Our favourite dog walking routes (with pubs) in Waxham, Horsey and Sea Palling
For uninterrupted views and fresh air in equal measure, little beats exploring East Norfolk on foot — especially when you’re in the company of your beloved furry friend(s).
And after taking in the coastal panoramas, rural landscapes and tranquil waterways, there’s nothing quite like rewarding yourself with a refreshing pint of beer and bite to eat (as well as a water bowl for Fido).
Waxham, Horsey and Sea Palling, three quaint villages on Norfolk’s east coast, are particularly good hotspots for stretching your sea legs and sampling a sumptuous local ale. You might even be lucky enough to spot a few famous local residents — by that, we mean the cute native seal colonies that call this part of the world home all year round!
Whether it’s a pub to start in, finish in or stop by en route, we've got dog walks and dog friendly pub stops in and around Waxham and Sea Palling covered.
The best dog walks (with pub stops) in Waxham, Horsey and Sea Palling
Explore the sandy stretches of Sea Palling’s dog-friendly Blue Flag beach, spot the delightful grey seals along Horsey Gap or soak up the distinctly Instagrammable views of Happisburgh lighthouse. These lovely East Norfolk villages are blessed with no shortage of walkies routes and pub-friendly pub pit stops.
Sea Palling: head straight to Reefs Bar after your idyllic beach stroll
What Sea Palling as a village lacks in size is more than made up for by its huge beach — the village’s pièce de résistance, undoubtedly. This expansive sandy stretch is dotted with shallow bays that make for safe swimming and doggy paddling.
It even holds the prestigious Blue Flag status, a symbol of its superior cleanliness, safety and high environmental and quality standards. Despite all this undoubted natural beauty, there’s usually plenty of room for everyone — and there’s a decent chance you’ll be sharing the sands with some of the year-round grey seals.
If you turn right as you approach Sea Palling beach on Beach Road (NR12 0UH), you’ll find yourself on the year-round dog friendly side. Therefore the best side, in our opinion!
That said, if you’re not visiting between 1 May and 30 September, you’ll be able to enjoy laps and explore the sandy stretch to the left (in front of Clink Street car park). During summer months, four-legged family members are sadly not allowed on this particular section. More information can be found on the Beach Information Board at the entrance.
With a dog drinking bowl area and a snack machine, Rover’s in for a treat. Thanks to the huge range of drinks and a superb menu of family favourites, humans are also excellently catered for — don’t miss the fish finger sandwiches and carvery grub on a Sunday.
For a freshly-ground coffee ahead of your morning beach walkies or indulgent treat afterwards, Sandy Hills Snack Bar is similarly perfectly placed — and there’s plenty of dog-friendly outside seating.
Credit: Reefs Bar, Facebook
Horsey: nip to The Nelson Head for a Norfolk ale after some seal spotting or Broads exploration
Horsey is a great place to start your The Big 5 adventure. A large colony of grey seals and their pups call Horsey Gap’s breathtaking, unspoiled beach home — keep an eye on the waves to spot their little heads bobbing about! Your furry friends are more than welcome here as long as they’re kept on a short lead away from the seals. You’re on their turf, after all.
Once you’re done seal spotting, head along the quiet country lanes to Horsey village and end your walk with a refreshment at the Nelson Head pub (NR29 4AD).
As well as an array of local Woodforde’s ales and a delicious food offering, you’ll be greeted by all the charms of a traditional country pub — enjoy the huge beer garden in summer, or the roaring open fires if the weather’s a bit nippier. Your furry friends are assured the very warmest of welcomes (just make sure they’re on a short lead in the bar).
Credit: Nelson Head, Facebook
If you’re after an excuse to return to the Nelson Head — and who could blame you — there’s no shortage of other excellent walks in the Horsey area.
Horsey village really is a gateway to the Norfolk Broads, which you’ll soon appreciate if you take the 15-minute stroll to the National Trust’s Horsey Windpump with your furry pal in tow. It’s a delightful little piece of unique local history, with dogs warmly welcomed around the site (but not inside the windpump). Thanks to the glistening waterways that run all around, you’ll soon know you’re right at the heart of the beautiful Broads!
Horsey Windpump even has its own dog-friendly tea-room that turns out a range of snacks and hot and cold refreshments. Open daily from 10am-4pm, it’s ideal if you’re not too bothered about stopping for anything alcoholic.
Our dog-friendly Waxham Sands Holiday Park backs right onto Horsey Gap. We’re in the perfect location if you’re wanting to book a break and enjoy some quality time at the heart of the Norfolk Broads with your furry pal.
Happisburgh: for a scenic circular walk along Deep History Coast (with a pub pit stop at a microbrewery)
After a flat, simple stroll with unparalleled rural views? The Happisburgh to Eccles-on-Sea circular walk will be right up your street.
You can start this three-mile stretch at Cart Gap beach in Eccles (NR12 0QL) before following the coastal cliff tops out to neighbouring Happisburgh (to spare the embarrassment of any non-locals reading this article, it’s pronounced hayz-buh-ruh, not happis-burg!).
The iconic white-and-red striped lighthouse the perfect subject matter for any mid-walkies photoshoots. Intriguingly, as the site of the discovery of the 700,000-year-old ‘Happisburgh hand axe’, this little village is one of the oldest archaeological sites in northern Europe.
For a slightly more challenging four-legged adventure, the seven-mile Happisburgh and Walcott circular walk will help you to work up even more of a thirst.
The pub you’ll be stopping at on this route is similarly historic, apparently dating back to 1550 — The Hill House Inn (NR12 0PW) is a quirky, joint packed with period features.
A cosy, dog-friendly retreat, you’ll be able to tuck into a home-cooked meal with local produce and cuts of meat. Be sure to also sample the wares of the on-site microbrewery, Dancing Men. When it comes to treats for the dogs, just ask behind the bar.
For working up a thirst in serene surroundings with your furry friend, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place than Happisburgh. Norfolk’s idyllic coast at its finest.
Looking to explore Norfolk’s breathtaking coastline with your pup beside you?
We’re in just the place.
Book a break for yourself and your furry friend at Waxham Sands, our dog-friendly holiday park that backs on to the gorgeous beach of Waxham — right on the doorstep of Horsey Gap, Sea Palling and Happisburgh.
With us, you’re at the heart of the action. There’s unspoiled beaches, chocolate-box villages and the unforgettable waterways and landscapes of The Broads National Park at your fingertips. A true escape to nature for you and Fido; no place like it to leave everything behind and connect with the great outdoors.
If you’re looking to make the ultimate commitment to this stunning area, you might also want to explore holiday home ownership in Norfolk at our Golden Beach Holiday Park, or make nearby Suffolk your home-from-home at Azure Seas.