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All quiet on the Norfolk coast as lockdown eases

PUBLISHED: 14:52 13 May 2020

An almost deserted promenade at Hunstanton on the morning lockdown eased to allow people to drive to the coast  Picture: Chris Bishop

An almost deserted promenade at Hunstanton on the morning lockdown eased to allow people to drive to the coast Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

A feared influx of visitors to Norfolk’s coastline after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased did not materialise as drab weather kept the seaside quiet.

A deserted seafront at Great Yarmouth as a feared influx of visitors were kept away by grey skies.A deserted seafront at Great Yarmouth as a feared influx of visitors were kept away by grey skies.

Councils, the RNLI and visitor attractions had warned people not to flood to the coast as the grip of lockdown loosened.

And early on Wednesday it appeared their wishes had been answered as grey skies kept sunseekers away.

The only things gathering in any numbers as lockdown restrictions were eased in Great Yarmouth were the seagulls.

An air of windswept winter hangs over the Golden Mile, peopled only by the odd jogger or cyclist.

Yarmouth's seafront promenade was kept quiet on Wednesday morning, other than a few people out on their daily exercise.Yarmouth's seafront promenade was kept quiet on Wednesday morning, other than a few people out on their daily exercise.

Of those out and about almost everyone was on a solo exercise trip with no evidence of a mass beeline to the beach.

OPINION: Why we should stay away from the seaside and leave the Norfolk coast to the locals

Toilets and car parks remain closed and not a single cafe was open offering a takeaway brew.

One couple taking their daily hours exercise on the prom said they supported a relaxation of the rules for the sake of the economy.

A closed coastal car park in Sheringham. All but two council-run car parks in North Norfolk remain closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: Brittany WoodmanA closed coastal car park in Sheringham. All but two council-run car parks in North Norfolk remain closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: Brittany Woodman

Both in their 70s, they said they would carry on being careful but may consider an evening walk around Bure Park near where they live.

Taking the same seafront route each day they said there had been a noticeable increase in traffic but that if managed properly an end to lockdown was to be welcomed.

MORE: Drive to the coast if you like - but the seaside’s still in lockdown.

The scene was also quiet in Cromer, where the iconic pier remained fenced off and closed to visitors.

Cromer Pier remains closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: David BaleCromer Pier remains closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: David Bale

Shops in the town centre remained closed, and the only hive of activity was at the local Morrison’s supermarket, where the car park was relatively busy with shoppers venturing in to pick up their groceries.

Martin Rodwell, owner of Cromer’s Beakers Cafe, was one of the few people about on the narrow streets around the sea front.

Mr Rodwell said that while his cafe would remain closed for months to come, he could open a takeaway service.

But he said this could, however, attract more visitors into Cromer, which may not be in the town’s best interest at this time.

A closed coastal car park in Sheringham. All but two council-run car parks in North Norfolk remain closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: Brittany WoodmanA closed coastal car park in Sheringham. All but two council-run car parks in North Norfolk remain closed. May 13 is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: Brittany Woodman

North Norfolk’s council-run car parks remain closed, while two at - Pretty Corner and Holt Country Park - reopen from today.

Hunstanton’s seafront was almost deserted this morning under cloudy skies with a brisk chill breeze.

Cliff top car park was open again, after being closed during lockdown, but barely a handful of cars were using it. The main A149 coast road was quiet.

Sandringham was almost deserted, with the visitor centre and facilities closed and just a handful of walkers taking to the woods.

Martin Rodwell, owner of Cromer’s Breakers Cafe, was one of the few people about on the narrow streets around the sea front on May 13. This is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: David BaleMartin Rodwell, owner of Cromer’s Breakers Cafe, was one of the few people about on the narrow streets around the sea front on May 13. This is the first day the lockdown restrictions have been eased, which mean people can drive to spots including the coast for exercise. Picture: David Bale

South Beach at Hunstanton on the day lockdown was eased to allow people to travel to the coast  Picture: Chris BishopSouth Beach at Hunstanton on the day lockdown was eased to allow people to travel to the coast Picture: Chris Bishop


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