North Norfolk has over 40 miles of coastline, three-quarters of which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The coastline is made up of nature reserves, long stretches of sandy beaches, coastal paths, salt marshes, mud flats and sand dunes. The area is teaming with wildlife and is a haven for birds. The North Norfolk coast also has numerous beaches that are dog friendly, and providing that you are responsible for your dog and clean up after it, dogs will happily be welcomed at many beaches in the area.
The Dog Friendly Beaches of Snettisham, Heacham and Hunstanton
The well loved seaside resort of Hunstanton has a large sandy beach that stretches beyond the town itself. However the beach can only be enjoyed by dogs and their owners in autumn, winter and spring, as during the summer months dogs are banned from the popular and busy beach. There is parking available in the town and you can walk with your dog along Hunstanton’s promenade.
South of Hunstanton the sandy beach at Heacham can be enjoyed all year round as there are no restrictions on dogs. Head further south again and you reach Snettisham Beach and Nature Reserve, which can be found just off the Beach Road. All three beaches have long stretches of sand for your dog to wear himself out on.
The Brancaster Estate is owned by the National Trust and encompasses the harbour, salt marshes, beach and part of the Norfolk Coastal Path at Brancaster. The beach itself is long and sandy and dog friendly, however there are restrictions in place between May and August. There is a pay and display car park.
Dog Friendly Holkham Beach
A few minutes drive from Wells-next-the-Sea is beautiful Holkham Beach. There is parking available for a fee but once you’ve paid you can stay all day if you wish. The beach can either be reached along wooden platforms that snake through the wood or along a sandy path that leads directly to the beach. Dogs will love the wide sandy beach backed by trees and sand dunes. When the tide is out it reveals a huge expanse of sand and it’s a long walk to reach the sea. You can walk along the coastal path all the way to Wells if you and your dog are feeling energetic. Holkham is a great place to take your dog throughout the year – just wrap up warm against the icy wind in winter.
Blakeney National Nature Reserve
The National Trust also owns and protects this stretch of pristine coastline that starts at Wells-next-the-Sea and goes all the way down the coast to Sheringham. With a mix of salt marshes, sand dunes, shingle and sand beaches, this area of the North Norfolk coast is ideal for exploring and enjoying brisk walks in the bracing North Sea air with your dog.
Blakeney Point is a spit of land made up of shingle and sand that stretches over three miles out into the sea. Seals and other wildlife can be spotted from here so always keep your dog under control. Blakeney can also be a starting point for the North Norfolk Coastal Path, great for long walks with your dog through places such as Stiffkey and Morston.
Cley Beach and Salthouse
Both Cley and Salthouse have fantastic stretches of shingle beach. Both beaches can be easily reached along the coast road and have free parking. The beach at Salthouse backed by a bank of shingle can be blustery, cold and the sea wild in winter but that’s part of its charm. There’s a bracing walk for you and your dog to enjoy from Cley to Blakeney Point.
East Runton Beach and Dogs
Located between Sheringham and Cromer, East Runton Beach certainly welcomes dogs with a dog waste box situated at the beach entrance. Hours of fun for you and your dog can be had on this spacious and sandy beach.
Dog Friendly North Norfolk
If you’re in doubt about whether a beach allows dogs on it or what the restrictions are you can always check with the local tourist office first. Always clean up after your dog and keep them on a lead or under control when instructed to do so, and you and your dog can have many happy days out on the dog friendly beaches of North Norfolk.