Beach days out in North Norfolk - Bubbablue and me

North Norfolk seaside visits – Cromer and Wells next the Sea

Our recent break in Norfolk was a bit of déjà vu for me, having summer holidayed near Sheringham 3 times as  achild.  I’d chosen Norfolk rather than a city break further inland, so we could get out to the beach and seaside a few days.  It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, because I booked the hotel really late meaning the nicer hotels nearer the coast were booked up.  With slow Norfolk roads, it was nearly an hour journey out to north Norfolk from Norwich where our hotel was.

Beach days out in North Norfolk - Bubbablue and me


My brother has the same memories of Cromer as me. The time our mum decided we should have an evening walk along the beach from our campsite to Cromer. We were all for that, until we realised that the pier didn’t seem to be getting any closer.

N and I nipped to Cromer for a quick bracing walk along the sea front.  Typically every time we seem to go the seaside, the tide is in, so there wasn’t a chance to get down on the beach, but rain was on and off and the wind was a nightmare, so we were better walking on the promenade.

running on Cromer promenade

Of course N had to have an ice cream even though it was freezing weather.  I couldn’t let him have one on his own so he opted for a vanilla whippy cone with a flake (anyone else still want to call them 99s, even though they now cost about £2.50?).  And I had a tub of pistachio and chocolate rocky road. Delicious (if very cold!).

ice cream at Cromer

We had to walk down to the bottom of the prom so N could check out the amusement rides.  The cold and rain did help my pocket as he realised it wouldn’t be nice on there (‘yes, the seats will all be wet’).

ice creams overlooking the sea at Cromer
Cromer pier

It was so cold that we didn’t hang around much longer, and walked briskly back to the car.  Even with the weather, I do love being by the seaside, and I’m sure if the weather had been better we’d have spent a good few hours on the beach front and exploring around.

Wells next the Sea

We didn’t have much luck with our coast trips this holiday at all.  The weather just wasn’t great while we were out, although generally it did dry up and get warmer in the afternoons.

One day we’d gone out with the intention of visiting Wells and then after lunch going to Holkham. But given the weather decided to change to somewhere more indoors.  So N decided that Thursford Collection might be interesting, following up with Wells for lunch in the afternoon.

Our visit to Thursford was pretty short (I’m not sure we were even there an hour – good job it wasn’t too expensive), so we were at Wells next the Sea in plenty of time for lunch.   From memory I’d thought the whole town was nearer the beach, but there’s a long walk from the town to the beach, so given it was starting to drizzle we decided to park up by the beach.

As with everywhere in Norfolk, parking is expensive especially when you don’t know how long you’re going to be staying.  I hate ending up overpaying which is what we did a lot of on holiday.

beach hut near the Wells cafe

If you’re used to the country set, Joules clothing and really nice cafes, then that’s what you get in the beach café area at Wells.  A beautifully done up beach style café, complete with classy food and nice gifts and spades to buy (no souvenir tat).  And a Joules shop opposite on the decking. Despite the weather the café was busy, although we were able to get a table to eat our lunch. Food was fairly simple and no more expensive than you’d spend eating out somewhere.  But it was definitely a nice crowd of people there, not the typical Brits on holiday stereotype you sometimes expect to see.  (Maybe it’s different in school holiday season).

light decor at Wells next the sea cafe

Despite the rain we decided to go and see the beach.  It’s nice to be on sand even in shoes.  We walked out there.  Then returned to the café because we’d forgotten to buy a bucket and spade (which weren’t as expensive as I’d expected). Then back to the beach.

digging on the beach

I just wanted to photograph the pretty beach huts which line the back of the beach.  They’re all on stilts which is pretty unique, and such wonderful colours.

beach huts at Wells next the sea
walking along Wells Next the Sea

The beach was fairly empty, but there were some people paddling.  It would be a wonderful beach in the summer – sweeping sand, shallow waters, the café nearby.

wandering the beach with bucket
ducks on the beach
beach investigations

N did a bit of digging, built a couple of sandcastles then got annoyed he’d lost his knack for them.  A couple of stones and shells collected later, and he decided he needed the toilet.  Why do children wait until you’ve arrived somewhere, instead of going on the 2 occasions we’d been near the toilets!?

boat coming in to Wells next the sea

So our trip to the beach was finished. A fleeting visit as happens so frequently with us.

Maybe next time we’ll stay near Wells to make more of some time on the beach.

Where are your favourite beaches in Norfolk or the rest of the UK? Any recommendations for good body boarding locations for children as well?

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  1. As a orfolk girl I could bore on about the beaches for ages but Holkham is my absolute favourite. Turn left at the end of the parking and walk along behind the dunes for a bit to get to miles of sand that never fill up even in the height of summer. #GetGone

    1. I’ve been to Holkham Hall as a girl but never the beach there. Had been planning this time, but rain put paid to the all in one visit!

  2. We went t Norfolk last year and loved it. We camped near Cromer and also visited Sheringham. It’s such a lovely area. We didn’t get to Wells, that is on the list for next time as it looks beautiful. #CountryKids

  3. I’ve never visited any of the beaches in Norfolk. N looks like he is enjoying himself on the sand. My two always like ice-creams no matter what the weather too! It’s a shame you didn’t have better weather but looks like N had fun even if it was a bit cold 🙂 #countrykids

  4. Norfolk is somewhere I’ve never really considered to visit in the past but it’s had so much good press of late…including this post I’m got to have to take a visit #countrykids

  5. I have never visited Norfolk! You have inspired me though as the beaches look lovely and the fact all the huts are on stilts. Sorry the weather was a little rubbish for tour holiday. I guess an excuse to go back? Xx #Countrykids

  6. My husband and I used to spend the odd weekend in Norfolk, in Sheringham, when we lived in London before we got married. We loved it there, it’s a beautiful part of the country, but having been there in the winter I can attest to the wind on the coast! Love the beach huts 🙂

    1. That’s where we used to stay as children. I remember my mum letting me have a shell suit from the market one year. Classy!

  7. I love that area! North Norfolk is my happy place. Shame about the weather! Our favourite beach from our last trip was Brancaster just down from Wells. We did see body boarders there but I’m not one to comment on whether the place was any good for it!

  8. It’s not a part of the world I know at all but has been on the list of should do, for years. Parking bugs me too, I wish everywhere was pay as you leave, but I guess it’s where these places make there money. Cornwall always bankrupts us #CountryKids

    1. Yes pay as you leave, or card payment or ringo! Although I did seem to break a couple of machines while away because they wouldn’t reset when they didn’t accept my card. Oops

  9. Those beach huts are gorgeous. Kind of epitomise what we think of a traditional British seaside scene.

  10. Shame about the weather not being on your side, but rough seas and wind can be fascinating to watch and enjoyed too. Glad you both had a lovely icecream. The area is indeed very beautiful and the beaches expansive #countrykidsfun

  11. It looks like the weather was rubbish but it doesn’t look like it spoiled your fun! You at least got to play on the beach which is the best fun!
    Those beach huts are so pretty! #CountryKids

  12. Love those beach huts! Such a shame the weather let you down a bit. If you’re looking for bodyboarding beaches, I’d recommend Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight (in fact id recommend the Isle of Wight for any type of beach) and of course Cornwall (Widemouth Bay, Bude or Newquay). Thanks for sharing #countrykids

  13. I remember a trip to Cromer once years ago, it was freezing then too and that was in summer. I think we only stayed a couple of nights. total respect for you eating ice creams in the cold, that’s hard core! Always a relief when buying a bucket and spade doesn’t break the bank and the beach huts do look pretty. I hope you manage a warmer return trip and find somewhere closer to stay. As for a good body boarding beach that has to be the beaches round us in north Cornwall.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. Cornwall just seems so far away, although I do want to get down there at some point with N. One of the counties I’ve not been to (since I was 3!)

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