When you think of Norfolk, you probably imagine rolling countryside hills, pretty towns and villages, outstanding wildlife and an all-around perfect staycation spot. This is absolutely true, demonstrated by the fact that 23,192,000 people chose Norfolk as their holiday destination in 2020 to explore all the beauty that lies here.
The miles of glorious coastlines paired with impressive beaches and stunning seaside communities is one of the main reasons why so many tourists choose this area of the UK for a holiday. If you are seeking a trip to Norfolk to explore all the wonders that reside here then keep reading, as we have put together a list of the best places to stay by the sea in the county.
When talking about Norfolk holidays by the sea, Cromer couldn’t be missed off our list! With great seaside accommodation, beautiful beaches and stunning coastal scenery, it comes as no surprise why so many people head here for a much needed holiday.
For families looking for a more traditional seaside break, Cromer is a must. With its classic stately homes, beautiful medieval churches and position right on the sea-front, there are many attractions here for the whole family.
As there are great indoor and outdoor activities in Cromer, it is a great place to visit all year round, which makes it the perfect spot for those who are wary of the unpredictable British weather. With museums, surfing, great hiking routes and many more tourist attractions, this is definitely one of the busier spots in the county.
If you are looking for a place to stay by the sea in Cromer, then Independent Cottages can make your search that much easier, with their range of stunning rental properties to suit the whole family.
The quaint Victorian seaside village of Mundesley is great for those looking to soak up the serenity of Norfolk, with far less hustle and bustle than some of the area’s other towns. Mundesley is situated on the coast, about 7.3 miles southeast of Cromer and 20.3 miles northeast of Norwich.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay by the sea in Norfolk that also has great countryside walks, coastal routes and wildlife, then Mundesley is where you want to be. Its location allows for some beautiful coastal hikes and having fewer visitors means that the wildlife here is undisturbed, offering a high chance of some great sightings. There are also some great tourist attractions in this little town including the Paston Way walking trail and the Norfolk Coast path.
Independent Cottages offer an array of stunning rental properties in Mundesley, which are worth checking out if you‘re planning on visiting Norfolk.
Thornham is a beautiful coastal town situated between Holme-next-the-Sea and Brancaster. Home to one of the most incredible beaches in Norfolk, this is a great spot if you are looking for a coastal getaway.
The top attraction that can be found in Thornham is the Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, making for the perfect location if you are looking to spot migratory birds. Alongside this, you can also find many other wildlife species such as dragonflies, an array of flora and fauna and natterjack toads.
If you are looking for a scenic spot to adventure in the great outdoors, then Thornham is an excellent option for the whole family.
Overstrand is a pretty coastal village in East Norfolk. This lush spot is situated atop a cliff that overlooks impressive sandy shores, so is an incredibly scenic place to stay.
When visiting Overstrand you will be spoilt for choice with the range of beautiful beaches here, as well as stunning coastal views and walking routes that take you right along the clifftop path. Cromer, another popular Norfolk tourist town, is also situated close by, which makes for a nice walking destination whilst staying in Overstrand.
Brancaster is home to a thriving fishing and sailing community, which makes it a great stop for those looking for more traditional Norfolk breaks by the sea. If fresh seafood and outstanding natural beauty are what you are seeking when booking your trip to Norfolk, then Brancaster won’t disappoint.
With local markets, great restaurants and the Marsh Nature Reserve all nearby, there is plenty going on in the coastal town of Brancaster. Some of the best beaches on the Norfolk coast are also situated in Brancaster, with one of the most popular being Brancaster Beach. This quiet sandy stretch allows for the chance to explore some of the best natural dunes around this area.
Blakeney and Cley-next-the-Sea
Situated just 1.4 miles apart, a roughly 4-minute drive, are Blakeney and Cley-Next-The-Sea. Both of these coastal towns display many attractive benefits for those seeking places to stay in Norfolk by the sea.
Blakeney was once a popular fisherman’s village which still has authentic flint cottages. This means that there are still many great places to eat fresh seafood open today, all offering outstanding local produce.
Cley-next-the-Sea is a top tourist hot spot thanks to its 18th-century windmill, which is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Offering a profuse amount of coastal walks, a nature reserve, some of the UK’s best birdwatching, plus mesmerising lagoons and beaches, you can see why so many choose this town when looking for holidays by the sea.
Wroxham is well-known for being one of the most idyllic places in Norfolk, as its scenery is truly breathtaking. This great little town mainly attracts those seeking a sailing holiday, as the town has many boat hire companies which offer a great way to explore the coast.
If you are looking for Norfolk holiday cottages by the sea, Independent Cottages offers an array of choices all situated in Wroxham, providing you with the perfect base to explore this beautiful town.
Burnham-Overy-Staithe boasts one of the best unspoilt beaches in the county, perfect for the ultimate peaceful break when exploring Norfolk’s coast.
The secluded sandy stretch offers impressive dunes and miles of shoreline that allow for hours of exploring. With views out to sea and beyond, Burnham-Overy-Staithe beach displays a serene atmosphere, which is great for those looking for peace and quiet whilst on holiday. It is worth noting that to access Burnham-Overy-Staithe beach it can be a bit of a walk, which isn’t best suited for those with younger children.
If you are looking to explore a great authentic market whilst visiting Norfolk, then the Burnham-on-Sea market is a great choice, which is also known as Chelsea on Sea. With its modern and hip vibe, the numerous boutique-style stalls on display at this market attract many tourists throughout the year.
Old Hunstanton is situated adjacent to the larger town of New Hunstanton and displays a much quieter atmosphere than that of its neighbouring village. This quaint little town offers an array of shops, crafts and restaurants, as well as being situated right next to the sea, making it the perfect place for a relaxing coastal break.
Whilst visiting Old Hunstanton you can find clifftop walking trails that lead to the Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, as well as the ruins of St Edmund’s Chapel, dating back to 1272.
Home to the only independently operated lighthouse in the UK, we think that Happisburgh is really worth a visit for its spectacular tourist attractions.
Happisburgh is rich in history and shows some of the earliest signs of humans in Britain. With its 18th century lighthouse and 15th-century church, this is a great place for those looking to gain some historical insight whilst on holiday in Norfolk.
When visiting Happisburgh, you can also find a great secluded beach that offers stunning views out to sea and a beautiful sandy shoreline. After a day of soaking up all the history that lies here, there are some great local pubs to grab a bite to eat and unwind after a day full of adventures.
Great Yarmouth is undoubtedly one of the best spots for beaches on the Norfolk coast. Whether you are a sun worshipper or a keen shopper, there is plenty for everyone along the Marine Parade at Great Yarmouth.
This busy seaside town doesn’t stop at providing you with some of the best beaches however; it also has great attractions such as the Time and Tide Museum, Sea Life Aquarium and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, as well as souvenir shops and classic seaside fish and chips.
Wells-next-the-Sea is a great spot for those seeking history and culture and is a favoured destination among visitors and locals. The wildlife, scenery and architecture in this quaint little town will be sure to impress you whilst on your holiday.
The stunning sandy shores of Wells-next-the-Sea are home to many colourful beach huts as well as miles of golden sand. If you are looking for a great place to stay to spot an array of birds as well as seals, then this beach is also a great location for this.
Why not check out our range of places to stay in Wells-next-the-Sea so that you can stay near the coast and comfortably explore this great little town?
Sheringham is home to some award-winning beaches as well as a great heritage steam railway, beautiful coastal walks and authentic shops that stock local produce. If you are looking for a seaside town in Norfolk where you can soak up the beauty of the beaches as well as indulge in some great shopping and mouth-watering food, then Sheringham won’t disappoint.
The beautiful English seaside town of Sheringham is situated in between Weybourne and Cromer, so it’s a great location for those looking to explore some of Norfolk’s other seaside towns.
Winterton-on-Sea is great for those seeking out the ultimate beach holiday. This peaceful little village is situated just 8 miles north of Great Yarmouth, so if you happen to want a little more hustle and bustle, you can always take the short journey and then head back to your quiet residence to wind down.
The town’s sandy shores offer the perfect opportunity for beach exploration, so this is an ideal location to visit in the summer. Alongside Winteton’s impressive sands, you can also find a haven for birdwatching, as well as the chance to catch a glimpse of seal colonies and the rare Natterjack toad.
If you are looking for a quiet place for a staycation, then Independent Cottages has a great selection of authentic rental properties located in Winterton-on-Sea.
Horsey village is small, offering a church and country pub, which makes it a great spot for those looking for a little seclusion whilst on their holiday. The beach at Horsey is almost always deserted, allowing for complete quiet when strolling along the sandy shores.
A visit to the Horsey Windpump is a great way to explore the village further and will provide you with panoramic views of the countryside. The windpump remains prominent in Norfolk’s history, as after surviving floods and being struck by lightning the pump remains in place. There is also a tea room here, perfect for a stop off after exploring the village.
If you are looking for a little more to do when staying in Horsey, then the short drive of around 3.7 miles will take you to Winterton-on-Sea, another quaint seaside town that is definitely worth exploring.
After reading our top recommendations of where to visit Norfolk by the sea, we hope that you can now make an informed decision as to where to base yourself for your next holiday. The beautiful county has so much to offer, that no matter where you choose, you will be sure to have a beautiful stay in Norfolk.
If you are looking for accommodation by the sea whilst visiting Norfolk, Independent Cottages offers an array of beautiful holiday cottages to choose from which you can browse here.