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Snettisham Beach -
Sunsets and Wildlife

Snettisham beach isn’t any old beach.  It's an interesting mix between

  • a perfect all-year-round beach to watch the birds,
  • a beach for walking,
  • for being romantic,
  • and if you don't mind the shingle, a beach for having fun on. 

And it's more than just a shingle beach too.  I would go as far as to call it a wildlife beach.   On one side you have the stones and sand of the beach, on the other you have the expanse of heath and marsh and wildlife. 

It’s a hive of activity for nature lovers and walkers, backing on to Coastal Park with reedbeds, scrub and marshland behind the shingle beach, and Snettisham beach is adjacent to the RSPB Snettisham Reserve.

Snettisham beach divided in two.  Beach and Wildlife

What Makes Snettisham Beach So Different?

This is the first beach you arrive at on the Norfolk coast, coming from Kings Lynn.  It sits on the Wash and is a shingle beach, and although the tide does go out quite a long way, it does leaves mudflats, rather than lots of lovely hard sand. 

So although it’s a haven for birders, this beach probably isn’t your perfect bucket and spade beach, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it and look elsewhere!  It’s still a quiet and completely uncommercial beach.

Snettisham beach

If you’re looking for swathes of golden sand where the tide goes out for miles, I would suggest beaches such as Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, or Brancaster and you’ll find my comprehensive guide to all the Norfolk beaches here.

Bird Watching Snettisham Beach

If, on the other hand, you’re a nature lover or birder, then the incoming tide has a huge advantage for you, as the mudflats brings with it such a wide variety of amazing wading birds, which I’m sure you’re very well aware of. 

Snettisham waders

And being adjacent to RSPB Snettisham, this beach is a great place to watch some of the incredible Snettishsham Spectaculars that go on, particularly in the winter months (and especially if you don’t want to walk to the RSPB reserve).   

The car park is so close to the beach that you won’t have to walk far to see these sights, but admittedly you won’t get quite such a good view of the waders as you would if you nipped along to the RSPB site.

Snettisham beach car park just behind the seawall

Romantic Sunsets!

This is also a popular beach for fishermen, and an excellent beach for watching the amazing sunsets we get in Norfolk, particularly on this west coast of Norfolk.  So if you are feeling romantic, why not come and sit on the seawall and watch the sun go down!

The sunset on Snettisham beach

Snettisham Coastal Park

This isn’t the name of a caravan park (although there is one just behind the beach), it’s the strip of land behind the beach, established in 1984 and owned by the Ken Hill Estate.  It comprises heathland, marshland, reedbeds and scrub and stretches all the way to Heacham, which makes for an extremely pleasant, interesting and easy walk.

Snettisham Coastal Park Entrance

The entrance to the park is within the Snettisham beach car park. 
Park on the right and enter it over a wooden bridge (no fee for entering the park, although there is a car parking charge during the summer months).

The bushes and creeks in the park attract a whole host of different species of birds, and you can while away an hour or two relaxing in the knowledge that you will at least see something!

Snettisham beach creek
The Coastal Park from the sea wall
The Coastal Park from behind the sea wall
View from the secondary sea wal
Secondary sea wall going to Heacham

As from October 2014, there is now a new public right of way added to definitive map FP35 Snettisham Beach. You can now walk along the sea bank from the beach car park heading left towards the RSPB Reserve, making this a fantastic walk with views all over The Wash.  Don't forget your binoculars!

So I think you’ll agree that this is a fascinating beach, and one you should definitely come and visit any time of year, not just in the summer months.

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