History of Hunstanton

Hunstanton – the Victorian Seaside Resort

Hunstanton is a popular coastal resort 16 miles from King’s Lynn and approx 12 miles from Sandringham on the A149 in Norfolk, England. Hunstanton was built on The Wash as a Norfolk seaside resort during Victorian times. The town is West facing and most evenings visitors will enjoy exceptionally stunning sunsets over The Wash.

Modern Hunstanton retains its character and is a fantastic holiday location for all ages. A particularly suitable holiday resort for families, Hunstanton is an ideal holiday base from which to visit Norfolk’s many attractions. The town boasts a wide selection of quality holiday accommodation including self-catering and bed and breakfast options. Throughout the year there are a number of regular events in and around the Hunstanton district and during the summer months the programme of events is particularly packed with something for everyone.

The origins of the name Hunstanton could be from the name of the local stone which is known as “Honeystone”. Another possibility is the River Hunn which runs from the ancestral home of the Le Strange Family (Old Moated Hall in Hunstanton Park).

Hunstanton was built as a Norfolk seaside resort and gained popularity as early as the 1860s. Today, Hunstanton retains its Victorian character and remains a popular holiday location for all ages but particularly families. This Norfolk town possibly takes its name from the River Hunn, though it is also said that the name Hunstanton originated from the word “Honeystone”, the name of the local stone from years gone by. The River begins in the grounds of Old Hunstanton Park which also houses the grand Old Moated Hall, the Ancestral home of the Le Strange Family.

That Hunstanton became a seaside resort was largely due to Henry Styleman Le Strange’s decision to develop the area south of the old village as a sea bathing resort. Mr Le Strange designed the new resort personally with a triangular green sloping down to the sea, with buildings on two sides of the triangle and the sea on the other, as the focal point. The development proceeded at a slow pace. However, in 1862, the Great Eastern Counties Railway introduced a Norfolk rail line from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton which ensured the prosperity of the new resort.Hunstanton Promenade by Kerry Ibrom

Hunstanton in the modern day is affectionately known as “Sunny Hunny” and for very good reason. Hunstanton faces West across a 20 mile wide stretch of shallow, sheltered water almost the width of The English Channel. A memorable “highway to the heavens” reflection of the sun in a golden and silver road can often be seen as you look to the horizon across the sea. At times the colours change and glow orange, pink and even green. Hunstanton enjoys truly world class sunsets and records some of the highest sun-time in the summer. It is likely, therefore, that your Norfolk holiday in Hunstanton will be a sunny one.Seal off Hunstanton coastline by Frank Gogarty


Eating an icecream on Hunstanton Green by Dougie Campbell

Icecream, the promenade, the views from Hunstanton Green and the seaside fun fair are all key attractions here in Hunstanton. On weekends throughout the season there are always events taking place on Hunstanton Green or around the bandstand which is located there. Check out the calendar (located at: http://www.norfolk-on-line.co.uk/hunstanton-norfolk/news/calendar/) for details of local events including bandstand dates.

Hunstanton High Street and surrounding shopping area houses a variety of shops catering for many differing needs. These include places to buy the last minute holiday essentials such as a bucket and spade. Browse further and you will find some of the usual UK High Street names as well as suppliers of fashionable clothing for all ages, gardening tools and plants, electrical goods, printing services, kites, water sports equipment (ie surf boards, kite-surfing and wind surfing equipment), model toys and even home-made confectionery.

Amongst these shops you will find Barclays, National Westminster Bank, Nationwide Building Society and a Post Office (in both Hunstanton Town and Old Hunstanton). There are a number of small cafes, tea rooms, chip shops and restaurants and along the sea front there are the usual purveyors of fresh sea food, Hunstanton Rock, ice cream and donuts.

The Hunstanton RNLI lifeboat station team meets each Sunday morning at their depot in Old Hunstanton, just past Le Strange Hotel on the left to run through equipment checks and personnel training/manoeuvres. They are delighted to meet interested visitors and enjoy explaining their work. Why not drop in and see what you can learn about this worthwhile organisation. Who knows, you may need them one day.

Visitors and residents alike enjoy the beautiful beaches and the breathtaking views of the sea from the green, trips to see the seals and the views from the famous Hunstanton cliffs. There is also a popular land train in Hunstanton Town which runs regularly through the summer months carrying visitors from Searles up to the lighthouse and back again. For enquiries re the landtrain telephone 01485 534211.