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Dog Friendly Things To Do in Norfolk

Special thanks to Sue Allen of East Ruston Cottages in Norfolk, for supplying this information on dog friendly Norfolk.

Guest Hattie, enjoying the warm floor.

Guest Hattie, enjoying the warm floor.

If you haven’t already discovered the dog friendly delights of Norfolk then it really ought to be on your New Year’s Resolution list for 2014. Let me try to explain why. Nobody goes through Norfolk to get to anywhere; it’s a dead end, so it’s quiet. Far less traffic than many other areas of the country.

It’s mostly arable so there is very little in the way of livestock to worry about on your walks.  No stone walls, stiles and gates and fields of sheep or cattle to walk through, just lots of rural paths and bridleways including long pathways that criss-cross the country – Weavers Way, Peddars Way, North Norfolk Coastal Path etc.  The landscape is at best gently rolling so it makes for easy walking, no steep hills or climbing and nowhere dangerous or difficult to access.

Our boy Charlie (RIP) having fun on the beach with our Sonny and a guest, Toby.

Our boy Charlie (RIP) having fun on the beach with our Sonny and a guest, Toby.

And then there are the beaches.  Norfolk is famous for the miles and miles of quiet sandy coastline with only a few restrictions on some beaches in the summer months.  For most of the year you can find a piece of beach to have to yourself and your dogs and if the tide is in many of the beaches have areas of dunes for dogs to run in.

Winterton On Sea is one of the most popular here in the south with its acres of rolling dunes for easy walking behind the beach.  Just up the coast is Sea Palling – a tiny resort with Blue Flag status and a reef protected beach ensuring quiet and shallow waters all year round.  Nearby Horsey is where the seals come on land to give birth.  You do have to keep your dog on the lead when they are there (winter months) but it’s amazing to be able to see so many of these mammals in one place.

In the north of the county is the famous Holkham beach – probably the biggest beach in Norfolk – an easy day trip from here and an awesome place to walk at any time of the year.  There are stunning coastal marshland areas too further south in places like Stiffkey and Morston.  Lots of mud and creeks but such fun for the dogs and so very peaceful.

Having fun in the snow at Bacton Woods

Having fun in the snow at Bacton Woods

There are some great woodland and common areas too – Bacton/Witton Woods is owned by the district council and managed as a great recreational space.  Even when the car park is full (I’ve never actually seen that!) the woods are plenty big enough for everyone to have space and enjoy.   Kelling Heath, outside Holt, is a great place to explore with dogs too and Sheringham Park (National Trust) is a perennial favourite.

When you’ve walked your socks off under the great big Norfolk skies you will find plenty of places to stop for refreshments that allow your dogs in too.  Many of the pubs are very happy to have dogs in the bars, lots of them have dog friendly gardens and a good number of cafes too welcome dogs in.

Beach sculpture at Cart Gap

Beach sculpture at Cart Gap

Some of my favourites are The Star at Lessingham, the cafe on Winterton Beach, Smallsticks Barn Cafe at Cart Gap.

Towards Cromer you will be welcomed at The Vernon Arms, South Repps or the award winning Gunton Arms just outside North Walsham.  Try The Crown at Wells, The Lifeboat at Thornham next to the beach, the Beach Cafe at Wells and for a bit of a feel of times past the elegant Cliftonville Hotel on the cliffs at Cromer where you can sit in leather chairs in front of the fire with your dogs.

If you want to explore the Broads you can find a good doggy welcome at not one but two pubs in Hickling – The Greyhound and The Pleasure Boat Inn.

 

Dermot and Sue Allen

Dermot and Sue Allen

I could go on, for hours and pages about how fabulous Norfolk is for dogs but in essence it’s a really easy place to have dogs, quiet enough to relax in but more than enough to do when you are here.

If you are thinking of coming please do get in touch and I can give you more ideas about what to do and where to go.

December 3, 2013 This post was written by Categories: Places to visit Tagged with:
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