Expand your horizons in magnificent Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells is famous for its vast, expansive beach and colourful beach huts. There are few better places to unwind, spread out and enjoy the sea air. Go running with the dogs, fly a kite, build sandcastles, play a game of beach cricket, or just kick off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes and have fun paddling around in the surf.

Photos: Wells Lifeboat: © Dave Hitchborne (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Who Owns Wells Beach?

The beach at Wells-next-the-Sea is part of the Holkham Estate.

Please contact the Estate Office directly for any enquiries or comments regarding the beach and its environs.

For further details visit Holkham Estate Beach Information.

Beach Access

Wells beach is located approximately one mile from the town. You can walk there, drive and park, or during the summer, take the miniature railway. The beach walk is wheelchair friendly and has ramps at both ends.

Beach Road runs from the town to the beach entrance, where you can find the Beach Café and car park. The miniature train has its terminus a few steps away at Pinewoods Holiday Park, which has a well-stocked shop serving the park visitors, and provides activities such as pitch and putt.

A toilet block with shower is located at the entrance to the car park.

  • There are steps to the beach over the dunes from the west end of the car park.
  • Ramps are provided at the east end of the car park and the end of Beach Road.
  • Further access points can be found along the path which runs parallel to the beach  through the pinewoods, incorporating steps rising over the bank and down to the beach.
  • There is no formal disabled access along the beach itself, however a solid footway runs for about 50m westward from the beach access point in front of the Coastwatch lookout.
  • Beach wheelchairs are not provided.
  • Several flights of steps supplement the ramps. All steps have handrails.

Parking at Wells Beach

There is a large car park at the entrance to Wells Beach, run by Holkham Estate. It is located approximately 1 mile from the town centre. For Sat Nav directions use postcode NR23 1DR.

Opening hours are 6am – 9pm.

Parking costs:

Up to 1 hour: £2.00
Up to 2 hours: £3.50
Up to 4 hours: £6.50
Over 4 hours and all day: £9.00

The all day ticket is transferable to Holkham Park during the visitor season, saving £3.00.

A weekly ticket can be purchased for £30.00.

Coaches, caravans and trailers are prohibited and the car park is locked at night with no overnight parking permitted.

For more information visit the Holkham website.

Dogs on Wells Beach

Dogs are allowed on the beach at Wells all year round subject to certain restrictions.

A dog-free zone operates for the first 200 yards of beach from the main entrance so that people can dig in the sand without fear of finding something unpleasant, but there are no restrictions from the pinewoods entrances.

At nesting time areas of the beach are roped off to protect nesting birds and people are asked to keep dogs on leads for the same reason.

Dog should be kept on leads until they get on to the beach. It is your responsibility to keep your dog under close supervision and control and you MUST clean up after your dog and use the dog waste bins provided.

Do's and Don'ts on Wells Beach

  • The use of barbeques, fires, stoves and sky lanterns are prohibited.
  • The use of drones, kite buggies, surf boards, sand yachts and remote control cars/appliances/gadgets are not permitted.
  • Reduce erosion by keeping to paths and established paths.
  • Avoid disturbing birds and other animals. Birds that live on the beach are particularly at risk.
  • Leave wild flowers for others to enjoy.
  • Play and sit on the beach not the dunes.
  • Do not dig in the dunes.
  • Please take your litter home.

Safety on Wells Beach

  • Swimmers should stay within the area marked by yellow buoys to avoid boat traffic.
  • RNLI Lifeguards and Coastwatch volunteers watch the beach from July to September 10am to 6pm daily.
  • First aid is available from the Lifeguards when operating.
  • The beach continues eastward from the main entrance but can be cut off by the tide which comes in very quickly. 
  • Check tide times and be sure to return to the beach-side of the main channel when the warning siren sounds or around four hours before high water.
  • Read the signs and other notices posted at the beach entrance for safety information.
  • If you are – or you see someone – in trouble on or near the sea, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Wells Lifeboat

Wells RNLI lifeboat station is situated at the eastern edge of the beach. It houses an all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat to save lives and assist with emergencies around Wells and off the North Norfolk coast.

Wells Lifeboat crew and helpers are on stand-by 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If required they are summoned by radio pager and will quickly make their way to the boathouse, usually by driving to the end of Beach Road and then running across the beach.

The boathouse is generally open and manned during the week and on Saturday mornings, and visitors are welcome to come in and have a look around. Open evenings are held throughout the summer holidays with the chance to dress up in lifeboat kit and go aboard the lifeboat to look at its equipment.

For more information visit Wells Lifeboat.

Weather and Tide Times

The best time to appreciate and enjoy the vast open spaces of Wells beach is when the tide is out. To check the weather forecast and tide times for the next few days, visit our Weather page.