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Exploring the Norfolk Coast: Helping You Visit Safely and Sustainably

The Norfolk Coast AONB has always held a strong attraction for visitors due to the character and charm of its landscapes and settlements, its beaches and its wildlife, as well as its qualities of tranquillity, remoteness and wilderness.

Historical and cultural features such as the castle at Castle Rising, Sandringham House, Holkham Hall, Blakeney Guildhall, Binham Priory, Felbrigg Hall and the North Norfolk Railway are significant attractions. So too is a reputation for high-quality local produce and places to eat, as well as a vibrant art scene.

Parts of the Area, particularly to the west, are heavily used for a wide range of recreational activities by both local people and those who live within easy travelling distance, as well as by visitors from further away, either on day trips or longer stays.

The Area is also popular for informal activities such as short walks, dog walking, cycling, browsing in local shops and scenic drives. The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trails and the new sections of the England Coast Path provide key coastal access routes, with other regional and local trails providing further opportunities for walking.

The Norfolk Coast Cycleway runs through the Area, forming part of the Sustrans National Route 1 and Regional Route 30, and has numerous associated loops and links. Recreational uses of the marine environment are especially important and well established, in particular sailing, but also other forms of boating, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, sea angling and kite-based activities such as kite-buggying, kite-surfing or kite-jumping.

The pages in this section of our website are all designed to help you plan your visit to the Norfolk Coast. Explore them to make sure you visit sustainably and safely.

Keep reading to find out our top tips for visiting sustainably, our objectives for recreation, and some key locations to visit.

Read the Coastal Code and download a poster >

Visit Sustainably – Keep the Norfolk Coast Special

There’s plenty to do on the Norfolk coast, from birdwatching to golf, history and heritage, galleries and craft shops aplenty, estates and nature reserves, walking and cycling and, of course, many places to take on refreshments and watch the world go by – and with the Coasthopper bus service you can forget about problems of driving and parking.

Here are just a few ways you can ensure your visit to the Norfolk Coast is sustainable and respectful:

Leave the car behind

Public transport, cycling and walking are ideal ways to explore the area. They reduce congestion – and they’re fun too!

In north-east Norfolk the Quiet Lanes is a Pilot Project to make country lanes more attractive for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Or why not enjoy a boat trip? There are many opportunities to get out around the coast, from canoeing and sailing to seal boat trips viewing one of the famed Wash and Norfolk Coast seal colonies.

Respect wildlife

Natural England publish a Countryside Code, which gives common-sense advice on how to behave in the countryside.

Keep to paths and use the beach below high water mark. Avoid the dunes and shingle nesting areas. This leaves birds and fragile plants in peace.

Keep dogs under control, preferably on a lead, to avoid disturbance to nesting and visiting birds.

Use local products

This helps support local services and the local economy, reduces food miles and removes congestion from our roads. Our Local Products page provides a selection of producers and users across the area.

Give your support

Support organisations which look after the area. Membership, donations, supporting events and volunteering can all help conservation bodies and local societies.

Getting Close to Nature – Some Locations To Visit

Birdwatching

The Norfolk Coast is blessed with a large number of managed reserves, country estates and parks which are open to the public. With such a diverse range of opportunities the locations mentioned on this site offer a taster.

Visit the Active Map and select the ‘Nature Focus’ category to find some great places to visit >
Check out the events section for some of the activities on offer during the year. >

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