Our 5 favourite coastal walks in Norfolk along the coast path
Towering clifftops, stunning sandy beach, iconic landmarks, charming coastal villages, historical curiosities — Norfolk’s coastline is a place like no other for stretching your legs.
With so many walking routes along the Norfolk Coast Path to choose from, this gorgeous little part of the world is perhaps best explored on foot — but it can be difficult to know where to start!
The best coastal walks in Norfolk along the Norfolk Coast Path
Whether you’re dog walking with a view, looking for some low-key family fun or you’re seeking intrepid coastline exploration, these five walks vary in length and difficulty.Explore the best of Norfolk’s coast whilst taking things at your own pace. We’ve also listed a few of our favourite places to stop for a cake and coffee!
1. Sea Palling to Horsey Gap (3 miles) — for Blue Flag, quintessential Norfolk coast and seal spotting
For those in search of a gentle beach stroll well suited to families and dog walkers, look no further than the picturesque route between these quintessentially ‘Norfolk’ coastal villages.
With panoramic sea views, this route is dotted with peaceful, sheltered inlets which provide the perfect spots to stop and soak in the scenery. Sea Palling’s beach has been awarded Blue Flag status for its pristine waters and facilities. What’s more, it’s rarely over-crowded, making it the perfect place for a true Norfolk beach day.
We’d recommend packing a picnic to enjoy on the beach. Or, on the way back to Waxham, call in at Dunes Café at the newly-restored Waxham Barn, a grade I-listed building dating back to the 16th century.
As you head towards Horsey, you’ll follow the coastline down past our Waxham Sands Holiday Park. There’s an excellent chance to discover the pod of playful grey seals who call the sand dunes their home year round.
Sea Palling has a car park if you’re making your way there by motor, and the Norfolk County Council’s interactive resource is useful for a detailed map.
2. Happisburgh circular walk (7 miles) — iconic views and a journey along Deep History Coast
Certainly one for the snap-happy social media users among us — this walk begins and ends very close to the iconic red striped lighthouse of Happisburgh. You’ll start off at the car park close to Happisburgh beach, winding your way along the cliff tops up to Walcott.
In this area, early human footprints were found in sediment on the beach, earning it the moniker the Deep History Coast. The beach was also the place where an early flint hand tool was found, aptly named the ‘Happisburgh handaxe’.
Happisburgh itself is great for a post-walk refuel. For tea and a slice of cake, Smallsticks Café by Cart Gap beach is ideal. There’s also The Hill House Inn — as well as being dog friendly and cooking up a nice roast, their building apparently dates back to 1550!
3. Brancaster Staithe circular (3 miles) — for history, nature reserves and coastal panoramas
For a more moderate walk, rich in history with stunning views, the circular Brancaster Staithe route passes coastal paths, salt marshes, woodland and undulating countryside.
As you head inland from the coast and reach Barrow Common nature reserve, you’ll have breathtaking views over the coast — a perfect spot for a picnic.
En route you’ll also discover Branodunum — a Roman fort built to defend the coastline — and St. Mary’s Church in Burnham Deepdale, famous for its Saxon round tower, Norman font and collection of medieval glass.
We’d recommend starting your circular route at The Jolly Sailors or The White Horse Inn in Brancaster — both great places for a post-walk refreshment, too. Again, Norfolk County Council’s interactive resource provides a useful visualisation of this walk.
4. Weybourne circular (5 miles) — for rugged, imposing cliff top views
If the trek itself doesn’t take your breath away, the views you’re greeted with certainly will.
Start your walk at Weybourne beach car park and make your way to the coast, popular with anglers — keep your eyes peeled for traditional vessels! Crunching along the shingle beach can be quite challenging for some, but try to spot some interesting birdlife by The Quag.
You’ll soon reach Kelling Heath, another birdwatcher’s paradise. You’ll soon be greeted by a lovely view of Weybourne village, with the chance to spot a steam train on the Poppy Line heritage railway. As you make your way back into Weybourne, be sure to stop off at a pub or café; as well as being dog friendly, The Ship Inn offers a wide menu and a great selection of drinks.
5. Roman Camp circular (9 miles) — for coast, country and the highest point in East Anglia
For those looking to work up a sweat (and soak up a stunning mix of Norfolk scenery), this one’s much more of a challenge. You’ll start off at Water Lane car park in West Runton.
It takes around 3.5 hours but produces spectacular panoramas — as well as the highest point in Norfolk, Beacon Hill, standing 103 metres above sea level. At the summit there is an earthwork enclosure whose history is much debated, although it is believed to have been an old coastal signal station, most recently playing a role in the Napoleonic Wars.
The area is known locally as ‘Roman Camp’ despite there being no evidence of occupation by Romans — rumour goes that it was supposedly named as such by horse-drawn cab drivers in the 19th century to make it more appealing to visitors.
Once you arrive back in Cromer, a traditional Victorian seaside resort, follow the Norfolk Coast Path back to West Runton. Norfolk County Council’s interactive resource has a useful map of this lovely circular route.
Looking to explore Norfolk’s breathtaking coastline?
We’re in just the place.
Right on the doorstep of the Norfolk Coast Path is our Waxham Sands Holiday Park. We offer luxury touring and camping holidays nestled beside the gorgeous sands of Waxham — only a moment from Horsey Gap and Sea Palling, the seal-spotting route we mentioned earlier!
Of course, Norfolk is renowned for its breathtaking Broads as much as its expansive, unspoiled coastline. The Norfolk Broads National Park begins only a couple of miles away if you’re looking to escape to its wildlife-filled waterways for the day.
For those wanting to make the ultimate commitment to Norfolk, we also offer holiday home ownership at Golden Beach, our other luxury location in Norfolk — and then there’s Azure Seas, our owners-only Suffolk bolthole.
We can’t wait to welcome you for your next holiday!