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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This bustling West Norfolk resort was purpose-built in the Victorian era, but it's still a big attraction for families from near and far
Where is Hunstanton?
On the A149 around 15 miles north of King's Lynn. Or around 25 miles east of Cromer, depending which way you're coming.
Hunstanton is an attractive Victorian town built out of the distinctive red local stone known as carrstone.
Dubbed 'Sunny Hunny' the town is famed for its striped cliffs, golden sands and clear, shallow water, and is a popular destination for thousands of holiday-makers.
Other attractions include a bowling green, pitch-and-putt course and a variety of arcades. Visitors can also take pleasure trips from the promenade, including one lasting several hours to view Europe's largest colony of common seals, in the Wash.
The town also boasts the Princess Theatre which hosts a variety of shows, plays and pantomimes each year.
One of the highlights of the social calendar is the Hunstanton District Festival of Music and Arts which runs in June and includes a variety of musical acts.
Just a few miles down the road is the site of one of the country's most significant archaeological discoveries - the Bronze Age timber circle known as Seahenge.
History of Hunstanton
Hunstanton as we know it today was purpose-built as a holiday resort in 1846 by landowner and artist Henry Styleman Le Strange.
The Le Strange family is inseparably associated with the town, having lived there for over 900 years. Henry's Styleman Le Strange's vision of Hunstanton, with a triangle of land surrounded by a group of houses, can still be clearly seen today.
The town is reputed to be one of the first towns to be have been developed on the back of a railway track which was built as a branch line from King's Lynn in 1862.
Before the line was laid the only buildings in the town were the Golden Lion Hotel, which still exists today, and two cottages. With the coming of the railway the town developed into Hunstanton St Edmunds, taking its name from the chapel on the cliffs.
Dominated by the controlling land of the Le Stranges nothing was built without their stamp of approval. The present urban development did not begin until 1950.
Old Hunstanton is a quiet village half a mile north of the present town. Originally a fishing village its collection of flint and carrstone cottages slopes up from a wide duned beach.