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.

A digest from Parish Council meeting and other news

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

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PARKING: New restrictions intended to prevent a repeat of last year’s parking chaos on Beach Road when visitors converged on the village to see the seals look set to be delayed by several months.

It was hoped that the year round roadside parking ban would be in place before the festive season. In the meantime Winterton Parish Council has been told police cones will be put out to stop illegal parkers.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: The volunteer steering committee behind the draft neighbourhood plan is hosting a drop-in session at the village hall next month to offer residents a chance to give their views on how they want the village to develop in the future.

The plan, which will eventually go to a referendum, is intended to act as a blueprint for housing, employment and leisure space provision in the coming years.

The drop-in runs between 2pm and 6pm on November 26. More information about the document is available on the parish council website or by contacting the parish clerk on 07918 978921 or via email to

TEAROOM: Plans for a new tearoom in the village have been given the go ahead by the borough council.

The scheme will see a ground floor kitchen diner converted and a rear extension built at Poppy’s.

In a report to the authority planning officer Gemma Manthorpe noted the parish council’s objection because of the likely increase in parking issues, but said the highways department had raised no objections.

She concluded: “On balance it is unlikely that the tea room will increase visitors to the site and is more likely to be used by local residents and existing recreational users. This is assessed acknowledging that the main visitor attraction is Winterton Beach.”

The tearoom will be open seven days a week between 9am and 6pm.

NEW PAVILION: The parish council is seeking a volunteer architect to help get its dream of a new pavilion at the playing field off the ground.

The budget is tight but it is hoping someone with the right skills will come forward to draw up plans that can be submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for planning permission.

Anyone willing to help can get in touch with the parish clerk.

BLOOMING LOVELY: Age is taking its toll on the team of gardeners behind many of Winterton’s beautiful floral displays so the committee is looking for more people to join them.

The In Bloom group says prospective volunteers don’t have to be expert gardeners, just willing to give some time and effort to keep it going.

Call 01493 393682 for more details.

For Parish Council minutes and much more visit