Wells-next-the-sea

Introduction

Wells-next-the-sea is an unspoiled seaside destination, with a long sweeping sandy beach, waiting to be discovered.

 

HISTORY

In the Middle Ages, East Anglia was the richest part of the country and Wells-next-the-Sea was a commercial hub, a port for the small sailing ships that carried much of the nation’s trade. In the time of Elizabeth I, it was the leading port in North Norfolk.

About 1859 Wells, twice the size of Fakenham at the time, got the railway. Within a decade it had two stations, not to mention 40 pubs and inns - plus beer houses - malting was a local industry.

The Wells railway, already in decline, never really recovered from the 1953 flood and it closed in 1964. In the ’70s and ‘80s, Wells Harbour still looked like a commercial port but, the occasional small coaster apart, no longer was. The famous Albatros, the Dutch North Sea Klipper and last sail trader to and from the UK, worked valiantly in the early ‘90s but its last cargo contract expired in ’96 and it returned to Holland.

Wells is now a small town, half the size of Fakenham, picturesque with its alleys and yards and buildings from the old days. 

GEOGRAPHY

Situated on the North Norfolk coast Wells has an area of approximately 10m² (16.3km²) and a population of just 2450. Wells is located 15 miles (24km) to the east of Hunstanton, 20miles (32km) west of Cromer and just 10miles (16km) north of Fakenham, accessible via the A149 coast road. 

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

 Playland & Pop in Centre - North Norfolk's most popular indoor adventure fun house for children with a huge range of games to play on, from slot machines to high tech video games and a massive bouncy fun house. Playland is situated on Wells Next the Sea quay at the start of the beach road. 

Hilltop Outdoor Centre - set in over 25 acres of rolling wooded valleys and lush pasture, the centre offers an all season experience, Climbing, High Ropes, Archery, Air Rifles, Assault Course, Tree Top Trail, Mountain Bikes, Big Zipper, as well as a panoramic seascape and stunning coastal views over Sheringham. Located on the A148 half a mile east of Sheringham. 

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.  

Whin Hill Cider – An 18th century barn housing a cider works, with exhibits of cider making equipment and mugs. Also, sales of cider and apple juice. Located in Stearmans Yard in Wells admission is free. 

Wells Harbour Railway – Narrow gauge railway runs adjacent to the beach road carrying passengers to either the beach or harbour, rides are free.

BEACHES

Wells-next-the-sea -The beach at Wells is approximately a mile from the town. Its a very pleasant walk there, or you a short drive to the beach car park. During the summer you can take the miniature railway.

The sandy beach, backed by dunes and pine trees, stretches for miles to the west. Eastwards, the beach continues but can be cut off by the tide.

The beach is part of the Holkham Estate and the vast un-spoilt beach and woodland provide ample opportunities to enjoy peace and solitude.

Further along are salt marshes. The area is part of a nature reserve and is good for bird-watching. 

Cley-next-the-sea- The quiet, pebbly beach at Cley seems to stretch endlessly into the distance with stunning views to either side. Much quieter than the well-known beaches of Brancaster and Holkham, you can walk from Cley along the coastal path and the beach is accessible by car. The car park even has a quirky bookshop – not quite what you'd expect to find on a beach in Norfolk! 

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 

Holkham Bay - One of the most famous of Norfolk’s beaches backed by numerous pinewood trees.

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015