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Making a move to Norfolk’s east coast villages

PUBLISHED: 16:41 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:41 05 June 2017

Happisburgh Lighthouse (photo: Mark Bullimore)

Happisburgh Lighthouse (photo: Mark Bullimore)

Archant Norfolk 2015

Flint cottages, sandy beaches, idyllic unspoilt countryside and a wonderful understated charm – Norfolk’s east coast villages are waiting to be explored

Mundesley Sign is inspired by the village's seafaring heritage (photo: Leigh Caudwell)Mundesley Sign is inspired by the village's seafaring heritage (photo: Leigh Caudwell)

Lesser known than their oft-celebrated and much sought after neighbours in the north, the villages that line Norfolk’s east coast might not have the fame, but they are just as fabulous.

In fact, their quiet, unassuming, laid-back vibe is a huge part of their appeal. They also remain largely undiscovered by those seeking a second home by the coast, which means they are relatively affordable while nonetheless beautiful.

There is a location to suit all wants; from the wild, vast beaches of Winterton and the quaint seaside holiday resort of Mundesley to pretty villages tucked just a few miles inland nestled in unspoilt, rolling countryside peppered with striking churches and historic buildings.

And while it is easy to believe you are many miles from anywhere when you have a beautiful beach to yourself or take a walk through the fields without a soul in sight, you are never too far from essential amenities and services, with the busy towns of Great Yarmouth, North Walsham and Stalham just a few miles away.

Hemsby (photo: Simon Finlay)Hemsby (photo: Simon Finlay)

Many of the larger villages, such as Mundesley, Hemsby, Bacton, Walcott and Hemsby have vibrant community groups, schools, shops, pubs and cafes, catering both for local residents and the tourists which are increasingly drawn to the area.

And while some of the pretty villages remain surprisingly remote, with very few amenities, this is undoubtedly part of their charm.

Mundesley is a pretty, traditional village with a thriving community with a good high street and plenty of places to eat and drink. There are also many local clubs and societies for all ages, including Mundesley Golf Club, which attracts players from all over. It is also a popular location for families, with two village schools, a play area and impressive skate park, and of course the sandy Blue Flag beach on the doorstep, which has RNLI lifeguards keeping watch during the summer months.

The nearby village of Happisburgh is famous for its striking, iconic striped lighthouse which can be seen for miles. But it also has many quaint, stone buildings and is full of history. The Hill House Inn is not only known for its real ales, it is famous for inspiring one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries. He is said to have come up with idea for the book The Adventure of the Dancing Men during a stay at the pub in 1905.

The wonderful thing about the east coast villages is the huge variety of properties to choose from. From high end barn conversions to quaint fishermen’s flint cottages; new developments with affordable family homes to old farmhouses with sprawling gardens among the fields, most tastes and budgets are catered for.

With idyllic quiet country lanes to cycle around, woodland waiting to be explored, beaches with a resident seal population and dunes for children to leap about in, cafes serving hearty local food and surprising and exciting independent shops and businesses, the east coast is a real hidden gem.

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