7 beaches to escape the crowds in Norfolk

A glorious day for a walk on the beach from Mundesley to Trimingham and back. Picture: PICASA

Trimingham beach is hard to get to but well worth it - Credit: citizenside.com

Over the summer months, when the warmer weather abounds, huge numbers of visitors visit Norfolk every year. 

The large crowds make it hard to find a quiet place to enjoy the tranquillity of being beside the sea.

But with 84 miles of coastline in Norfolk, there are a number of quieter beaches to explore that are nearby more popular spots.


Access to Trimingham has become limited these days, which is part of what makes this stretch of sand so special. The unspoilt beach takes about an hour to get to from Mundesley, heading north-west from the village. 

You will need to visit Trimingham at low tide and avoid the crumbling cliffs. The beach is also a great place to find fossils.  

The beach at California in north Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Much like its American namesake, California in Norfolk has lots of sand to play on - Credit: Archant

2. California

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With a name like California, you'd think this beach would be a popular destination. But thankfully due to its close proximity to Great Yarmouth, it manages to escape most of the crowds. It has no access road either, which helps keep people away from its glittering sandy beach. 

Interestingly, California takes its name from the US state, after a large hoard of gold coins were found on the beach near Scratby in the 19th century. 

Walkers on Winterton Beach

Winterton is a great spot for seal spotting and long walks - Credit: Richard Law (cc-by-sa/2.0)

3. Winterton 

If you fancy some seal watching but don't want to battle the crowds at Horsey beach, Winterton offers a great alternative. The beach is easily accessible, and there is a car park right by the water.

While there may be more people near the car park, if you walk a short distance away you will find a lovely unspoilt beach with plenty of space to relax. One of the largest colonies of little terns can also be found here. 

Sea Palling beach. Picture: Danielle Booden

Waxham is an award-winning beach - Credit: Danielle Booden

4. Waxham

Sea Palling is a quiet village on the north Norfolk coast, boasting an award-wining beach that has unique areas of unspoilt natural beauty. Travel a bit further along and you can find Waxham, which is less crowded. 

Waxham beach is hidden away amongst trees and dunes. Its soft sandy beach is actually an area of outstanding beauty, and it's easy to see why. There is also a popular campsite nearby making it a great beach for a weekend trip away.

A distant view of Hunstanton from Snettisham Beach. Picture: Simon Bamber

Snettisham beach is great for bird-spotting - Credit: citizenside.com

5. Snettisham

Nestled between Sandringham's royal estate and the seaside resort of Hunstanton, Snettisham's long shingle beach is a bird spotter's paradise. If you head there in the evening, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset looking west across the North Sea. 

Taken at Hunstanton beach last week during the heatwave.

A bit of a walk, but Thornham beach is worth the visit - Credit: citizenside.com

6. Thornham 

It's a fair trek to Thornham beach but it is well worth the effort. You'll pass by saltmarshes, grazing marshes and creeks, before reaching an expanse of grassy dunes and a wonderful sandy beach. To get there you'll need to follow the Norfolk Coast path from Staithe Lane.

It is a great place for dog walking, although just be careful to avoid areas where birds are nesting. There are no facilities here but the emptiness of the beach is part of its charm. 

A seal popping up its head at Blakeney Point Picture: PAUL GEATER

Blakeney Point is known for its large seal colony - Credit: Archant

7. Blakeney Point

Blakeney is famous for its seals and nesting bird colonies. The western end is closed permanently to visitors but there are still plenty of quiet spots to enjoy a picnic or a paddle.

You may even be able to find your own patch of beach in among the dunes and channels depending on the tide. Better yet, go on a seal-spotting trip on one of the many tour boats on offer. 

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