Guide to Surfing in Norfolk

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Yes, it’s true that Cornwall is the UK’s go-to surf spot, but, if you’re tired of fighting the crowds to have a good ride, Norfolk is most definitely the answer.

People have been surfing in Norfolk from as far back as the 70s, but it’s always been a bit of a guarded secret enjoyed by those in the know. Things are changing, however, and the Norfolk surf scene has been steadily growing – especially over the last decade. Many surf lovers now travel for miles to get a piece of the action.

Because of the way the North Norfolk Coast shelves, heading to any old beach at random may lead you to believe there’s only ankle-snappers to be had. But don’t be deceived. Surfing in Norfolk is all about patience and foresight; get the location and timing just right, and you’ll be richly rewarded.

You won’t always find heavy waves here, but the county’s flinty beaches making for some sucky beach breaks, plus there’s good offshore potential when a northerly swell rolls in.

Don’t want to be stuck scouting for hours on end? We’ve pulled together some of the best beach breaks in Norfolk, so you can boost the odds of scoring a decent ride.

Before you head out, remember that the North Sea stays reasonably warm until later in the year, but when November hits it can get seriously cold. Always make sure you’re in the right gear for the season.


Gorleston

Gorleston is a peaky beach break that works at mid-high tide.

It’s only worthwhile with a solid northerly swell, but, when they come in, this break produces decent long lefts.

For more information on current conditions, check out the latest Gorleston surf report here.


Sea Palling

This beach break is sheltered from northerly winds and works on the majority of tides, making it a popular choice.

On a good day, it produces long rights and lefts, as well as a heavy shore dump.


Cromer

Cromer is often seen as one of Norfolk’s top breaks due to the defined sandbars created here by chalk reefs. Popular with locals, it picks up all swells and is sheltered by the pier, producing a consistent beach break. Just keep a look out for the pier and the beach groynes while you’re out there.

This beach is a great place for beginners, and a well-respected surf school was founded here back in 2007, which has done a lot to pioneer a strong, local surf scene.

For more information on current conditions, check out the latest Cromer surf report here or take a look for yourself with the Cromer beach webcams.

Want to find out more about visiting Cromer Beach? Check out our post on 6 Magnificent Norfolk Beaches.


East Runton

East Runton is a popular and consistent beach break. You’ll find the best surfing conditions here autumn-early spring.

You’ll find the best surfing conditions here autumn-early spring, but beware of the strong rips or else you could find yourself halfway down the coast before you know it.

For more information on current conditions, check out the latest East Runton surf report.


Mundesley

Working best at mid-tide, the beach break at Mundesley picks up most swells.

When conditions are absolutely perfect, a heavy barrelling wave can be produced here.

For more information on current conditions, check out the latest Mundesley beach report here.


Looking for the perfect place to chill after a day of surfing? Look no further than our coastal cottages in Norfolk.


image attributions: Sea Palling beach, Cromer beach, Gorleston beach, East Runton beach, Mundesley beach – all via Flickr.

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