Holme Dunes was named by The Times in January 2019 as one of their Wildest Beaches in Britain. In fairness, England in January is bleak, there is no other word to really fully describe it. As I walked from Anna’s House to this windswept expanse of sand on a chilly January morning I was met by a fellow walker who exclaimed ‘Doesn’t Norfolk do bleak brilliantly’ and as you looked across to the cold sea and crisp clouds you had to agree.
Holme Dunes beach is reached via the winding coastal path from the old harbour at Thornham which changes with the seasons but is always beautiful. In the summer it is still remote but has all the characteristics that we hope for when we journey to the sea. Huge skies, acres of sand and few people.
This beach was also home to Seahenge – A huge tree stump that was buried upside down with its roots upper most, and surrounding this tree stump were 55 timber posts, which had been cut from smaller oaks in the surrounding area. Some say the upturned tree stump was put there so dead bodies could be laid on top and birds and animals could then pick away at the flesh and bones. Gradually, over 3000-4000 years the sea has encroached the land and covered the peat beds which then naturally preserved the timbers.
In the 1760’s, this beach was infamous as a landing point for good smuggled across from the continent. If you stare out to sea it take very little imagination to see why.
You will also find nestled amongst the trees a few short steps from the beach, a lovely wildlife centre and cafe.
Thornham and Holme Dunes beach is a little off the beaten track so you won’t find a postcode for Thornham or Home Dunes beach. However the Old Harbour on Staithe Lane is a great place to start your walk out to the beach which is What3Words ///films.quail.crowds or more traditionally Longitude/Latitude 52.966556, 0.571943.
Holme Dunes is a great place to explore and you can walk out to it as part of Anna’s Walk. A popular five mile circular walk from Thornham Village out to the Wildlife centre and back via the Old Harbour. More info here