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Norfolk Coast

By Zaithyn Galter Published 05/7/2007 | Travel

The Norfolk coastline is one of the best-loved and most popular coastlines in the UK. The main reason for its popularity is the enormous diversity, ranging from the traditional seaside resorts of Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton to the upmarket villages and secluded beaches of the North Norfolk coastline.

Geographically the coast stretches from Kings Lynn and The Wash in the north, right round to Great Yarmouth at the southern most tip of the county. The long stretch of coastline is home to some of the most protected habitats in the UK, with fragile ecosystems that include heathland, salt marshes and tidal wetland.

This internationally recognised stretch of coastline is home to some of the UKs most important bird reserves, including the RSPB site at Titchwell, which gets over 100,000 visitors a year and is their most popular UK reserve.

Further down the coast it is possible to either walk, a good 4 miles over shingle, or catch a boat from the village of Morston, to see the seal colony at the end of Blakeney Point.

If you are looking for a more traditional seaside resort then Great Yarmouth is definitely for you. Great Yarmouth has a traditional seafront full of shops, amusements and attractions and has two piers. The beach is one of the best on the coast and the famous fish and chips alone are definitely worth the visit.

Hunstanton, at the other end of the coastline, is a slightly more relaxed traditional resort while still having a good range of attractions. Known to the locals as Sunny Hunny the town is in the unique position of being on the east coast, while facing the west coast. So you can see the sun set over the sea. Further down the coast the resort is also famous for its red and white cliffs.

Just a short drive down the coastline you can find Kings Lynn a great place to explore the history of the countys coastal ports. This was one of the most important historic ports during the middle ages because of its trade with the Hanseatic league, and was renamed Kings Lynn, from Bishops Lynn, after the dissolution of the Catholic church by Henry VIII.

In between Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton you can find Sheringham and Cromer. These two small towns both have a rich history for fishing, and the famous Cromer crabs, and in the last 100 years for tourism.

The small resorts offer a quiet and relaxed seaside destination, with local shops, good restaurants, clean beaches, landscaped gardens and links golf courses.

Without doubt one of the most popular and nationally recognised areas of the coast is North Norfolk. This stretch of the coastline, which extends from Hunstanton to Sheringham, is famous for its small flint built house and villages, top quality restaurants and pubs, and wide-open beaches and skies.

The most popular beach in the area is Holkham, which is close to the small seaside town of Wells and the Holkham estate. The beach has been featured in music videos, films and is consistently considered one of the best in the UK, with its wide expanse of golden sands and dunes stretching out towards the sea.

The other thing the area has become famous for is the quality of its restaurants and reputation for being an upmarket holiday destination. This stretches from the celebrity Meccas of Burnham Market and Brancaster towards the small villages of Cley and Morston. The range of places to eat includes traditional pubs, serving local real ale and well-cooked produce, to Michelin starred restaurants and a wealth of gastro pubs.

So if you are looking for any type of UK coastal break, from bird watching to fine dining, or kiss me quick to secluded cottage retreat, the Norfolk coastline has something to offer everyone.

For more information about the Norfolk Coast and beaches please visit Tourism In Norfolk.