Building Facade, Walsingham

Fill your lungs with finest Norfolk sea air

Wells beach, NorfolkThe beaches of North Norfolk are breathtaking, with wide expanses of sand and vast open skies — and Walsingham is just four miles inland from the best.

Holkham was voted Britain’s best beach in the 2009 Coast Awards. Famously the stand-in for Gwyneth Paltrow’s desert island in the final shot of Shakespeare in Love. Start from here or Wells, and you can walk out along the endless beach and back through the earthy pine forest that sits just behind.

Get sand in your shoes as you run up the dunes, and mud between your toes in the secluded mysteries of the creeks. Take a trip from Morston or Blakeney to see the seals off Blakeney Point. Go gillying for crabs on the quay at Wells or off the wooden jetties of Blakeney harbour. Or hire one of the colourful Wells beach huts for the day from Pinewoods Holiday Park (01328 710 439).

If fossil hunting is your thing, head for Hunstanton Beach, or explore the low tide rockpools at Hunstanton or Cromer. For sailing, try Wells or Brancaster Staithe.

But whatever you get up to, remember the countryside code:

Take only pictures, leave only footprints

Blakeney Quay