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


PROTECTION FOR PUPS: Natural England plans to install a fence on the beach between the café and Winterton Ness to protect this winter’s grey seal pups from the public.


The move follows a series of incidents in recent years where people have

ignored warning signs and got too close to the wild creatures. In one case

last winter a pup was chased by children into the sea and died. In another

it was reported that a man had tried to put his child on a seal’s back.

See our original blog.


Emma Punchard, last night told colleagues on the parish council the

chestnut paling fence would be backed up with a rope and post barrier to

keep people at a distance.


“This is by no means considered a brilliant solution,” she said. “But it is

intended to help the seals have a better season than they did last year.”


Just as people with dogs were asked to turn south towards Hemsby last year, visitors will be discouraged from going north from the café, especially on the beach in front or clambering over the tank traps. But she explained the beach could not just be shut.


Marie Hartley said: “I think there is an element of education here. What we don’t want to do is look as though we are being authoritative or dogmatic. We have to explain it is advisory and why we are doing it. I think people resist being told what to do or what not to do.”


Emma Punchard asked if members of Hemsby’s lifeboat crew might be asked to visit the beach at the busiest times over Christmas to show the public their boat.


Borough councillor James Bensly said the chestnut fencing was great value for money and would help to build up the beach.


Nigel Coe asked whether fishermen would still have access for their tractors and was told they would. The paling fence will have sections removed at the end of the pupping season in early February at the latest so people can get onto that area of the beach, but the plan is for the posts to remain.


SCHOOL GROWING: Pupil numbers are rising at Winterton School just two years after it faced closure.


Borough councillor James Bensly told the parish council last night that there were now 58

children on roll, including youngsters in the nursery. And five more were due to join later

in the year.


“It’s fantastic that it’s growing all the time,” he said. “That school is absolutely thriving at the

moment, which is wonderful news.


The primary came very close to being shut down at the end of 2018 because of falling pupil

numbers and the lack of a permanent head teacher.


But the village mounted a campaign to save it and the Consortium Multi Academy Trust

stepped in after seeing the potential to create a residential field study centre, offering

children the chance to learn about the area’s environment and wildlife.

See our original blog.



FIRST ON THE SCENE: Volunteer community first responders have been called out to more than 60 medical emergencies in the Winterton, Hemsby and Martham area this year.


Steve Rose told Winterton Parish Council’s meeting last night he wanted to make people more aware of the service that offers someone close by with the skills to stabilise and care for a patient until paramedics arrive.


The former special constable, who lives in the area, said: “I just want everyone to know we are here to help.”


He explained there were three volunteers covering the three villages. Last year they spent 700 hours on call and went to 86 jobs. “This year, with Covid, it has been extremely busy. We’ve had 65 calls.”


Trained in an intensive six-day course and sent out to emergencies by the East of England Ambulance Service, the volunteers deal with anything from heart attacks and strokes, to fits. They are unpaid.


Steve has also been involved in delivering prescriptions, dog walking and other chores for vulnerable people during the pandemic as a member of Winterton Support Group.



CALL FOR SAND: The borough council has been asked to bring in extra sand and pile it at the entrance to the beach by the cafe.

Borough councillor James Bensly, who made the request, said: “The slope has become quite drastic.”


He told Winterton Parish Council it had been done at Hemsby, but he didn’t know what the

authority’s response would be.


PAVEMENT PARKING: The parish council is to consider responding to a government consultation

on proposed changes to law that could see a nationwide ban on pavement parking introduced.


It is one of three moves suggested in the Pavement parking: options for change document.

The others are relying on improvements to the current traffic regulation system which allows local authorities to bring in restrictions, and allowing councils to enforce obstruction laws as a civil matter. At the moment they can only be dealt with by police.


Winterton has suffered serious congestion and parking problems this year and the council has set up a working group to come up with a traffic management scheme to tackle the problem.


Villager Becky Durant urged the parish council to make people aware of the consultation so they could have their say.


“This is a very good opportunity for people to raise the issue and let their views be known and for the Government to listen and, hopefully, do something about it,” she said.


John Smithson said the working group might want to respond.


The consultation was drawn up in the wake of a nationwide review and a survey in which 57 of 68 local authorities reported that pavement parking was a widespread problem in their areas.


It revealed that pedestrians, especially those with visual impairments and people who used wheelchairs or mobility scooters, were most at risk, along with children. Surveys carried out by organisations representing the blind showed 95 per cent of them encountered problems with vehicles on the pavement. The figure for people in wheelchairs was 98 per cent.


The consultation is online here.


The deadline for responses is November 22nd.



SNEAKY SLEEPERS: Campervan and motorhome drivers who ignore double yellow lines and park overnight at the entrance to the beach could be in for an expensive wake up call.


Nigel Coe told parish council colleagues several had been seen very

early in the morning. Now the council has asked for some early

morning visits from the borough’s parking enforcement officers.


Penalty charges are currently £70.



CAMPER CONUNDRUM: Measures to discourage campervan and

motorhome owners from parking in the village were discussed by the

parish council.


Dawn Clegg explained the vehicles were not generally allowed in the

beach car park and were causing problems in the streets because of

their size.

“Is there anything to try to put them off from coming in?” she asked. “Because there are more and more and obviously they are bigger than a normal car. We are getting an awful lot of them along the green.”


John Smithson said the council knew from its talks with police that campers parking on the street was not illegal.


Marina Carr pointed out both Hemsby and Sea Palling car parks had height restrictions. “There are probably not many places they can go,” she said.


She suggested that when the traffic management working group met again it would be helpful if there were examples of how other places had tackled the issue.


“We know it has been very much a growth area, both campervans and caravans,” said Marie Hartley. “We can’t help but notice the increase. I do think we have to be realistic and realise this is potentially an issue that will not go away very quickly. I don’t think we can dismiss it.”


Nigel Coe said the issue was something for the working group to discuss.



TRAFFIC CONES: The parish council is set to buy 60 traffic cones as part of its plan to ease congestion in the village at peak times.


A budget of up to £500 has been set aside for purchase after councillors agreed in principle.


The council intends to use them on sensitive junctions to discourage people from parking and keep the roads clear.



GOOD TO GROW: Winterton in Bloom has won approval from the parish council to

install planters on the village hall green that will provide a multi-sensory experience

for disabled people, including the blind. Councillors heard the group had provided a




SMASHING TIME: The village cricket club suffered a battering in high winds last week

when a tree fell on its sight screen and the wicket rain cover was picked up and hurled

into the bowls club fence.


Marie Hartley told the parish council the tree belonged to the Burnley Hall estate

which had moved it quickly and offered to pay for any damage.


The bowls club and the cricketers were letting insurers deal with the damage to some of the fence posts.

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 September 2020

A message from Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council

29th March 2020


For parish council minutes and much more visit its website.