* Guest post from Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos
If you have never been to Norfolk, you may have seen pictures of wide open skies, gently rolling fields, pretty little villages and wonderful beaches, the reality, despite being very much on the holidaymakers map for over 150 years and attracting millions of visitors each year. Norfolk has, somehow manged to maintain open skies, which at night are often so dark, that the constellations light up the sky. The county is full of thousands of fields, complemented by a wide range of public footpaths, offering the opportunity to explore, The Villages are truly beautiful, with many traditional pubs, village greens and village ponds. The beaches are certainly picture post card, and offer a wide range from resort beaches, perfect sandy beaches, rolling dunes and pebble beaches.
The highlights of the Norfolk coastline are often promoted as the Broads, The Fens, Norwich or the Classic resorts of Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and Cromer, these are certainly all worthy of a holidaymaker’s attention. The beaches are perhaps a bit more low profile, even if they are truly inspiring and perhaps even a well-kept secret. Even in August, irrespective of the millions of visitors, it is still possible to find stretches of deserted beach, if you are prepared to walk a short distance. The crowds do gather at the resorts, but beyond this Norfolk has a multitude of beaches, each different and a perfect example of what a beach should look like.
Norfolk beaches can broadly be defined as West, North or East Facing, here are just an example of some of the beaches in Norfolk.
In the West, Heacham Beach is perhaps unusual as despite being on the East Coast, the sandy beach actually faces west, providing the opportunity to enjoy watching the sunset over the sea, a short distance up the coast is the resort beach of Hunstanton, again it is possible to watch sunsets, the beach has sections of sand and shingle and as you travel northward, cliffs begin to rise from the beach, the beach itself is well serviced by a number of attractions and seafront facilities.
The Northern beaches offer true escapism, you are really spoilt for choice along the North coast, Holm next sea has expansive sandy beaches, and a haven for wildlife, which is very popular with Bird watchers, Salthouse has an unusual pebble beach, which rises quickly from the sea, creating a perfect view across the horizon.
The resorts of Sheringham and Cromer have sand shingle beaches, but in some areas the beaches can be quite small at high tides, however both towns have a wide variety of attractions, restaurants and shops. The sand and shingle beaches at East and West Runton are worth a look, but check tide times. Sea Palling has a beautiful beach and is very popular with motorised water craft.
The Eastern Beaches, begin with the rolling sand dunes and sandy shores of Winterton on sea, which expand into the distance from the village. Hemsby beach is under pressure from the ever encroaching sea, and its beach is well serviced by a range of eateries and attractions. The Sandy beaches of Caister and Gorleston have wide sandy beaches, offering the opportunity for a perfect beach day.
Finally the beaches of the resort of Great Yarmouth offer wide sandy beaches in the centre of the Golden mile, which are situated adjacent to an array of large and small attractions, restaurants, and two piers, to the North end of the resort the beaches are a mix of sand dunes and sand/shingle beaches.
Norfolk is gifted with such a collection of beautiful beaches, you will always be able to find one along the Norfolk coastline that is perfect for you.
Mandi is mum to seven children aged 5 to 20, when she is not running around after the children she is writing a number of different ‘Big Family’ blogs including a Parenting/Lifestyle blog at www.bigfamilyorganisedchaos.com and a Days Out and Family Travel at www.bigfamilylittleadventures.co.uk.