Dog Friendly Beaches

If you love beach walks then Norfolk is definitely the place for you!  There are beaches to suit all dogs: sandy, pebbly, marshy and even muddy!  Nearly all the beaches in Norfolk are very dog friendly. There are just a few little restrictions in some of the towns and tourist hot spots which we have mentioned. Must visits include Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham Beach. Both are winners in the ‘Dog Friendly – UK’s most dog friendly beach’ awards.  When visiting beaches in Norfolk do make sure your humans behave, keep them under control and they clean up after themselves.

Check out our Dog Friendly Guide – Norfolk’s premier resource for all the best dog friendly places to eat, sleep & play.


From the car park you can walk along a path which will take you to the RSPB Sanctuary. Please do not disturb the birds. You can also get to the beach very easily; the tide goes a long way out here and it becomes very muddy so you won’t want to go very far!  The beach is also more shingle than sand.


Heacham has two beaches, North and South, both of which have car parks, snackbars and toilets. From the North Beach you can walk along to Hunstanton either on the promenade or on the beach. Like Snettisham the beach can be very muddy in places especially when the tide is out so do take care!


The humans would rather we stayed away from the town beach between 10th April and 31st October, but this is only a small section of beach from the end of the promenade to the power boat launch ramp. We can walk along the top of the promenade but only if our human is on a lead. Poo bins on prom. There are no restrictions on the beaches North and South of this section so there is still loads of space for us to run and play.  The North Beach takes you to Hunstanton Cliffs.

Old Hunstanton

No restrictions, dog friendly all year round. Lovely uncommercial sandy beach with safe water for paddles and swims. (Can get busy during school holidays but otherwise very quiet). Fab beach café (The Old Boat House) where you will find fresh water, plus they sell some rather tasty doggy snacks. Poo bins can be found at the lighthouse car park and by the lifeboat station.


No restrictions, although there are a lot of birds about.  Some nest in the sand dunes so be careful not to disturb them.  Small pay and display car park. A short walk through the golf course takes you to a sandy beach which is pretty quiet all year round.


No restrictions. There is a car park by the creek and then you can walk along the raised embankment which will take you down to a nice, quiet beach.  Birds and other wildlife do nest in the sand dunes so be careful not to disturb them.


You can park at the RSPB car park (charges for non-members apply) and walk through the bird sanctuary so long as you have your human on the lead.  It’s approximately a mile to get to the beach but it is a very nice walk and the beach is lovely.  Drinks and snacks available at the RSPB visitor centre.


Another nice sandy beach but it does get busy in the height of summer, although if you carry on walking for about 1/2 mile it gets quiet again.  A very small section has doggy restrictions from 1st May to 15th September.  Pay and display car park, toilets and a small snack shop.

Brancaster Staithe

We often have a paddle at Brancaster Staithe Harbour; we also take our canoe out here which is great fun. There is no access on foot to the beach here but you can walk along the coastal path through the marshes. Please stick to the path as it can be dangerous to veer off it and very muddy.  You can walk through the marshes to Burnham Deepdale (about a mile or so) and even onto the next village of Burnham Overy Staite (3.5 /4miles). Do take plenty of water with you as this path is exposed to the elements and there is no shade!

Burnham Deepdale

There is no access to the beach here but as mentioned above you can walk along the coastal path to Brancaster Staithe or go the other way to Burnham Overy Staithe. There is a nice dog friendly cafe here and also a campsite.

Burnham Overy Staithe

At this point you are about a mile from the beach but still have access to the coastal path, the marshes and the creek. The coastal path will take you on to Holkham Beach (about 2 miles). The creek is very pretty with boats bobbing about and in summer there is usually an ice-cream van about (yum!). When the tide is in the car park can get very busy.  This is also a great place to explore the creeks by boat or canoe but you would need your own as hiring one is not possible here.


No restrictions. A lovely, vast sandy beach which has enough room for everyone so never seems crowded. There is a pay and display car park at Lady Ann’s Drive (off the A149 opposite the Victoria Hotel). You also have the option to follow the coastal path through the pine trees. Winner of the most dog friendly beach in the UK 2015. Definitely make sure you visit this beach!


Voted the most dog friendly beach in the UK.  Pay and display car park, toilets and a super, very dog friendly cafe. There is a very small dog restricted area on the beach to the right as you come down the steps from the car park. Otherwise it’s miles and miles of beach. Wells is rather famous for its decorative beach huts. Our humans walk out and away from the beach huts as we have been known to try and join in with the humans having their picnics!


After all the sand at Wells-next-the-Sea, it’s back to sniffing out some new smells in the marshes. Now there are lots of paths through the marshes but do be careful; it is easy to get cut off when the tide comes in and it’s muddy!  The best bet is to stay on the Norfolk Coastal Path along the edge of the marsh where you can walk back towards Wells-next-the-Sea or go the other way and head for Morston. Pay and display car park.


There is a pay and display car park at Morston and here you have the option to walk to Stiffkey or carry on to Wells-next-the-Sea (approx 5 miles) or go the other way towards Blakeney. There is no access to the beach at Morston but what you can do which is really good fun is to take a boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point (Yes, us dogs can go on the boats!). Poo bins at the Quay.


Like Morston there is no access to the beach but don’t let that stop you from visiting this very pretty place. You can pick up the Norfolk Coastal Path and walk to Morston or go the other way towards Cley. There’s a pay and display car park which is free if you’re a National Trust member.


At Cley-next-the-Sea you can access the Blakeney Point Nature Reserve. Now there are restrictions here: we cannot visit Blakeney Point at any time from early April to mid August and there is also part of it called Friary Hills that we can never visit.  This is to protect the wildlife, so this is sensible really. There is also the Norfolk Wild Life Trust Reserve and we cannot ever go there for the same reason. However, all is not lost as there is a nice area for us near Cley beach and by the lifeboat house. The beach is shingle. Some wildlife may stray into these areas so make sure your human is under control. There is a beach pay and display car park.


There are no restrictions at anytime of the year at Weybourne.  The beach forms part of the Norfolk Coastal Path, so you can have a nice walk in either direction.  The beach is pebbles/shingle.  A word of warning –  if you like to swim be careful as the beach is deep and shelves away steeply.  Pay and display car park at Beach Lane.


We are not allowed on a section of the beach where the promenade is from the 1st May until the 30th September.  Go to either end of the promenade which we are allowed on throughout the year as long as we have our leads on, and there is plenty of space for a good old run on the sandy beaches. Another option is to walk along the cliff tops where you can get some great views.  If your humans are feeling energetic why not get them to climb to the top of Beeston Bump – that will wear them out!

West Runton

There is a very small section which has restrictions from 1st May to 30th September but it is only small so don’t let that put you off visiting this lovely sandy beach. You can walk along the beach both east and westwards. Check the tides please; there are cliffs so make sure you don’t get cut off.  Eeek! You can also walk along the cliff tops but be careful and keep away from the edge!   Pay and display car park on the cliff top.

East Runton

No cliff top walking possible here but a lovely sandy beach to walk on in either direction. There are no restrictions on this beach at the moment, but it is a very busy beach in the summer holidays. Pay and display car park with a slope down to the beach.


Cromer is a very popular holiday destination so the humans have grabbed the beach for themselves during the period of the 1st May to 30th September.  However, this is only the section where the promenade is, so once you’ve got past that bit normality resumes. Oh yes, we can walk along the promenade all year round. The beach is sandy and there is a pay and display car park on the cliff top as you enter Cromer (Is there no free parking anywhere?). What did surprise us is the fact we can visit the Pier! Plenty of places to sit and enjoy the views and beg for ice creams!


A nice sandy beach to play on when the tide is out.  When the tide comes in the beach disappears! There is a car park nearby. There are restrictions on the central part of the beach where the prom is from 1st May to 30th September. You can also walk along the cliff tops but be careful and stay well away from the edge!


Very similar to Overstrand beach, i.e. restrictions on the prom section 1st May to 30th September, but don’t let that deter you as the beach is massive and once beyond the restricted zone you can walk for miles.


You can only walk here when the tide is out!  There are restrictions (1st May to 30th Sept.) between the section where the groynes are.


Restrictions on the central part of the beach (May to Sept.).  The road runs parallel to the beach so not the safest!


Restrictions south of the lighthouse but dog friendly north of it.  Sandy beach, very quiet and peaceful.

Sea Palling

Pretty, sandy beach but does have restrictions on the west side of the beach. It can get busy here in the holiday season.


Doggy friendly all year round, never ever any restrictions.  Lovely beach, very quiet – you might not see anyone! However, there have been reports of adders in the sand dune area; warning signs usually appear. So stick to the path to access the beach, stay on the lead, and if you are tiny get your human to carry you! If you ever suspect you’ve been bitten seek medical attention immediately!!


No restrictions and no facilities, so very quiet. You will most likely spot a seal or two here!  If so try to stay calm, don’t bark, and please don’t attempt to get close to the seals; it might be best if you stayed on the lead or if you think you may get over-excited avoid this beach altogether.


Lovely sandy beach with no restrictions.  This beach is part of the Winterton Dunes National Reserve which means there is a lot of wildlife about and birds nesting.  Please do not disturb them!


Restrictions on the main beach during the ‘No Dog Season’ i.e. May to September. This is a small section of approx. 100m either side of the beach entrance.  If your human likes to keep busy there are plenty of amusements, cafes and attractions in the village of Hemsby.


No restrictions.  We’ve never been – let us know if you visit!


Dog friendly all year and miles of sandy and part pebbly beach.  Have fun!

Gt. Yarmouth

Gt. Yarmouth has three beaches, North, South and Central. North and South are dog friendly all year round but central has restrictions in the ‘non-dog season’.

Don’t forget to check out our Dog Friendly Guide – Norfolk’s premier resource for all the best dog friendly places to eat, sleep & play.

Please take care though if you are visiting in the summer as it can get very hot on the beaches even on overcast days, and they are all very exposed with no shade. When the weather is hot please go for your walk very early in the morning or late evening and find a nice shady spot in which to nap during the day!  

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Woofs Gizmo Cavalier – Deputy Editor at The Barking Bugle

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