The beach that rewards good timing

Description

Allegedly there is a sandy beach at Sheringham. Having visited Sheringham numerous times throughout my life, I have yet to see more than the merest hint of sand peeking out from beneath the pebbles. But photographs do exist of the sand in question, and unless they’re the product of some sophisticated CGI work, I must accept that Sheringham does indeed possess a sandy beach.

If you wish to enjoy the elusive sandy reaches of Sheringham Beach it is necessary to pay close attention to the tides. For at least half of the time between tidal extremes, only the rocks and pebbles along the base of the promenade are visible. The shallow sandy beach makes its fleeting appearance in the 2 hours or so either side of low tide.

The beach is clean, regularly winning awards, and there is a tidy promenade that runs 1.1km (0.7mi) along the seafront. Dogs are not permitted on the central section of beach during summer, and must be kept on a lead when walked on the promenade itself.

A series of substantial timber and stone groynes dissect the beach, offering protection from longshore erosion, but their presence makes it necessary to climb back up to the promenade if you wish to go from one end of the beach to the other.

At the east end of the prom you’ll find a long row of colourful beach huts, while the RNLI Lifeboat House marks the western end. In between there are cafés, ice cream kiosks and public toilets. About half way along is Sheringham Museum, containing an impressive boat hall and various galleries telling the story of the town and its agricultural and maritime history.

Up above the western end of the prom the manicured Leas clifftop gardens provide a calm and genteel setting to take in the views, with well-protected seating to escape the wind. An impressive raised model boating lake provides a opportunity to test your sailing skills in miniature.

Sheringham is a large seaside town with all the shops and facilities you’d expect, with the main high street just a short stroll from the beach. One of the town’s major visitor attractions is the North Norfolk Railway, a heritage steam train which runs from Sheringham to Holt via Weybourne and Kelling. The Poppy Line passes through some of Norfolk’s most enchanting countryside and the return trip takes a little over an hour.

Sheringham is a place of extremes – bursting with visitors in summer, abandoned in winter; a binary beach that’s there one minute and gone the next; and a seafront of colourful beach huts atop grey concrete and stone below, hard and unyielding against the drifting sands and restless waves.

Car Parking

North Norfolk District Council operate four public car parks in Sheringham. The three closest to the beach are Chequers, Morris Street and Cliff Road.

LocationPostcodeTariffSpacesSurfaceToilets
ChequersNR26 8BQResort26TarmacNo
Morris StreetNR26 8JYResort115TarmacNo
Cliff RoadNR26 8BJCoastal94TarmacNo
Station ApproachNR26 8RGCoastal294TarmacClose by

Car parks are open 24 hours-a-day and are free from 6pm to 8am.

Parking charges apply from 8am to 6pm, and vary according to car park designation.

Tariff8am to 6pm24hrs
Resort£1.30 for first hour then £1 per additional hour£7
Coastal£1.50 per hour£7

For more information see the NNDC website.

Bus Services

Sheringham is served by the Coasthopper.

Nearest drop-off: Station Approach Bus Station.

Distance: 0.5km (0.3mi)

More info: Visiting By Bus,  www.sanderscoaches.com

Facilities

A busy seaside town, Sheringham has a wide selection of pubs, cafés, restaurants and other shops close by the beach.

There are three council-operated public toilets in Sheringham town.

LocationDisabled FacilitiesBaby Change FacilitiesOpening Times
East Promenade NR26 8BHYesYesAll year: Daily (locked at 8pm)
High Street NR26 8JPYesYesNovember – Mid March: Daily (locked at 5pm); Mid March – October: Daily (locked at 8pm)
West Promenade NR26 8BHYesYesNovember – Mid March: Daily (locked at 5pm); Mid March – October: Daily (locked at 8pm)

Dog Restrictions

Between between 1 May and 30 September there are restrictions for dog-walking on Sheringham Beach and the promenade.

On the main beach between the Lifeboat Station to the west and the start of the beach huts to the east, dogs are not permitted.

On the promenade dogs must be walked on a lead of no more than 1.8 metres.

There are no restrictions from October to April.

More information: Sheringham Town Council

Lifeguards

Sheringham Beach is patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards from 10am – 6pm from July to September.

There are two Lifeguard Stations, one each on Sheringham East Beach and Sheringham West Beach.

Composition

Pebbles and sand

Statistics

Length 2.9km (1.8mi)

Key Features

  Pay and display
  Bus station 0.5km (0.3mi)
  Restrictions from May – September
  Public toilets on promenade
  Slopes along promenade and to beach
  Cafés and coffee shops 50m
  Pubs and restaurants 50m
  Town centre shopping 50m
  RNLI Lifeguards patrol July – September

Photo Gallery