Dog Walks – North Norfolk – England – Holkham – Brancaster – Old Hunstanton – Heacham

Norfolk Beaches

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Beautiful walks along coastal routes and sandy beaches

Wells-next-to-sea beachHolkham beach – Brancaster beach – are situated on the East side of England, called East Anglia, on the Northerly headland of North Norfolk which looks out towards the North Sea and Heacham beach and Old Hunstanton beach face into the large rectangular bay and estuary at the north-west corner of the East Anglia coast, called The Wash.

All locations have sandy beaches and backshores mostly merging into the sandy dune system making them fabulous walks to take your dog all year round.

These beaches are dog-friendly 365 days a year with no restrictions except Holkham beach where during the winter months large flocks of winter birds gather as part of Holkham National Nature Reserve and owners are requested to keep dogs on leads.

All beaches are fairly flat, gently sloping to the sea with ample space, even more so when the tides are out.

Heacham beach has a flood defence bank, so if you prefer, you can walk towards Hunstanton without getting too sandy. There’s car parking facilities and toilets available at North and South beaches with a few seasonal cafes and shops. The beaches face westward and are superb for afternoon sun and evening sunsets.

Old Hunstanton beach is part of the little village of Old Hunstanton boasting a sandy, with some small rocks exposed beach that you can manoeuvre in an out of, and even much better when dog walking when it’s low tide, with shallow waters, providing a great opportunity to take advantage of a more flat sandy beach.

Walking along to the famous Hunstanton Red Rock Cliffs is essential where the cliffs expose differing colours of chalk, the red colours coming from iron pigments and white chalk causing stripe patterns, a spectacle to be seen set between main Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton.

Beaches situated on the North of the North Norfolk Headland include –

Branchester beach which has a small road leading to the car park for the sandy beach area and very popular with families. This road can be prone to be flooded during high spring tides so important not to use during this period. Brancaster beach is part of the Brancaster Estate which is owned by the National Trust, the coastline designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has salt marshes and dunes and low tide exposes mud marshes where many birds like to feed.

The beach is prone to a fast inward tide so it’s important to check tides and ensure you read all beach notices before starting your walk.

Holkham beach is a fabulous long stretch of sandy beach exposed even more at low tide with Holkham National Nature Reserve backing on. Famous Holkham Hall is no more than 2 km walk away to the beach area and the beach has a car park close by where one walks through part of the wooded Nature Reserve area for access which may be subject to closure restrictions from time to time, so checking the Holkham website may be prudent before taking a special journey to visit.

However, the small town positioned easterly, Wells-next-the-sea also has car parking facilities and ramps for easy access where one can start your beach dog walk and the beach is patrolled by lifeguards during peak summer season. There is a fast incoming tide with warning sirens, so it is important to make yourself familiar with beach notices and tide times before undertaking your walk.

You can feel safe by the water knowing that Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-sea have lifeboat stations. The RNLI have a website with helpful advice to remind yourself about sea safety.

Vets are available in case of pet emergencies close by at both Hunstanton and several family pet veterinary practices at Kings Lynn.

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If your staying in the Norfolk area, then Rural Retreats have some fabulous unique properties for short breaks and holidays

It’s worth taking a look at the inside of The Tack House which can be booked through Rural Retreats, the online specialist of beautiful staycation retreats which welcomes two dogs to stay, located on the beautiful Holkham Estate in North Norfolk. Rural Retreats specialise in unusual and quality luxury homes, barn conversations and smaller properties including cottages, perfect locations for you and your dog to enjoy a welcome break.

North Norfolk Rural Retreats
THE TACK HOUSE Norfolk Rural Retreats

Before you travel you may like to use our useful Guides, especially if you are a new pet owner.

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Pet Holiday Guide

Useful guide, checklists and tips for a pet-friendly holiday

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Pet Travelling Guide

Useful guide, checklists and tips for enjoying pet-friendly travel

Biggest doggie tips are to remember to take lots of fresh water and collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog and old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming and to help clean off the sand before going home! Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. You may need to use a short or long dog lead and take a muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches.

Beach images courtesy Visit Norfolk and Twitter.

Prices and information correct at time of writing.

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