We have some gorgeous photographs that celebrate Hunstanton, an east coast town that faces west and one of the few places on the English east coast where the sun can be seen to set over the sea. Hunstanton is notable for its stratified, fossiliferous cliffs: lower reddish limestone, known as ‘red chalk‘ that glows with rich reds and the colours of a Tuscan town. Much of the coastline along with the countryside and inland villages is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers around 450 square kilometres. To the south of Hunstanton towards King’s Lynn and then west towards Sutton Bridge, the coastline forms part of The Wash, the largest estuary system in the UK, that is recognised internationally as a fundamentally important site for wildlife.
Topped by a white chalk layer from the Upper Cretaceous Epoch, the cliffs are a beautiful place to wander at dawn and dusk where their colours and shadows are intensified. Go fossil and shell hunting with the children taking a good seaside wildlife App or guide book to help you identify rock pool inhabitants, the abundant local bird life and geological discoveries.
The excellent sandy beaches, awarded Blue Flag status in 2011 provide that trad British seaside experience where a bucket and spade, sunscreen, windbreak and sand encrusted picnic will keep any child happily occupied for hours on end with the odd wander to the nearby ice cream sellers to round off the day.
The original village settlement , Old Hunstanton boasts the more sedate village atmosphere, with carstone-built cottages and traditional British pubs but it is feasible (and easy) to walk from Old Hunstanton to the town proper itself and this is something that we highly recommend. Families that want the more Enid Blyton-esque seaside experience may choose to stay on the beaches of Old Hunstanton where children will not be tempted by the dazzle of the coin drop in penny arcades, the fair rides and other neon bright attractions.
Hunstanton’s popular seasonal land train carries visitors from Searles Leisure Resort to the Lighthouse and back again, turning the journey into a an attraction in itself and saving tired little legs from another walk. This is not the only form of transport though- Hunstanton longstanding beach donkeys and the seabuggy that crawls up and down the sand can be found on the town beaches alongside boat trips out to the many seal colonies that line the North Norfolk coastline.
To find out more about the many events and attractions both in Hunstanton and Norfolk generally, Mumsnet Norfolk has the most up to date listings.