Great Yarmouth’s pristine beaches are part of why the town has been a mecca for holidaymakers for decades. Most of the action takes place near and on the sand – foodies seeking English seafood and good old fish and chips are regulars at the shoreline eateries. Theatregoers on the hunt for cabaret shows and circus nights have long flocked to the town's piers and promenades.

    Stitching the whole town and all its delights together is one fantastic beachfront, which runs south to remoter sands and north to protected birding areas with dunes and forests. This list runs through the crème-de-la-crème of Great Yarmouth's beaches, so you'll never be short of sand and sea to supplement your good-time vibes.

    1

    Central Beach

    The epicentre of Great Yarmouth

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    Central Beach is sandwiched between 2 lively entertainment hubs, namely Britannia Pier and Wellington Pier. It runs through the heart of Great Yarmouth, which means it's usually only a short stroll from your B&B to the cinnamon-coloured sands.

    Folk don't typically come here to simply laze around, because this long dash of shoreline is the energy hub of the whole resort. It's fringed by a buzzy promenade where casino halls and arcades but up to the whirring rollercoasters and bumper cars of Pleasure Beach. Along the way, you've got theatre houses on the piers, chip stands, and cafés to get through.

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    2

    North Beach

    Something a little quieter close to Great Yarmouth town

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    North Beach squiggles its way – as you might expect – northwards from the hubbub of Britannia Pier. As it snakes along the Norfolk coast away from the bustle of the main resort, it gets progressively quieter and emptier, eventually turning into a patchwork of yellow sands backed by dunes and clusters of sea oats.

    For seclusion, you'll want to head up to the North Dene Dunes. For a little more infrastructure, good places to park, and a few low-key beach cafés, the part of North Beach that's closest to the city centre is always a good option. Birdwatchers tend to love this one, mainly for the RSBP reserve where migratory terns come to meet in spring.

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    3

    Power Station Beach

    A beach to dodge the crowds

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    Power Station Beach is aptly named for the large industrial complex that looms over the sands. Running southwards from Great Yarmouth, it's something of a hidden gem that doesn't get the same crowds as its neighbours further north.

    If you don't mind lazing in the shadow of a brick chimney, this one offers miles of sand to unfurl the towel and soak up some summer rays. It's also a favourite spot for local windsurfers and surfers, who come to seek out waves and swells without having to watch out for swimmers. Seabirds are in abundance, too, so keep the eyes peeled for gannets and gulls.

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    foto dari Keith Evans (CC BY-SA 2.0) dimodifikasi

    4

    South Denes Beach

    Lots of space and ships to keep you entertained

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    South Denes Beach is about as far south as you can go from Great Yarmouth before having to hop over the mouth of the River Yare. It caps off the popular S Beach Parade at its very tip, meaning you'll need to drive around 10 minutes from the main piers to arrive.

    The trip might just be worth it if you're keen to escape the crowds that cluster on Central Beach and elsewhere during the height of the Norfolk summertime. The beach bodies really thin out this far away from the resort, leaving lots of room for sandcastle building and swimming. An industrial backdrop adds some down-to-earth charm, while the steady stream of tankers drifting in and out of port makes for intriguing viewing.

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    5

    Gorleston-on-Sea Beach

    Splash in the sea and get sandy

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    Gorleston-on-Sea Beach could just be Great Yarmouth writ small, fronting a humble resort town that's about 15 minutes' drive down the A47. Don't worry though – you'll still get to enjoy a hodgepodge of classic English seaside draws, from crazy golf to boules to picnicking by the shore.

    The sand is soft and yellow and powdery, while the North Sea comes in with a few light waves. It’s a fine place to swim during the calmer months, especially with those summertime lifeguard patrols. For romantic dune walks and places to let the dog off the lead, head further south from Gorleston-on-Sea town itself.

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    6

    Caister-on-Sea Beach

    Golden dunes against waves and wind farms

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    Caister-on-Sea Beach is known for its soft, gold-tinged sands and backing of undulating dunes, dressed in tough seagrasses and thistles. It's where the town's residents will often escape to for their R&R in the summertime, mainly because it's a mere 10 minutes’ drive away but far more spacious and serene.

    Caister-on-Sea Beach is one of the local secrets of Great Yarmouth. Out front, you might just be able to spy out the silhouettes of the spinning windmills in the Scroby Windfarm. During winter, local Norfolk surfers often come down with their boards in tow to catch the wild storm swells on the North Sea.

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    7

    Horsey Beach

    An East Norfolk coast with seals and seabirds aplenty

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    Horsey Beach is every inch the quintessential East Norfolk stretch of coastline. Bashed by the frothing waves of the North Sea and punctuated by boulder groynes and seawalls, it stretches from Winterton-on-Sea to Waxham across an area that many consider as the prettiest part of the ocean-side Broads. 

    High and blustery dunes are the backdrop, while barren lengths of sand roll to the north and south, sometimes without a single soul in sight. Wildlife lovers are sure to be entertained by the mix of gannets and seals, which often make an appearance amid Horsey's rocky outcrops and tide pools.

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    8

    Wells-next-the-Sea Beach

    A handsome beachfront by a timeless village

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    Wells-next-the-Sea Beach is up there with the most lauded beaches in the county of Norfolk. It's not exactly close to Great Yarmouth, being around 1.5 hours' drive to the northwest. However, the journey can be a real adventure, whisking you through the medieval city of Norwich and historic yarn towns that date back centuries.

    When you arrive, look forward to a truly charming length of shoreline. It's peppered with multi-coloured Victorian changing boxes. The beach offers sweeping views of saltwater rolling into The Wash. Make a pitstop at Wells-next-the-Sea itself – the town is packed with lovely boutiques and cafés.

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    9

    Holkham Beach

    Mother Nature within striking distance of Great Yarmouth

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    Holkham Beach is, by all accounts, one of the finest Norfolk has to offer. It stretches westwards from the quaint holiday town of Wells-next-the-Sea, which makes it a pretty drive of just under 1.5 hours from Great Yarmouth through the heart of the county. There, it widens against the North Sea into a vast swathe of honey-coloured sand that's fantastic for walkers and sunbathers alike.

    The backdrop to Holkham is wilder than much of the built-up east coast of Norfolk. Instead of fairgrounds and chip stands, this one's all about untouched pine forests and sweeping dunes. Come to hike the coast, join the regular groups of horse riders, or take a swim between the sea oats and estuaries.  

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    10

    Waxham Beach

    Escape to Norfolk's lesser-known coastal corners

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    Waxham Beach marks the northern end of the Norfolk Broads and the point where the county's coastline begins to bend westwards into The Wash. It's easy to reach from the promenades of Great Yarmouth – simply hop in the car and drive north for about 30 minutes. Simple.

    A part of the famed Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the sands of Waxham Beach are splendid to behold. They come hemmed in by rows of high sandhills and pockets of seagrass tussock, dotted with the occasional large boulder. However, this one remains something of an unknown corner of the Norfolk strand, which means fewer people and time to meditate alone if that's what you're after. 

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    Joseph Francis | Penulis yang Berkontribusi

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