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Fewer visit Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton

PUBLISHED: 10:31 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 21 May 2020

Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton both saw fewer visitors today  Picture: Chris Bishop

Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton both saw fewer visitors today Picture: Chris Bishop

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Villagers were bracing themselves for another invasion of day trippers as the sun shone down on the coast.

Hunstanton's cliff top car park was full on the hottest day of the year so far, despite the coronavirus outbreak  Picture: Chris BishopHunstanton's cliff top car park was full on the hottest day of the year so far, despite the coronavirus outbreak Picture: Chris Bishop

But the numbers were down on yesterday, despite the sunny weather.

While car parks and public toilets have been closed across north Norfolk, the cliff tops at Old Hunstanton have re-opened.

Yesterday the car park was packed with hundreds of cars, as temperatures soared and sunseekers flocked to the beach.

MORE - Tale of two coasts as trippers pick and choose

But many also parked on verges down the narrow lanes, upsetting residents. David McLeod, chair of Old Hunstanton Parish Council, said: “The closure of car parks on the other side of the county has pushed them over this way.

A sign at Old Hunstanton warns visitors to socially distance  Picture: Chris BishopA sign at Old Hunstanton warns visitors to socially distance Picture: Chris Bishop

“If they know the car parks further east are closed, it would make sense if they stayed west.

Mr McLeod said the parish council had no powers to take action about the problem.

“All we can do is advise people to report it to police,” he said. “It’s annoying because we had an influx of second home owners after the pandemic started.”

Elsewhere there were almost empty sands at Cromer and Overstrand, while beauty spots such as Blakeney and Morston were almost deserted.

Crowds flocked to Hunstanton on the hottest day of the year. But elsewhere, the coast was almost deserted  Picture: Chris BishopCrowds flocked to Hunstanton on the hottest day of the year. But elsewhere, the coast was almost deserted Picture: Chris Bishop

It came after the Norfolk Coast Partnership appealed for people to stay away.

“Following the latest government announcement that people can resume unlimited outdoor exercise and driving to other destinations, the people, communities and wildlife of the Norfolk Coast are facing an increase in visitors,” it warned.

“While it is not in our nature to encourage people to stay away, it is currently vital that we do so to ensure these special places are not overwhelmed.”

But one villager at Old Hunstanton said: “Hundreds flocked to our beach today, don’t care about parking on our or our neighbours’ roadside gardens and trampling our plants growing, don’t care they are right outside our home windows which we ended up having to close, don’t care that emergency services can not get down the road if needed.

Cromer beach on a quiet day during lockdown.  Picture: Chris BishopCromer beach on a quiet day during lockdown. Picture: Chris Bishop

“Boris Johnson has allowed idiots to return to our homes and areas we live and spread the Covid-19.”

Another aspect of life on the coast returned to normal yesterday, as coastguards and Hunstanton lifeboat were called out to rescue people who had become cut off by the tide.

MORE - Warning after family rescued from Scolt Head


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