The Canine guide to Norfolk holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Norfolk

Kate W 16 March 2023

Norfolk and dogs go together like walkies and waggy tails. It’s where the mythical Black Shuck prowls the coast and countryside; where Queen Elizabeth II spent time at her private home – Sandringham – along with her beloved corgis; and even Admiral Lord Nelson, one of Norfolk’s most famous residents, had a dog named Nileus.

So, it’s no surprise that Norfolk is a great destination for dog-friendly holidays. There are miles upon miles of waterside walkies to be found – whether beside the Broads or along the golden coastline – as well as rolling countryside to roam under never-ending skies. Added to that are the mouthwatering pubs and restaurants, unforgettable attractions and the cosiest dog-friendly cottages – all in all, it’s the perfect recipe for an epic holiday with your hound.

Click the button below to head straight to our wonderful collection of pet-friendly Norfolk cottages, or read on and let us present our ultimate guide to dog-friendly Norfolk – in the words of Delia Smith: “let’s be ‘avin you!”

What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Norfolk's...

Follow the best dog walks in Norfolk

Follow the best dog walks in Norfolk

Let’s put the beaches aside for now and focus on Norfolk’s abundant walkies. Home to miles upon miles of countryside, Norfolk boasts a massive 1,200 miles of tracks, trails and thoroughfares for you to explore with your pup, including ten long-distance routes.

If you’re looking for good dog walks for your best boy or girl, you’ve come to the right place – here are three of our favourite Norfolk walkies.

Our top dog walks in Norfolk

  • Holt Country Park - there are acres upon acres of woodland to explore, leaves to scamper through and squirrels to chase. All walks are circular, meaning whether your legs are little or long, you can find a suitable distance. 
  • Felbrigg Hall - this particular circular walk takes in open fields, woodland, a lake and the ice house, so your pup will be delighted with the range of scents to sniff! Felbrigg also joins up with the popular long-distance trail, Weaver’s Way!
  • Thetford Forest - walks range from 1 mile to 14 miles and huge pine trees give way to areas of heathland – the vast space means it’s a tranquil haven where you’re unlikely to bump into anyone else. 

If you're looking for even more top trails to sniff out together, our full guide to the best dog walks in Norfolk includes seaside strolls on the North Norfolk Coast, beautiful ambles around the Norfolk Broads and so much more.

Discover the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk

Discover the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk

With over 100 miles of coastline, Norfolk is one of the UK’s best destinations for a coastal break with your dog. While some of the beaches have seasonal dog restrictions, there are plenty of year-round dog-friendly beaches to explore, plus the 83-mile Norfolk Coast Path where your hound can feel the salty sea wind in his ears.

While popular beaches include Cromer, Mundesley and Caister-on-Sea, we’ve picked out three hidden gems for you to explore with your four-legged friend.

Our top dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk

  • Gorleston Beach - it's a quieter alternative to its busier neighbour, Great Yarmouth, and at certain times of the year it’s easy to spot more dogs than people! The south end has no restrictions plus there’s a lovely café on the promenade where your dog is welcome. 
  • Old Hunstanton Beach - it's dog-friendly all year round and boasts a beachfront café which welcomes dogs inside – plus, Hunstanton is one of the only places in Norfolk where you can watch the sun set, due to its west-facing position. Find out more in our Hunstanton guide
  • Holkham Beach - walk through a pine wood and along the boardwalk to get to this huge swathe of sand, it’s a sure bet that your dog’s nose will be tingling and his tail will be wagging.

Discover even more dog-friendly Norfolk beaches in our full guide and enjoy watching your four-pawed best pal digging in the sand, paddling in the sea, and meeting other sea-loving pups who've also come to discover Norfolk's fantastic pet-friendly beaches. 

Sniff out the best attractions across Norfolk

Sniff out the best attractions across Norfolk

When you’ve walked all you can walk and visited more beaches than you can shake a tail at, it’s time to check out Norfolk’s dog-friendly attractions. Come rain or shine, there are plenty of days out with your dog on offer in Norfolk, whether you want to take to the waterways, check out some historical sites or simply admire the scenery. Here are three of our favourite places to visit with your pup. 

Our top dog-friendly attractions in Norfolk

  • Broads Tours - have you really been to Norfolk if you haven’t seen the Broads? We don’t think so. Enjoy the tranquillity (and lack of responsibility) of exploring the peaceful landscape on board a passenger boat where dogs are welcome aboard for a small additional charge.
  • Blakeney Seal Trips - your hound can channel his inner salty sea dog on a trip to spot the pups of the sea - the famous Blakeney seals. Only good dogs on leads are allowed on the boat, though, so best pack a little treat just in case some gentle bribery is required.
  • North Norfolk Railway - voted one of the UK’s great heritage railways, you can enjoy the scenic ride from Sheringham, along the coast to Weybourne and through to Holt, taking in three Victorian stations. Best of all, four-legged passengers are welcome on board too for a small extra fee.

Dine at the best places to eat across Norfolk

Dine at the best places to eat across Norfolk

There's no need to leave the family pup at home when you head out for a special holiday meal in one of Norfolk's wonderful eateries. Lucky for you both, Norfolk is bursting with delightfully dog-friendly places to eat, from fancy restaurants to charming cafes, and not forgetting cosy pubs. Here are three of our favourite paw-friendly places to eat in Norfolk. 

Our top dog-friendly places to eat in Norfolk

  • The Orange Tree in Thornham - a trendy village gastropub that welcomes gastro-pups too, as it offers a dedicated doggy menu! Dine on pub classics, sharing platters and mouthwatering desserts all with a foodie flair and an impressive commitment to alternative diets. 
  • The Jetty Café - on Cromer’s high street, this café sources the crab from local suppliers and always has room for doggy diners. It would be rude to visit Cromer and not taste the famous Cromer crab, and you can enjoy a ten-legged feast with your four-legged friend! Check out our Cromer guide for more info. 
  •  Whelk Coppers Tea Room - a traditional tea room in Sheringham that's a great pit-stop after seaside walks and has a lovely waterside view. Don’t worry if you’ve got a soggy doggy - towels are provided for a quick spruce-up alongside a dedicated feeding station.

If you love the atmosphere of a friendly pub for dining out, you can discover even more great dog-friendly pubs across Norfolk in our guide. We've dipped into their county's offerings and these are our favourites!

Come and stay with us in Norfolk 

Alethorpe Barn, Pensthorpe

Epic beaches, endless countryside and incredible places to eat are all yours to explore on a dog-friendly holiday to Norfolk. And one of the cottages in our range of paw-friendly properties will provide the perfect bases for an unforgettable break with your four-legged best friend.

Dig through our collection of luxury Norfolk cottages for a retreat with special features, browse our Norfolk Broads cottages and enjoy days exploring the iconic waterways, or head to one of our pet-friendly coastal cottages for fantastic days by the beach. We’ve sniffed out the best dog-friendly cottages in Norfolk, so take a look at our full collection and start planning an incredible Norfolk holiday with your hound.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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