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Heacham Beach

Heacham beach, on the west coast of Norfolk, tends to get mixed reviews depending on what you want out of your choice of beach.  You'll either love it, or you'll want to find other alternatives because the two beaches are very different.   

  • Heacham South beach is rugged and empty, great for dog walking and fishing 
  • Heacham North is busier, with it's promenade and backing onto holiday chalets.

If you put the two Heacham beaches together, you have a lovely long stretch of beach to wander along.

However, being on The Wash, when the tide goes out, instead  of hard sand, you'll be left with walking on estuary mud which can be quite messy, as you can imagine!

Lying on the west coast of Norfolk, the sunsets and wildlife on these two Heacham beaches are spectacular.

Heacham North Beach

Approaching Heacham North beach from South beach, with  the promenade in the distanceLooking towards Heacham North beach
The promenade on Heacham North beachNorth beach

The North beach is a promenade beach, excellent for just sitting on the man-made sea defence, no sand in your shoes or getting wet feet.   Stroll along the promenade, or take in the views while eating an ice cream, or just watch the beautiful sunsets which are really amazing spectacles on this side of Norfolk.  It’s also a dog friendly beach and you’ll often see dog walkers walking along the top of the promenade.

The beach huts behind the promenade at Heacham

The North beach has a long row of beach huts sitting just behind the promenade, and beyond the huts and the car park is a large static caravan park so this beach is perfect if you want to stay somewhere where you have a minimal walk to the beach.

Map of the Norfolk Beaches

View Norfolk UK Beaches in a larger map

You can walk amongst the groynes on North beach, although you will get very muddy sandy feet!

Heacham North beach is a little noisier than South beach as they allow jet skis to operate from here so be prepared for engine noises in the summer months.

Heacham South Beach

The more rugged South beach at HeachamSouth beach

As you wander from the North beach towards the South beach you begin to see that it has a more rugged feel and  gives way to sand dunes behind it.  Stepping up to the sand dunes, you then have a wonderful view overlooking the marshes and typical vast landscapes of Norfolk.

South beach from the promenade at HeachamSouth beach from the promenade

Heacham South beach is definitely one of the quieter Norfolk beaches with fewer people around, even in the height of the summer season.  

The surrounding countryside behind Heacham beach

You can now walk all the way from Heacham to Snettisham (going south)  along this  footpath which runs parallel to the coast.  It's a great chance to see some wildlife heading towards Snettisham and the mud flats.

If you want to go North, you can also walk from Heacham beach to Hunstanton.  

The path connecting Heacham North and South BeachThe path from North to South beach

Walking from North beach to South beach is extremely easy.   Either you can just walk along the side of the caravan park on sandy ground, or actually along the beach, whichever takes your fancy.  Or you can walk between the caravans on a grassy path along the river; a very pleasant walk giving you a feel of the country, yet so close to the sea.

Both beaches are quite stony with shale though.  If you arrive at either of the beaches when t the tide is out, you will get wonderful stretches of fairly hard sand just below the line of the stones, but beyond the hard stone it becomes estuary mud.  

Dogs on Heacham South Beach

New for 2021 -

Dogs are welcome on Heacham South beach but must be kept on a lead during nesting season which is from April to the end of August.  

The reason for this is that the birds nest directly on the shingle and sand, and the eggs and young are extremely vunerable.

The RSPB are asking that visitors walk at the bottom of the beach away from fenced off areas to avoid trampling nests or causing disturbance.. 

And please take any litter and leftover food home with you to avoid attracting predators like gulls or foxes that feed on birds' eggs and small chicks.

Refreshments on the beach

And yes, you can get refreshments on Heacham beach.    As you drive or walk along to the North beach car park, you'll pass the cafes; The Silver Sands café is always a good stop, as is the Sunset Grill, a good one to send the kids off to.  They offer typical cafe food with a basic menu.  There is also a cafe at South beach along with WC's at both.

Silver Sands Heacham
Sunset Grill Heacham

Accommodation near Heacham beach

There are so many different types of accommodation in Heacham that you’re really spoilt for choice.  If you're staying at one of these caravan parks, having Heacham beach right on your doorstep is going to make your holiday experience even more enjoyable.  Camping in Norfolk comes in many different guises these days, but Heacham is very much for the lover of the static caravan. 

Whether you choose self-catering in Heacham, or some of the cottages that are available in Heacham, or maybe even a hotel, you can’t fail to find something to suit you.  You are able to find more holiday accommodation here on the Norfolk Holiday Cottages page.

Accommodation suggestion

Norfolk Coast B&B Cottages & Camping site

Just a 2 minute walk from Heacham Beach, mYminiBreak offers a relaxed campsite, B&B's and self catering cottages.  A quite site with fantastic views over the marshland towards Snettisham

Heacham Manor Hotel

Why not take a look at the beautiful Heacham Manor Hotel, a very relaxed, vertsatile and quiet hotel.  You can even walk to the beach from the hotel.  Offers Spa, golf and wedding packages too.  This is a little gem of a hotel.

Heacham Holiday Chalets

If you  spend your holidays in caravan parks, static homes or Heacham holiday chalets (which are all very popular),  Heacham beach is definitely an excellent choice.  It’s one of the few Norfolk beaches that lies on the west coast of Norfolk, on The Wash, and on a clear day you can easily see all the way over to Lincolnshire.

Surrounded by Park Resorts Holiday Park, the North and South Beach at Heacham are right on your doorstep.  No getting in the car to have a dip in the sea here!  Just walk down to the beach and you’re presented with two totally different types of beaches.

There is one alternative accommodation a few minutes walk from the beach that isn't a caravan park or chalet park.  It's called mYminiBreak and has a wonderful small camping site as well as a few self catering cottages that have been renovated.  

If you're unfamiliar with the village and surrounds of Heacham, it’s the slightly quieter sister town to Hunstanton, a lively and rather more vibrant seaside town.  But to have two more beaches a stone’s throw away really does gives you an endless choice for differing beaches and towns. 

If you like the quieter and larger beaches, then Old Hunstanton beach would be an excellent beach to nip  off to.  On the other hand, if you love the fairground rides, donkeys on the beach, plus a little bit of bingo and music, then you definitely need to visit Hunstanton beach and town.

On the other side of Heacham beach is Snettisham beach which also merges into the Snettisham RSPB Reserve.  The Snettisham Reserve is on a smaller scale to Titchwell RSPB site further up the coast, but is a very calming place, with a well-worn path, but easy to walk on, and runs alongside man-made lakes which bring you out to The Wash.  You can watch nesting terns, geese with their goslings, oyster catchers and much more.

And of course, not forgetting that you’ve also got Norfolk Lavender just over the other side of the main road to Heacham, this is well worth a visit, particularly with the wonderful Farm Shop.