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Summer water activities in Norfolk and Suffolk

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Norfolk -Summer -Water -Activities

(Image credit: Cristobal Palma Photography)

Whether or not we see any more hot weather this summer (At the time of writing this weekend is set to be very windy and wet!), Norfolk and Suffolk are well known for their watery activities.

From frolicking on the Norfolk broads to lounging on one of Suffolks many beaches, we’re here to try to make life easier for anyone looking to cool off this summer.

Beaches in Norfolk and Suffolk

Norfolk and Suffolk beaches are amongst the best in the UK, regularly winning awards for beauty and cleanliness such as the international Blue Flag - only awarded to beaches that meet the highest environmental standards.

2019 winners of the prestigious Blue Flag in Norfolk and Suffolk are;

  • Cromer

  • Sea Palling

  • SheringhamMundesley

  • East Runton

  • West Runton

They all deserve a visit, each beach and adjoining town offering a very different experiences (Cromer being home to The North Norfolk Railway, who we featured in a blog post earlier this year!).

Cromer and West Runton are also listed as one of the best places to go fossil hunting - with West Runton being home to the famous West Runton Elephant, an 85% complete fossilised mammoth discovered in 1990 (compared to previous discoveries which were only up to 15% complete!)

Generally considered one of the most spectacular beaches in the region is Holkham Beach - described on the towns website as having “...miles of flat, white sand which stretch as far as the eye can see, as well as a semicircular basin behind the shoreline. This actually fills with water at high tides to create a shallow lagoon, ideal for splashing and stomping around in.”

What’s not to like?

What are the different ways you can get around on the water?

Norfolk’s other most famous watery location is, of course, the Norfolk broads

Rather misleadingly a fair proportion of the Norfolk is in Suffolk but it appears the more easterly county won the branding war on that one!

The term “The broads” is generally used to refer to the network of rivers and lakes that span the two counties (the lakes being the actual broads themselves), boasting over 120 miles of navigable waterways and the last figures I can find being worth over £1 billion in tourism a year.

With so many rivers another popular activity in Norfolk & Suffolk is wild swimming - a rather dramatic title for swimming in a river!

Although river swimming is inherently riskier than swimming in a pool, and all possible precautions should be taken - it can be a wonderful experience, and some of the most popular places are Norfolk and Suffolk’s many disused Mill ponds, a result of the regions rich agricultural past.

Some of my personal favourites are Lyng, Horstead and Shotesham Ford (Although I did pick up a bug from that one once!)

Many of these are listed on, a worldwide crowd-funded site which lets you search wild swimming locations all across the world.

For the less adventurous who still  like to swim outdoors, but could do without the “wild” part, the beautiful Suffolk town of Beccles still has it’s own Lido (Outdoor swimming pool) which I can heartily recommend too.

Is there anything we should’ve mentioned?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or views on watery places to visit in Norfolk & Suffolk?

Is there anything you think we should have mentioned?

If there is get in touch and let us know – you can also do it on Facebook or Twitter.

By Alastair Baker at 6 Aug 2019, 00:00 AM