When booking coastal weekend breaks and holidays in the UK, there is only one big decision to be made; east or west coast?
The west and south-west offer visitors the area known as the English Riviera, with palm trees and cream teas in abundance. Rugged cliffy bays and deep inlets are the norm. The west of course is also home to Wales, with many stretches of coastline having sandy beaches and less busy places to explore. Head further north and you have Blackpool with all the glitz and glamour expected of a fabulous and famous seaside resort.
What if you fancy a bit of everything? Quiet seaside walks in an area of outstanding natural beauty followed by a paddle in a rock pool near some picturesque beach huts, or perhaps some seal-watching from a boat trip before heading onto more strenuous water sports and a traditional fish and chip supper on the pier. Norfolk, on the east coast of the UK, offers it all.
Miles upon miles of coastline with diverse landscapes make Norfolk short breaks an ideal way to explore all types of coastal holiday within easy reach of your holiday home. Rather than choosing just one type of beach holiday, Norfolk offers you a chance to try it all.
Starting along the east of Norfolk’s coastline you can find the well-established Victorian town of Hunstanton. Complete with bandstand and period architecture, the beach is framed by pretty striped cliffs and stunning views out across the Wash.
Further round the coast is Brancaster, home of the salt marshes and Scolt Head Island. This region is perfect for birdwatching and enjoying life in one of the driest villages in the UK. Brancaster is a thriving fishing community and prides itself on the quality of its produce and architectural heritage.
Keep going and you reach Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture perfect period buildings and pretty, painted beach huts frame the sandy beach. Dunes provide an ideal sheltered family base for swimming. A successful water sports facility does nothing to ruin the relaxed atmosphere on the beach and sailing and kayaking are both popular options.
Blakeney is at the heart of the sand and shingle spit over three miles in length. Try crabbing with a line and bucket inland or head off on a boat trip to visit the breeding ground of common and grey seals at Blakeney Point. Largely managed by the National Trust, this region boasts both saltwater and freshwater seaside options. Inland is a stunning example of a freshwater marsh that plays host to many varieties of wintering birdlife.
In 1887 the steam railway reached Sherringham and with it came holidaymakers from all parts of the UK. The steam train still runs and the beach is framed by a row of picturesque beach huts. Originating from a tiny fishing village, this town may not have the facilities offered at larger resorts but has kept its Victorian charm in the form of architecture and family orientated atmosphere that came when the train line arrived.
Dog friendly cottages can be found along the Norfolk coastline and many beaches allow well-behaved dogs all year round. The main family resorts restrict dog walking in the peak holiday months, so be sure to check before you visit which area is suitable for your pet.
Cromer is internationally renowned for its seafood and notably the deliciously dressed crabs that are prized by cafes and restaurants across the county. A bustling seaside resort; all the mod-cons of a larger town can be found here. The ideal location for water sports and amusement arcades framed perfectly with a traditional pier and plenty of fish and chip suppers.
Further round the coast is Sea Palling. An unusual collection of nine man-made reefs frame the beach, providing a sheltered area close to the beautiful Hickling Wildlife Reserve. A small jet-ski centre and a few places to eat can be found on the seafront. This friendly family beach has obtained the prestigious Blue Flag award for water quality and beach management.
So you can have it all. Sandy beaches, stunning cliff lines, dunes, picture perfect bays, secluded inlets, saltwater lagoons, spits and marshland wildlife reserves and all-action water sports. No need to travel hundreds of miles round the UK, it can all be found on the shorelines of Britain’s east coast. Perfect.