For a traditional family holiday by the sea, Hunstanton is the perfect destination. With award winning beaches, stunning sunsets and plenty to keep the children (and adults!) amused all day you will be sure to have a fantastic time!
First popular with holidaymakers in the mid 19th Century (when Henry Styleman Le Strange built the town as a dedicated sea bathing resort), Hunstanton has a wonderful Victorian charm and a lovely family friendly atmosphere. Known by the locals as ‘Sunny Hunny' this Norfolk resort is in the unique position of being on the east coast yet west facing, so after a lovely bright day you may witness a gorgeous sunset over the sea.
Things to Do in Hunstanton & Heacham
There is so much to do in and around both resorts, whether just enjoying the beaches or taking in a show at the Princess Theatre, it is a great place to visit whatever the weather.
With beautiful sandy stretches, a bucket and spade is essential for a trip to Hunstanton! The beaches are excellent and kept very clean - Hunstanton has won the coveted Blue Flag Award for 2010. The Blue Flag designation acts as a guarantee to tourists that the beach is one of the best in the world, and has excellent cleanliness, water quality, environmental education and safety. Hunstanton also won the Quality Coast Award, a symbol only awarded to those beaches that have achieved the very highest standards. Further along this stretch of coastline you will find one of the highlights of Hunstanton - its incredible red and white cliffs which stretch out for almost a mile. This part of the beach is more rugged with numerous rock pools just waiting to be explored.
Hunstanton has a great mixture of old and new attractions, with more gentle activities such as pony rides on the beach or a relaxing trip on the road train for younger children. There are exciting rides at the funfair for older children or a game of Blackbeard's Adventure golf for some competitive family fun! Situated on the seafront in Hunstanton, the Sea Life Sanctuary will be enjoyed by the whole family. With sharks, otter and penguin sanctuaries, a seal hospital to care for sick and injured pups, feeding demonstration and the first underwater tunnel in the UK, where better to learn about creatures of the water than on your seaside holiday! Why not take to the water and experience a fascinating guided tour of the coast on one of five different Searles Sea Tours. Departing from the main Central Promenade in Hunstanton, the tours include a Seal Island tour to see these animals enjoying the Norfolk beaches and a cliff and lighthouse tour where you can really appreciate the splendour of Hunstanton's magnificent cliffs.
Just three miles along the coast you will find the smaller resort of Heacham. It is another great location for families with two unspoilt beaches, a range of shops and many places to eat. The village has a link to the Native American princess Pocahontas who married the Englishman John Rolfe, who was born in Heacham. Today Pocahontas is still remembered by a memorial carving in the beautiful St Mary's Church
The magnificent Houghton Hall is certainly worth a visit during your stay. Situated about twenty minutes inland from Hunstanton, the Hall is surrounded by acres of parkland which are home to a herd of white deer, stunning gardens, a medieval church and a museum. For a real sensory treat, take a trip to Norfolk Lavender at Heacham, England's premier lavender farm. There are guided tours available around Caley Mill and the lavender collections, plus a tea room with plenty to tempt you and a gift shop packed with wonderful lavender gifts. The Queen's favourite residence, Sandringham Estate is a must visit while in the area. With guides to tell you all there is to know about the house, a gorgeous country park with tractor and trailer rides should your legs need a break and the church of Mary Magdelene, Sandringham will keep everyone entertained for hours.
Where to eat in Hunstanton & Heacham
As a coastal town, and with close proximity to The Wash, Hunstanton is a great place for a fish and chip supper. There are numerous village pubs and restaurants in Heacham, Hunstanton and the surrounding area, including the Yurt Restaurant at Thornham - a restaurant in a yurt, as the name suggests!
Shopping in Hunstanton & Heacham
Local markets are held in Hunstanton on Wednesdays (summer months), Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, where you're sure to pick up the freshest local produce available. Get your seaside essentials from the shops along the promenade, or enjoy a trip out to Norfolk Lavender to sample their two Gift Shops and Farm Shop after perusing the gardens.
What's on in Hunstanton & Heacham
Whether it's a spot of nature discovery with a Bug Hunt or Rock Pool Ramble at Hunstanton, theatre and music shows at the Princess Theatre, beer festivals in Heacham, or the East Anglia Soul Weekend (Nov) at Searles Leisure Resort, you'll find something for everyone. If you're into activities try the Hunstanton Kite Festival (end Aug) or the Hunstanton Lifestyles Extreme Sports & Culture Festival (early Jul) - kiteboarding, surfing, parkour, skateboarding and more!
Where to Stay in Hunstanton & Heacham
There are many places to stay around the two resorts including numerous excellent bed and breakfasts, hotels and gorgeous cottages. Many families enjoy staying at one of the camping and caravanning sites where you can either hire a caravan or chalet or bring your own touring caravan. Searles Leisure Resort is a popular place to stay offering camping facilities and accommodation in lodges and holiday homes for all sizes of family.
Find out more about Hunstanton & Heacham
For more information, please visit the official tourist website for Hunstanton:
Hunstanton Tourist Information Centre
Other useful links:
Related pages on Visit Norfolk: