The Best Secluded Norfolk Beaches…
Some of the best and most secluded Norfolk beaches such as Old Hunstanton, Brancaster, Thornham, Holkham and Wells-next-sea are just a short drive from Magazine Wood. We spend many a Sunday on any one of our local Norfolk beaches with children, dogs and the occasional hang-over. It makes us truly appreciate why this small corner of the world is so very special.
Brancaster Beach and Harbour (10 minute drive) is one of Norfolk’s beaches which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and made up of salt marsh, inter-tidal mud and sand flats, miles of sandy beach stretching as far as the eye can see, bordered by sand dunes and all just a few yards from the car park. At low tide a ship wreck is visible with its barnacle covered bilges and superstructure used for wartime target practice. Be mindful that the tide turns quickly and loiterers can find themselves wading back through the in rushing sea.
Holme-next-Sea and Thornham Beach(10 minute drive) is a quiet beach and a favourite with locals who love the Norfolk coast. There’s a smooth, flat sandy beach, rolling sand dunes and a village pub. Nearby you’ll find a wildfowl reserve and a nudist beach: the place has something for everyone!
If you want a much more secluded beach day then take the turning down a sandy track on the right hand side just before the beach. You will have to pay for a daily membership to the Holme Wildlife Trust but you can then drive for over a mile down to the Wildlife Centre and walk through the reserve forest to access the beach much further down- the golden sands will often be practically deserted. The Wild Life trust has a small cafe, loo and sells ice creams! The Lifeboat Inn is also just a few steps from the harbour at Thornham and around the corner you will find our sister hotel Anna’s House.
Holkham Bay (20 minute drive) is one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Norfolk Coast or indeed in the British Isles. Holkham Bay is the most extensive, diverse and dramatic nature reserve in Norfolk, with windswept sand dunes, a maze of creeks, shady pinewoods, green pastures and marshes. Perfect for those seeking a bit of solitude on many days the beach seems to go on literally forever. Little wonder that Holkham Bay was the setting for many major TV serials and the golden sandy beach, was trodden by actress Gwyneth Paltrow in the closing scenes of Miramax’s Shakespeare in Love. (Holkham Bay image courtesy of Jim Taylor)
Wells next the sea (25 minute drive) This beach is one of the hidden gems of the Norfolk coast. Driving along the road to the car park there are few clues of the beautiful views that lie beyond. From the far side of the car park, take one of the footpaths over a tree-covered ridge to find one of the most secluded and self-contained beaches on the Norfolk coast. The character of the beach is entirely dependent on the tide so its worthwhile checking the times. At low tide you see just acres of golden sandy beach as the water retreats so far; at high tide it laps just a few yards from the line of the brightly painted beach huts that nestle under the trees. Great for an evening picnic but don’t forget that they lock the car park at 10pm.
Old Hunstanton (10 minute drive) has the unusual distinction of being an east coast resort that faces west and as a result the beaches get more than their fair share of sun with spectacular sunsets which you can really appreciate from Magazine Wood. There are two sides to Hunstanton, or Sunny Hunny as it’s affectionately known. There is the elegant old Victorian town with its Esplanade Gardens and a lively, buzzing family resort, with donuts and candy floss, ice cream and donkey rides and a whole funfair of amusements to keep you entertained! Both are fun but Old Hunstanton is considerably more secluded.
‘An almost continuous band of beach ribbons along the coast of north Norfolk. This is the best destination for soft, golden sand and remote stretches where you can be picnicking alone’