Norfolk has a wonderful coastline which offer great walks which your four legged companions will love. Being one of the most dog-friendly locations in the UK, it’s safe to say you are never far away from a great location to explore with your dog. The north Norfolk coast is home to vast sandy beaches which at low tide means lots of running space for your canine. I’d recommend checking tide times before setting to far out, the incoming tides come in fast and often catch people out. You will make the local news if you don’t move quickly! In some areas sirens can be heard when the tides are coming in.
Below I’ve listed a few dog friendly beaches in Norfolk I’d recommend visiting.
North Norfolk Coast
Holkham, Titchwell, Happisburgh, Thornham, Brancaster, Winterton-on-Sea, Sea Palling, Waxham, Well-next-the-Sea
A large open beach which offers large open space for dogs to run free. Holkham offers great parking which is at the end of Lady Anne’s Drive, which is opposite the turning into Holkham Hall.
You can walk along the boardwalks at the end of the car park and out onto the large open bay. Head right and you can walk along to Wells-next-the-Sea or left to Burnham Overy.
There are no restrictions here except if you are walking within the pine forest and dunes which are a part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve.
Well known for the RSPB nature reserve, dogs are to be kept on leads until you are on the main beach.
With a large sandy beach and low sand dunes Titchwell beach is a great expanse clean beach. With the sea out at low tides, you can walk for many miles. The RSPB nature reserve consists of large swathe of saltwater marshland and fresh water lagoons
A great visit for bird watches. You can park at the RSPB car park and walk through the bird sanctuary which is approximately 1 mile long and onto the beach.
Firstly it’s pronounced “Haze-bruh” to save you the embarrassment when speaking to local folk.
Home to one of the oldest working lighthouses in the UK, the dog friendly area of the beach is north of the lighthouse which offers a large peaceful sandy walk. At high tides it can become a little difficult to walk along.
Thornham offers a lovely raised embankment walk through the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Holmes Dunes Reserve.
It’s approximately 1 mile walk from the car park to the beach. It’s advised to keep your dog on the lead until you reach the beach as birds use the dunes for nesting.
You can park at the end of Staithe lane which is free but can get busy. The beach itself is sandy, quite and has no restrictions.
This a popular beach which does gets busy in the summer months, which bring along restrictions in the summer months. Head west towards Titchwell/Thornahm and you’ll be fine.
The beach here is again sandy and unspolit, offering shallow water for dogs and their owners. At low tide the shipwreck of the SS Vina can be seen, it’s not advised to walk out to the wreck as you can quickly be cut off by the incoming tide.
The summer month restrictions run from 1st May to 20th September.
There are no dog restrictions but it is part of the Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve, so please keep your dogs on a lead or under close control in the nesting seasons.
Winterton offers a great sandy beach and some of the best sand dunes in Norfolk, which your dog will love to explore. The area is of a special scientific interest and natural beauty, being home to many variations of birds and wildlife.
If you head towards Horsey in the winter months you may get to see a colony of grey seals and their pups.
Nesting season is March to August.
Dog restrictions to the west are in place during the summer months.
It’s best to visit at low tide as the tide comes right up to the boulders and doesn’t leave a lot of space to enjoy, without bumping into other walkers. When the tide is out, the beach is sandy with a few stones and also been awarded Blue Flag status, which makes it a really enjoyable walk.
With nine offshore reefs located just a few metres out to sea it offers conditions for swimming. Seals can also be seen popping their heads out of the water. Pay and display car park with couple of shops and cafes.
A very popular dog walking beach due to no dog restrictions.
Located down the road from the village the beach is off the beaten track. With unspoilt sandy beaches to the east and west you can see why it falls within the Norfolk Coast Area or Outstanding Natural Beauty. Waxham also has sea defences in a seawall and rock groynes but not to the scale of Sea Palling.
Being next to Horsey, Waxham beach is also great for potentially spotting grey seals during the winter months as they come ashore to give birth.
One of my favourite beaches but at certain times one of the year the busiest. Dogs are permitted from going to the east of the beach and sign posts have been well positioned to help guide you to the correct section on the beach.
From the pay and display car park head left of the cafe and over the wooden steps onto the beach and head left. You can also head through the woodland and find you way onto the beach.
Again like it’s neighbouring beach Holkham, at low tide there’s a large open blanket of sand where you can enjoy long walks.
For me Wells is one of the most picturesque beaches with beach hut and pinewood backdrop, out to the east are marshlands and islands.
The cafe is pet friendly which offers lots of drinking bowls for dogs.
The car park is located at the end of beach road and located beside pinewood’s caravan park.
A personal favourite walk is to walk from wells to Holkham, up into the Holkham estate for coffee and cake and back. Along walk which everyone enjoys.
West Norfolk Coast
Snettisham, Holme-next-the-Sea, Old Hunstanton
The beach here is mainly shingled, which makes it difficult to walk on. At low tides the sand becomes rather wet and sticky like mud. There is a more sheltered and grassy walk on the other side of the dunes if you’d prefer.
That aside Snettisham beach is rather quite, which allows for plenty of alone time with your four legged companion.
The west side of the beach is the RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve, with a wide arrange of birds being on view here. Great for bird watchers. There’re no restrictions and can be explored but keep in mind it’s a Nature Reserve and keep dogs under control.
Being a west facing beach means sunsets here turns Snettisham into a very picturesque coastline.
Holme is located between Thornham and Hunstanton, offering an expansive sandy beach at low tide. The area remains fairly quite even through the summer periods.
At high-tide the beach is a mixture of soft sand and shingle which leads up to the dunes. As the tide goes out it leaves a large surface of firm flat golden sand.
Like Snettisham it boarders Holme Nature Reserve, so off the beach please keep dogs under control and watch up for nesting.
Great for quite long dog walks and watching the sunsets in the west.
One of the best dog friendly beaches in Norfolk. Located next to Holme, Hunstanton offers miles and miles of golden sand.
Old Hunstanton is a little way north of Hunstanton. Hunstanton is more of a popular holiday resort and attracts many visitors. A good beach but gets very busy and more of a shingle beach.
The beach at Old Hunstanton is still a popular spot for dog walkers but with large open spaces you can keep to yourself and enjoy the surroundings.
No restrictions here.
East Norfolk Coast
Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth North
Caister point is north of Great Yarmouth, a small family-friendly resort.
A quieter and less popular beach compared to some of the nearby locations. Caister beach offers miles of golden sand mixed with shingle back with sand dunes.
Being near Horsey and Winterton-on-Sea you may spot seals in the water.
The beach is very dog-friendly with no restrictions and plenty of space to explore.
Gt Yarmouth North
Great Yarmouth is very popular for holiday makers every year and known as the Blackpool of the east.
The beach is very sandy here but the quieter location is slightly north of Great Yarmouth near Haven Holiday park.
Gt Yarmouth’s North Beach is large and sandy with grassy dunes. A lovely space to enjoy and for your dog to explore.
A section of the beach is home to a colony of little Terns which migrate from Africa. A great opportunity for bird watchers, please seek advice from the nearby cabin before viewing the birds.
Great Yarmouth offers a wide range of facilities with plenty of parking, during the summer months the town gets very busy.
Enjoy your walks
I hope my list of dog friendly beaches in Norfolk helps with deciding where to enjoy your walks on your visit to Norfolk. Keep in mind some of the restrictions and nature reserve sites which are applied to some locations. No matter what beach you visit I’m sure you’ll enjoy the views while your dog explores.
Please feel free to ask me any questions. I wish you and your canine many happy walks.