An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
(including Bacton and Walcott)
5 miles from North Walsham
A beautiful sandy stretch of coast backed by beach huts; life guard and local amenities make it ideal for family fun and decent size waves may appeal to surfers.
Where to find it
Mundesley beach is 20 miles from Norwich, 7 miles from Cromer and 5 miles from North Walsham. It is situated on the B1159 coastal road between Cromer and Caister-on-Sea. This long stretch of sandy beach continues to Bacton and Walcott which are also lovely areas to stop off at. There’s also Stow Mill south of Mundesley on the way to Paston which is one of Norfolk’s finest old mills dating back to 1826.
What to expect
Mundesley is a beautiful Norfolk find; understated yet charming and effortlessly pleasing. It’s a traditional non-commercial seaside town dating back to the Victorian era when a railway was introduced in 1889 and visitors came to sample the fresh air. Unfortunately the line was removed in 1964 but the village and resort still retains its character and appeal from these times. A huge expanse of sandy beach that stretches for miles; it is backed by low cliffs with a raised promenade and gardens to sit quietly and admire the spectacular view. There’s a row of traditional colourful beach huts which add to the picturesque landscape and you’ll find plenty of space to unload your picnics and spread your towels on the beach.
Ideal for families
In contrast to larger bustling resorts, this beach is a hidden gem away from the crowds. With no shingle underfoot and RNLI lifeguards on duty from May to September, it’s a perfect place for families with small children. At low tide the water is fairly shallow too with waves for added appeal, and just enough local amenities for everything you need but not too much to provide tantrums when children can’t have it all.
You’ll find a beachside cafe and shop selling buckets and spades and body boards for the kids, as well as ice creams and the like. There’s also a restaurant and a pub called The Ship Inn which has a novelty old boat in its beer garden where you can purchase snacks from. Toilets are nearby with a shower for convenience and first aid facilities too. There’s a large car park and overflow so parking shouldn’t be an issue. The village has a deli and other local stores as well several pretty cottages dating back to the 1900s. You’ll also find a top golf course designed by Open Champion Harry Vardon, and the beach itself has a coastguard station and volunteer manned inshore lifeboat and maritime museum.
Appeal for surfers
Norfolk’s north east facing stretch of coastline is becoming known to surfers for some swell. This area from Mundesley to Walcott has waves breaking over a sandbar. It’s better at low tide when you can paddle out over the channel and get to the break. If waves aren’t great at Mundesley, head towards Walcott where they are usually larger. Bear in mind only Mundesley itself has RNLI watch though but this should only concern beginners. It’s a good area to practice and build confidence on a board. On Walcott beach cliff top you’ll also find the best ice cream van for miles; Mark’s Lamarti van is always there serving homemade ice creams with a great selection of toppings including bubblegum and lime sauces.
It’s refreshing to find a beach so versatile yet so secret in a sense. People know about Mundesley - locals and holiday makers alike - yet it feels like a new discovery every time you visit. People use it for walking, fishing, canoeing, surfing and swimming. People use it for relaxing, sunbathing and watching the world go by. Whatever you use it for, I guarantee you’ll be glad you came.