We find out why so many people love to holiday at Hemsby
- Credit: Amy Robertson
Norfolk people and visitors from further afield keep returning to Hemsby, but what is it about this seaside resort that brings them back time after time?
Peace, tranquillity, beach walks, seal spotting, plenty to do and see – and a warm Norfolk welcome.
Families, couples and solo travellers love to head to Hemsby, and are full of the joys of this rather special east coast village resort.
They head here for the day or for a holiday, meeting people from all over Britain who fall in love with its friendly atmosphere and attractions, from sandy shores and sheltered dunes to shops, amusements and adventure activities.
One of its greatest fans is Justin Ettridge, park and customer experience manager at Richardson’s Hemsby Beach Holiday Park. In the past 15 years he’s seen the park grow from a two-star, wooden chalet, fully-catered holiday centre to today’s five star premier park, including adventure areas, entertainment centres and lodges with hot tubs.
“When we get sunshine you would struggle to find anywhere better,” he says.
“Hemsby feels lifted, it’s feeling good. People are coming here as couples, bringing their families, visiting again and again. I think this past year has opened people’s eyes to what is here.
“The beach is great. The location is geat, you can go to Norwich, the Broads and Great Yarmouth and explore other beaches very easily.”
Justin isn’t surprised demand for houses on the east coast has rocketed in the past couple of years. According to Rightmove figures, from September 2020 to February 2021 the average home price in Hemsby rose more than £60,000 from £225,911 to £288,758.
Richardson’s has recently started selling holiday homes at its Hemsby Beach Holiday Park and is seeing a lot of interest from holidaymakers looking to buy a holiday home on the park.
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“I do pinch myself all the time. I live a stone’s throw from the beach and the Broads and I work in a coastal resort, surrounded by people who have come here to have a good time,” says Justin.
As a huge Hemsby fan, he’s often asked what people can do there: “Walk both ways on the beach. Go and see the seals – people can’t believe how big they are. Have fish and chips from the Yacht Club, try the activities, go to the Broads, go to Great Yarmouth.... there is a lot here,” he says, adding that he’s enjoyed some brilliant family holidays here with his wife and children, now aged 17 and 14.
Why we love Hemsby – from its visitors:
Tony travelled from the Midlands with his wife Sue, his daughter and their three grandchildren. He was enjoying the peace while the family explored the site.
“We used to come to Great Yarmouth and this is our first visit here. So far I am very impressed, it’s very nice. It’s a nice small village environment with plenty to do for the kids.”
Ben Spence and Rachel Stanley
The couple from Chelmsford headed here for a second visit after enjoying a relaxing family break in May.
“We came back because it is lovely around here. We will probably go to Yarmouth while we’re here. We just like walking around – and the entertainment here is good.”
Gillian, from Wakefield, has been visiting Hemsby since she was a child, and taking holidays on the Richardson’s park for about six years. She was here with her son and a friend with two children.
“Hemsby was such a part of my childhood. The position is good in the village. It is very relaxing here. We like going to Great Yarmouth and walking along the sea front, and we to go to Thrigby Hall.
“I like a wander around the shops but we don’t do a lot as we just come for a change of scenery. I don’t like the journey here, but I love it when I’m here.”
Theo, age 8
Eight-year-old Theo was enjoying his first visit to Hemsby with his family, having previously enjoyed a holiday on Norfolk’s west coast.
“I’ve just done circus skills here, that was good fun and we’re going swimming. I like it here, the beds are comfy and there’s a beach so I can dig in the sand.”
Helen was here with her extended family, including her children, Kaydee, eight, Reagan, six, and her four-year-old plus her parents, her aunt and her aunt’s grandchildren, and her brothers and their families.
“I’ve been coming here for about 30 years, since I was a baby, and now I come here with my three children. I liked it as a kid, so I knew that my kids would like it.
“There is a lot more to do than when I was little but I still loved it, now there is lots for the kids to do and they love it. We go into Yarmouth, we go to the beach, we go to the club, which is so good and there is entertainment for us and for the children.”
Sarah, from Nottingham, was here with her partner and three children, watching one on the high ropes course while the others played on the amusements.
“We like Hemsby. The kids are very happy with all the stuff there is to do. You don’t have to keep getting in the car which is so nice. The caravan has decking and a hot tub so there is lots of room.
“Everyone seems to have the attitude that they just want to have a chilled time and relax. It is just what we wanted.”