Expand your horizons in Wells-next-the-Sea
Wells is famous for its vast, sweeping beach and colourful beach huts. There are few better places to relax, unwind and enjoy the sea air. Walk the dogs, fly a kite, build sandcastles, play ball games, birdwatch, or just kick off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes and have fun paddling in the shallows.
Wells beach is located approximately one mile from the town. You can walk there along a a raised path with fabulous views over the marshes. The beach walk is wheelchair friendly and has ramps at both ends.
For those who prefer public transport, the new Wells Beach Bus service runs from the town to the beach via Beach Road.
Or you can drive yourself along Beach Road and park at the Wells Beach car park where you’ll find the Beach Café, a Joules clothing store, toilets & shower facilities and the entrance to the beach.
There is a large car park at the entrance to Wells Beach, run by Holkham Estate. It is located approximately 1 mile due north from the town centre.
For Sat Nav directions use postcode NR23 1DR.
Opening hours are 6am – 9pm.
Up to 2 hours: £3.50
Up to 4 hours: £6.50
Over 4 hours and all day: £10.00
The all day ticket allows free parking on the same day in Holkham Park during the visitor season.
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.
During bank holiday weekends and the peak summer season Wells Beach Car Park often fills to capacity before midday.
In order to prevent cars from driving through town to the car park entrance and being turned away, electric signs have been stationed beside the road in various places indicating if the Wells Beach Car Park is full, or if it still has spaces available.
If you’re heading to the beach and the beach car park is full, you can park at the Wells Town Car Park on Freeman Street and take the Wells Beach Bus to the beach, or walk along the Beach Mile bank.
A short footpath runs from the eastern end of the car park to Harbour Station, the quay, and the start of Beach Mile.
For details on alternative parking in Wells, see the Visiting By Car page.
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.
The section of the beach where dogs not allowed is signposted.
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.
Two out of three people rescued by Wells lifeboat crew in 2020 were walkers cut off by the tide. To stay safe, make sure you return to dry beach sand or the dry land by the marshes 4 hours before high tide. Always carry a means of calling for help, ideally a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.
Look out for local information boards showing the latest daily tide times, or ask a beach warden, car park attendant, or at the Harbour Office or Coastwatch Lookout. You can also download a tide app like Tides Near Me or My Tide Times (App Store / Google Play).
View the RNLI Guide to Water Safety for more information on staying safe by the water in the Wells and Holkham National Nature Reserve areas.
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 manned during working hours on weekdays. Visitors are welcome at the station and are free to pop in when the station is manned but please contact the station in advance for groups or organised visits.
For more information visit Wells Lifeboat.
A new lifeboat station is currently being built, ready for a new Shannon-class, all weather lifeboat. The boat will be named ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ and is expected to arrive in Wells in the Autumn. The new station features an RNLI shop, visitor centre, public viewing areas and training & welfare facilities for the volunteer crews.
Visit the New Boathouse Build for project details and the latest progress.
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.