Its fair to say we walk quite a bit around Norfolk and its many attractions. Bono is a very special member of the family so we’re always looking for nice places to take him. Here are a few of the best dog friendly walks and beaches in Norfolk that the whole family can enjoy.
A great big beach, usually very empty and the coastal path runs alongside. Quite a lot of free on-street parking. Toilets near the Chinese on the corner and a little tea and snack shack near the beach. The public car park accepts both card payments and cash. As far as I’m aware there are no restrictions for dogs anytime of the year. It’s a great beach to find shells, but you might need a windbreak!
My childhood stomping ground. Pronounced Haze-brugh not Happ-is-berg as some would have you convinced. The nice feature here is the lighthouse which you can walk up to. Great for an Insta photo! There’s a pay-and-display car park right next to the beach or you can park and walk down the lane. Another lovely sandy beach with exposed groins. Due to coastal erosion it has changed a lot in recent years but the little kids’ park at the top near the loo’s has been a nice addition.
Holt Country Park
One of our favourites and just a short drive away from home. It has a fab coffee shop ‘Hettys’ next to the car park and a great visitor center for the kids or wildlife lovers. There’s always trails and stuff to look out for and they have events on throughout the year. Use the pay-and-display car park or if you’re a keen walker, grab some free parking closer to Holt and walk back in. There’s a newly built wooden play-park for the kids to enjoy, which is just lovely, but is currently closed due to COVID 19.
If you have the time, a short drive away is Baconsthorpe Castle. Great for a picnic and some maiden rescuing!
A really nice wood that can be found just before you get into Horsford. There’s limited free parking on-site but you can always park along the road if it’s busy. If you’re a keen Geocacher there are lots to find here but no other amenities. It’s a great one for den building and doggies will love it!
A nice one if you like aquatic life as the River Wensum flows right through here. Dogs are welcome but on leads and not in the ponds as in summer months blue green algae can develop. There’s also a visitor center, toilets, baby change and children’s play area.
Norfolk Coastal Path
Now this is a long one 83 miles long to be exact from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea. It used to run to Cromer but in 2014 they extended further towards Sea Palling. If you go to the visitor center at Cromer you can collect some walking maps for shorter circular and linear walks of about 3 miles and longer hikes. There’s also some great kids trails and activities too. My favourite one is the climb over Beeston Bump to end on Cromer Pier.
Coltishall River Walk
Hop out at Coltishall island near the tea rooms and cross the bridge for a lovely river walk with lots of spots along the way for your pooch to have a swim. The Recruting Sergeant is a great restaurant and the farm shop opposite does the nicest home made brownies for just £1.25.
Reepham Railway Line
I say Reepham but the old railway line runs right through Cawston and beyond. I think you could keep on going to Cromer if you were really keen but we usually start at Reepham because of the station café and wood shop opposite. There’s also plenty of room to park for free too!
It’s a very straight walk and is frequented a lot by cyclists. No good if your hound’s a chaser, but has some nice history surrounding it.
Better know for it’s water sports but Whitlingham has a nice path that goes around with play equipment for the kids. There’s also a tea shop, toilets and you’re only two minutes away from Norwich and the football ground.
We love it here. Sheringham Park has a great visitor center and tea shop but parking is a bit steep steep, unless you are a national trust badge holder. You know how I feel about paying for parking and I’m yet to find anywhere free to park nearby. It’s a great one to walk or cycle with a solid tarmac path all the way around. While you’re there, make sure you climb the tower and see if you can see the sea!
Cromer (left & right)
Cromer is perfect for dog friendly walks and beaches but the main beach area is a no-go during the summer months, but don’t let that put you off. Dogs are allowed on the beach after the golf course on the left hand side (down the long sloping path to beach). Alternatively, if you’re going to the right of the pier dogs can go on after the museum and boats. It’s often quieter on those beaches too and you still have all the facilities. Most places in Cromer are dog friendly including the cafés and pubs.
Blickling Hall & Gardens
If you come here on a Sunday you’ll probably see me. It’s one of our favourites as it’s close to home with toilets and a great tea shop. You can happily sit outside and enjoy the selection of cakes and savories with the dog without having to pay to go in the hall too. You can pay-and-display but we tend to drive a little bit further to a free car park on the right side of the road and walk back. I’ve said it before but I hate to pay for car parks and it does allow us to get an extra cake or two! You can walk your dog(s) around the outer-edge of the hall but they’re not allowed inside the main grounds, so if you are wanting to visit the hall and gardens, or visit the shop you’ll need to leave your best friend at home.
So there’s a few of our favourite dog friendly walks and beaches in Norfolk that are worth exploring. Make the most of the summer and see how many you can do!