Summer solstice 2021: Five best places to watch it in Norfolk

A beautiful and calming sunrise at Mundesley beach. Picture: Nadine Gray

A beautiful and calming sunrise at Mundesley beach. - Credit: Nadine Gray

Monday is officially the longest day of the year, and marks the start of the astronomical summer – even if no-one told the weather.

Those in Norfolk will have 16 hours and 51 minutes of daylight to play with, as the sun rises at 4.29am and sets a 9.20pm.

October sunrise at Horsham St Faith. Nikon D2x 17-55mm lens 1/320th sec at f/13.Photo:Antony Kelly

October sunrise at Horsham St Faith. - Credit: Antony Kelly

Stonehenge is the traditional place to visit on the Summer Solstice, but there are plenty of great places to see the sun come up right here in Norfolk.

We'll even get it earlier than they do – those in Wiltshire will have to wait another 23 minutes until 4.52am.

Sunrise over A149, King's Lynn. Nikon D1. 250th sec. f7.1. 17-55mm.Photo:Ian BurtCopy:For:EDP

Sunrise over A149 at King's Lynn. - Credit: Ian Burt

The Met Office is predicting a cloudy day on Monday, but hinted at some clearer spells along the Norfolk coast in the early hours of the morning.

In case the cloud does clear enough to give us a proper glimpse, here are five of our favourite spots to watch the sun rise in Norfolk.

Beacon Hill, near West Runton

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As the highest point in the county, it's no real surprise that this is a cracking spot to watch the sun rise.

Sunrise over Norwich. Pictured from the roof of Prospect House looking over the building works / cra

Sunrise over Norwich, from the roof of Prospect House in Rouen Road. - Credit: Antony Kelly

So close to the coast but 338ft above sea level, it's part of the Cromer Ridge which stretches for 8.7 miles in north Norfolk.

Compared to other places in England it isn't that high above the sea, but it's as close to the sky as you're going to get in the county.

Happisburgh Lighthouse

Happisburgh Lighthouse lit at sunrise by Paul Bayfield

Happisburgh Lighthouse lit at sunrise. - Credit: Paul Bayfield

The lighthouse is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the county, and it looks even better with a bright, colourful sunrise behind it.

And TripAdvisor data shows the beach there is the best in Norfolk for taking your dog for a walk, so taking your pooch for an early morning meander is an ideal excuse to see the sunrise – not that you need one.

How Hill, Norfolk Broads

Beautiful sunrise, iconic Broads scenery and a big old windmill – what's not to love?

Truth be told you'll get a pretty good view of the sunrise anywhere in the Norfolk Broads, so if How Hill is a little out of the way for you then there will be plenty of other options for you.

Great Yarmouth beach

Sunrise over Great Yarmouth historic South Quay.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sunrise over Great Yarmouth's historic South Quay. - Credit: Antony Kelly

If you want to be the first in the county to catch a glimpse of the sun rising, then you need to get yourself to the most easterly point possible.

In Norfolk that's on the beach at Great Yarmouth, slightly north of the town centre by the North Dene Dunes.

It's not quite as far east as Lowestoft, but that's over the border into Suffolk of course – so this is the best you can do if you want to stay within county borders.

Cromer Pier

Another iconic staple of the north Norfolk coast, the pier offers an unencumbered view out to sea so you can watch the sun rise in the horizon.

The sunrise shines through the early morning mist at Kilverstone. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The sunrise shines through the early morning mist at Kilverstone. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Not a bad way at all to welcome in the longest day of the year.