Beach Cottage, Norfolk (Mundesley)

Things to do and see in and around Mundesley

Set on the North Norfolk heritage coast some 7 miles south of Cromer,  Mundesley is on the edge of a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.  It is an unspoilt cliff-top seaside village with shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.  Perfect for beach holidays, whether you are playing with the kids, walking, watching wildlife, exploring, or just being still!  It is an excellent base from which to explore the Outstanding Natural Beauty of North Norfolk, the Norfolk Broads and the medieval city of Norwich.

Here's a quick A-Z guide of things you might want to do:

Beach
Over a number of years Mundesley has won the Blue Flag recognition for its excellent water quality standards. The wide, clean, sandy and seemingly endless beach provides hours of free entertainment, sheltered from any off-shore winds by the cliff behind.  Lifeguards, who are on duty in the peak season (when the red and yellow flag flies) provide us all with the reassurance that we often take for granted.  When you are not playing in the sea, you can search for fossils, left behind with the tide; fly your kite or watch the occasional parachutist fly alongside the cliff top behind you.  Access to this beautiful beach is less than a minute’s walk from Beach Cottage, down a fairly steep ramp that goes behind the brightly coloured beach huts.  

"I've rediscovered the joys of fossil hunting.  I really am
turning into my Dad" (Mr B, London)
 

Boating
10 miles away is Wroxham, the heart of the Norfolk Broads.  Here you can hire boats by the day or go on an organised trip, to appreciate the countryside from the water.  There are miles and miles of waterways and wildlife to explore here.   Try Richardson's Boating Holidays in Stalham. 

See also, Norfolk Fishing Trips and Charter, under Fishing

Bird watching
The coastal reserves of Snettisham, Titchwell, Holme & Scolt Head Island are all within easy reach of Mundesley.   Cley, Salthouse & Blakeney are nearby, as are the inland attractions of Sculthorpe Moor, Syderstone Common and Pensthorpe.   And of course the Norfolk Broads is rich in bird and wild life.  See the Birds of Britain website and the RSPB for more information.

Cycling
There are places to hire bikes, and check here for Cycle Routes. Or try cycling on the Bure Valley Path.

Dogs - are allowed on the beach but the Dogs on Leads, Beaches Order (2007) is in operation between 1st May and 30 September.  This just means you have to walk a little further - away from the children and ice cream shop! - to get to the perfect dog-welcoming spot.  Please scoop your poops!   Check this, for rules relating to other local beaches.  Mundesley is very dog friendly, with many cafes and pubs allowing well behaved dogs (on leads).

Exploring the coast
The famous North Norfolk coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is within easy reach of Mundesley.  Here are the stunning beaches of Wells-next-the-Sea, Brancaster and Holkham close to Holkham Hall, to name a few. 

Holkham Beach is listed in the Guardian's "Top 10 category: beaches that make Britain look like the Caribbean (with added chill factor)".  Matthew McCracken, writes "With a foreshore that's at least half a mile wide, this [Holkham] is a beach on an awesome, elemental scale. It plays havoc with your senses: on an overcast day it's hard to distinguish between sand, sea and sky. Brooding, windswept and other-worldly, it's the sort of place where you could shoot a Joy Division album cover. The beach is part of Holkham national nature reserve - a diverse landscape of dunes, marshes and pine woods."  Definately worth a visit."

It is at Holkham you can find one of many North-Norfolk Gastro pubs, The Victoria.  The villages and towns you pass through offer many eating opportunities: pubs, restaurants and countless foodie-heaven delicatessens – all  surrounded by the beautiful countryside of North Norfolk.  Go and see for yourself: Holt, Cley-next-the-Sea, Blakeney, Stiffkey and the Burnhams further inland. 

"Try Cookies at Salthouse, near Sheringham.  You can buy
all sorts of fresh and smoked fish.  You can also take a bottle
of wine and eat outside (overlooking the Salt Marshes) from
a fishy menu" (JT, Cambridge)


There are also the lively seaside towns of Sheringham and Cromer with shops, pubs and restaurants, amusements, watersports, sea-trips and live end of pier entertainment. South, you will find Happisburgh (famous for the dramatic coastal erosion that is taking place there) where there is a nice pub, a church and a great red and white striped lighthouse.

"I awoke to blue skies and headed north, following the B1159 –
Norfolk’s version of the Pacific Coast Highway – to Cromer.
The golden sands run unbroken behind a wall of dunes, a slice
of the Skeleton Coast transplanted to the North Sea and studded
with old-fashioned family favourites including Sea Palling –
thanks to reader Alice Weatherly for the tip-off – with its
Caribbean ambience, Happisburgh (say “Hazeborough” to fit in
with the locals), Bacton and lovely Mundesley, where it’s hard to
believe that 16 trainloads of the bucket-and-spade brigade would
arrive daily in its Edwardian heyday.
  The railway has long gone
but the gentle charm remains, and the crab sandwiches from the
lobster shack in the car park are reason enough to visit.

Chris Haslam, Camper Van Man, Times On Line (July 08)



From Happisburgh, you go onto Sea Palling.  Here you can hire jet skis and other noisy beach toys.  Just a little bit further is Waxham, with its beautifully restored barn.  There is lovely tea shop in the barn, providing home-made cakes and (to make life easy for you) picnic boxes to take to the beach.  Waxham beach is beautiful, backed by sand dunes which are great fun to explore.  Still further south you get to Horsey (with its famous Windpump), Winterton and finally Great Yarmouth.  The latter is a very commercial seaside town with a fun fair, amusement arcades, fast food shops and lots of things to do. 

"Went to Cromer.  I didn't like it because Mum didn't buy me
anything and we had ice-cream, not cake" (Master W, Norfolk)


You don't need a car to explore the coast - click here for more information about
buses/trains that get you to some spectacular places. 


Heritage
You are in Griffon Country.  Discover the History of the area and the interesting people (eg. Nelson) that have lived here.

Horses

There are lots of opportunities for horse riding in Norfolk. Click here for more information.   Closest to Beach Cottage (5 mins drive) is Bridge Farm Riding Stables on Windmill Road, Gimingham.  They can be contacted on 01263 720028. There is also Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the nearest Visitor's Centre being at Caldecott (south west of Great Yarmouth).  They can be contacted on 0870 040 0033.  A pdf map can be downloaded from their website.  You might also want to visit the The Norfolk Shire Horse Centre: "The object of this centre is to bring together a collection of different breeds of draft horses. Some originated in this country and some are European breeds. The shire horses are complemented with a number of breeds of ponies which are native to the UK, and some have foals which are also on display. We think we have created a unique collection."  West Runton Riding Stables are also based here, where you can arrange horse riding lessons.  Check this site for Bridle Routes.

Festivals
Organisers of the multitude of popular festivals held in North Norfolk each year have once again got together to produce a website to promote all their events and activities planned for the spring and summer ahead.  See www.northnorfolkfestivals.org or pick up a leaflet from a local tourist information centre.

Fishing
As we are within walking distance to the beach, good catches can be had of codling and sea bass.  Bait is available locally and also in Sheringham and Cromer.  We would recommend Bright's in Sheringham: "We offer a very friendly service with full backup information on all local sea fishing and coarse fishing within a 25-mile radius of us. We are suppliers of all types of fishing tackle and offer great prices for match fishing, coarse fishing and sea fishing equipment. We are located in Sheringham, Norfolk, UK a vibrant seaside town where sea fishing is a true tradition."  They can be contacted by email or on 01263 825858

You may want to go further than the beach, in which case try Norfolk Fishing Trips & Charter.  They are based in Thornham and offer great days out on their boat, Katie Louise, a brand new 12 metre luxury catamaran.  Skipper and chef Adam Wright know these waters well and will take you to prime fishing spots. If fishing is not your cup of tea then take a tour of the coastline with Adam as your guide.  Telephone (bookings only please): 01485 517610. For general enquiries etc please email them.

There are lots of opportunities for horse riding in Norfolk. Click here for more information.   Closest to Beach Cottage (5 mins drive) is Bridge Farm Riding Stables on Windmill Road, Gimingham.  They can be contacted on 01263 720028.
There is also Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the nearest Visitor's Centre being at Caldecott (south west of Great Yarmouth).  They can be contacted on 0870 040 0033.  A pdf map can be downloaded from their website.  You might also want to visit the The Norfolk Shire Horse Centre: "The object of this centre is to bring together a collection of different breeds of draft horses. Some originated in this country and some are European breeds. The shire horses are complemented with a number of breeds of ponies which are native to the UK, and some have foals which are also on display. We think we have created a unique collection."  West Runton Riding Stables are also based here, where you can arrange horse riding lessons.

Motorbikes
Try North Walsham Motorcycle Museum, Station Approach, Norwich Rd, North Walsham. NR28 0DS. Tel. 01692 406266

Museums and other places of interest
The Bridewell
Discover how Norwich found fame and fortune producing mustard, shoes, textiles, chocolate and beer. The building was once a prison for women and beggars and is now home to a wonderful collection of historic objects and machinery.
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
The ancient Norman Keep of Norwich Castle dominates the city below. Once a royal palace, the Castle is now the centrepiece of a museum housing one of England's finest regional collections of natural history, art and archeology.
City of Norwich Aviation Museum
Aircraft and memorabilia showing the aviation history of Norfolk. The collection features a massive Vulcan bomber and some of the military and civil aircraft which have flown from Norfolk airfields.
Shirehall Museum
Walsingham Shirehall was built in the early 16th century and was used as a hostel for important visitors to the adjacent Augustinian Priory. It now houses a hands-on museum about Walsingham.
Elizabethan House Museum
The Museum is housed in a sixteenth century building with rooms displayed to reflect the lives of families who have lived there.
Time and Tide Museum
Set in one of the UK's best preserved Victorian herring curing works, Time and Tide takes an exciting journey into the past where you can find out about Great Yarmouth's rich maritime and fishing heritage. You can wander through a typical 'Row' in 1913, experience the heady atmosphere of a 1950's quayside and enjoy hands-on-displays, film shows, free audio guides and children's activities which bring the great story of Great Yarmouth vividly to life.
Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre
The Sea Life Centre brings you closer than ever imagined to a breath taking world of underwater life.
Thursford Collection
Live musical shows during the afternoon featuring the unique collection of mechanical organs and also the Wurlitzer Show starring Robert Wolfe.
Great Yarmouth Racecourse
Situated in East Anglia's premier holiday resort Great Yarmouth Racecourse provides a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, which attracts serious racegoers and holidaymakers alike.
Norwich Cathedral

The splendour and tranquillity of Norwich Cathedral have attracted pilgrims for nearly 1,000 years. For today's visitors the building remains a place for quiet reflection and prayer.
Stow Mill
Situated on Stow Hill at Paston on the coast road near Mundesle. The imposing towermill was built as a flour mill in 1827 and was unusual in that it was designed from the start to look scenic, even to the extent of having dummy windows on each of the upper floors.
Horsey Windpump
Horsey is a restored drainage windpump that affords striking views across Horsey Mere.

National Trust Homes and Gardens
Felbrigg Hall is within North Norfolk's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and stands in its own 1,750 acre estate. It is one of the finest seventeenth century houses in the country.  
Blickling Hall is one of the greatest houses in East Anglia. The house dates from the early seventeenth century and has fine collections of furniture, pictures and tapestries.
Sheringham Park was designed in 1812 by Humphry Repton, the great landscape designer.  Repton himself said it is 'my most favourite work'.

Play (indoor) for Children
The Elephant Play Barn is a converted barn filled with plastic balls and other soft play items especially for very young children.  A perfect place for a rainy day.

Play (outdoor) for Children  There is a lovely local park with swings, slides, zip wire and hanging baskets about 2 minutes walk from Beach Cottage.  The park sits alongside a fantastic green space where you can play football, cricket, fly kites or just run around.  Further afield I would recommend Bewilderwood: "A huge forest of wild family fun and adventure!  Treehouses, zipwires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, boat trips, marsh walks and great yummy food!"  Wroxham Barns is another lovely place - a place where everyone can be happy.  Ian Russell, owner, says "we pride ourselves on being the ‘must visit’ for ALL the family. There are craft studios and superb shopping facilities for the grown-ups, while the youngsters will love our Junior Farm and Children’s Funfair. We are constantly updating and extending the activities on offer so there is always something fresh to see and do."

Shopping - local and further afield
Mundesley village, two minutes walk from Beach Cottage, has a good range of shops supplying everything you might need.  This includes an excellent butchers/delicatessen; a greengrocer, which provides beautifully fresh produce; a Post Office and newsagents; a couple of grocery shops including the local Spar, which is open early to late all year round.  There is also a pharmacy, which can dispense your prescriptions.  Fresh fish and the famous Cromer Crab are available from the Lobster Pot van that visits the car-park opposite Beach Cottage and the Butchers carpark on most 'in season' days.  There are also tea-rooms, restaurants and public houses, as well as a fish and chip shop which draws in people from miles around.  There are also a couple of takeaways (Chinese/Thai and Kebabs) Please support the thriving community of Mundesley and shop local where you can.  (It is in North Walsham that you will find the nearest supermarket, if you need supplies not covered by Mundesley itself.)  The village also has a library, with internet access, and a church (which welcomes all to their services).

"Very quiet and relaxing – people so friendly in the village"
(Mrs H, Norfolk)

"The easily accessible village facilities are beyond adequate"
(Mrs C, Cambridge)

The city of Norwich, 30 minutes drive away, is a beautiful medieval city with a cathedral and castle.  It has excellent shops, with most of the big names featuring.  The North Norfolk coast has a host of small shops selling exclusive artwork, ceramics and other high quality crafts.  There are also lots of specialist delicatessens selling scrumptious, high quality foods.

On the North Walsham road (heading towards Norwich) you will find the Beeston St Andrew HFG Farm shop, which sells a huge array of locally sourced produce.  Well worth a visit!

Steam Railways
The Bure Valley Steam Railway provides an 18 mile round trip enjoying Norfolk's most unspoilt countryside, whilst North Norfolk Railway's Poppy Line provides a lovely day out as the small vintage steam train meanders through the beautiful North Norfolk countryside. 

Surfing
"Those who live outside Norfolk may not associate the county with surfing - so it could come as a surprise to find people trotting about on the beaches in their wetsuits", writes Paul Kirby (bbc.co.uk/norfolk/sport).  "Mundesley has a good beach break, which works on mid tides and picks up most swells.  Also close by, is a good beach break that picks up as much swell as anywhere else in East Anglia.  In the right conditions, it can produce a heavy barrelling wave."  For more information try www.eastcoastsurf.co.uk

Swimming
"Head past the promenade fringed with colourful huts to this long stretch of sandy Blue Flag beach. When the tide is out, there is a perfect flat bed of sand and water for paddling, plus tidal pools, while the beachside cafe is a fine spot for reading the papers over breakfast. You get to the beach via walkways down from the cliffs, and there are pretty clifftop gardens up there once you've finished your dip." Paul Gogarty, The Guardian, Saturday July 14, 2007.  See Tides below.

Tides

For information about what the tides will be doing (and sea temperatures etc), please click here.

Walking
There are a multitude of circular walks, some taking advantage of the 'Quiet Lanes' scheme within with Mundesley is located.  Enquire at the Tourist Information Office for more details. Six miles south-west from Mundesley you will find the market town of North Walsham - with the Weaver's Way footpath running through it.  In fact, there are many long distance paths in the area.   Other walks you might want to try: Cromer to North Walsham (via Mundesley)   Overstrand  Salhouse   Southrepps  Sea Palling to Mundesley  Sheringham  or one of Norfolk's many Health, Heritage and Biodiversity walks

"Blissful weather, breakfast in the garden everyday, fresh fish
from the fish man, fabulous walks.  A really good break.  Don't
want to leave!" (SK, Norfolk)


Wildlife
The Seal Colony at Blakeney is another good day out, particularly as the seals from here can often be seen from The Lookout at Beach Cottage. We recommend you telephone Beans Boat Trips on 01263 740505 or 01263 740038 to arrange a trip to see them.  They offer a guarantee - if you don't see any seals, you'll get your money back. 

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust can offer plenty of natural habitats to explore, and the Ted Ellis Trust, home of the famous Norfolk naturalist is another place worthy of a visit. 

"We've seen seals, watched the kestrel hunting, had a
torrential storm" (SI, Norfolk)

Other useful links:

Mundesley Tourist Information Centre