Out & About
The east coast resort that faces west, this charming seaside town is famous for its magnificent sunsets
Hunstanton, or ‘sunny Hunny’ as it’s also aptly known, began its life as a purpose-built resort in 1846. It has retained its Victorian character and is still a popular holiday destination for visitors from near and far. Renowned for its famous striped cliffs, the town is divided into the villages of Old Hunstanton and New Hunstanton – you can easily walk between the two and see how they differ. As the only west-facing resort on the east coast, it’s worth heading to the beach towards the end of the day to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the sea.
What to see and do
Spring and summer are especially wonderful times to visit to appreciate the beach’s vast sands, shallow waters and rock pools. In the town itself, the gardens, including an Esplanade Garden and traditional Victorian promenade garden, are at their most delightful – why not follow the Horticultural Trail round the town?
There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Hunstanton to keep all ages busy, including a bowling green, crazy golf, pitch and putt, amusements and a children’s play area. The Sea Life Centre is also a popular attraction and particularly handy if the weather isn’t great.
See the resident common seal colony and the surrounding landscape from a different perspective on a trip with Searles Sea Tours, who offer a seal safari or coastal tour on one of two unique ‘Wash Monsters’, World War II amphibian crafts which take you out to your boat from the South Promenade.
A little further afield is Norfolk Lavender; acres of world-famous lavender gardens that are used to produce an array of gorgeous-smelling and tasting products, from jam and candles to soap and bath oil.
A stone’s throw from the beach at Old Hunstanton, The Neptune is a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant, the perfect place to cap off a special break away. Serving up the best seasonal produce that Norfolk has to offer, including locally landed fish and lobsters, as well as Norfolk pork and game from local farms.
If you’re after something more casual for lunch or a coffee and a cake, head to Berni Beans, a quaint tearoom on the High Street. Vintage decor and beautiful place settings combine with a warm welcome and a delicious selection of afternoon teas, cakes and roasts on a Sunday.
Stay the night
The Lodge Hotel
This luxury hotel in the heart of Old Hunstanton is just 500 yards from the beach and golf course. Offering 16 stylish rooms, including feature rooms which boast free-standing copper baths in the bedroom, pet-friendly courtyard rooms and suites with sea views. All rooms come complete with en-suites, tea and coffee making facilities and flatscreen TVs. There are also five self-contained cottages. Rooms can be booked with breakfast or breakfast and dinner included. The food is sumptuous, with daily changing specials and an emphasis on fresh fish and locally sourced produce. Dine in the bar, outside in the veranda garden, or in the more formal dining room. The bar offers a great selection of wines and real ales for a nightcap.