10 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk holiday cottages


10 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk

With over 90 miles of coastline to explore, Norfolk is a brilliant destination if you’re looking for an idyllic beach holiday. And who better to spend time by the coast with than your four-legged best friend? 

Norfolk has 19 beaches that are dog friendly all year round, and a further 14 beaches where dogs are allowed in winter – that adds up to a lot of opportunity for sandy paws and salty fur all along the Norfolk coast!

To help you narrow it down, we’ve sniffed out 10 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk, where your pup is welcome to explore – without restrictions – all year round. And if you’re looking for a coastal cottage to unwind in after epic beach days, somewhere where your dog is just as welcome as you are, we have a wide range of coastal cottages in Norfolk which welcome your pup with open paws! Click on the link below to dig out your perfect dog-friendly cottage. 

Old Hunstanton

Old HunstantonOld Hunstanton credit: Instagram @kayleighmargaretsolomon

In our opinion, Old Hunstanton beach has two things over its neighbouring beach of Hunstanton: being further away from the resort town, it’s much quieter, and it’s dog-friendly all year round! The huge, sandy beach means there’s plenty of room for zoomies; even on a busy summer’s day, you can find a patch of sand to call your own.

Old Hunstanton is also well-known for being one of the best kite surfing beaches in the UK, so it’s a great place to go with your dog if you want to try a new hobby (your pup might want to sit that one out, though). Also, it’s one of the only beaches on Norfolk’s coast that faces west, meaning it’s a spectacular setting for a romantic evening along with your four-legged third wheel.

Good to know: Public toilets, pay and display parking, beach café (dog-friendly!)

Stay at: The Burrow, Old Hunstanton | sleeps 1 dog and 8 humans


Brancaster beachBrancaster beach credit: Instagram @yoshi_and_red

With 4 miles of National Trust-owned sand on the North Norfolk coast, this is one of the best dog-friendly beaches if your pup wants to run, and run, and run! With plenty of space to spread out along the picturesque, dune-fringed sands, this beach is popular with families as it’s a prime spot for building sandcastles, throwing frisbees and dipping your toes into the fresh North Sea!

Surrounded by the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this is a serene beach where you can easily while away the day with your four-legged best friend. Your dog will be likely be intrigued by the salty scents of the SS Vina Shipwreck, exposed at low tide, but it’s best to stay away – the tide comes in quick and you don’t want to get caught out.

Good to know: Toilets, pay and display parking, kiosk selling teas, coffees, ice cream and beach equipment

Stay at: Sandpiper, Brancaster Staithe | sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans


Holkham beach credit: Instagram @elvistheairedaleterrier

The setting for films such as Shakespeare in Love, Holkham Beach is a huge stretch of sand on the edge of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, home to flora and fauna which will certainly get your pup’s nose twitching! It’s a brilliant place for epic walkies, where your dog can make four-legged friends with many of the other hounds that stretch their legs on this sprawling beach.

It’s also one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Norfolk in terms of facilities; there is easy parking, accessible toilets, plenty of dog bins and even a dog-friendly café with a brilliant view out over the unspoilt scenery. We can’t think of a better setting for a wild winter walk followed by a cosy hot chocolate while Fido has a little nap at your feet!

Good to know: Toilets (including accessible toilets and baby changing facilities at the visitor centre), parking, dog-friendly cafe

Stay at: Curlew Cottage, Wells | sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans


Weybourne beachWeybourne beach credit: Instagram @lmarshall

While Sheringham beach has seasonal dog restrictions, if you walk a little further along the coast you’ll come to Weybourne beach – dog-friendly all year round, it will certainly set tails wagging! This pebble beach will provide a different terrain for your pup to explore, and it’s popular with fishermen meaning there’ll be all sorts of strong scents to sniff out!

One of North Norfolk’s most secluded beaches, there are little in the way of facilities at this dog-friendly beach, which is part of its charm. However, if you walk into Weybourne village, you’ll find a traditional Norfolk pub which welcomes four-legged visitors too – have a pint in the beer garden in the summer or warm up by the roaring log fire in winter after a long beach walk.

Good to know: On-site parking, tearoom, shop and dog-friendly pub in Weybourne village, half a mile away.

Stay at: Mill Barn, Weybourne | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans

East Runton

East RuntonEast Runton credit: Instagram @sammys.east.runton

Only a shake of the tail away from the hustle and bustle of Cromer, East Runton is another brilliant dog-friendly beach in North Norfolk. With brilliant water quality, it’s popular with surfers and a great place for a spot of doggy paddle! Many geologists flock here to uncover fossils in the cliffs, so if your dog likes to dig, he could find more than bones.

If your dog isn’t tired out by a walk along the beach and still has energy to spare, you could make this into a longer walk by taking Norfolk Coast Path and walking almost a mile south of the neighbouring village of West Runton, to Norfolk’s highest point – Beacon Hill. Admittedly, for a country as flat as Norfolk, the highest point isn’t that high – at 103 metres, it’s shorter than St Paul’s Cathedral – but still offers a great longer walk close to the North Norfolk coast.

Good to know: Toilets, pay and display parking, fish and chip shop, village shop and restaurants in the village

Stay at: Silvergate Cottage | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans


TriminghamTrimingham credit: Instagram @bluestaffywalter

This secluded beach is a brilliant choice for a dog-friendly day out if you’re staying near Mundesley – where the beach has seasonal restrictions. The beach’s quiet atmosphere is mainly caused by the fact it’s quite difficult to find, so it’s easier to park at Mundesley and then walk the 1.5 miles along the coast to reach it – a fantastic option if your dog is the kind who is hopeful for a second walk the minute you return home from your first!

Once you get there, you’ll discover a peaceful sand and shingle beach backed by chalk cliffs which also attract fossil hunters. Like much of the Norfolk coast, the area is prone to erosion, so the beach is dotted with wooden enforcements your dog will love to have a sniff around – just be careful you don’t set up camp too close to the cliffs!

Good to know: Parking. More facilities at Mundesley.

Stay at: Pyecroft Cottage, Trimingham | sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans


Happisburgh credit: Instagram @potsons_gsp

Another brilliant dog-friendly beach on the Norfolk coast, Happisburgh has a quiet stretch of sand overlooked by the iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse – the oldest still-working lighthouse in the UK. As well as epic beach days, you can enjoy walkies along the Norfolk Coast Path south to Sea Palling or north to Mundesley.

If you’ve got kids in tow too, this is a brilliant beach for family days out, as kids can burn off excess energy on the nearby HMS Invincible playground and then you can all refuel with tea and cake at the dog-friendly café near the lifeboat station.

Good to know: Toilets, pay and display parking, children’s play area, tearoom, café

Stay at: Lighthouse View Lodge, Happisburgh | sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans


Waxham beachWaxham credit: Instagram @peaceful_yuki

If you’re pining for the calming serenity of Sea Palling but also want to be able to enjoy it with your pup, head to Waxham, just along the coast. This relatively secret beach welcomes your four-legged beach bum all year round and has the same golden sands, tranquil waters and grassy dunes that you’d find at Sea Palling.

You can come face to face with the dogs of the sea – seals – at this beach, especially during the winter months when they come onto the beach to give birth – so keep your eyes out if you have a particularly inquisitive pup!

Good to know: Free parking on the side of the road, dog-friendly tearoom on the coast road

Stay at: Cobble Barn, Hickling Green | sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans

Great Yarmouth South

Great YarmouthGreat Yarmouth credit: Instagram @lexi19892017

After walking along Great Yarmouth’s iconic Golden Mile, enjoy a beach day at the town’s South Beach – found to the south of the Pleasure Beach and Wellington Pier. It’s slightly quieter than the rest of the town’s beaches and so it’s a great spot for a peaceful dog walk while still being close to the town’s facilities.

As well as being able to enjoy a brilliant day out on the golden sands, you’ll also be within easy reach of many of Great Yarmouth’s dog-friendly attractions including the arcades and many pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Good to know: Public toilets, on-street pay and display parking, fish and chip shops, cafes and pubs close by in the town centre

Stay at: Number 41 - Norfolk | sleeps 3 dogs and 6 humans


Gorleston beachGorleston credit: Instagram @rupieandpoopie

One of the last beaches along the Norfolk coast before its border with Suffolk, Gorleston beach has a long stretch of sand with plenty of room for your pup to run around. While the north end has some seasonal restrictions, your pup can run wild all year towards the south end of the beach, where he’s sure to meet plenty of other furry friends as this beach is extremely popular with dog walkers.

The beach has a traditional feel which makes it popular with families, and is much quieter than Great Yarmouth’s beaches just across the River Yare. There’s also a brilliant dog-friendly café, as well as a doggy diner by the harbour mouth where your pup can tuck into a dog treat bowl while you enjoy coffee and cake after a long beach walk!

Good to know: Toilets, parking (2 hours free), dog-friendly café. More facilities in Gorleston town.

Stay at:  Polly's Cottage, Gorleston | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans

If your pup’s ears have pricked up at the mention of a Norfolk holiday, take a look at our Canine guide to Norfolk – packed with the best doggy days out, places to eat and cosy cottages. Or, for more coastal inspiration, we’ve sniffed out the best dog-friendly beaches across the UK. And if you’re looking for a coastal cottage for a holiday with your hound, allow us to lead the way with our collection of dog-friendly coastal cottages in Norfolk – browse the full collection below.

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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