Mill Farm Eco Barn


Top five local beaches

Top five local beaches

We have some cracking beaches in East Norfolk. What you need to know is they are almost all sandy and dog friendly all year round.

Top of my ranking is Winterton on Sea’s very own beach because it is just one long, beautiful stretch of sandy beach. It rarely, if ever, gets busy; has a lovely café and often has a low lying pool of water where kids can paddle safely. Wildlife spotters may well see a seal (often mistaken for a Labrador!) swimming in the sea. After a spot of ‘dune jumping’ take in the pub and the new village play area, or one of the village’s many circular walks to make a day of it.
Walking near the dunes © Dilan and Me
For a wilder beach experience the almost deserted sandy beach at Horsey is a strong contender. If you come in the winter, you will see the baby seals on the beach (it does get busy then). Watch them up-close from the viewing platform. It’s quite remarkable! Horsey is walkable from Winterton but you can also access it via Horsey Gap. The lovely traditional pub – the Nelson’s Head – is a delight and does some of the best pub grub around. If you want a beach with cliffs then Happisburgh is worth a visit. You can really make a day of it here: kids can play in the new play area at the beach car park; you can do a short circular walk back to the car park via a café; and also check out the famous red and white stripped lighthouse. The lighthouse opens in the summer on some weekends. We often park next to it and walk to the playground and then onto the beach. For research purposes, I sent Neil and the children off to check out the little shabby cheek ‘burger van’ selling great local burgers and falafels next to the beach car park, they came back full and happy, (open everyday in the summer and weekends during winter, check out) Set in a beautiful bay with fabulous views across to Cromer, Overstrand’s lovely beach is another one that is ideal for families. It is great for swimming and children can paddle in the sandy pools. You can do a nice short walk here along the grassy cliffs to Cromer. You can also get a bucket of chips to ear on the front. Going south from Winterton, if it’s a beach with restaurant, cafes and crazy golf you want, I’d recommend Gorleston. The sandy beach isn’t really affected by tides, and has lifeguards in the summer. The amazing little sea-side town of Southwold with its famous beach huts and cute shops is about an hour south of the barn. Here you can have a lovely day out, sample some great restaurants, lovely beaches and some ingenious retro arcade games. For a really comprehensive guide to the local dog friendly beaches this on-line guide is worth a read.

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