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


PARKING CHAOS: Norfolk Police are being asked to impose temporary measures to ease visitor traffic congestion in the village after emergency services trying to reach people in difficulty in the sea were held up by parked cars.


Borough councillor James Bensly saw the force had put cones out on main routes in

Brancaster, which saw an unprecedented number of daytrippers on Friday.


Now he has asked local officers for similar help in Winterton. “Can we please explore this

short term solution for my residents at Winterton please,” he said.


“Yesterday was absolutely abysmal for the residents due to the high numbers of tourists.

I know this was everywhere and with the virus and staycations this has only magnified the

issue, but if it’s applied in Brancaster why not here please?”


Villagers helped people to move cars and the Coastguard vehicles were eventually able to get

through. By then the six people in the water had managed to get to shore.


The same day bus company First tweeted: “Due to high number of parked cars along

Winterton we will not be able to serve Winmer Avenue until further notice.”


Winterton folk have been complaining to the parish council about the number of people

parking in the village rather than using the beach car park and it is planning a consultation

on a traffic policy for the whole village. It has already discussed the possibility of a one-way

system. (Previous story).


Double yellow lines were put down in Beach Road as a result of chaotic parking by visitors, especially over Christmas and the seal pupping season. As a result motorists have sought out other areas of the village.


At Wednesday’s meeting on Zoom one parishioner told them the bin lorry had been unable to get through at one point and a bus driver was seen attempting to do a three-point turn in Winmer Avenue because the way was blocked by parked cars.


Deputy chairman Nigel Coe said: “Whenever you get a nice day it is a real issue. The village is a lovely place to visit and we’re not geared up.”

John Smithson suggested a consultation day with a gazebo set up on the green. Emma Punchard believed there should be an online survey and expressed concern that the council should not promise something it couldn’t deliver.


Cllr Coe said if the council was going to do a consultation it needed to gather as much information as possible.


County Councillor Ron Hanton agreed to send the council information on restrictions and the traffic management plan for Norfolk to use as guidance and the councillors agreed to start a consultation.


The council is also asking people to send it photographic evidence of poor parking via


COVID SAFETY AT VILLAGE HALL: Measures are being drawn up to make sure users are kept safe when the village hall is back in action.


Clerk Stacey Kent told the parish council a risk assessment was being done and there was a lot of work ahead in terms of the cleaning regime. “We will be updating our hire agreements and procedures over the next couple of weeks.”


The council was expecting more updates from the Government but no date

had been set for the reopening. “I know that hirers are keen to come back,”

she said.


The existing agreement made clear there was an expectation that whoever

uses the hall does their own clean up afterwards. But measures would include

cleaning stations around the hall, locking the cupboards so they cannot be

used and instructions that chairs must be cleaned after use.


Cllr John Smithson said the work was pretty much on track for a reopening in

the next couple of weeks.


RANKS SWELLING: The pandemic has not put teens off joining the village marine cadets unit.

The parish council heard from Lt Rachel Tooke that even though the members of 901 Troop were having to meet in the car park and practise social distancing, the ranks were swelling.

She said: “Even with Covid we have actually increased in members since we reopened three weeks ago.” There were 23 cadets on the books.

She said the unit was using portable sanitisation stations, parents and staff went through comprehensive Covid checklists and temperatures were taken by a qualified nurse.


NO SALE ON GARAGE SALE: The parish council won’t be staging the popular garage sale this year.


And because of the Covid pandemic it isn’t ready to commit to organising the event next year.


Deputy chairman Nigel Coe said some villagers had asked about the possibility of holding it in September and he knew other villages were running similar events. But he was unsure.


John Smithson said perhaps the council could stage it in a different format on the sports field rather than have people coming into the village. He believed parish council involvement was important and there had been lots of comment among local people about whether it was going to be held.


Marie Hartley said: “It’s not clear when we’re going to return to the village hall and if we’re looking at doing something like the garage sale we need to be mindful of that.”


The playing field was a potential solution, but she warned: “We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We will be criticised for going ahead with it or if someone else does it.”


She said reopening the village hall was a priority and staging the sale in September might be unrealistic.


A suggestion was made that the council park the sale until next year but members decided not to commit the authority to it.


BRIDLING AT PRICE: Closing part of the bridleway that runs alongside the allotments to install a water pipe is likely to cost around £3,000, councillors have been told.


John Smithson told Wednesday’s meeting the total cost of providing a supply for the allotment users was expected to be £4,000. But he though it was worth doing.


“It is a major infrastructure project that we have neglected to do for a lot of years,” he said.


Over the past four years users had suffered drought and often had to carry their own containers full of water to the site.  Many of them were elderly.


Cllr Smithson recognised it would make a dent in the council’s finances and suggested yearly 10 per cent rent increases to gradually bring it in line with Great Yarmouth, where rents were double. “I think it’s very important that we do it,” he said.


The council voted to support the project in principle and to investigate what it could to make it happen.

                                    Other Village News

NO MORE CROSSED LEGS: The public toilets are now fully refurbished. Work began

on them before the lockdown, which delayed their completion. During the summer

they will be locked at 6.45pm.

DAILY FISH: Winterton Fish Bar is now open every day including Sunday, but not

Sunday lunchtimes. Opening times.

DRIVE IN: "Outdoor Cinema Live" will be screening several all time favourite films at

Hirsty’s Fun Park, Hemsby, this summer. The August programme includes: Birds of

Prey, Grease, Hairspray (2007), Mama Mia and Rocketman. More info and tickets.

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 July 2020

For parish council minutes and much more visit its website.

A message from Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council

29th March 2020

Picture by Kye Mardon