Discover the beaches in North Norfolk that are loved by kitesurfers, with some tips about local conditions.
There is a car park at Snettisham beach – charges apply March to September. The beach is pebble and shingle with plenty of room to launch and land. At high tide the water is not deep and normally very flat, as the tide drops the shingle merges into silt. This happens quite quickly and can recede for up to a mile which can mean a long walk in through the silt.
There is a pay-and-display car park at Heacham, or parking might be available on the access road. Toilets with an outside shower and a friendly cafe are available from the car park. The beach is pebble and shingle. The water is normally flat and a little deeper than Snettisham, and the tide does not go out as far.
Hunstanton beaches are popular with kitesurfers due to the large expanse of relatively flat unobstructed water. The prevailing south-westerly wind gives the beaches the cross-shore conditions kitesurfers prefer.
You can park at the pay-and-display car park on the promenade or join Hunstanton Sailing Club and use their facilities. If you go down the concrete slipway and bear to the left, pass over the first groynes - this is where the majority of local kitesurfers prefer to set up. For your own safety, it is recommended that you only launch your kite when you and the water are clear of the groyne. You will also need to check tide tables at easytide.ukho.gov.uk, as setting up and launching is not possible at high tide.
On a spring tide, sand bars form, creating large areas of flat water which give ideal conditions for both learners and the more experienced to practise their moves.
At Old Hunstanton you can park at the Cliff Top car park or behind Le Strange Arms Hotel. Most people set up and launch in the area between the RNLI access track and the cliff. Take care if launching at high tide with a south-west wind, as the cliffs can create gusty conditions close to shore.
Once on the sea you can expect anything from smooth water to 2-3 foot waves depending upon tide conditions, making this an ideal area for all kitesurfing abilities. Be aware of the mussel beds towards the cliff end of the beach once the tide starts to drop.
Brancaster beach is accessed via a tidal flooding road from the village alongside the Church. Be aware that access to and from the car park is not available at very high tides. A raised footpath to the beach is available at all times. There is a large car park (charges apply), toilet facilities and an excellent refreshment kiosk.
Please abide by the following rules when using this beach. On the main entrance to the beach there is a sign on your left explaining the no-go areas which exist to the right of this entrance. Bear left on the main beach and proceed until you are well clear of the golf club – this is the designated launch and land area.
Brancaster is a sandy flat beach, and the tide recedes a very long way, but the beach remains sandy and firm. Brancaster has the most varied of conditions from reasonably large waves/swell to large lagoons forming with dead flat water in them. When kiting on the sea, do not go into the estuary at the far end of the beach - remain on the main part of the sea. No teaching is allowed on this beach.
Other North Norfolk Beaches
All the beaches between Brancaster and Weybourne are privately owned, bird reserves, or sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs), and kitesurfing is not therefore possible from these.
Although there are pebbles, shingle and shells on all the above beaches, beware of razor shells as these can damage kites.