Hunstanton in West Norfolk is a wonderful seaside town to visit with plenty of things to do in the town and nearby. I have written a complete guide with many options for things to do in Hunstanton town centre and beach which you can read here. However, there is so much more to West Norfolk. You will find plenty more attractions and fun places to visit within 30 minutes of Hunstanton. Here’s my list of enjoyable and family-friendly things to do near Hunstanton.
Beaches in West Norfolk
There is plenty of beach in Hunstanton town when the tide is out. However, there are lots more stunning beaches within a quick drive or even a stroll of the town centre. The was is extremely tidal, so each low tide reveals miles of sand, rock pools and mudflats.
Just a 5-minute walk to the north of Hunstanton town, along a pleasant cliff top walk, is Old Hunstanton. This sandy beach is far less commercial than its nearby counterpart, and it is our family’s favourite place to visit. What we like about it is that the beach is different every time we visit. One time we will play in the sand dune, watching the kite surfers. Another time, we will take a walk along the cliffs and discover the rusting hull of a long-forgotten boat, or we might just follow the tide out to see what creatures we can find.
A large car park makes Old Hunstanton an easy place to base yourself. There is also a small shop, cafe and public toilets.
Brancaster beach is a charming sandy beach is sandwiched between North Norfolk’s salt marshes and The Wash. It is looked after by the National Trust and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a 15-minute drive along the beautiful north Norfolk coast.
There is a large car park (not National Trust) here and public toilets.
Heacham and Snettisham Beaches
To the south of Hunstanton are more west-facing sandy beaches. Both are within 15 minutes of Hunstanton. Snettisham is quieter than the others and a haven for wildlife, while Heacham is a quaint seaside town with amenities.
There are car parks at both beaches.
Attractions Near Hunstanton
There is a wealth of small and medium outdoor attractions near Hunstanton that are worth visiting. I can guarantee that you will not be short of a stunning place to walk or somewhere for the kids to play.
Norfolk Lavender is a combination garden, farm shop and petting farm, and a lavender farm. It can be found 5-minutes by car out of town. The gardens are a delightful place to walk at any time of year, but if you want to tour the lavender fields and distillery, you will need to visit in the summer months (July and August). Lavender products are available all year round in the gift shop. The farm park is small but well put together and popular with my children and along with the adjacent soft play.
The Sandringham Estate (15 minutes from Hunstanton) is most well known as the Queen’s private residence. Still, it is also open to the public. The Royal Park is crisscrossed with marked and unmarked trails to explore, and there is an impressive children’s play area. You will also find a gift shop and cafe and all the amenities you would expect at an attraction. Tickets are free for all children (under 17), and you can choose to just visit the gardens if you would prefer.
Bircham Windmill and Bakery is located a 15-minute drive inland from Hunstanton. We had the pleasure of camping at Bircham Windmill, which gave us plenty of time to experience everything this small attraction offers. Not only can you climb to the top of this working windmill, but you can also sign up for bread baking in the onsite bakery. Even better is relaxing in the garden play area while enjoying a freshly baked Bircham bun and coffee.
Snettisham Park is a working farm that is open to the public. You can find it 15 minutes to the south of Hunstanton town centre. It has a range of animals from pigs to sheep to ponies, but the big draw is the deer safaris which take you into the deer park to feed the herd.
Pensthorpe Natural Park
A little further away (around 35 minutes) is Pensthorpe Natural Park. This park combines a nature reserve, bird conservation centre, gardens and children’s play areas. There’s something here for everyone, whether you just want a pleasant walk and a spot of lunch in the cafe or whether you’re looking for somewhere the kids can burn some energy.
Houghton Hall and Gardens
This stately home is 25 minutes from Hunstanton. There’s nothing special for children here, but the houseand extensive gardens are striking.
Thanks for Reading
Did I miss anything? If there’s anywhere I should have included in this list I would love to hear it. please write it in the comments and I will check it out.