Local Information

Local things to do, places to visit, beaches and Cafes/Pubs

Places To Go and Things To Do

Want to know what you can do when you are here? Look no further!

Here are just some ideas of things to do and places to go in the area - all over the Broads and the North Norfolk Coast. Spend your time on the coast at Cromer, a boat trip for seal watching, at the internationally famous East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens, the wonderful Bewilderwood and many other places.

Visit Norfolk website

Tour Norfolk website

Doggy Days out - Barking Bugle

The Good Dog Guide
(see our reviews on there too!)

Each cottage should have a selection of leaflets about things to do and places to go, walks, maps, walking books etc.


Find out about the local beaches...

Dog friendly beaches near the cottages in Norfolk

The tide times for the beaches near East Ruston Cottages will be between the times shown above, varying by their distance from them.

One of the main reasons many people come on holiday here are the beaches.  So many to choose from, all of them sandy, all of them great places to walk the dogs. The coast in Norfolk is huge and the beaches are linked so you can walk from one to another along the sand when the tide is out and many of the southern ones have areas of dunes to walk in when the tide is high.

Here is a selection of the most popular ones with all they have to offer, starting in the south of the area.

Be sure to click on the links to find out much more about each beach!


www.winterton-on-sea.net  NR29 4AJ

Dog friendliness:  Awesome!  Lots of beach and acres of dunes for running and sniffing.  No restrictions all year round.

Restrictions: There is a tern nesting colony in the summer and seals breeding on the beach in the winter but these are signposted when applicable.

Access:  Easy, slight sandy slope to beach and level access to dunes area.

Facilities:  Large privately owned car park - pay and display but not expensive.  Excellent cafe - Dunes Cafe - right on the beach for a great post walk snack now with its own little beach huts for you to sit in with your dog.
Dog friendly pub The Fishermans Return and fish and chip shop in the village - both an easy walk.  Public and disabled toilet. Shop and post office.

Nearest to:  A very short walk from Ruby Gem and on the doorstep of Hidden Gem and Skylark
Next nearest is St Benets but it's well worth the drive from any of the properties.

What the locals know: Just how fabulous Winterton beach is!  When the tide is high, no need to turn for home as you can walk north or south along the dunes - meandering through a maze of paths. The area of dunes to the south of the car park is know as the Valley and takes you past some funny little 'Hobbit' houses which are part of the Hermanus holiday camp. Locals also know that there is free parking just down the dead end road that runs past the small supermarket and from here you can walk straight onto the dunes. Shhhh.  Don't tell anyone! For the best Winteron walks please click here.

Winterton beach


www.explorenorfolkuk.co.uk/horsey-beach.html  NR29 4EF

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lots of beach and dunes separating the beach from a level track that runs along the back beside the marshy grazing areas.
You can do a circular walk along the beach and back along the track or do a circular walk across inland farmland and stop off at the quaint little, dog friendly pub, The Nelson's Head.

Restrictions: During the winter the beach is famous for its seal breeding colony (see two useful websites here and here for much more info) and there are roped off areas and wardens during these times.  Whilst this does limit dog walking to the track and dunes, it is an amazing sight, well worth seeing.

Access:  Sandy slope to beach over dunes.

Facilities:  Large National Trust pay and display car park. Poppylands cafe on the road just before the track leading to the beach.
Nearby Horsey Windpump has a cafe and shop open in the summer.
Nearest to:  St Benets and Red Roofs but an easy drive from many of the other cottages.

What the locals know:  When the tide is in you can still walk in the dunes, the best area is heading north.

Horsey beach


Visit Website  NR29 4EF

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lots of beach and a good strip of dunes.

Restrictions:  The Horsey seal breeding colony sometimes spreads down to Waxham so there are occasional roped off areas in the winter.

Access:  Sandy slope to beach over dunes.

Facilities: None really.  There isn't even a proper car park which means it doesn't get busy! The parking is on the track leading to the beach behind the large farmhouse next to Waxham Great Barn.  There is a nice cafe in the Great Barn yard, dogs are allowed in the courtyard where there is plenty of seating.
Nearest to: St Benets, Red Roofs

What the locals know:  Not a very well known beach and not a lot of parking so ideal if you want to keep away from other visitors.
An easy walk from here to Sea Palling, stop for an ice cream and head back again!


Visit Website  NR29 4EF

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lovely, flat sandy beach protected by a rock reef which gives areas of quiet, shallow sea - ideal for dogs that like to swim.

Restrictions:  From 1 May to 1 October half of the beach is restricted for dogs but only to the left of the access ramp.  To the right is available all year round and is the better part of the beach. You can do an easy walk to Waxham or a longer one to Horsey.

Access:  Concrete slope to beach over the dunes at the end of Beach Road.  Various other access points over dunes.

Facilities: The perfect amount - the very dog friendly Reefs Bar, a very dog friendly cafe, fish and chips, toilets, a small amusement arcade - all at the beach end of Beach Road.  At the other end of the village there is a shop/post office.
A children's play area and plenty of council pay and display parking - long and short stay.

Nearest to: St Benets is just along Beach Road so just a few hundred yards from the beach.

What the locals know:  This is a very popular beach so best avoided on sunny weekend days. If you can't walk on the beach when the tide is in it is worth having a little wander along the road at the back of the dunes heading north and looking at all the funny little chalets and holiday houses.  During the summer there is little pop up shack, Eco Burito (well worth a visit)

Sea Palling Beach


NR12 0QL

Dog friendliness:  Very good. Lots of beach when the tide is out. Quiet most of the time.

Restrictions: 1st May - 1st October there are supposedly restrictions for dogs on the beach but in reality these are not
or enforced and locals and visitors use the beach all year round.

Access:  Concrete slope down from the car park.  Left takes you to Happisburgh beach and right to Eccles beach.

Facilities:  Pay and display car park, toilets and the lovely Smallsticks Cafe just a short walk inland.  Dogs allowed in the grassed yard outside.
The RNLI shop is also here now - a very cause to support.

Nearest toCornerways, a very short walk.  A longer walk from Edelweiss, Corner Cottage and Manor Barn, also from White Cottage, The Crib, Heather Cottage, High Barn and Thatchers

What the locals know:  The lifeboat practices are worth watching.  A tractor tows the lifeboat from the boat sheds on the car park and launches it into the sea then reverses into the waves to recover it after training.  If the tide is in then you can walk along the cliff top to the Lighthouse at Happisburgh and back along the track that runs parallel to the beach.


www.happisburgh.org.uk  NR12 0PR

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lots of beach.

Restrictions: 1st May - 1st October there are supposedly restrictions for dogs on the beach but in reality these are not enforced and locals and visitors use the beach all year round.

Access:  Sand slope down from the car park.

Facilities:  Pay and display car park, toilets.  The village also has a couple of cafes, the very dog friendly Hill House pub, small shop/post office and a really good fresh fish shop a little way inland.
Nearest to:  A short walk from White Cottage, The Crib, Heather Cottage, High Barn and Thatchers.  A longer one from Cornerways, Ollands Farm Barn, Victoria Cottage and The Walnut.

What the locals know: Happisburgh is a great place to view from high up - both the iconic lighthouse and the church have open days where you can climb to the top.  The village has a lot of interesting history and the village is ancient, falling into the sea in parts but still a thriving community.

When the tide is out you can walk from this beach to Walcott...



Visit Website NR12 0AP

Dog friendliness:  Not too bad.  Can be busy.   There has recently been a multi million pound sandscaping project which has built the sand up on the beach and changed it to a really wonderful, high level of sand with low breakwaters.

Restrictions: 1st May - 1st October there are restrictions for dogs on the beach between certain groins but much of the beach is dog friendly year round.

Access:  Steps from the pavement and a wooden boat launch ramp.

Facilities:  On road parking and privately owned car parks, toilets.  Really good village shop and post office, Kingfisher Cafe (very popular and dog friendly), fish and chips next door.  Ice cream van often parked up in the summer and a good selection too at the Kingfisher. The Poachers Pocket pub is very dog friendly too with good food and a little further along the coast at Bacton there is the wonderful Sugar and Spice cafe - also very dog friendly.

Nearest to:  A short drive from all the Happisburgh and East Ruston properties but you can walk here from the Happisburgh properties along the cliff top or beach.  Seaview Cottage is a very short walk.

What the locals know: Walcott does suffer when there is a coastal surge and high tide. It's not the most glamorous of villages but it has a great heart; the village folk rallied round amazingly well when it was badly hit by storms and a tidal surge several years.


Visit Website

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lots of beach. You can walk miles along it to get away from the small area in front of the main part

Restrictions: 1st May - 1st October there are restrictions between certain groins but not beyond these.

Access:  Various points but main access is concrete ramp by the Ship Inn which takes you down to the promenade and then steps to the beach.

Facilities:  Mundesley is a busy little seaside village so there are all sorts of facilities. Cafes (many dog friendly) and amusements along the sea front, a couple of sea food sales vans, and a pub, The Ship Inn, is right on the cliff with a great dog friendly garden with views up and down the coast. In the village itself there are various shops, a hotel, chinese takeaway.  There's a tourist information centre and a tiny Maritime Museum too - plenty to see and do in Mundesley.

Nearest to:  Milestone Barn, Rooster Barn and Farthing Cottage

What the locals know:  That there's no point walking when the tide is in but there is a park with play area that can be used for a run around.

Mundesley Beach


Visit Website  NR27 0PP

Dog friendliness:  Really good. Lots of beach and pretty quiet.

Restrictions: 1st May - 1st October there are restrictions for dogs on the beach between certain groins.

Access:  Long concrete walkway down from the car park.

Facilities:  Pay and display car park, toilets.  The village also has a great little cafe - The Cliff Top Cafe and the Lobster and Crab shack; brilliant for fresh crab and lobster.  The local pub - The White Horse - is very dog friendly and whilst it is a bit expensive a la carte, the bar food is very good and very reasonable.

Nearest to:  Milestone Barn, Rooster Barn and Farthing Cottage

What the locals know:  I don't think they know anything that they are prepared to tell. It's a very elegant and quiet village!
An easy escape from the wonderful old fashioned sea side busy-ness of nearby Cromer!


So many more lovely beaches further up the coast.  Cromer and Sheringham both have all the facilities you would expect of a seaside town and both have an old fashioned charm.  The beach at West Runton has a great dog friendly cafe, the beach at Holkham is almost certainly 'the biggest beach in the world' and all of the beaches along the top of the northern part of Norfolk, betwen Cromer and Hunstanton are well worth a day trip.

Rather than re-write what others have done already, here are some links so you can find out more about our great beaches!





For full and accurate details of the beaches with council enforced restrictions see here.

And this great website tells you about the beaches all the way round the coast here.

Pubs & Cafes

All dog friendly!

(updated 7 August 2020)



Our favourite!  Good food, a great welcome, well kept beers and peaceful location. An easy stroll from Corner Cottage and easily walked to from The Walnut, Victoria Cottage, 1 Chapel Cottage, Ollands Farm Barn and Thatch Cottage.   The Star Lessingham

Within very easy walking distance of Red Roofs.  Greyhound Inn, Hickling and The Pleasure Boat Inn.

The The Butchers Arm in East Ruston.  The nearest one to The Lodge,
Holmes House and Badger's Retreat.  Very well priced lunchtime menu and regular events/theme nights.  About a mile from Brian's Cottage too.

The Crown at Trunch.  Just down the road from Rooster Barn and Farthing Cottage.  Great beers and a good village pub atmosphere.
Menu is simple - pizzas and pasta plus specials.  Lots of vegetarian and gluten free options too.

Wonderful location and building, amazing art and interior excellent food and a dog friendly bar.  The Gunton Arms is in a lodge in a deer park just outside North Walsham.  You can walk here from Farthing Cottage and Rooster Barn though it is a long walk!

Super little village pub with great food, an open fireplace and quiet location with plenty of local walks around  Vernon Arms, Southrepps
Short drive from Milestone Barn, Farthing Cottage and Rooster Barn.

The  Poachers Pocket right by the sea at Walcott and and The Lighthouse Inn a little further inland both proper dog friendly.
Basic pub food but locally popular and friendly.  Poachers Pocket is closest to Sea View Cottage.

Hill House at Happisburgh.  Super close to Thatchers and Heather Cottage.  Historic pub in quiet setting. Very short walk from The Crib.  An easy walk from White Cottage and High Barn too.

Nelson's Head at Horsey - great after a walk to see the seals and not far from St Benets and Red Roofs.

The Ship at Mundesley - huge garden with great views up and down the coast.
Short drive from Milestone Barn, Farthing Cottage and Rooster Barn.

Fishermans Return, in Winterton.  A short walk from Hidden Gem, Ruby Gem and Skylark.

Pubs further afield

The Red Lion in Brook Street, Cromer is right on the seafront, with great beach walks and just yards from the start of the Peddars Way long distance path.  Dogs are allowed in all public areas.

Foundry Arms, Church Street, Northrepps, gives a warm welcome to all visitors with dogs. .

Kings Arms, Main Road Fleggburgh – very dog friendly.

The Kings Arms, The Green, Martham.  Dogs are welcome in the garden, the sports bar and the lounge bar, with a pub labrador on site.

Bridge Inn, Acle Bridge, Acle - Water bowls given to dogs and dogs allowed in bar

The White Horse Pub, Upton, is a community pub and the couple who run it for the village could not be more friendly and welcoming.

The Ship Inn, South Walsham, NR13 6DQ – Happy to welcome dogs in the bar and bar dining areas.

The Lion Inn, The Street, Thurne - welcomes dogs.  Great pub with good beer and gin!  Right on the Broads.

The Dog Inn, Ludham Bridge Dogs welcomed inside and out.  On the Broads.

Kings Arms High Street, Ludham. This 400-year old pub welcomes dogs everywhere except in the restaurant.

Nelsons Head The Street, Horsey, Well-behaved dogs (there are often quite a few of them!) allowed in the bar area. Doggie chews and water for the canines

White Horse The Street, Neatishead.  Dogs are more than welcome in the main bar, upper bar and snug areas at all times. Water bowls and occasionally treats provided.  Great food and they take their beer very seriously!

Many more dog friendly pubs in the county can be found on the Dog friendly pub website.

CAFES nearest to our cottages and houses.

Sugar and Spice Cafe - Bacton.  Super dog friendly with home cooked, well priced food and crafts for sale too.
We love it! Cakes are to die for!  Breakfasts are substantial!  Walk here from Sea View Cottage.

Kingfisher Cafe Walcott - popular little seaside venue, yet more proper, home cooked food at an honest price - friendly welcome.
Walk here from High Barn along the coast.

Corner Cafe and Village Cafe in Mundesley - both not far from Rooster Barn, Farthing Cottage and Milestone Barn and good, honest food.

Smallsticks Cafe just off the beach at Cart Gap.  Dogs allowed in enclosed garden.  Take away fish and chips as well as snacks and lunches.  Walk there from White Cottage, The Crib, Corner Cottage and Manor Barn.

Poppylands at Horsey.  The nearest cafe to the seal beach.  A really unique place with a fabulous WWII/Dad's Army theme.  Very good menu and lots to see in the place plus a craft/gift shop.  Dogs welcome upstairs.  Can get very busy.

Dunes Cafe, Beach Rd, Winterton-on-Sea.  Right by the main car park. Dogs outside - plenty of seating in their special dog beach huts! Great for a stop after a walk in the dunes or huge beach!  Easy walk from Hidden Gem, Ruby Gem and Skylark.

The Dunes Cafe now has a cafe open at Waxham Barns too!

CAFES further afield

At the Whelk Coppers Tearoom in Sheringham, dogs are very welcome, and the cafe caters for gluten free diets.
Its rumoured that the wrought iron gates at the cafe were designed by Walt Disney who was a friend of the original owner.

Buttercups Tearooms 5 High Street, Cromer, has some great feedback on their website.

The Old Rock Shop Bistro  10 Hamilton Road, Cromer does some great coffee and cakes

Blue Sky Cafe  Runton Road, Cromer allows dogs inside as well as outside

Rocket House Cafe, Cromer with great views of Cromer Pier and a lovely menu.  Dogs allowed on the balcony areas.

Jetty Cafe  High Street, Cromer.  Very dog friendly.

Eating Out In Norfolk  - a whole website dedicated to finding good places to eat in Norfolk with a really good postcode based search function.