Norfolk’s best dog beaches this winter

beach cottage Norfolk leicester

You know how much we love our dogs here at Cool As and just because it’s cold out that’s no reason not to hit the beach. Being in Leicestershire we’re fortunate enough to have Norfolk as our closest coastline and it’s official – Norfolk has some of the UK’s most dog-friendly beaches! Officially, Wells-next-the-Sea taking the (dog) biscuit, being voted – more than once- as the UK’s most dog friendly beach AND most dog friendly café (the Beach Café).

With summer restrictions lifted and the autumn and winter months crowd free, what better way to enjoy the off-peak season by allowing you and your dog to run wild?

Here, two of Norfolk’s leading holiday lettings agencies, Norfolk Country Cottages and SALT choose not only their favourite beaches, well-known and best-kept secrets – but the best boltholes for winter breaks, too.

dog beach Norfolk

Best Overall

Wells-next-the-Sea
Our favourite beach in North Norfolk, Wells, known for its vast sandy beach and colourful beach huts  joins Holkham beach to form part of the 11 miles of North Norfolk Nature reserve so it’s possible to walk for miles and miles, quite undisturbed. Parking is easy and, once you can walk no more, the quainter-than-quaint town and harbour make a lovely change of scenery, with dog friendly pubs and cafes to choose from. Look out for horses, the other four- legged friends which gallop along the wave-line most days.

Where to stay?
Luggers Cottage, Wells-next-the-Sea
Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms
2 dogs allowed
Luggers Cottage is a period property dating from 1790, and is only a few minutes walk from Wells Quay.
Wells is packed with characterful properties and this is no exception. What is, though, is that the property, once an 18th century public house, accepts not just one but two dogs. It’s ideally located, just a stone’s throw from the beach and has an enclosed courtyard where pooch can play when not lolloping along the shoreline.

Price from £494 per week or £371 short stay from Norfolk Country Cottages, T. 01263 715779 www.norfolkcottages.co.uk

Shortest Drive

Heacham
Just an hour’s drive from the heart of Leicester, Heacham is one of the first West Norfolk destinations you come to after Kings Lynn. West facing, unlike the majority of Norfolk’s coastline, the views over the Wash are spectacular, and it’s a magnet for kite and windsurfers alike.  Watch the sun set over the sea (one of the few places where this happens in Eastern England), take long strolls along the beach and don’t be surprised why this resort has been so popular for over a century and a half. Did we mention there’s no dog restrictions at any time of year?

Where to stay
Sloe Gin Cottage, Heacham
Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
2 dogs allowed
Sloe Gin Cottage
Newly renovated although dating back to 1845, this traditional brick and flint cottage has a roaring fire in which to lounge in front of, if you can fight the dog out of top spot. Wooden or tiled flooring downstairs (ideal for sandy and soggy doggies), there’s a quaint kitchen table to sit around, wood baskets filled to the brim and an enclosed garden for peace of mind.

Larger groups can book the adjacent, sister property, Moongazer Cottage, which also sleeps 4.

Price from £375 per week or short breaks from £300 from SALT, T. 01328 887600 www.saltnorfolk.co.uk

Best Known

Holkham
Perennially voted the ‘UK’s best beach’ and the backdrop to many a Hollywood movie or TV drama, Holkham beach offers a vast expanse of unspoilt golden sand which seem to stretch on forever. Flanked by pine trees, Holkham is also a haven for nature with the beach backing onto windswept dunes, salt marshes. Nearby is Holkham Hall, a private estate open to the public year-round.

Where to stay?
Orchard Cottage, Burnham Thorpe
Sleeps 7 people in 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
1 dog allowed.
Exterior image of this attractive brick and flint cottage

Despite being the birthplace of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Burnham Thorpe is much less known than it’s ‘Chelsea on Sea’ neighbour, Burnham Market but all the better for it. It’s a delightful village, complete with village green and Lord Nelson pub (what else?), less touristy, too. Enjoy the peace and quiet in this home-from-home cottage whose lovely lounge and open fire (not to mention the huge garden) make it a popular pooch friendly choice.

Price from £687 per week or from £515  for a three- night short stay available from Norfolk Country Cottages, T. 01263 715779 www.norfolkcottages.co.uk

Best for large group holiday fun

Hunstanton

Retaining its Blue Flag status once again, Hunstanton (one of 3 UK East coast beaches that face west) is the beach to come to for diversity, with two distinct ‘sides’: South beach, or the main ‘bucket and spade’ beach which has all the modern seaside attractions (promenade, fairground and donkey rides etc.) and the less visited North beach, with huge boulders and three tiered cliffs, ideal dog walking territory if you want some time to yourself.  Nearby is Old Hunstanton, totally different in character, originally a fishing village, now a quiet holiday retreat.

Where to stay?
The Gingerbread House, Hunstanton
Sleeps 14 in 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
3 dogs allowed
This elegant and very spacious Victorian town house is arranged over three floors, and some rooms have sea views. It is built of local carrstone, known as Gingerbread stone - hence the name!
This elegant and very spacious Victorian town house is arranged over three floors, and some rooms have sea views. It is built of local carrstone, known as Gingerbread stone – hence the name! The house is an excellent blend of old and new with features such as the original fireplaces, high corniced ceilings and even the servants’ bells, which complement the very comfortable and well-equipped accommodation. It is situated in the centre of Hunstanton and has proved to be an ideal house for families with dogs, being just a short walk from the seafront and all the local amenities and allowing up to three pooches. There is also the benefit of an enclosed garden and private parking.

Price from £960 per week or £720 short stay. Discounts for reduced occupancy can also be arranged. Norfolk Country Cottages, T. 01263 715779 www.norfolkcottages.co.uk

Best kept secret

Holme Beach
Often overlooked by adjacent beaches, Hustanton and Old Hunstanton, Holme beach is North Norfolk’s best kept secret for dog owners. There’s no restrictions at any time of year and it’s relatively crowd free. Sandy, with dunes flanking the beach, head to car park at the western end of Holme-next-the-Sea.

Where to stay?
Elma Cottage, Holme next the Sea
Sleeps 7 in 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.
3 dogs allowed.
A view of Elma Cottage on a typical summers day.

The enclosed yet generous gardens of this lovely 300-year-old property is enough to get any dog’s tail wagging, let alone three, but for holidaymakers wanting a budget winter break during the low season of 2018, there’s a small group discount for parties of five people or less. Close to the local nature reserve and beach at Home, this charming property is also just ten minutes’ drive from Hunstanton and Brancaster beaches, too.

Price from £716 per week or from £537 for a three night short stay available from Norfolk Country Cottages, T. 01263 715779 www.norfolkcottages.co.uk

 

Best for seclusion

Overstrand
Look east and you’ll see Cromer pier. Look west and there’s an endless vista of beach and cliff tops. For those looking for a quiet, get-away-from-it-all type of place, Overstrand marks the start of the coastal circular walk, so is a magnet for walkers – and their dogs.

Where to stay?
Shoal Cottage, Overstrand
Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
3 dogs allowed
Lovely sandy beach at Overstrand
Is this the best view in North Norfolk? Situated as it is along the cliff top, Shoal Cottage offers uninterrupted views of the sea whilst the slope down to the beach just opposite gives you pole position for sandy dog walks. The house has been finished to a high standard and with spacious accommodation and the ground floor bedroom with en-suite makes it very versatile for mixed generations holidaying together.

Price from £779 per week or from £584 for short stays available from Norfolk Country Cottages, T. 01263 715779 www.norfolkcottages.co.uk

Best for nostalgia

Think Norfolk resorts and Cromer will top the list, renowned as it is for its Pier (and famous End of the Pier show), freshly dressed crab and plethora of Victorian houses.  Although it’s one of the further destinations from Leicester along this coastline if you love shopping, people watching, long walks along the beach front and some retro-chic, it’s well worth the extra travelling time.

Where to stay?
Lismore House, Cromer
Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
2 dogs allowed
Exterior image of this beautiful Victorian house
Just looking at the faces of the dogs sitting on this property’s leather ottoman is all you need to know how happy your dogs will be here. Owners will love the grand proportions of this elegant Victorian house just a short stroll from the sea front and Pier. A fabulous place for large gatherings, there’s a full-sized snooker table in the billiards room, a light-filled open plan living area to hang out in an a warm-as-toast wood-burning stove.

Price from £703 per week, short stays from £527 available from SALT, T. 01328 887600 www.saltnorfolk.co.uk

With so many fabulous coastal homes to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice and your dogs will be for a real treat! We can’t wait to head off and check out one or two of the cottages! Let us know where you take the pooches this winter by joining in the conversation over on Twitter.

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