Norfolk coastline - 105 miles approx

I like Norfolk.

It has a lovely capital city, Norwich, A long and Sandy coastline, it is part of East Anglia, the home of the Iceni and my favourite female warlord, Boudica, and is also the birthplace of one of England's greatest hero's and arguably one of the greatest naval tacticians ever,  Horatio Nelson.

What cannot be argued about is that Nelson is my greatest hero, and as this is my website so my pledge not to be a boring historian goes out of the window!



looking across to the northern, Lincolnshire, coastline from the RSPB reserve at Snettisham

Norfolk continues where Lincoln left off, the shores of the Wash, but unlike the Lincolnshire Wash the southern shore is mostly vast mudflats.  Again these mudflats are home to thousands of wading birds and again the RSPB has an important reserve, at Snettisham, to protect these important habitats.

looking east to the sea from Snettisham RSPB reserve

After Snettisham mud gives way to sand and peace and tranquility gives way to a miniature Hades called Hunstanton.

Hinstanton sits on the wash almost opposite Skegness and does it's best to be just as tacky. However it can't compete, I doubt if anywhere could, but it still makes a good effort.

However do not despair. If you want sand without the tack just go further along the coast to Brancaster.

A car park the size of Wembly football pitch, a snack bar, a short track between the golf course (duck both ways) and a stetch of sand unrivalled this side of the Sahara. That's it. No tack, noise, piers or burger wrappers, just sand and lots of it.

Brancaster beach ... stretching to the horizon!

All Saints Church where Edmund Nelson was the vicar

The next little gem along the Norfolk coast is Wells-next-the-sea but don't go via the coast, instead head inland for a few miles to a tiny village called Burnham Thorpe.  It may be inland but it has as strong a connection with the sea as any inland location in Great Britiain.

Here,on the 29th September 1758, Catherine Suckling, wife of the reverend Edmund Nelson, gave birth to her 6th child, Horatio.

It was in this tiny village many years later that Admiral Nelson waited anxiously for news that he was again to be given command and it was in the tavern, having dinner with friends, that a messenger brought poste-haste news that he had been appointed vice admiral of the white, commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet, and was to proceed to London immediately, his last days at Burnham Thorpe and the start of events that would reach their climax at Trafalgar.

The church of All Saints holds lots of little booklets about Nelson and many paintings and artefacts adorn the walls. It does indeed hold a unique priviledge in that on ceremonial days it has been given leave by the admiralty to fly the white ensign, the flag of the Royal Navy that a few years after Trafalgar was changed to red, but the white ensign would always remain "Nelson's flag".

The church was refurbished in 1990, much of the Altar rails and furniture being replaced, and the Royal Navy sanctioned the donation of Timbers from HMS Victory to provide the wood.


The tavern where Nelson frequently met with friends and family during the long wait for command is now called the Lord Nelson. It too holds many artefacts and the room where Nelson dined is still as it was.

Leaving the Lord Nelson I could not help but be moved by the sign above the door. 

These Islands have produced many hero's.  Admiral Lord Nelson stands amongst the greatest of them all.


Anyway, enough of History.  Albert!  Jen expects that every Albert will do his duty!  Carry me poste-haste to Wells-next the sea!


And it is a charming little harbour. A few streets, a traffic choked main road, a slipway and lots of places selling crab, Blink twice and it's gone, but now the trend is set for Norfolk coastal resorts. A few bits of tacky bling amongst a string of dignified, quiet, unspoilt little havens.


A few more miles and the important harbour of Cromer is reached. I have no idea why it's important but the guide book says it is.  However it does have a pier, a slip for the lifeboat, a golden nugget saloon and a string of burger bars interspersed with shops selling Cromer crabs.

I could find nothing to interest me so this old Crab kept going.


A rare coastline view of cliffs in Norfolk ... looking North from Cromer towards Sheringham and the chalet shanty town in the distance

Mundersley beach

Further along  a flat and sandy coastline interspersed with dunes and their is another gem.

This is a place called Mundersley.  A lovely promenade, nice green, restrained shops, pleasant restaurants,  beautiful beach, clean and tidy and not a burger carton anywhere.

On the green at Mundersley, mounted on a concrete plinth, stands a defulsed 500kg German bomb. It marks a memorial to the Royal Engineers Bomb disposal unit, some of whom were killed on the beach defusing a mine.

The green with the Bomb Disposal memorial centre left.

Finally, just a few miles from the Suffolk border so the biggest resort in Norfolk is reached. Great Yarmouth.  Surely here of all places I could find tackiness worthy of rivalling Skegness?


No.  My first view was of an elegant and restrained promenade with restrained gentlemen playing bowls elegantly.

The beach was clean, the pier tidy, the promenade free of bins overflowing with burger wrappers. How terribly nice.

Yarmouth beach and pier

I like Great Yarmouth. It manages to be a resort to cater for all groups and all ages without one dominating another. 

At the Southern end there are the docks but they do not detract from the feeling of restrained gentility.

4 miles further South and a sign announces that we are in Suffolk.  Goodbye Norfolk, Nelson's county.

Albert!  Onwards!


To Suffolk and Essex