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 2019


NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: The deadline is looming for people in the village to have their say on the latest draft of the neighbourhood plan.Hard copies of the plan and the consultation are available from the post office. The online version of the plan can be viewed here and the online questionnaire here.

The consultation period was extended to 9th July because there was concern the Covid

lockdown had made it more difficult for some to view the blueprint for future


At Wednesday’s parish council meeting Cllr Mark Bobby urged those who had not seen

it to take a look.

There are hard copies at the post office and it is available on the parish council website.

PARKING SPACE: The parish council has re-opened the playing field car park after the

Government announced the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The facility was shut to the public, although cricket and bowls club members were able to use it.

Cllr Marie Hartley said at Wednesday’s meeting: “We were mindful of local public opinion, there were concerns that it is close to homes and about visitors to the village.”

She explained the council had tried to encourage visitors to use the beach car park instead.

But there were local people who used the field for dog walking and the car park would be useful for them.

“There is no reason why we should keep the car park closed. Great Yarmouth Borough Council has taken that decision and we need to follow suit,” she said.

ONE DIRECTION: Signs that were put up around the village during the lockdown telling visitors to stay away are to be removed.

But others pointing drivers in the direction of the beach car park are set to be kept in a bid to reduce congestion, the parish council has decided.

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC: The parish council has been urged to come up with a management scheme to cope with a likely increase in traffic caused by people holidaying in the UK.

Cllr Marie Hartley said it was probably too late to organise anything for this summer, but she felt a one way system needed to be adopted, drawing vehicles down through the village and out along the Craft and studying this summer’s traffic would help.

“We should be able to work out the logistics of how flow will work in the future and we have got a period here that we could actually use as a bit of a pilot to see what works and what doesn’t work.

The parking situation in the village had got worse as the weather had heated up, said Cllr John Smithson. There had been complaints about parking around the village hall, particularly caravanettes that were left there for the day.

One night after the car park had closed 17 cars could be seen parked on

double yellow lines on Beach Road, Cllr Nigel Coe told the meeting. “If 17

drivers went home later that night with parking tickets they might think again.”

Cllr Hartley said she understood borough parking enforcement officers had

been re-deployed to other roles because of the coronavirus but they were

coming back into the department.

Borough councillor James Bensly said he would ask for them to be sent out to


NOTE: The car park will close at 7.00pm every evening. Please ensure you

return to your car before then to avoid being locked in. It is illegal to park or

camp overnight on the car park and camp fires and barbecues are also


AN INCONVENIENT TIME: The public loos could be reopened by the end of July.

The disabled toilet is currently open during the day while the ladies and gents are being given a complete revamp.

The work is part of a major modernisation scheme for the borough council’s seasonal toilets including blocks at Hemsby, Scratby and Caister. But it ran into problems when the lockdown caused difficulty in obtaining materials.

Parish councillor Mark Bobby told colleagues on Wednesday the plan was to finish and re-open one side of the block and then concentrate on the other. He had been told reopening was likely to be towards the end of July.

“The disabled toilet will remain open throughout the time until the

refurbishment is done, borough councillor James Bensly said. “This would all

have been done and dusted if it hadn’t been for Covid. We’re having the same

problem at Hemsby.”

He said the car park owner and her team were continuing to clean the

disabled loo and it was an enhanced hygiene regime.

NOTE: The disabled toilet wil be closed at 6.45pm.

ART AT THE BEACH: Plans for a mural on the side of the public toilets are

being discussed with the borough council.

The project, which could be completed in time for next season if it is given

the go ahead, would see artwork depicting local wildlife and would greet

visitors arriving at the beach.

Winterton Parish Council would be expected to help with the cost of materials but Cllr Marie Hartley said: “We’re going to end up with a really high quality piece of artwork.

She added the seal wardens and other volunteers would be called on to help.

BENCH REPLACEMENT: A new bench to be installed on the green will celebrate the work of volunteers who were part of a Covid response team in the village.

The parish council is currently seeking costings for the replacement seat. Once it is installed a socially distanced event will be held to recognise the efforts of those who answered calls from elderly and vulnerable folk for help with chores like shopping and collecting prescriptions during the lockdown.  

HERMANUS: The beer garden along with a food and drink takeaway are opening to guests and the

public on 10th July.

FISH BAR: Winterton Fish Bar is now opening on Tuesdays but still using social distancing.

Joint owner Debbie Cox said: “ We are running our business with lots of changes. We prefer phone

orders please if possible (01493 393302). We will be able to take orders at the door, but please

appreciate we are not fully staffed.”

“We appreciate your patience and understanding in these difficult times. Thank you for your

consideration. Keep safe and well. “

The Fish Bar will be opening seven days a week from 14th July.

DUNES CAFE: Mick and Carmel Shiggins, who run the Dunes Café in Winterton and Acle Bridge, have

another café to add to their portfolio. They will opening for business at Waxham Barns very soon.

FISH RETURNS: The Fishermans Return will reopen its doors on Monday 6th July at 11.00am. Cheers!

CHURCH OPEN: Services will resume from Sunday 5th July at 9.00am. No social activities at the moment. Church is open daily for private worship.

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 June 2020

For parish council minutes and much more visit its website.

A message from Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council

29th March 2020