Holkham Beach, in my humble opinion, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK and along with Brancaster beach is one of my top beaches to visit on the North Norfolk Coast. With endless sand as far as the eye can see, bordered by the sea on one side and dark pine trees on the other, it’s clear to see why Holkham Beach was voted Beach of the Year 2018 by BBC Countryfile readers & judges.
The beach is part of the Holkham estate, which is also includes Holkham Hall and Deer Park, with an extensive calendar of events, shops featuring art and gifts made by local artists and a food hall, making it a lovely place to visit before heading to the beach or just as a destination in itself.
Here are my top 5 reasons for visiting Holkham Beach this Summer:
1. The beauty of Holkham Beach
The first thing that strikes you about Holkham beach is colour. The mix of dark green pine forest and light green grass set against a backdrop or golden sand and crystal clear water.
2. Big Skies and endless sand at Holkham Beach
The second is the sheer vastness and scale of the beach which is breathtaking, with massive skies and endless miles of soft, golden sand. Due to its sheer size, the beach rarely feels crowded.
3.Things to do on Holkham Beach
I’ve spent many, many happy days here on Holkham beach over the past few years. From April to September if the weather is good, we’ll wake up early on a Saturday, drive up to Norfolk from Bedfordshire and spend the day on the beach, only packing up and heading home as the light begins to fade.
This is the perfect beach for not really ‘doing’ anything. It’s a beach made for chilling with a good book, taking a swim or a long walk on a summers day.
If you’re there all day you’ll notice how the beach and sands shift and change shape and colour as the day goes by and tide comes in and out.
And if you get fed up of doing nothing, then there are some lovely coastal walking routes that start and end on the beach. Next time we visit I plan to do the 2 mile walk to Wells-next-the-sea.
4. Dog friendly beach
Holkham Beach is a dog friendly beach, as such, it’s not uncommon to see lots of dogs walkers and if you’re really lucky, horses and their riders taking a dip in the sea.
5. Visitor Centre coming late Summer 2018
On our last visit, there was building work taking place at the top of the car park for a new Visitor Centre that will open late Summer 2018 which will provide lavatories and facilities. I’m in two minds about this development myself. While I can see that providing these facilities will benefit visitors (myself included) I also worry that it will make the beach a much more popular destination and some of the isolated beauty of the place may become lost if it attracts hordes of visitors.
Getting to Holkham Beach
The beach and car park can be accessed via Lady Anne’s Drive. There are currently no toilet facilities on the beach, so we always stop off at the Hall first to use the facilities and stock up on supplies for our beach picnic if we need them.
The car park is pay and display and allows you to pay by credit card which is always a bonus in this day and age where, like me, you probably rarely have actual cash on you. (Or you did have, until buying ice cream to keep the kids quiet became the TOP priority).
Access to the beach is via the raised walkway. We nearly always head right once on the sand. There are a number of dunes here which make for a great place to set up for the day.
I love to stay on the beach until the sun is starting to set and we’re often amongst the last few people on the beach.
Then we’ll head back to the car park and start the journey home, with windswept hair and sand between our toes, already planning our next visit.
Did you know that Holkham Beach features in the closing scene from Shakespeare in Love when Gwyneth Paltrow emerges from the sea and walks across the vast beach? This was Holkham Beach.
Rumour also has it that part of Holkham Beach is / has been a nudist beach. I’ve never actually come across this myself but it’s probably because we tend to stick to the ‘family’ area.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post. If you do visit Holkham Beach this Summer be sure to let me know – I’d love to hear from you.