The Beach Guide

Wells / Holkham Beach (Holkham beach)

Wells / Holkham Beach - Norfolk


Holkham beach is a widely recognised as being one of the finest beaches in Norfolk, if not England. The beach itself is a vast expanse of unspoilt golden sand which seem to stretch on for ever. In fact it can be a fair stroll to the water's edge at low tide.

Even in the summer you will be able to find a peaceful spot at Holkham; in the winter you can usually find a bit of solitude should you desire.

Over recent years there has been some controversy about Holkham's status as a naturist beach. There was a ban on nudity a while back but this was lifted after British Naturism threatened legal action. However, there is still a nudist ban in the sand dunes behind the beach.

The wild beauty of the beach has not been missed by the film industry. Perhaps best known as the location used in the final scenes of "Shakespeare in Love" with Gwyneth Paltrow walking across a low tide, Holkham as appeared in several other productions. These include "The Eagle Has Landed", "The Avengers" and the 2008 TV series, "Kingdom".

Holkham is also a haven for nature with the beach backing onto windswept dunes, salt marshes and the Holkham Pines, a large belt of pine trees. All these form a number of habitats for rare animals and plants which are managed by Natural England and the Holkham Estate. This whole area is part of a National Nature Reserve which covers 11 miles of the Norfolk coast.

Also known as:

Holkham beach

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs are banned on certain parts of the beach all year round.

Norfolk dog friendly beaches »


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Facilities

    • Slipway

    Nudist/naturist beach


    Nearest town

    Wells next the Sea


    NR23 1DR

    OS grid ref.

    TF 9044 4596

    Water quality

    Water quality star rating


    Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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