Sancastles on the beach

Once a busy fishing village it has become a holiday favourite for those in the know.

Backed by the beautiful dunes - a nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest - the beach offers acres of golden sand and even on the hottest summer days there is always plenty of space for children to build their sandcastles. Here you can enjoy the sound of skylarks singing against a background of waves lapping against the shore. Sometimes you'll catch sight of a seal bobbing in the water or lazing on the sand. If you feel peckish there is the Dunes Cafe, which is popular with visitors and locals alike all through the year.

Overlooking the beach are the eye-catching colourful African roundhouses of the Hermanus holiday centre. The thatched buildings, modelled on huts at Hermanus Bay in South Africa are part of a complex with a bar and restaurant that are open to the public.

Life's a beach

Turning back from the dunes you will see the tower of

Holy Trinity and All Saints church,  one of the biggest

landmarks in the village. In summer the tower, which at

132ft is the third highest in the county, opens to the

public every Saturday. Views from the top are stunning on

a clear day. Inside the 12th Century church Winterton's

maritime heritage is evident with fishing nets on the walls,

a fisherman's corner under a First World War cross from

Flanders and a memorial to a rector who gave his life saving a choirboy from drowning.         

As well as the lighthouse, which is now a holiday home, the village once had its own lifeboat. The last one, the Edward Birkbeck, saved dozens of lives between 1896 and 1925 when the lifeboat station closed down. The foundations of the building along with remains of the wartime coastal defences, can still be seen in the dunes near the cafe while the boat, rescued decades later from the harbour in Conwy, Wales, is now back in the village and under the care of the Winterton on Sea Lifeboat Restoration Group. 

The village is also blessed with a post office stores, which was taken over in 2016 by Jeanne and Gino Farace and given a revamp as well as a new name, Poppy's.

Over the road there is a handy convenience store, Loomes, taken over in 2008 by high school teacher Sathees Vethanayakampillai, it runs with help from his wife Kamaliny, brother-in-law Thajee and assistant Vicky. It has also undergone improvement work and more products are being introduced. A few doors away is the Fish Bar which is just as popular with the residents as it is with visitors.

Adding to the charm of the village are the spectacular flower displays, created and tended by the  Winterton-on-Sea In Bloom committee, businesses and residents. In 2016 the village won a gold in the Great Yarmouth in Bloom Awards.

Fishing boats still go out from the village, but the days of being able to buy fish from the huts on the dunes are gone. Herring fisherman Sam Larner, who found a national following in his 80s, is remembered in the village with a blue plaque on the cottage where he lived near the church. Famed folk singer Ewan McColl wrote The Shoals of Herring after interviewing Sam for the radio in 1960. One of the pubs where he often sang was the Fisherman's Return. Still a popular watering hole, the 300-year-old freehouse has only changed hands four times in the past century. Current landlord Darrin Winter took over in 2009 from Kate and John Findlay who had it for many years.

Jeanne and Gino

The Village

WINTERTON is a little oasis on the East Norfolk coast. There is none of the brash razzle dazzle of other resorts nearby, but what it does have in buckets and spades is charm, history and the benefit of being next to a fabulous unspoilt beach.

News from the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council & the village

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BEACH: The beach cafe and car park are under threat once again from the sea.

Most of the sand positioned by the beach owner to fight last winter’s erosion has been washed away, leaving the Second World War tank traps exposed and the beach at its lowest since January.

It means the cafe and part of the car park are at risk if the high tides continue to damage the dune.

They are currently secure and open for business at their usual winter times.

Owner Jan Hewitt said: “The blocks are still soundly in place at this time and the cafe is still stable, but we have had a major slip of sand in front of the cafe today (Sunday).  If this is lost then we could have an issue, but if we can just get to Wednesday, when the wind changes direction then we may get some more breathing space.”

A contingency plan is in place to demolish the cafe and replace it with mobile units should the worst happen.

But it is hoped that a change of wind direction later this week will offer some respite.

See our blog page for more background on Winterton beach’s battle with the North Sea.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: People are urged to make their views known on the neighbourhood plan, which is currently out for public consultation.

Drawn up by a volunteer steering committee with the help of planning consultants, the document will eventually become part of the local planning policy and be used to decide applications for building new homes and businesses.

A drop in session is being held in the village hall on November 26 between 2pm and 6pm.

The committee also wants people to fill in a survey asking their views on the draft plans vision and objectives, including issues like housing for younger people and infrastructure. The deadline  for the consultation is December 14.

Visit the council’s website at to see the consultation and download the survey.

COMMUNITY KITCHEN: A project aimed at reducing social isolation could come to the village.

Top Banana is running a community kitchen in Hemsby and Rollesby in the New Year and is looking at doing the same in Winterton.

The scheme provides a range of free activities including yoga, walking and healthy eating over a 15-week programme. More information is available on Top Banana’s Facebook page.

CHURCH RESTORATION: Fundraisers have managed to boost the church restoration fund by a massive £4,180. The cash came from a stall run by Ray and Dawn Fletcher, who handed over the proceeds on November 25 to the church council, who would like to thank them for their amazing achievement.

For Parish Council minutes and much more visit