In common with the other beaches along this stretch of coastline, Heacham North Beach faces west, across The Wash to Lincolnshire. It’s a lovely spot to sit and take the sea air, the west-facing aspect offering some beautiful sunsets.
The entrance to North Beach has a ramp leading up to the concrete promenade that runs alongside the beach. The promenade extends for 4km (2.5mi) all the way to Hunstanton cliffs, at the end of Hunstanton’s Main Beach. The ramp allows easy access for wheelchairs and buggies.
The large Pay and Display car park is off to the right-hand side of the beach entrance, along the North Beach road, separated from the beach by a row of colourful beach huts. There are a number of sandy paths between the huts allowing direct access up to the concrete promenade.
The promenade runs along the topmost part of the sea defences, with long rows of parallel steps leading down to the beach like a giant amphitheatre, with the sea and sky as the star performers. It’s an ideal place to sit and watch the sunset, and shake the sand off and out of your shoes. The wide, smooth promenade surface along the top is well used by joggers, cyclists, buggy-pushers and wheelchair users.
From the beach entrance, Heacham North Beach runs right, towards Hunstanton. If you head left from the entrance you’ll be on Heacham South Beach. The first part of the beach is quite narrow, widening out when you reach the next section of beach with its older, more worn-down sea defenses. Here there’s a small stretch of dunes between the defenses and the beach.
That’s not to say there’s limited space – when the tide goes out there are expanses of hard sand and mudflats sprinkled with stones of various sizes, and old groynes in seaweed and barnacle-encrusted disrepair. Dogs enjoy rummaging around in the mud pools and running on the firm wet sand.
Behind the first section of promenade there’s a long row of beach huts, some old and almost derelict, some newly-built in contemporary modern designs. The names may change, but the puns don’t get any better.
There are plenty of choices when you get hungry or thirsty, with the Silver Sands pub, fish and chips, ice cream and burger bars all close by. A sign by the beach entrance displays tide times and useful information, and there’s a public toilet block just behind.
Heacham North Beach continues the transition from the wild, natural, undeveloped south, to the arcades, raucus funfair and crowds of Hunstanton to the north. Still much quieter than Hunstanton, it’s a great place to bring the dog, to watch the sea and catch the dying rays of light as the sun sets over the Wash.
The car park has 80 spaces, 4 disabled. Open 24 hours.
Price: £2 for 1 hour, £4 for 3 hours, £7 for 24 hours. Reduced off-peak and evening charges.
No parking charges apply between 1 November to 28 February.
Address: North Beach, Heacham PE31 7LJ
More info: west-norfolk.gov.uk
Heacham North Beach can be reached using the 36 Coastliner service. Nearest drop-off: College Drive. Distance: 1.1km (0.7mi)
More info: Visiting By Bus, lynxbus.co.uk
Public toilets and an information board are located at the roundabout by the beach entrance.
Just off the roundabout there’s a Fish and Chip Shop and a cafe/beach shop/amusements block. Another cafe, beach shop, ice cream and burger bar are located on the North Beach road, just off to the right as you face the beach.
A few meters further along North Beach road is the Silver Sands pub, on the right hand side just before the car park.
Dogs are allowed with no restrictions. Heacham North Beach is a lovely beach for dog walking, particularly when the tide is out.
There is no lifeguard service at any time of year.