Top 5 Beaches only a short drive from Cambridge
Summer may be over but we can still go to the beach. At this time of year, it’s more about blowing away the cobwebs and letting the dog swim in the sea. Which can still be lots of fun, of course.
There’s always the steaming cup of hot chocolate in the seaside cafe to look forward to afterwards.
We’ve made a list of our five favourite beaches near Cambridge. See if you agree!
One of two beaches to appear in a recent list of the Top 10 British Beach Towns, voted by the British public – the other being Sheringham – Cromer is an old-fashioned seaside resort with a modern twist.
In other words, there are plenty of contemporary cafes, restaurants and bars sitting alongside Cromer’s superb Victorian pier and decades-old Pavilion Theatre. It’s a pier actually that played a prominent part in the backdrop to Alan Partridge’s film Alpha Papa back in 2013. As for the beach itself, the sand seems to go on forever and then there’s the shingle to watch the waves run over.
Eight miles southeast of Cromer sits one of Norfolk’s best beaches – Mundesley. Child-friendly, the water is perfect for swimming in at low tide, it also boasts a pretty promenade filled with colourful beach huts. As such, it is the place in Cambridgeshire to head for on a hot summer’s day.
Points of interest are the smallest maritime museum in the world (yes, really) on the clifftop gardens and a memorial to the bomb disposal team of WW2.
This beautiful beach sits within the Norfolk Coast AONB, a mere five miles westward of Cromer. It’s a magnet for families, who sit for hours picnicking, playing on its golden sands and poking about in the rock pools.
Sheringham is a beach resort that boasts fabulous seafood, including lobsters, crabs and whelks – to the extent May is the month of the resort’s yearly Crab and Lobster Festival.
There is a lovely promenade to stroll along when the tide’s in or it’s too cold to sit on the sands. You’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants overlooking the beach too.
A designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the fact it has the largest chalk reef in Europe, West Runton is popular with divers and surfers as a result.
And there’s more – the beach is overlooked by fossil-filled cliffs. In fact, the fossil of a mammoth (elephant) was found here in 1990. So, you can expect to find keen geologists exploring along its sandy shores too.
@patrick_barkham: “The north Norfolk coast is feted for its big skies and generous sandy beaches but this young coastline – still coming to terms with the last ice age – is also home to the most ancient of human traces.”
Like Sheringham, West Runton beach also has plenty of rock pools. A favourite eating spot is the Seaview Beach Café.
Right next door to West Runton (and Cromer) is the long, sandy shores of East Runton beach. Another favourite for surfers and geologists, the beach has a memorial to the former. There are seven names on the plaque, which commemorates surfers and windsurfers who once loved surfing on the waves at the beach.