Hunstanton’s Local Attractions
Things to do in Hunstanton
Hunstanton is the only East Anglian coastline which faces west and is famous for its beautiful sunsets over the sea. On clear days, Lincolnshire’s Boston Stump can be seen across the wash. The unusual striped cliffs can be found at the North end of the promenade with plenty of rock pools to explore.
St Edmunds Chapel ruins built in 1272 in memory of St Edmund can be found at St Edmunds point on the cliffs and St Edmunds church built in 1866 and dedicated to Edmund is still very active today.
Sailing , Watersports & Sea Life
Kite surfing and wind surfing are a popular sport in Hunstanton and along the coast. Hunstanton has its own kite surfing school and works with the Sailing Club to offer a wide variety of water sports. The Sailing club and school can be found on the promenade with all the facilities to enjoy hours of water sports.
Trips to Seal Island and other coastal trips leave the promenade on a regular basis.
While away the hours listening to the free music at the bandstand on the green, with the music festival and annual carnival taking place during the month of August.
Hunstantons’ own Princess Theatre and cinema have summer and winter seasons packed with a wide variety of events, films, plays and musicals.
Old Hunstanton boasts a championship Golf course where visitors are welcome.
The annual Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament is held every summer; this attracts hundreds of tennis players from across the country.
The annual Kite Festival and classic car rally makes a fun and interesting weekend for visitors.
Warm swimming pools, ice skating, fitness studio, squash, bowling hall and aerobics studio are some of things on offer at the Oasis Leisure Centre on the promenade.
Peddars Way walk
“Where sun and salt meet blood and barley, in the rise and fall of the sleeping land” Hugh Lupton 1999.
The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path starts in Suffolk at Kettishal Heath Country Park and follows the route of a Roman road to Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast.
At Holme the Peddars Way meets the Norfolk Coast Path as it runs from Hunstanton to Cromer.
Holme is famous for the site of ‘Sea Henge’, a 4,500-year-old Bronze Age tree circle discovered on beach
Bircham Windmill is a working windmill just a few miles from Hunstanton. Enjoy tea and cakes or purchase some bread baked at the mills own bakery.
Burnham Market is the largest of the 7 Burnhams, and some would say the best display of Georgian houses in Norfolk. A very busy village with an abundance of quaint shops with two excellent bookshops and probably the best hat shop in the country.
The only pub in this village is called the Lord Nelson, the shop next door is called the Trafalgar stores. Guess who was born here? Burnham Thorpe was the birthplace of Horatio Nelson, his father Edmund Nelson being the rector for some 46 years. The Lord Nelson pub has become a shrine to Nelson with the walls covered with portraits, battle scenes and other marine paintings.
A mile south of Burnham Thorpe stands the ruins of Creake Abbey, an Augustinian monastery founded in 1206. The Abbeys working life came to an abrupt end in 1504 when within a week, every one of the monks died of the plague.
Barns adjacent to the Abbey ruins house the Creake Abbey Studios, a vibrant arts centre and home to the monthly farmers market
Holkham Hall, home of the Coke family and the Earls of Leicester, was built between 1734 and 1764 by Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester. Holkham Hall stands in a lakeside deer park on the north Norfolk coast and is said to be one of Britain’s most majestic stately homes. It is a member of the Treasure Houses group which consists of ten of the most magnificent palaces, houses and castles in England today.
In addition to the deer park Holkham Hall boasts a pottery and its associated shop, a tea room, a Bygones Museum and a History of farming Exhibition with thousands of domestic and agricultural artefacts and an 18th century walled garden. With at least one outside music concert a year Holkham Hall is well worth a visit.
Holkham boasts miles of beautiful sandy beaches, with one side being for the naturists. A pathway leading to Wells-next-Sea takes you over beautiful sand dunes and pine woods giving great views for miles.
Gwyneth Paltrow walked on the sands of Holkham Beach in the closing scenes of the film Shakespere in love.
Wells has been a working port since the 13th century running alongside the embankment is the Harbour Railway which trundles from the quay to the lifeboat stations by the beach. The Wells to Walsingham Light Railway carries passengers on a ride along the route of the former Great Eastern Railway to Little Walsingham. The 4 mile journey takes around 30 minutes.
Two villages known as Little and Great Walsingham with Little Walsingham being famous for its annual half a million pilgrims from all over the world.
The pilgrims walk from many parts of England and arrive on Easter Sunday to worship at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Henry the V111 made the pilgrimage in 1511 visiting first the Slipper Chapel a beautiful 14th century building about a mile away in Houghton St Giles, here he removed his shoes and completed the last stretch on foot.
Great Walsingham is very different in atmosphere and appearance. A typical rural Norfolk village with attractive cottages set around a green watered by the River Stiffkey and dominated by the 14th century Church of St Peter.
A former fishing village now a busy seaside resort, Sheringham has one of the cleanest beaches in England. A small fleet of fishing boats still operates from the beach mostly concentrating on crabs and lobsters.
The North Norfolk Railway, better known as The Poppy Line re-opened in 1975. The original station across the road from the Network Rail Station was built in 1887 and retains all the charm of steam railway days, complete with luggage piled on the platform and smartly dressed uniformed staff.
In this village you will find Langham Glass and Rural Crafts, an 18th century collection of barn workshops and a variety of craftspeople practising their skills.
A beautiful and interesting village, a commercial port until the beginning of the 20th century. The fascinating village is built on a hill which leads down to the quay. A landscape of marshes, mud banks and sand hills are the starting point for trips to Blakeney Point where colonies of grey seals can be found and an array of birds.
A busy Georgian town with plenty of shops and restaurants the North Norfolk railway, (the poppy line) takes you to Sheringham from here.
A very popular RSPB reserve on the North Norfolk coast, Titchwell Marsh covers some 420 acres of shingle beach, freshwater, reed beds and salt-marsh. Enjoy the wide variety of birds visiting this reserve throughout the year and many birds breeding in these habitats.
A drive along the wonderful North Norfolk coast line will bring many opportunities to observe birds in their natural habitat.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Beauty. This village, once a trading port has a shingle beach accessed over Cley Marshes. This nature reserve has an environmentally visitor centre with observation areas for bird watching.
A Victorian seaside town with a traditional pier with a Lifeboat Station and pavilion theatre complete with end of pier shows. A busy town with abundance of shops and restaurants and of course its famous Cromer crabs.
Well known for its sandy beach and RSPB Bird Sanctuary, see the thousands of wading birds and the dawn and dusk flights of the pink footed geese.
Snettisham’s greatest gift to the national heritage is its collection of gold and silver ornaments from the 1st century AD, in 1991 the largest hoard of treasure ever found in Britain, now resides in London’s British Museum
Norfolk Lavender is the oldest and largest lavender growing and distilling operation in the country. Established in 1932 then a family run business Norfolk Lavender has grown significantly and now offers guided tours of the grounds, tours of the distillery in the growing season, a plant centre, herb garden, tea rooms and a gift shop. Recently added to this interesting operation is a Rare Breed centre where animals such as wallabys can be seen.
Sandringham House has been a royal retreat since its purchase by Queen Victoria for her son the Prince of Wales in 1862.
The house, set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk and is at the heart of the 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate, 600 acres of which make up the woodland and heath of the Country Park, open to the public free of charge every day of the year. The old stables just across from the house have been converted into a museum which depicts the life of the royals from 1862 to 1951. An array of royal vehicles can be seen including the very first car owned by a member of the royal family, a 1900 Daimler. A Merrywaether fire engine once used by the estate’s own fire brigade, toy cars, portraits and photographs, china and plaques can all be admired in this fascinating museum.
Sandringham Flower Show is an annual event demonstrating the regions nurseries and horticultural specialists, floral and vegetable displays. Trade stands, crafts, arena events and children’s entertainment make this a special weekend for all of the family.
In addition an annual outside concert is held in the grounds where families can picnic while listening to the music in a spectacular setting.
A visitor centre, adventure playground, plant centre, restaurant and tea rooms surrounded by acres of woodland can be enjoyed whilst in the grounds of the house a typical tea room offers cream teas.
Tours of the woodland are available for those less able to walk or for those who would rather ride round the beautiful woodland estate and nature walks for the more able.
Sandringham church can be found just outside of the house grounds small but steeped in history.
King’s Lynn is some 16 miles from Hunstanton, a busy town with some of the finest old streets in England. Tudor, Jacobean and Flemish houses, medieval churches and stately civic buildings can be found here.
The beautiful Church of St Margaret founded in 1101 has a leaning arch, impressive architecture and is famous for its two 14th century brasses. A short distance away from the church is the Old Goal House complete with the sights and sounds of the ancient cells.
Just a short work away and the most striking sight in the town is the Guildhall of the Holy Trinity, built in 1421 this building has a distinctive chequered black flint and white stone exterior. The building is used today for wedding ceremonies and various civic events. It is also home to the King’s Lynn Arts Centre. There is an annual Arts Festival held in July with concerts and theatre some of which are held in the nearby St Nicholas’ chapel a medieval building with amazing acoustics.
The Town Hall built in 1895 is next to the Guildhall and is constructed in the same black flint and white stone. This building houses the Town House Museum of Lynn Life depicting life in King’s Lynn for the last 900 years.
Standing proudly by itself is the Custom House of 1683 and amongst other important buildings is the Guildhall of St. George built around 1406 and reputedly the largest civic hall in England.
Caithness Crystal has a visitor centre, shop and restaurant and craftsmen can be watched making the beautiful objects from glass.
In addition King’s Lynn has a swimming pool and an array of shops and restaurants typical of any English town.
Approximately 20 miles from Hunstanton, Fakenham is a busy market town and famous for its National Hunt Racecourse, antique & bric-a-brac markets and auctions.
The market place houses late 18th and early-19th century brick buildings; the former gasworks has been turned into a Museum of Gas & Local History housing a historical display of domestic gas appliances of every kind.
A 700 year old hunting lodge built for the Duchy of Lancaster is now part of the Crown Hotel and can be found by the River Wensum. With quaint individual shops mixed with modern shops, a garden centre and restaurants this town is well worth a visit.