Cart Gap, Norfolk

When you talk about Happisburgh, most people will know Sea Palling but not Cart Gap beach. True enough, most of the visitors to Cart Gap are actually locals. However, this does not mean that you should not check it out.


Cart Gap is one of the places along the Norfolk Coast Path. Visitors traveling by car might find it easy to miss because it is at the end of a narrow, one-lane road that cuts through farmland.

It is situated between the village of Happisburgh and the more-popular Sea Palling, although the nearest town is North Walsham. While the beach itself is more off-the-beaten track than touristic, it has all the necessary amenities visitors need, like a car park, toilet, and a cafe.


Cart Gap is truly a quiet, unspoilt beach that has no crowds, arcades, vendors, and fairgrounds. Instead, it has a beautiful sandy beach, although it is at risk of erosion, hence it is supported by a seawall and the beach is divided by wooden groynes.

There is actually only one stretch of beach that changes its name every few miles, although Cart Gap is less visited compared to its neighbor Sea Palling. These beaches are award-winning, with their golden sand and the shallow pools that are quite common after high tide. Thus, it is family-friendly, with plenty of sand and water to keep the kids occupied.

The beach has pretty views, but you might want to head out to one of the 2 watchtowers for a better view. The breathtaking surroundings must be what drew the first humans in Britain to settle here.

Visitors will also love the sight of seals close to the bridge, with their gray heads bobbing out of the water at times.


This is a dog-friendly beach and visitors will find most of what they need during their visit. This includes a carpark and toilet, as well as the nearby cafe. There is a lifeboat station in the beach but there is no more lifeguard service.

Things To Do

Cart Gap is part of the Norfolk Coast Path, so visitors can take a hike or a walk to see the surroundings once they are finished sunbathing or swimming. Beyond that, a visit to the towers nearby will give you spectacular views especially during sunset.

Seal watching is another great idea. If you are not satisfied with watching them from Cart Gap then head over to Waxham, where you can swim closer to the seals.

If you are hungry, grab a bite at the beautiful Smallsticks Barn Cafe. For light lunches and a picnic area, you can head over to Waxham Great Barn.

Tourist Spots Nearby

Close by is Eccles, one of the lost villages of Norfolk, but you will have to wait for low tide. Other places to check out include Happisburgh village. This is the site of the oldest working lighthouse in the Norfolk coast and offers great views.

St. Mary’s Church also has a tower (133 steps up) that is perfect for picturesque views. Other beautiful churches can be found in the area, like West Somerton.

Post Author: Constance Davidson