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Norfolk vs Dorset - Beach break

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Hey everyone,

We're able to slip in one last family holiday outside of school holidays as our son starts school in September, but one week after everyone else goes back.

We'd usually go to St Ives in Cornwall, firm, firm favourite for many years. However, with a six week old baby when we're due to go it's just a bit too far to trek from London.

So, it looks like Old Hunstanton in Norfolk, with day trips to say Cromer, Wells Next the sea etc is one option. 2.5hrs for us. 

Another would be Seaton or Lyme Regis. It looks like Bridport is a possible day trip, but the likes of Portland Bill (I've been before) a bit too far. 3.75hrs for us.

I have some exposure to Dorset, as I've been to Waymouth, Brownsea Island, and, briefly, Sandbanks. No exposure to Norfolk at all.

Anyone been to either and care to share their views? We know neither will be that similar to St Ives.

Essentially looking to spend lots of time on nice beaches, then having some decent food really. 

Thoughts much appreciated! 
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  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,623 Forumite
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    I'd look at Suffolk.  Aldeburgh, and Southwold in particular.
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    Thanks for the suggestion. Looks like Aldeburgh is pebble rather than sand though which won't work for us. Southwold we don't want to go to for some historic personal issues (it's complex lol).

    Cheers
  • billy2shots
    billy2shots Posts: 1,122 Forumite
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    I've been to Norfolk a few times and I live in Bournemouth.

    A little biased but no contest for me, Bournemouth / Dorset all day long. 
    At that time of year Temps shout begin to drop slightly and you may get the odd indifferent day. Norfolk can get pretty windy/chilly on such days but down here we stay more protected.

    I wouldn't head for the obvious Bournemouth beach as all the tourists go there. There's much nicer , quieter parts either side like Southbourne, Alum chine. 

    You can then do day trips to Durdle door and Weymouth if they float your boat. 

    Just back from a family holiday to Cornwall and Scilly Isles. Lovely beaches and water (bloody cold Atlantic (another plus for Bournemouth). Whilst I loved the first few days, it got a bit samey and sleepy. There seems far more to do / open where I live. 
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    Cheers, I think that's my hunch too really. Sadly tricky to find accommodation of the sort my wife would go for. Found somewhere well nice in Seaton but no decidate ld parking, just a permit. 
  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,590 Forumite
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    Could you do the Isle of Wight? Nowhere near as far to drive as Cornwall, lovely sandy beaches and gets good weather. We loved Sandown - gorgeous beaches and we even found some cool fossils and pyrite just wandering along the beach!
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    Thanks, I did suggest that but my wife, the driver, wasn't keen on the idea. I think the faff of the ferry etc was part of it. 

    I'm sure I'll be able to convince her in a few years. 

    Come what may, Norfolk is booked now! 
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,972 Forumite
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    I would choose Norfolk over Dorset every time (and been to both). Far more to do in Norfolk and variety.

    Would probably choose to stay more east than Hunstanton though to give you more options of what to do. Somewhere between Wells-next-the-sea and Cromer. Going up the A11 route is also far easier than the A10 towards Kings Lynn.

    A trip into Norwich for a walk around the Dinosaur trail would be good. There is also the dinosaur park, several wild life parks / zoo's, tree top parks (Bewilderwood) etc to keep the youngsters entertained. Lots of sandy beaches to choose from.
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    Thanks that's good to know! Old Hunstanton has already been booked! But day trips planned to some places, not sure which yet.

    Thanks for those options, some sound right up our street. 
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    As an alternative, how about Northumberland? Loads of sandy beaches, day trips, not crowded? It's a less stressful trip up the A1 than slogging down to Cornwall/Devon/Dorset in the season.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    macman said:
    As an alternative, how about Northumberland? Loads of sandy beaches, day trips, not crowded? It's a less stressful trip up the A1 than slogging down to Cornwall/Devon/Dorset in the season.
    Already booked on this occasion but I'll look into it for next time. We do love a UK holiday by the beach big time! Cheers for the suggestion 
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