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.

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.


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 and a tea room run by Jeanne and Gino Farace. They took over the shop in 2016 and revamped it, adding the tea room three years later. They sell cakes, crafts, cream teas, freshly-brewed Lavazza coffee and specialist teas.

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.

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.

Dear Villagers,

With the continued escalation and huge concern from all of us during the Covid-19 crisis as I type this I note that 1228 people have died  to date , this number is set to increase dramatically.

We as a parish council continue to try and ensure that our village is safe offering support to all who need it and in particular the most vulnerable of our residents.

It is very much appreciated that extreme concern, worry and in some situations anger are present unfortunately because within Winterton last weekend, we had an influx of visitors who were, what can only be best described as naïve, ignorant & foolish to the seriousness of the situation. Consequently, visitors ignored all the guidelines and still treated the village as a destination for dog walking, exercising and an escape away from their own areas.

At this time in the escalating situation, it would be appropriate to say that by not accepting the government guidelines visitors are being disrespectful to the health and wellbeing of the residents of Winterton-on-Sea. To this end and to deter day-trippers and others the following is as we understand in place until further notice:    

Beach Car park is closed

The Beach toilets are closed

The Village Chip shop is closed

Dunes Café is closed

The Fisherman’s Return is closed

Holiday Let bookings as much as we can determine are cancelled and no new bookings are being taken; the vast majority of 2nd homes in the village are Holiday lets . Police are patrolling the village on a regular basis and it has been witnessed that several people are being stopped, questioned with respect to the reason for being in the village and turned away as appropriate. In discussions with the Police, it is the current situation that they cannot stop home owners turning up in the village, however this may change in the coming days as Government tighten Police powers to act.

Current guidelines are STAY AT HOME SAVE LIVES

The only reasons to leave home are:

To shop for basic necessities or pick up medicine

To travel to work when you absolutely cannot work from home

To exercise once a day, alone or with members of your household

Always stay two meters apart

DO NOT meet others, even friends & family

We as a Parish Council have been active in assembling a support group within the village to assist in helping individuals who are restricted by quarantine or other circumstances. If you are self-isolating, unwell, housebound and need provisions or the collection of a prescription and have no available friends or relatives you should phone the Parish Council. Leaflets  were distributed throughout the village last Saturday explaining and containing contact phone numbers:

01493 394932

01493 393877

01493 393978

The network of volunteers is growing and to all these people we are very grateful.

We as a Parish Council and the friendly residents of our beautiful, welcoming village Winterton-on-Sea are saying during this critical, life threatening time with particular focus on the most vulnerable to  people who against all advice from the UK Government and the World Health Authority still intend visiting, PLEASE stay away at this very difficult time in all our lives we look forward to welcoming you back when we all hopefully return to normal, safe and healthy.

In closing, we all know the rules please remember the following ;

wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

wash your hands as soon as you get back home

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

Stay In touch with family and friends over the phone or internet

Try to keep yourself busy do light exercise

Be mindful of your mental health  



Winterton Parish Council


Village news



© All content copyright 2020


EYE IN THE SKY: A webcam showing queues and a blackboard advising drivers of waiting times for the Beach Road car park have been suggested to tackle traffic chaos in the village at peak times.


They follow a consultation day held by parish councillors earlier in the summer after complaints of bottlenecks and blockages caused by visitors parking on the streets. At one point Coastguard response vehicles were held up as they tried to get to people in difficulty in the sea.


Now the parish council is set to try using bollards to discourage visitors from parking at sensitive junctions in a bid to keep the roads clear.


Chairman for Wednesday’s meeting Mark Bobby said the consultation day followed a meeting with police, highways officials and the car park owner and it gave councillors a chance to see the problems at their peak.


Nigel Coe said: “There was a really good turnout. I was there four hours and somewhere between 120 and 150 people came. We asked people to jot their thoughts down and we had literally pages and pages of them, which shows the feeling in the village.


“We have got lots of ideas including a web cam possibly looking down towards the Coastwatch hut to give people an idea of what the queue is like.”


It was an instructive day, said John Smithson. The traffic problems were confined to a number of days a year and if the council went for a very restrictive approach on parking people living in the village would be affected all year round.


Cllr Bobby said: “I propose that we buy some traffic cones to put in sensitive

areas that are causing concern.”


He suggested junctions. “Then we can put them out when we expect traffic

to be as busy as that. It is a soft approach and it just marks the spots where

we do not want them to park.”


He had spoken to police about the idea and was not advised that it couldn’t

be done. “It is something we can try.”


Cllr Smithson said a blackboard set up at the entrance to the village telling

drivers how long they could expect to wait for a space in the beach car park

could also be used.


Dawn Clegg said she had approached people who were parking on the pavements. “They just didn’t want to queue to get in the car park and they didn’t want to pay.


“I think people will just divert and park somewhere else. They do that anyway. Round the village green is getting really, really bad now.”


The unmarked junction at Winmer Avenue was a blackspot. “We’re really lucky we’ve not had a nasty accident,” she said.


The council was also looking ahead to the coming seal pupping season when the village had an influx of winter day trippers.


Cllr Bobby said: “We are on the radar now and we’re certainly a destination for more people.”


There had been a suggestion for a second permanent car park, but he believed that would mean even more visitors.


Marina Carr suggested it might be worth finding out more about the operation at Horsey which used traffic control contractors from Norwich. 

FULL HOUSE: The parish council boasts a full complement for the first time in months after two more people were co-opted at Wednesday’s meeting.


But it still might not have a permanent chairman until May next year.


Marina Carr and Dawn Clegg are the new faces on the team, joining Liam McMahon, Nigel Coe, Marie Hartley, Emma Punchard, John Smithson, Norman Parcell and vice chairman Mark Bobby.


The council has already deferred the election of a leader and a vote is held at the start of every session to choose a meeting chairman.


VILLAGE HALL UPDATE: The reopening of the village hall is a step closer and when it happens sanitisation stations and a one-way system for the toilets will be installed.

The kitchen will be out of action and there will be guidance on how many

people can be in the hall at one time. User will also be required to wear face



Parish councillors were told at Wednesday’s meeting that clerk Stacey Kent

was awaiting the delivery of sanitising equipment and the installation of new

signage. A health and safety action plan was drawn up and hirers contacted

to ensure their insurance policies were up to date.


“We are nearly there,” she said. “It is just about when we want to go live.”


The doors could be open within the next week or so.


WATER CONUNDRUM: Work to install a water supply at the allotments could cost more than £4,500 parish councillors have been told – if volunteers can be found to dig in the pipework on the site.


John Smithson told colleagues at Wednesday’s meeting the proposal was to install three dip tanks, but the £4,000 quote by Essex and Suffolk Water highlighted at last month’s meeting would only bring the

supply from Back Lane as far as Duffles Pond.


Pipework and dip tanks would cost another £500 but he proposed to

gather a group of allotment holders to install the network themselves.


Councillors heard the yearly income from rents was £344 but the cost was

more than £900. 


Emma Punchard highlighted the fact there would be a continuing cost once

the supply was installed. Cllr Smithson, who declared his interest as an

allotment holder, said rents were too low and needed to be increased so

the council could maintain the site and reflect the cost of the water.


He repeated the suggestion he made at last month’s meeting that they

should go up by 10 per cent each year to bring them into line with allotments in Gt Yarmouth and Gorleston.


THORNY ISSUE: A plea has been made for stinging nettles and brambles to be cut back on a popular path to the dunes.


The route alongside James Gray Close has become badly overgrown in recent months. Borough councillor James Bensly told the parish council meeting on Wednesday that he would chase the issue up with the authority.


Cllr Marina Carr said some living in the close were not keen on the idea of the path, although residents might have maintained it in the past.


MEMORIAL BENCHES: The parish council is to consider drawing up a policy on memorial benches in the village after receiving requests from members of the public who wanted to pay for them to be installed.


The council has already used the replacement of one damaged bench to acknowledge the community effort during the Covid-19 lockdown. But now offers of funding for more benches to commemorate people have been made.


Chairman for the meeting Mark Bobby said the council needed to look at a policy because it could not just put them in anywhere. The council will also look at planters as an alternative.


PLANTER PLAN: Winterton in Bloom wants to install planters on the village hall green that will offer a sensory experience for people with disabilities including sight loss.


Parish councillors heard the suggestion had backing from the village

Mencap home and were asked by Claire Thompson in an email from the

group if they were prepared to help fund it.


John Smithson said financing the project could be tricky at the moment but

perhaps people who wanted to put in memorial benches would be prepared

to fund planters instead.


Mark Bobby said the council already provided £500 sponsorship for

Winterton in Bloom every year and also paid for trees to be pruned in the

areas where it had responsibility. “We do support them in that respect and

it is a considerable amount of money,” he said.


Parish clerk Stacey Kent suggested there were sources of grant funding the

group could explore, especially those that supported mental health aims.


Cllr Bobby said the council would look at the group’s plan to manage the planters and advise on how it could get funding from elsewhere.

Life's a beach

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 popularwith the residents as it is with visitors. A family business run by Debbie and Mark Cox, who have been in the village since 1991, it has a five star hygiene rating and was named one of the five best chippies in Norfolk. It is open seven days a week in the summer and five in the winter.

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.  

News from the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council

and the village August 2020

For parish council minutes and much more visit its website.

A message from Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council

29th March 2020