Your 3-day itinerary to the Norfolk Coast without a car

I visited the Norfolk Coast without a car, and this is the 3-day itinerary I came up with to make the most of my time while using public transport.

Visiting the Norfolk Coast without a car might not be your go-to option for a holiday. Yet, you should consider it!

The Norfolk Coast has stunning sandy beaches (yes, you have read that right!), pretty coastal towns and excellent freshly caught seafood (you read this right again!).

The Norfolk Coast is popular among locals and receives many UK tourists every summer. Yet, I have not met many international tourists.

The lack of international tourists made me think that the Norfolk Coast is a bit of a hidden gem and deserves to be discovered.

I already said that many UK nationals visit the Norfolk Coast. However, not many Brits visit the Norfolk Coast without a car.

Visiting the Norfolk Coast without a car is doable, and this is what this blog post will be about. I hope it will help you plan your own trip to the Norfolk Coast without a car and enjoy your time there.

The Norfolk Coast without a car (A short introduction)

According to Visit Norfolk, the Norfolk Coast is 144 km long and is home to the Norfolk Coast Path, one of the most beautiful coastal paths in the country.

The Norfolk Coast Path is 135km long and stretches from Hunstanton to Sea Palling

The Norfolk Coast Path is perfect for all types of walkers, both beginners and advanced, as the terrain is mostly flat. 

The path is well-marked and goes through coastal villages, reservations and beaches.

As this is a 3-day itinerary, I have focused on plenty of activities like walking some of the Norfolk coast path, town & village tours and a boat trip to see the seals (one of the most popular activities on the Norfolk coast).

My Norfolk Coast Itinerary Without a Car ( A Step-by-step guide)

Norwich to Sheringham by Train

Public transport in the UK is good. The UK has an extensive railway network that covers most of the country.

If you want to read more about public transport in the UK, you might find useful the following blog post:

Best Ways To Travel Around The United Kingdom Without A Car

If you’ve never been to this part of the country, Norwich is the biggest city in Norfolk County and has a population of over 200,000 inhabitants (according to Google). Sheringham is a sea town with over 7,000 inhabitants only.

Despite the difference in size, the local infrastructure between Norwich and Sheringham is quite good, and you can easily travel between the two by bus or train.

My preferred way to travel from Norwich to Sheringham is by train, but you can also take the bus if you prefer it.

In order to travel, you need to get to the train station. Norwich train station is not far from the city centre. The regional train operator you will travel with is Greater Anglia. The train journey takes approximately 1h. 

Greater Anglia trains leave Norwich for Sheringham every hour, 7 days a week (there might be more frequent trains during rush hours and fewer trains in the evenings). 

Also, note that trains are less frequent during bank holidays, so please make sure you check the train operator’s website before planning your trip.

If you travel from somewhere else like London, you will probably need to change trains in Norwich on your way to Sheringham.

You can also travel from Norwich to Sheringham by bus. Again, if you travel from somewhere else (further than Norwich), you might need to take 2 buses. 

For example, if you travel from London to Sheringham, you can take a National Express coach to Norwich and then take the local bus from Norwich bus station to arrive in Sheringham.

Is Sheringham worth visiting?

Sheringham is definitely worth a visit! This coastal town is perfect for weekend trips and even longer stays. Whether you travel with family or on your own, there are plenty of activities for everyone. Some of my recommendations are:

The Sheringham Promenade

The promenade is, in my opinion, the main attraction in Sheringham. You can enjoy a lovely, long walk along the sea and take lovely pictures of the Norfolk seafront. 

In summer, local people flood the beach, and while some enjoy a well-deserved sunbath, others even go for a swim. I know the British summer has always been quite a joke topic. Yet, the truth is, you can enjoy some proper summer days in England too. And they are even nicer if you can make it to the beach. Sheringham is just the perfect place for this type of summer activity.

Local restaurants that serve freshly caught seafood

As you walk away from the promenade and enter the town, you will notice plenty of restaurants serving all kinds of foods. While in Sheringham, make sure you try at least once their seafood. 

Tip on choosing the best spot to have a meal in Sheringham: 

The seafood is always freshly caught and tastes much better if you eat it by the sea. Make sure you choose a restaurant facing the sea to enjoy a lovely meal and the best view in Sheringham. Once, I had calamari with a friend at the restaurant facing the seafront. We enjoyed both the food and the view. 

Eating seafood in a local restaurant while enjoying the Norfolk seafront is something you should add to your to-do list while in Sheringham.

What I also like about Sheringham is the number of local restaurants you find in town. It was lovely to see that local businesses can thrive in such a small coastal town. I encourage you to choose one of them to eat at and avoid the big names.

A sense of the local history

World War 1 & 2 are still strongly celebrated across the UK. Particularly in Norfolk, where you can find plenty of museums, churches and even walking paths commemorating these significant events. If you enjoy history, especially 20th-century history and the 2 World Wars, then Sheringham is quite entertaining. You will want to visit the Sheringham War Memorial and the Sheringham Museum.

Sheringham has a rich history as a fishing town which goes back hundreds of years. The locals take pride in their heritage, hence the culture of freshly caught seafood you still find everywhere in town. 

Sheringham’s importance in the fishing industry might have faded over time. Yet, its former glory is nowadays celebrated and remembered in the Sheringham Museum.

Discover the coastal town architecture

One of the reasons I recommend people to visit Sheringham is the local architecture. The seafront is particularly colourful. The red brick houses are beautifully decorated with plants and flowers to make them prettier. 

The old Victorian buildings have been restored to match their former glory. Whenever I visited Sheringham, I always enjoyed how well the town was looked after.

Sheringham is the perfect place for hiking & walking!

Sheringham is close to the Norfolk Coast Path, making it an excellent starting point for hikes and walks along the coast path. 

Whether you want to stay local and prefer a loop route or plan to venture further and complete a few miles hike, there are plenty of options which start in Sheringham. 

I use Komoot to get inspired, but you can use any other app to plan your local walks and hiking trips.

If you want to find out about the walk I completed between Sheringham and Cromer, I wrote more about it in the blog post below:

Why Visit Cromer And Sheringham? Discover 2 Beautiful Towns On The Norfolk Coast

As I have explained above, Sheringham is well connected to the biggest city in the county (Norwich), making it easy to access by bus or train.

As it is close to the Norfolk Coast Path, it is an excellent starting point for those wanting to explore the Norfolk Coast without a car.

Sheringham to Morston by Bus

A day trip to see seals is a must-do activity in this part of the country. 

The Norfolk Coast is famous for its seals and welcomes many tourists throughout the year because of this tourist attraction (although one could argue that the Norfolk Coast is wonderful to visit for many other reasons too).

Travel to Morston to see seals in Norfolk

If you base yourself in Sheringham (like I did), you can easily reach Morston by bus. The bus goes all along the coast, and you can get off wherever you want.

Nicest bus drivers I met in a while. They kept me company and we chatted until the bus left.

Yet, if you have a tour booked and plan to see seals make sure you get off at Mortson Bus Stop. If you are not sure about the bus stop, ask the driver. He/she will make sure you don’t miss your bus stop.

Tip (based on my experience) most people you travel with on the bus will get off at Morston, so it is hard to miss the stop. 

What is the best time of the year to see seals on the Norfolk Coast?

The best time of the year to see seals in Norfolk is during the winter months.

However, I went to see seals in March, and although it was the end of peak season for this type of activity, I saw quite a few of them on the day.

I booked a boat tour with Beans Boats, yet you can do your own research and see if they meet your needs. I did enjoy their boat tour.

The tour guide explained they are a family-run business and have arranged boat tours for many years. The tour guide also explained that boat tours do not interfere with the seals’ natural activities. In fact, it helps preserve the natural habitat because the entire area is protected since there is a demand for this type of activity.

Not the best picture as it was taken with my phone

If you decide to book with them, I must say I really enjoyed their tour. The tour guide was approachable and knowledgeable, yet professional and polite.

The tour lasted 1h and took us to different places where the seals were. It was quite an experience to witness these majestic animals go about their day undisturbed by our presence. 

The sealfie joke the tour guide told us during the boat tour 🙂

You can also see seals on your own. I did see them at sea on quieter beaches along the Norfolk Coast. However, this is never guaranteed, and it might be trickier if you rely on public transport and you are around for a limited amount of time because you can never predict when they will show up.

*The time I saw seals on my own, I was with friends who drove to the coast, so we had plenty of time to wait for them to show up. 

Walk the Norfolk Coast Path (or attempt to walk at least some of it)

After finishing the boat tour, I recommend walking some of the Norfolk Coast Path. What I did was walk back towards Sheringham. The path starts a few meters from where you get off the boat.

On my way back to Sheringham, I passed through Blakeney, followed by a longer walk through a nearby Norfolk reserve. Then, I continued through Cley next the Sea, turned onto the Beach Road and continued along Norfolk beach (make sure you are still on the Norfolk Coast Path trail at this point) until I reached Weybourne Beach. Then, I went off the beach, walked into town and took the bus back to Sheringham.

I did not plan the walk too much, but it ended up being a lovely experience. I walked through picturesque coastal towns, unspoiled natural beauties and gorgeous solitary beaches. 

Some of the highlights of my walk were:

The rocky Weybourne Beach

The peaceful Kelling Beach

The Medieval Church in Weybourne

In my opinion, the difficulty of this walk is moderate. The terrain is mostly flat, and the trail is well-tracked from the beginning to the end of the route. Perhaps the most difficult part of the trail was walking on the beach as it is a bit rocky. 

As you pass through small villages, you can stop for a meal. Blakeney had quite a few places where you can stop for a meal if you wish to.

As I stopped to take pictures and enjoy the view, it took me a few hours to finish the walk (18 km recorded my walking app at the end of the day). However, you can finish the route quicker if you don’t bother with too many pictures (I surely did take quite a few pictures).

The only inconvenience I had while completing this walk was that, at times, I had to walk on the road (not for a very long time though). 

I was also lucky as the traffic was not too bad ( I chose to do the walk on a weekday as I assumed weekends are probably busier), but you still have to be careful of the cars passing by. 

When planning the walk, make sure you check when the last bus is due. You don’t want to be left in the middle of the countryside, although the Norfolk Coast provides quite a few options for accommodation if you decide to stay overnight in any of the villages you will pass through.

I did check this myself in preparation for my trip to the Norfolk Coast. 

All in all, I recommend this itinerary as it was fun to complete. What I enjoyed the most was that it took me through some lovely villages along the Norfolk Coast, and it wasn’t that difficult to finish. 

Walk from Sheringham to Cromer

If you still have energy left the next day, you can attempt to walk from Sheringham to Cromer. This is what I did the next day and did not find the walk too tiring.

I wrote about my walk from Sheringham to Cromer in this blog post too:

Why Visit Cromer And Sheringham? Discover 2 Beautiful Towns On The Norfolk Coast

To make your walk from Sheringham to Cromer stress-free, you can easily use google maps for guidance. The route is safe and easy to complete. You don’t need to walk on the road this time. Most of the walk is in Sheringham and Cromer, and only portions of the route will take you through parks and pedestrian paths.

Why visit Cromer?

Cromer is another important town on the Norfolk Coast. It is slightly bigger than Sheringham, as it has almost 8000 inhabitants. Some people prefer it over Sheringham, thus the rivalry between the two towns as the most beautiful spot on the Norfolk Coast. 

In my opinion, Sheringham and Cromer are equally beautiful, and if you have time, I suggest you visit both. As a personal preference, I liked more Sheringham simply because it came across as less touristy than Cromer.

Cromer is equally well connected to Sheringham via trains and local buses. Moreover, you can easily travel from Cromer to Norwich too, either via bus or by train.

Most of the time, people visit Cromer for the same reasons they visit Sheringham (the beach, the lovely walks along the seafront, the delicious seafood).

Some of the things you can consider doing in Cromer are:

Visit the Cromer Pier (the main attraction in Cromer). The Pier is perfect for walks, having a few drinks and even a meal. The Pier went through a makeover a few years ago and since then has become the main entertainment point in Cromer.

Enjoy a walk down the esplanade. The esplanade is a nice walking path which covers the entire Cromer’s seafront. Similar to Sheringham, you will enjoy the seafront and get some much-needed vitamin D in summer. The esplanade gets particularly busy in summer. In March, don’t expect too many people. I visited Cromer in summer and spring and preferred it when it was much quieter.

Check out the Cromer Beach. Cromer Beach is a lovely sandy beach which gets packed in summer. Nevertheless, it’s lovely and good for a long walk, especially on a sunny day.

Cromer Beach

I wrote more about what else to visit in Cromer in the blog post below:

Why Visit Cromer And Sheringham? Discover 2 Beautiful Towns On The Norfolk Coast

One last thing about Cromer is that it’s famous for its fish and chips. You cannot leave Cromer without trying their local fish and chips. I also tried it, and it did not disappoint. 

My portion of fish & chips in Cromer

Cromer to Norwich by Train

When you are ready to leave, head to the train station, hop on the train, and you will be in Norwich in less than 1h. There are frequent trains between Cromer and Norwich, so there is no need to use your car.

A trip to either Cromer or Sheringham from Norwich is also affordable since a return train ticket is around £16.

Day trips to Sheringham & Cromer (from Norwich) suit both solo travellers and families because they don’t take long and are relatively cheap. Plus, once you arrive, both Cromer and Sheringham offer a good variety of activities which can keep entertained both adults and children for a few hours.

Where to stay?

If you plan to explore a bit of the Norfolk Coast without a car, I suggest staying in either Cromer or Sheringham because the transport links are better. You will have access to trains and buses within the region and towards bigger cities like Norwich and even London. 

I booked my accommodation at the time through and chose a private suite. I totally enjoyed the privacy I had. The check-in was smooth, and the landlady was easygoing. Plus, the place was not pricy either.

What to wear?

I recommend packing for a hiking trip, but do not overdo it. Choose comfortable shoes and consider rainy days if you visit the coast in March (although I was lucky, and it was dry during my stay, I cannot guarantee it will always be this way, after all we are talking about England). 

Also, consider a windproof jacket, and do not forget about a day-back bag to carry around while you are out and about.

A trip to the Norfolk Coast without a car is definitely doable if you consider some of my advice above. 

Feel free to tweak my itinerary to meet your needs, and more importantly make sure you enjoy your time on the Norfolk Coast! 

Do let me know if any of you make it to the Norfolk Coast after reading this blog post. I would love to read how did you find it. 

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