12 great things to do on a day out in Hemsby
- Credit: Archant
Hemsby boasts two halves: one filled with all the fun of the fair in all its fish-and-chips, kiss-me-quick, bucket-and-spade glory and the other a pretty village a mile from the sea.
Together, they both offer lots to do for visitors to this corner of Norfolk.
Heading to Hemsby? Here are some ideas for things to do while you’re there.
Hemsby beach: A stunning expanse of golden sand with grassy sand dunes which has recently been voted one of Britain’s top 10 beaches in a travel survey. At the end of the aptly-named Beach Road, this is a real bucket and spade beach which offers beautiful views of the waves and is a quick walk from the village. You may even be lucky enough to spot a seal at the right time of year.
Hirsty’s Family Fun Park: Famous for its Mega Maize Maze (which this year opens from July 17 until September 5), you can also find a host of fun things to do, including a zip wire, hay bale mountain, crazy welly croquet, bouncy castles, trampolines and a wooden combine harvester play park. Try out the family-sized go-carts, ride the barrel train, find your way round the mini wooden fort maze, play on the climbing frames and lots more. Find out more here www.hirstysfamilyfunpark.co.uk
And while you’re there, pop in to Hirst’s Farm Shop and Café round the corner at Mill Farm which sells everything you need for a picnic or a tasty breakfast, lunch or snack.
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Beach Road: For bucket and spade, kiss-me-quick seaside pleasures, Beach Road boasts it all. From amusement arcades to shops, cafes to entertainment, there’s a host of family fun on one street and, even better, it leads to a huge expanse of golden sand.
You’ll find bingo and ice cream, funfairs and mini golf, chalet parks and holiday resorts, children’s play areas and doughnuts, candy floss and seaside rock and lots of ways to while away a few hours beside the sea.
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Richardson’s Hemsby Beach Holiday Park: Richardson’s is a holiday park where the company’s recent huge investment programme is immediately apparent. There are 377 holiday homes at the park including luxury lodges with hot tubs and refurbished apartments, chalets and cabins.
Visiting for the day? Try The Yacht Club Bar and then take to the sky for a Crow’s Nest Experience high ropes course. Visiting for longer? Find out why Richardson’s is the perfect base for exploring Hemsby and Norfolk here: www.richardsonsholidayparks.co.uk
Mini golf on Beach Road: Lost World Adventure Golf is a stunning nine-hole, dinosaur-themed mini-golf course, with Aztec waterfall and water features. Fully-landscaped and illuminated at dusk with hot and cold drinks available on site, there’s also the chance to pan for gold in water to receive a souvenir medallion! Look out for the new scoring and loyalty app for Lost World Adventure Golf. Stonehenge Mini Golf is particularly great for younger children who will be able to master the course quickly.
Echoes of the past: As you walk on to the beach, you will see large boulders which played an important role in World War Two at a time when it was believed an invasion could see Norfolk in peril (this is a village that doesn’t forget when Vikings camefelito pillage…). Cast by Royal Engineers, the reminders of Norfolk at war are also joined by a concrete bunker. A World War Two military camp was once based at the old Hemsby Holiday Camp, the accommodation blocks perfect for troops.
Proper pubs: The Lacon Arms is a few steps from the beach and serves a large selection of meals for all the family, including a takeaway menu if you’d prefer to take your food back to your beach towel. With Woodforde’s beer on tap and a really impressive menu that includes tapas, pizza, burgers, filled baguettes, Sunday roasts and lots more.
Landlady Lorna Bevan-Thompson is a champion not only for all-things-great-about-Hemsby but also for the Save Hemsby Coastline campaign which is fighting for proper protection from the encroaching sea. Also try The Bell in Hemsby village, a traditional pub with a warm welcome.
Shopping: There are lots of shops to catch your eye, but we couldn’t resist popping in to have a look round Crafts with a Difference, an independent shop in Hemsby village which really does do what it says on the tin. There are Winstanley cats, Charlotte Bird Fairy Photos, life-size animal ornaments for the garden, locally-made craft items, cards, home furnishings, soft toys (the crocheted seals are famous) and a vast array of items that are just a little bit unusual.
Go-karting: Go off (beach) roading at Hembsy Karting Centre (height restrictions apply) and enjoy some high-adrenaline fun on the outdoor track in electric go-karts. There are karts suitable for children and for adults that travel at up to 25mph for younger drivers and 50mph for those with a few more miles on the clock.
Gorgeous walks: Start out at The Lacon Arms in Hemsby and take the coastal path to the Winterton Valley before you loop back, walk to Poppylands Tearoom at Horsey (where you can also see the seal colony at the right time of year), take the Norfolk Coast Path in either direction or take on a longer loop to Great Yarmouth.
St Mary’s Church: A beautiful church has stood in this spot on The Street since the 14th century, although there were major alterations in both the 1860s and the 1970s. Open daily, there are treasures to be found inside and out, including stained glass both old and new, 13th century coffin lids outside, incredible roof bosses in the south porch that echo those found in Norwich Cathedral and, best of all, a hidden prayer chapel which can be reached by climbing steps in the south-west corner of the nave.
After dark: Hemsby takes on a whole new perspective as the sun goes down – take a trip there as the sun goes down later in summer and see Beach Road light up and enjoy a range of entertainment after dark.