Walking on the beach at Holkham National Nature Reserve

The Beach

Beach Walk

Sand, Sea and Sky

Access to Holkham Beach is via Lady Anne’s Drive on the A149 (opposite The Victoria Inn). It is approximately a mile down Lady Anne’s Drive to Holkham Bay, which, with its endless expanse of beach, offers visitors an opportunity to walk for as many miles as they choose.

For a walk that will take approximately two hours, take the raised walkway down on to the beach and bear to the right. Follow the sands for approximately 2 miles, whereupon you reach the lifeboat station at Wells-next-the-Sea. The view of Wells Harbour and the salt marshes to the right from the sea wall is quite spectacular. The return leg of the walk will offer contrasting scenery by taking the Peddar’s Way and Norfolk Coast Path. Keep the pinewoods on the right and the boating lake and marshes to the left and continue the surfaced path back to the car park at Lady Anne’s Drive.

For a one-mile walk, also suitable for the disabled visitor, turn left at the bottom of Lady Anne’s Drive and follow the hardcore track keeping the pinewoods on your right. You will pass a small saltwater lagoon on your left and after approximately a mile will reach the George Washington Hide. There is access here through to the beach, for the disabled via a boardwalk. Looking across the grazing marshes back towards Holkham Park, you will see the monument rising up amongst the tops of the trees. The return route can be varied by going through the pinewoods and turning right along the beach back to the end of Lady Anne’s Drive.

This one-mile walk can be easily extended to three miles, by continuing along the track past the George Washington Hide. Continue past Meals House until you reach an obvious crossroads with the main track, at a point where the trees start and there is a bird watching hide over to the left. Turn right and follow the track through the pinewoods. This will bring you again to the beach at Holkham Bay. Turn right once more. The return walk along the beach will bring you back to the starting point at Lady Anne’s Drive.

To expand the walk even further, the outward leg of the walk can again be extended. Continue as before along the track between the pinewoods and the grazing marsh to your left until you reach the barrier to the Nature Reserve and Burnham Overy Marshes. Turn right to go through the pinewoods and onto the beach. A total of four miles will have been completed upon return to Lady Anne’s Drive.

Click here to download the route (and an accompanying map) for future reference (PDF).