Hunstanton – guide for visiting one of the sunniest locations in Norfolk


If you're looking for a sunny Norfolk town, then you can't do much better than Hunstanton - it is one of the few places on the east coast of Great Britain where the sun sets over the sea, so you'll get lots of sun and some very dramatic sunsets.

Hunstanton is divided into the village of Old Hunstanton and New Hunstanton, and we'll be picking our favourite things to see and do from both areas, updated for 2023. Let's get into the guide:

Where is Hunstanton?

Let's, first of all, establish where Hunstanton is. You'll find the town 14 miles north of the town of King's Lynn (check out our guide for that town too), 40 miles northeast of the major city of Peterborough, and 102 miles north of London. The town is unique in that it is the only west-facing resort on the east coast of England, which is what explains the epic sunsets you'll often enjoy there.
FireShot Capture 1678 - Hunstanton - Google Maps -

What is there to do during your time in Hunstanton?

Hunstanton is a great place to visit, here are some of our favourite things for you to check out:

Hunstanton beach

Hunstanton is a seaside town, and you can't go there without visiting the excellent beach. This is a very long beach backed by the famous red and white striped cliffs & dunes, but it is perhaps best known for the huge stretch of sand you can walk along at low tide. If your idea of bliss is a long walk along the tide with an energetic dog, then Hunstanton Beach is a must-visit, although dogs are usually not allowed on the beach during the summer months. But this isn't such a problem as we think walking along the beach during the colder months is the best way to enjoy it - the cold air will certainly blow the cobwebs away! We definitely recommend checking the tide times before heading here to ensure you get the best experience.


Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve

Hunstanton Beach might be the beach that brings people to the town, but Holme Dunes is the area of the beach that usually sticks with people. If birdwatching is your thing then we highly recommend visiting the reserve - you've got 3 hides with excellent views out to the wetlands and marshes, where you can see a fascinating range of birds. You'll also have the chance to see other wildlife such as natterjack toads, butterflies, and dragonflies, as well as lots of plantlife. Advance car parking is essential and although there is a cafe there we'd recommend bringing water and snacks for the day. Learn more here -

Hunstanton Heritage Centre

If you're interested to learn more about how Hunstanton was shaped, literally and figuratively, then a trip to Hunstanton Heritage Centre is highly recommended. The town has quite a fascinating history, and this museum outlines the story of Hunstanton in an interesting and engaging way. The museum now sits in the old Bank building, which is a lovely design and overlooks the town. Entrance is free and most of the people working there are volunteers so make sure you're extra nice to them! Learn more here -

FireShot Capture 1677 - HUNSTANTON HERITAGE CENTRE - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go_ -

SEA LIFE Sanctuary and Aquarium Centre

SEA LIFE is an established brand of aquarium centres that you'll find up and down the country, but one of the best centres is definitely in Hunstanton. Like all of the SEA LIFE centres, here you'll have the chance to experience lots of interaction with sea animals and see them up close. The highlight is probably the seal feeding experience which can be booked for individuals and is a great way to get up close and personal with some lovely seals. The feeding time sessions are great and all the staff are lovely. Our one thing to watch out for would be the slightly expensive tickets, but if you're staying for a few hours it is well worth the price of admission. Learn more here -


Courtyard Farm

Owned and operated by Lord Melford, this family-run farm is open to the public and is a wonderful place to visit for a walk. Meadows and woodlands can be explored, and the farm is home to a variety of beautiful wildflowers such as knapweed. There are a number of paths and tracks which are well marked, however probably the best way to explore the farm is just to wander aimlessly. You'll also find some farm animals there, and if you're lucky you might see some cute piglets! Learn more here -

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Peddar's Way

This 46-mile trail starts in the Brecks and goes all the way to Hunstanton - obviously we're not expecting that you'll walk the whole length, but there are some highlights along the way which you can dip in and out of. The trail follows a Roman road, and it is actually suitable for cyclists if you'd prefer to travel by bike. We'd recommend starting at the Sedgeford section, which is around 9 miles from Holme/Hunstanton and takes you past the Ringstead Downs. You can also follow the trail towards King's Lynn. Learn more about the trail here -


Esplanade Gardens

Situated in the old part of the town, these traditional Victorian Promenade Gardens are lovely to explore and form part of the Hunstanton Heritage Gardens area in Hunstanton. These gardens are award-winning and the colourful bedding displays are really impressive. Great for a stroll and near the town (plus the crazy golf), learn more here -


Things to be aware of before visiting Hunstanton

Like we mentioned previously, Hunstanton is quite a small place so despite having a lot to see and do, you could quite easily cover most of the things we've included in this list within a few days. It's worth travelling to some of the nearby towns if you're looking for other interesting things to do such as King's Lynn as we mentioned previously, a fascinating town full of history and excellent places to eat.

You're also only 10 miles away from Control Tower Stays, one of the excellent accommodation options we included in our list of the best vegan/vegetarian hotels in the UK.

Final thoughts - Is Hunstanton worth visiting?

If your idea of the perfect getaway involves plenty of seaside walking, then Hunstanton is definitely worth visiting for you. It's a perfect place for a weekend getaway, and King's Lynn is only a short drive away which is great for a day trip.

If you enjoyed this guide, check out our other guides about places to visit in England including the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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