There’s something gritty and raw and exposed about Titchwell Beach. Some beaches give you a warm, comfy feeling, make you want to kick off your shoes, throw down a blanket and soak up some rays, but not Titchwell. For some unfathomable reason, Titchwell demands to be taken seriously.
Perhaps it’s something to do with the approach. Titchwell Beach is accessed via a public right of way that’s also the main west bank path through the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve. It’s a nature-lover’s and bird watcher’s paradise. Embedded between freshwater and tidal lagoons, reedbeds, woodland and marshes, you find yourself immersed in a landscape that literally teems with wildlife.
Along the way you’ll pass hides with plentiful information on the birds that you can observe, and numerous birders with large, expensive-looking spotting scopes and cameras with impressively long lenses. If your bird identification skills don’t extend much further than being able to differentiate a duck from a pigeon, prepare to feel intimidated.
RSPB Titchwell Marsh has a fairly large visitor centre close to the car park, with a café, shop, information desk and picnic areas. You can take part in guided walks, follow nature trails, even hire binoculars. The path itself is pushchair friendly, although there are no ramps or boardwalks once you reach the dunes and the beach.
The 1.2km (0.8mi) walk from the RSPB car park – free for RSPB members, Pay and Display for everyone else – is the only part of the reserve where dogs are allowed, provided they are kept on a lead. Once you reach the beach there are no restrictions, however areas of the dunes are cordoned off to protect nesting birds, and dogs should be kept under close control.
The first sight that greets you when you arrive at the beach is a large pile of bricks and concrete – the demolished remains of a WWII control tower. Along the dunes to the east are further reminders of Titchwell’s military past, the rusted and eroded remnants of two Covenanter tanks, used for target practice.
The beach is wild and natural, with a variety of shorebirds feeding and resting at the water’s edge. Behind the dunes lie salt marshes and lagoons, in front of them, the sea. You can’t reach any other beach by walking west or east without crossing mudflats and creeks, and apart from the military wreckage and the distant view of Brancaster Golf Club there are few signs of human activity.
Titchwell Beach is a place to be close to nature, and far away from modern life. It’s a quiet, thoughtful place, haunted by memories.
There is a large Pay and Display car park with 120 spaces, operated by RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve.
There are 8 Blue Badge spaces and a parking bay for coaches and large motorhomes.
Parking charge: £6 per car for non-RSPB members.
Parking is free to RSPB members.
Distance to beach: 1.3km (0.8mi)
Address: Main Road, Titchwell PE31 8BB
There are no facilities at Titchwell Beach.
A toilet block with baby changing facilities is located in the RSPB car park.
The RSPB Visitor Centre has a cafe serving hot and cold food which is open every day from 9:30 am to 5pm (closing at 4pm from the end of October to early February), except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
There are two picnic areas outside the visitor centre with wheelchair spaces.
Visitors are welcome to consume their own food and drink.
Dogs are permitted along the West Bank path to the beach provided they kept on leads. This is a public right of way and the only part of Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve where dogs are allowed.
Once on the beach there are no restrictions, although some areas may be roped off to protect nesting birds. Please keep dogs away from those areas.
No lifeguard service at any time of year.