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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Which beaches are dog friendly in Norfolk?


I don't think I've ever mentioned this before but our dog Luna has an Instagram account. I started it when she was a puppy thinking that because she was so cute, she'd go viral and make us millions 😂 Turns out she isn't the only cute dog on Instagram and unless you make content creation your full time job, you don't stand a chance! I was searching for a picture of her the other day though and ended up scrolling back through her Instagram. It's so old, the last picture I posted on there is of her outside Marble Hill House in Twickenham (one of her favourite walks back in London) in Sept 2021, literally one month before we moved from London to Norfolk.


The reason I'm telling you this though isn't to get her page more followers....trust me, running Norfolk Uncovered's Instagram and website is more than a full time job in itself and you'd be sorely disappointed as turns out looking back that I was actually pretty terrible at running an Instagram account back then. Looking back on her Instagram page though it's reminded me how much Luna's always loved the beach (specifically the beaches in Norfolk) and that somehow I should I have always known we would end up here permanently. I clearly sound like I wanted to as much as Luna all those years ago judging by the terrible Instagram caption I gave the posts!!


Our first summer in Norfolk, I'll be honest, we made more than a few faux pas when it came to Luna and beaches. We had no clue that restrictions changed from winter to summer and had several drives to different beaches that ended in disappointment when we realised she wasn't actually allowed on (or had to be on a lead - and if you've seen Luna running on the beach on any of our Insta videos, you'll know how annoyed she would have been about that!!) Since then we've done some serious research....because no one wants a ruined beach trip (or worse, a fine!). So here's our list of Norfolk's beaches which are dog friendly all year round, as well as those that have some restrictions that you just need to be mindful of.


Dog friendly all year round

  • Burnham Overy Staithe - one of our favourite beaches in the whole of Norfolk; the walk out to the beach from the harbour is incredible and when you climb over the sand dunes to the other side, the view will take your breath away

  • Waxham - another one of our absolute favourite beaches. Get up early enough in seal season to watch the sunrise here and you might be lucky enough to see some sleeping seals by the groins (obviously be careful to not let you dogs get too close). You can find out more about Waxham and Bunham Overy Staithe on our blog here.

  • Old Hunstanton - if the wind is right, you'll be met with the beautiful sight of windsurfers here too. It's a stunning sight! Also featured in our top 10 beaches in Norfolk.

  • Happisburgh - another one of our favourites (and on the top 10 blog). Coastal erosion has hit the coast here hard and the landscape is ever changing. It's a darkly beautiful sight and a fascinating walk.

  • Winterton-on-Sea - In our top 10 too (we're lucky to have so many incredibly beautiful dog friendly beaches) and also a great spot for seal spotting in season. At the peak of seals dominating the beaches, the seal wardens do ask you to put dogs on leads for the safety of the seals but there's plenty of stretches which will be seal free and your dogs can run for days!

  • Horsey - another amazing seal spotting spot (so be careful in season) but another spectacular dog friendly beach with an amazing walk from Horsey Wind Pump along fields to the beach.

  • Brancaster - an absolutely stunning spot and also amazing for foodies if you want your seafood fix after working up an appetite on a walk.

  • Holme-next-the-Sea

  • East Runton

  • Scrathby

  • Caister-On-Sea

  • Thornham

  • Heacham South and North


Summer Restrictions


Holkham Beach

The most stunning beach with great car parking and a lovely walk through sand dunes to get there - as you can probably tell from my description, it's another one on our top 10. Usually no restrictions here in summer however we were there this weekend and there are currently nesting birds so the Estate are asking for dogs to be kept on leads across a large section of the beach so look out for signs showing you the current restrictions.


Cley Beach

Another beach that attracts nesting birds so tends to have restrictions in summer. It's also a shingle beach which our dog tends to struggle with but if the tide is out enough, there's sand (check it out on the screenshot of Luna's Instagram above - it's the one on the left). Plenty of nice walks on the coast path though with no restrictions and Cley is a must see village. Check out our reel on it here. We spend A LOT of our weekends here as it's just stunning.


Snettisham

Dogs on leads again here near the nesting birds so dogs need to be on leads near them but they're higher up the bank and cordoned off so you should be fine away from these and it's a stunning beach to explore. One of my friend's absolute favourites with her gorgeous dog, Sparky.


Wells-next-the-sea

Another one of our top 10! The right hand side of the beach dogs aren't allowed, however, the other half of the beach dogs are!


Sheringham

A large section becomes 'no dogs' from 1st May to 30th September every year, however for the rest of the year dogs are allowed anywhere on the beach. Further away from the beach huts and the lifeboat station dogs are allowed all year round though (and there's lots of signs to direct you to the dog friendly bits so well worth the trip. Especially as Sheringham has so much else to offer after your walk. Check out our blog on it here.


Cromer

Cromer unfortunately was one of those trips where we were left disappointed when we arrived in summer as the beach becomes 'no dogs' at all from 1st May to 30th September. Definitely worth a trip off season though as the beach is beautiful and there is so much to do there. Check out our blog on it here.


Overstrand

Just down the road from Cromer, Overstrand beach is also 'no dogs' during summer.


Mundesley

Slightly further round though in Mundesley, the restrictions do lessen slightly in summer. Although dogs are not allowed on the main section of the beach (down from the promenade) there are plenty of other sections which are dog friendly in summer and you can still enjoy with your pooch.


Bacton

A great beach for not having to worry as much about the tides (more on this below), there are restrictions in summer near the north of the village but the rest is dog friendly all year round.


Walcott

Again, sadly not dog friendly in summer on the main part of the beach that stretches through the village.


Sea Palling

The new "wellness hub of Norfolk" with a converted horse box sauna and regular pilates and yoga classes on the beach, this is another beach in our top 10. There's restrictions on dogs in the middle part of the beach but you're free to let you dogs run and roam on the other sections!


Hemsby

Another interesting walk for those interested in the affects of costal erosion. Sadly this village has been hit very hard over the winter with some devastating consequences for it's residents. There are some restrictions in summer here but it's well signposted.


Gorleston-on-Sea

An incredibly busy beach in summer due to it's golden sands, there's also 'no dogs' on a large section of the beach here too in summer but some dog friendly spots as well.


West Runton

A gorgeous village that's well worth a visit before or after your dog walk. A brilliant village pub, beautiful dog friendly shire horse sanctuary and a lovely cafe. Check out our reel on it here. There's a small section that's 'no dogs' in summer but absolutely loads of beach outside of this for your dogs to run free.


Hunstanton

Although Old Hunstanton is completely dog friendly, there are restrictions on dogs at Hunstanton Beach from 10th April to 31st October as the beach gets very busy with families in summer.


Visiting all these beaches will always be tide dependant though so always check ahead before visiting. There's a fab instagram account dedicated to tide times that I'd highly recommend and we use all the time! It's not ours but get following - Norfolk Tides.


I know you and your gorgeous doggos will loves these beaches as much as we do! If you snap any pics, do tag us on instagram! @norfolkuncovered




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