Cliffs at Hunstanton
Seals
Hunstanton beach

Hunstanton

Introduction

Hunstanton in Norfolk a traditional bustling seaside resort with a long sandy beach, many attractions, entertainment and activities for all the family.

What are the ingredients for a classic British holiday by the sea? How about a lighthouse perched on candy striped cliffs with rock pools and a shipwreck for the children to explore on the beach? Welcome to Hunstanton.

HISTORY

 

On Christmas Day in the year AD 855 a 14 year old Saxon called Edmund landed on the Norfolk Coast at a place, which 200 years later became Hunstanton, the landing point is still known as St Edmunds Point today. 

 

The development of Hunstanton as we know it today can be attributed to one man, Henry Le Strange (1815-1862). He owned 10,000 acres of land and lived in Hunstanton Hall. When the seaside first became popular he conceived the idea of constructing a new town to attract visitors. The first of his plans began to take shape in 1846 when the New Inn (now Golden Lion Hotel) was built. 

 

Le Strange was responsible for the creation of the Gothic style housing, public gardens and the land for the railway which opened in 1862. Le Strange died before seeing the completion of his work however his son, Hamon, continued his fathers work and the purchase of the Sandringham Estate by Queen Victoria in 1861 secured Hunstanton’s position as the fully fledged seaside resort it remains today.

 

Regrettably the railway was dismantled in 1969 and the pier, built in 1870, was swept away by the storm of 1978.

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

A popular coastal resort 16 miles from King’s Lynn and 12 miles from the Sandringham Estate on the A149 in Norfolk.

 

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

 

The Sandringham Estate  – The much loved country retreat of the Royal Family, it has been in the family since 1862. Set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, the house is the heart of the 20000 acre estate, 600 acres of which are the country park. The estate is open to the public free of charge every day of the year, however there is a fee for visiting the house.                               

 

Norfolk Lavender – A distinctive Norfolk landmark, Norfolk Lavender is home to a collection of over 150 varieties of lavender. There is also a herb garden, fragrant plant centre set in a conservatory, shop and tea rooms with seating for a 120.

 

Sea Life Sanctuary – Home to Otters, Penguins and more than 30 permanent displays all showcasing the rich diversity of life under the waves, not to mention the Hammerhead Sharks. The sanctuary also provides a safe haven for more than 30 sick, injured or orphaned seal pups which are annually cared for at the Sanctuary.

 

Sea Tours – There are five different guided sea tours available from the coast at Hunstanton they take in Seal colonies, sandbanks and the lighthouse.

 

RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve – 4 miles west of Hunstanton, Snettisham is the place to witness two great spectacles. At high tide water covers the vast mudflats and tens of thousands of wading birds can be seen and in the winter months, thousands of pinkfooted geese are visible.

 

RSPB Titchwell Marsh – 5 miles east of Hunstanton, Titchwell Marsh offers a visitor centre from which you can walk down to a sandy beach which takes you past reed beds and shallow lagoons full of birds.

 

Snettisham Park – Here activities include a deer safari, discovery trail, horse & pony rides, tea room visitor centre, shops and adventure playground.

 

Bircham Windmill - Bircham Windmill still looks as it did over 100 years ago. Today, very few windmills are left, it is the only windmill in working order in the area open to the public. Visitors can climb the five floors up to the fan stage and, on windy days, see the sails and the milling machinery turning. There are tearooms, bakery and grounds to visit.

 

Coal Shed Gallery – Part of the original Hunstanton railway site, the gallery has been converted to house work from local artists and photographers.

 

Fakenham Racecourse – a friendly, casual atmosphere to watch horse racing, Fakenham Racecourse has no formal dress code. Children aged 16 and under are admitted free, the racecourse welcomes all visitors. It is located on the south side of Fakenham off of the A1067 Fakenham/Swaffham road.

 

BEACHES

 

Hunstanton - Known as ‘sunny hunny’ , the beach and cliffs at Hunstanton face west, which means they capture the sunshine and are the perfect spots for viewing some spectacular sunsets.The beach runs for two miles along the coast to Brancaster and when the tide goes out , rock pools appear around the groynes.The seafront is bordered by large Victorian and Edwardian houses and you can walk along the top of the cliffs to the lighthouse. There's plenty to do on rainy days - Hunstanton is very much a family holiday destination and is also popular with older holidaymakers

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015