Norfolk is home to many of the country's top beaches and our coastal towns and villages often scoop national awards for their stunning beauty. 

Here we've highlighted some of our favourites. 

1. Blakeney

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Old Lifeboat Station at Blakeney PointThe Old Lifeboat Station at Blakeney Point (Image: National Trust/PA)Once an important fishing village, Blakeney's outstanding natural beauty makes it a favourite for visitors near and far these days. 

Blakeney National Nature Reserve is ideal for walking and wildlife-watching, with the village offering plenty of places to eat and stay, as well as pubs, gift shops and art galleries to visit. 

Blakeney's top attraction is seal-watching, as the point is home to England's largest grey seal colony with around 4,000 pups born between the end of October and mid-January each year.

According to the local tourism board, the best way to get up close and personal with the wildlife on Blakeney Point is to book one of the ferry trips departing from Morston Quay.

2. Overstrand

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Overstrand beach with Cromer Pier in the backgroundOverstrand beach with Cromer Pier in the background (Image: Newsquest)

With its fine sandy beaches and looming cliffs, Overstrand offers unparalleled views across the sea to the horizon where picnickers can enjoy sunset views unlike any other. 

The village is home to a rich mix of locals and holidaymakers most times of the year, with its clifftop cafe a unique draw, as well as the picturesque section of Norfolk Coast Path that runs through the area.

Overstrand beach is an altogether much quieter beach than its more well-known neighbour Cromer.

3. Heacham

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Heacham is a popular place to visit in NorfolkHeacham is a popular place to visit in Norfolk (Image: Chris Bishop)With historic ties to Pocahontas who married John Rolfe of Heacham in 1614, as well as the home to the oldest church bell in East Anglia, the little north Norfolk village is not lacking in local importance. 

Heacham became popular as a seaside resort with the Victorians due to the opening of the railway line between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton in the early 1860s and nowadays remains popular due to its amusement arcade, café and fish bar and beach huts for hire. 

In the village, shops include a supermarket, a butcher, a bakery and a selection of smaller shops and restaurants. 

4. Brancaster

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Heacham's Norfolk Lavender fields are reminiscent of the tulip fields in the Netherlands.Heacham's Norfolk Lavender fields are reminiscent of the tulip fields in the Netherlands. (Image: Newsquest)

Brancaster sits on the Norfolk Coast Path and is made up of two villages - Brancaster Staithe and Brancaster. 

Not far from RSPB Titchwell Marsh, the sky can often fill with flocks of pink-footed geese as well as Brent geese, oystercatchers and many other migratory bird species.

Visit the nearby Downs and see if you can spot the Second World War wreck of SS Vina or visit the site of Branodunum Roman Fort.

5. Holkham

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Holkham Lake has a slightly jurassic feel to it.Holkham Lake has a slightly jurassic feel to it. (Image: (c) copyright

Well known for its pinewoods and unspoilt sandy beaches, as well as the 25,000-acre home to the Earl of Leicester, Holkham is perhaps the most well-known village on this list, having even appeared as a set piece in Gwyneth Paltrow's Shakespeare in Love.

Holkham National Nature Reserve is home to many rare species of flora and fauna, with its coastal dunes, known as the Holkham Meals, enjoyed since the Victorian era. 

6. Holme-next-the-sea

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The wide-open expanse of sand at Holme Beach is popular with walkersThe wide-open expanse of sand at Holme Beach is popular with walkers (Image: Chris Bishop)

The meeting point of Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path, Holme is one of Norfolk's most unique villages, with many of its homes and buildings built of clunch - a hard form of white chalk - and carrstone (limestone).

These materials are frequently combined with brick, flint and cobbles resulting in the variety of individual patterns featured in this part of the county.

7. Sea Palling

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Holidaymakers enjoy the warm weather at Sea Palling.Holidaymakers enjoy the warm weather at Sea Palling. (Image: archant 2017)

Sea Palling is an ideal place for a staycation holiday any time of the year.

Just five miles away from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Hickling and surrounded by beautiful countryside, Sea Palling is a quiet village with an award-winning beach and unique areas of unspoilt natural beauty.

With its man-made coastal defence reefs the beach is ideal for children and young families or dogs who love to paddle.