Sailing on the North Norfolk Coast

From the beaches of Snettisham to the shifting sands of Blakeney Harbour the Norfolk Coast offers some of the most varied and exciting dinghy sailing in the whole of the UK.

Blakeney Harbour

The sailing in Blakeney Harbour can be challenging. Although the harbour (fed between Cley and Wiveton by the Glaven River itself!) is sheltered from the worst of the North Sea by Blakeney Point, reaching the open waters of the harbour can be tricky.

Navigating the creeks at either Blakeney, Morston or Stiffkey is a challenge for the most experienced sailor. The moored boats and the seal boats meaning that attention must be paid at all times!

But the sailing once out of the creeks is some of the best available, and the racing ranges from the competitive to those rather more leisurely gatherings of Cockle sailing dinghies were the pace might be sedate but the competition is still fierce.

Near the mouth of the harbour the presence of the famous colony of seals is always a satisfying objective for any expedition.

Burnham Overy Staithe and Brancaster Staithe

The sailing out of the two Staithes is dominated by the presence of the island Scolt Head. If carefully timed with the tides a days sailing can manage a complete circumnavigation of the island. The access to the open water is easier than in Blakeney Harbour and sailing is possible over a wider range of tides.

Norton Creek connects the two Staithes, and the contrast between the bustle of Brancaster Staithe and the quieter Burnham Overy Staithe is very apparent if one makes the journey between the two.


The Sailing Club at Snettisham is the primary sailing venue on the west side of the wash.

Sailing off the beach is an entirely different experience to that of the semi-enclosed waters of Blakeney Harbour and those south of Scolt Head. Even if the tide is out, the lagoon behind the beach provides a satisfactory range of pastimes particularly suited to the younger age group.

For good competitive sailing in a variety of classes, Snettisham beach is difficult to beat.

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