered nine fabulous facts and quirks about royal Sandringham at Christmas time

Read more
December 2018
Friday, November 30, 2018

Our winter walk planner is sure to inspire you to strap on your old boots and head out into the crisp air for a ramble around the hills, coast, woods, farmland and parks of Norfolk

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cobbled roads, rural pathways and coastal walks, Norfolk has a plethora of streets that are a pleasure to explore. Here we have collected just eight of the pretty streets in Nelson’s County

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

An autumn walk with Peter James of Norfolk Ramblers

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

Most people know that Hunstanton is the east of England resort with a west-facing beach, but there are a whole host more fascinating facts that light up this east-west-both-best seaside town

Read more
November 2018
Sunday, October 28, 2018

For a county that’s so steeped in history, it’s not surprising that Norfolk has its fair share of ghost sightings and paranormal activity. We have gathered an unlucky 13 legendary haunted places to visit if you dare!

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stockton villagers in Norfolk gain a grant of £1,000 to help fund new bus shelters on the A146 Norwich Road, as part of Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Scole Nature Trail Trust is celebrating a grant of £1,000 to help fund new facilities as part of the rural energy provider’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

We all know how to pronounce it properly. (Think win and you’re a winner, think why and you’re not.) But did you know all these winning facts about Wymondham?

Read more
October 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search