Tag Archives: cliffs

Hunstanton Pier

It looks good in the picture doesn’t it? What more could you want in a pier? Well, a bit of length wouldn’t go amiss – it doesn’t actually reach the sea.

Hunstanton Pier from the side - can you see the problem?

Hunstanton Pier from the side – can you see the problem?

l must have been going to Hunstanton for around 50 years, often unwillingly, as my parents forced me to tour Sandringham, Norfolk Lavender and a variety of other boring horrors. As a youngster all I required was sand and water, progressing to arcades and birds as I grew older. Stately homes, lavender and art sales did nothing for me.

It’s a nice place but not really an aspirational destination for anyone under 40. It has a sensory garden, a blue crab scheme (blue crabs stencilled by drains to remind you that pouring unpleasant things down the drains is bad for wildlife on the beach)  and a catering outlet called Tubbie’s. The grammar is confusing, maybe even dodgy but the food is cheap and stodgy, and, as it says on the side “Tubbilicious”. Four freshly cooked doughnuts and two very nice coffees cost £3.

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A very fine takeaway

Tubby, or Tubbie, is a well-rounded man, though Julia was not totally impressed. Let’s face it, she’s been a bit spoiled in that department. I’m not just Tubby, I look like I eat tubby men for breakfast.

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Four doughnuts for £1 – diabetes for free

The pier was opened in 1870 and was 830 feet long. By 1882 a steamer service travelled between Skegness and Hunstanton.

In 1939 the pavilion was destroyed by fire, and as there were more pressing things to do, it was never repaired. I imagine that the pier was breached in 1940 as an anti-invasion measure and after that it just deteriorated. They built a new arcade in 1964, which is the one I remember, though I’m not sure I actually remember the pier extending out to sea.

The pier was destroyed by a storm in 1978 and the arcade burnt down in 2002, which is when the new arcade was built. In 2012 an application was made to the National Lottery Fund for £7.5 million to build a new pier, but as you can see, it was not successful.

It was a pleasant few hours, and, as you will see in days to come, the town has a lot to offer.

For now I will leave you with a picture of the cliffs.

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Hunstanton Cliffs

An auksome day out

We had a day off today; it’s getting to be a habit. We decided on Scarborough again (well, Julia did, I just drove), but started off sooner and dropped in at Bempton Cliffs on the way. They seem to have spent a lot of money since we last came, with nice flat paths making it easy to walk round, even for a fat man with arthritic feet.

Unfortunately this also allowed all sorts of undesirables to access the reserve and get in my way. There was one particular woman who seemed to make it a point of honour to get in front of me and block the best view. When I got fed up and walked on she seemed to immediately give up and slip in front of me at the next good spot.

If it had been an episode of something by Agatha Christie the third occasion would have seen a body spiralling into the sea, hundreds of feet below. I can see the shot now…

However, that’s more of a comment on my favoured reading matter rather than the Bempton Cliffs experience.

We only saw one species of butterfly on the cliff top – ringlets! Would be wouldn’t it? They flew low, sheltering in the tops of the grass from the stiffish breeze so I couldn’t get a decent photo. The breeze was quite handy, as it was blowing out to sea, and taking the stench of fishy bird excrement with it. On a hot windless day, this can be a memorable part of the visit.

Here are some pictures – I’ll let them speak for themselves. Puffins are looking a bit dull after rearing a family – next year we will visit sooner.