These 6 Norfolk beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag for 2022

Cromer beach and Cromer Pier are magnets for beach lovers

Families love the beach at Cromer, with its famous pier in the background - Credit: Archant

Norfolk has miles of beautiful beaches along its coastline but only the crème de la crème can fly the famed Blue Flag. 

We have six of these top beaches in the county. Blue Flag quality is usually thought to just refer to the quality of the water, but it also covers other key areas including: 

Safety and Services: Beaches should be patrolled by lifeguards, be accessible and also have facilities like drinking water.   

Environmental Management: Beaches should be clean and there must be public toilets. 

Environmental Education and Information: Information on the Blue Flag award itself, with details on water quality. A beach map including locations of facilities must also be displayed. 

Water Quality: No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach. 

If a beach flies the Blue Flag, it’s a pretty safe bet for a good day out for everyone. Here are our super six! 

Cromer Beach is a fun spot on a summer day

Cromer Beach is a fun spot on a summer day - Credit: Denise Bradley

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Cromer’s broad sand and shingle beach, which is in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is popular with swimmers, surfers, watersports fans, anglers and rock-poolers. 

The landmark pier houses the town’s famous lifeboat and the Pavilion Theatre, which hosts one of the last remaining end-of-the-pier shows in the country. 

Parking is available at the top of the cliffs, and there are lots of facilities with toilets, shops, food stands and a slipway and a lift to the beach.  

People enjoying the sunshine at East Runton beach with Cromer Pier in the distance

People enjoying the sunshine at East Runton beach with Cromer Pier in the distance - Credit: Archant

East Runton 

A couple of miles west of Cromer, East Runton is a long, sandy beach backed by sandstone cliffs which draw geologists and fossil hunters because the coast here is home to the largest chalk reef in Europe and a wealth of fossils can be unearthed in the cliff face. 

With a seasonal lifeguard service and plenty of rock-pools to explore, the beach is popular with families and is also a magnet for surfers. 

West Runton beach, the place where the West Runton elephant bone was found in 1990

West Runton beach, with lots of space to spread out! - Credit: Archant

West Runton 

West Runton is a shingly beach backed by cliffs. When the tide goes out a large expanse of fine sand and rockpools are revealed and the cliffs are a host of fossils including the now famous West Runton elephant, the most complete example of a fossilized steppe mammoth skeleton ever found. 

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) West Runton is home to the largest chalk reef in Europe which makes it popular with divers as well as surfers. In terms of facilities there are toilets and the Seaview Beach Cafe. 

Locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine on Sheringham beach. Picture: Danielle Booden

Locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine on Sheringham beach - Credit: Danielle Booden


The ‘Gem of the North Norfolk Coast’, Sheringham beach is a mix of sand, shingle and larger stones. At low tide there is plenty of golden sand and rock pools. 

A promenade which runs along the top of the seawall defences, and the town has all the facilities you could need.  There are public toilets and showers and beach huts are available for hire. Dogs are limited to the dog-friendly zone from May to September.  

Lifeguards operate during the summer months. Sheringham is a seaside town with a fishing industry based on crabs, lobsters and whelks, all available to buy. 

Mundesley Beach with Bacton in the distance.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Mundesley Beach with Bacton in the distance. Plenty of room for everyone! - Credit: Archant


To the east of Cromer is Mundesley beach, a long and sandy strand with safe swimming at low tide and plenty of amenities and car parking. 

It has an attractive promenade lined with colourful beach huts and even boasts the smallest maritime museum in the world! It has a striking memorial to the bomb disposal teams that cleared the Norfolk coast of landmines after the Second World War. 

Lifeguards patrol the beach in summer and it is accessible via steps. There is a limit on dog access though, with pets restricted to a dog-friendly area from May to September. 

People enjoying the hot weather on Sea Palling beach. Picture: Danielle Booden

People enjoying the hot weather on Sea Palling beach - Credit: Danielle Booden

Sea Palling 

Located on the north-east coast between Cromer and Great Yarmouth, Sea Palling has a lovely sandy beach. With a belt of sand dunes behind.  

Lifeguards are on patrol in the peak summer season of this beach, which is rarely overcrowded and perfect for families looking to build sandcastles, go swimming, play ball games or launch small boats from the ramp. 

Facilities include a large car park, toilets, a pub, cafés, amusements and a fresh fish stall.