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.

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

BEHAVIOUR WARNING: Villagers wanting to make their views known at parish council meetings have been warned against making defamatory or disrespectful statements.

Winterton, in common with other councils across the country, sets aside time on the agenda for people in the village to raise issues and ask questions.

But recent meetings have seen uncomfortable and sometimes angry exchanges between those in the public seats and members of the council.

When it came to the public participation item at the last full council session on October 16th Cllr Gordon Jewell set out the rules to villagers and told them speakers would not be allowed to report hearsay, slander others or show disrespect.  They would be stopped for their own protection.

He also asked for patience, explaining some queries would need further research by the council or a considered response.

ALL CHANGE AGAIN: New volunteers are urgently sought to help form a new village hall committee in the wake of the resignation of all the members.

And the parish council has made a plea for villagers to take up issues about the management of the hall directly with councillors rather than airing them on social media.

Cllr Gordon Jewell, who chaired the October 16th meeting because the council currently has no chairman, said there had been a campaign of miscommunication and rumour.

A call was made for the council to work with the village to build a trusting relationship.

The parish council has agreed to advertise for people to take up the public seats on the committee.

Because the committee’s October meeting was cancelled and proposed improvements could not be discussed, the council took over and agreed to add a baby changing unit and move the doors in the men’s toilets to make them more private.

It also decided to improve the outdoor security lights, buy two chair trolleys and add bolts to the fire door.

NOT ALLOT OF INTEREST: A tenants meeting set to discuss a water supply and possible rent increase at the allotments was abandoned after no one turned up.

The revelation was made at the parish council meeting on October 16th when a member of the public complained nothing was done at the site and the water supply, which had been promised, had not been put in.

In response the council said it had investigated and found the cost of installing the supply would be between £3,000 and £5,000.

But it said informal discussions with tenants had shown there was no appetite for rent increases and most just wanted a cheap plot.

The meeting that would have discussed the issue was advertised for three weeks on the allotments noticeboard.

PARKING BAN DELAY: New restrictions banning parking on the north side of Beach Road all year round have been delayed by bureaucracy.

The parish council had hoped the new rules would be in place before the switch to winter parking rules at the end of September. But it was told there had been a change in the signing off procedure at Norfolk County Council and they would not be activated in time.

The parish applied for the year-round ban in the wake of chaotic scenes along the road during the Christmas and New Year holidays, which saw cars blocking the route and being driven over the pavement onto the dunes.

It has been assured the restriction will start as soon as possible.

TWINNING HOPE: A move to build formal links between Winterton and a coastal village in the Netherlands that faces the same battle with erosion has won support from the parish council.

The opportunity arose after members of the Driftwood Society in Camperduin discovered Winterton was on the same latitude across the North Sea and came to visit.

Now the parish clerk is to contact Norfolk County Council to find out about the next steps and a councillor will be chosen to take the project further.

The cost of any twinning visits or events is not expected to be borne by the council in Winterton.

BAZAAR SUCCESS: The Winterton Church Autumn Bazaar held last month at the Church Room raised £270, mostly from day-trippers.

The Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, 30th November between 10.00am and 12.30pm at the Church Room. Items for sale will be gratefully received – please contact Sandra on 01493 393480.

JOIN THE CLUB: Winterton Church 100 Club is looking for new members. Proceeds go towards the upkeep of the church and the Church Rooms.

It costs £1 a month and the draw is at the end of each month. Contact Margaret in the evening on 01493 393755.

ON THE AIR: Faithful Radio has moved from Martham and is now broadcasting from a new studio in Rollesby. The new premises have a reception area and office facilities.

AT THE FLICKS: Winterton Cinema Society will be showing "The Old Man & The Gun" at 7.30pm on Saturday 26th October.

The film is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker who escaped from San Quentin at the age of 70 and carried out a string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

It stars Robert Redford in his last ever film, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek and Danny Glover.

The film starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £5 on the door or from Poppy’s.

CHITTERRUNNERS: The date for this year’s Annual Chitterrunners’ Lunch at the Hermanus has been set for Saturday 16th November.

A carvery, dessert, tea or coffee will cost £14.50 and everyone is welcome.  To book phone Sandra on 01493 393480. Raffle prizes would be gratefully appreciated and all proceeds go to Winterton Church.

BLOOMING LOVELY: Willing volunteers prepared to roll up their sleeves and get gardening are needed by Winterton in Bloom.

The group, which works to keep the village looking beautiful and has won awards for its efforts over the years, is in need of younger people to help with the task of planting, weeding and maintenance. Anyone with a few hours to spare can call Jean on 01493 393682 for details.

The group is staging its annual raffle with the first prize of £150. Tickets are available from the Dunes Café, Poppy’s and Winterton Fish Bar. Second prize is £50 and third £25 and the draw is due to be held on 2nd

November .

For parish council minutes and much more visit its website.





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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.