Holkham Beach in NorfolkView map
Windswept and glorious
hile the crowds may flock to Hunstanton when the sun’s out, the smart money heads to Holkham Beach. Located 15 miles further along the Norfolk coast, it’s where John Maddon made for too, when he directed the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love.
You know the bit – where Gwyneth Paltrow strolls across the seemingly never-ending sands to set sail for a colonial settlement in Virginia, her love affair with Joseph Fiennes’ Shakespeare over, leaving them both heartbroken. Not that we’ve seen it six times or anything (ahem).
Anyway, why not recreate your own windswept dramatics on the miles of white-gold sand, and the maze of creeks and saltings, then cool off among the shady pinewoods bordering the beach. Holkham is an official naturist beach too, so if the urge arises, feel free to toss aside your clothes as you take in the endless horizon.
A short walk along the beach you’ve got Wells-next-the-Sea, where you could stop for a pint at the Crown, on the village green. Or head inland to Holkham Hall, which also has a distinguished film career, having starred alongside Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.