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Holidays in Happisburgh

With its candy-striped lighthouse and beautiful church

UK | East of England | Norfolk | Happisburgh
Happisburgh lighthouse

One of England’s most important archaeological discoveries was recently made in this peaceful village, on the rugged Norfolk coast.

Happisburgh is located on the Norfolk coast, four miles from North Walsham. This low-key community fell under the spotlight when flint tools were unearthed here, dating back to more than 800,000 years ago, the earliest evidence of humans to have been discovered in the UK. Happisburgh is overlooked by two distinctive landmarks, a brightly painted lighthouse and a beautiful church with a soaring tower. The vast, sandy beach stretches for miles and is a wonderful place to walk, sunbathe or take a bracing dip in the sea. To get to the water, cross the wooden sea defences which have been built to slow the erosion that has caused some Happisburgh properties to crumble into the sea. The centre of Happisburgh consists of pretty, narrow lanes, lined with flint and thatch cottages. There’s a traditional tearoom, pub and village shop, and nearby, beautiful historic gardens.

Happisburgh is well positioned for exploring not only the ruggedly beautiful Norfolk coast, but also The Broads, an enchanting network of misty lakes and gently meandering rivers. The unspoilt countryside surrounding Happisburgh is ideal for walking, cycling or simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity of rural Norfolk.

Sunset over Happisburgh beach

One of Happisburgh’s most distinctive landmarks is undoubtedly St Mary’s Church, a magnificent structure which sits on a mound, with spectacular views of the Norfolk countryside. Inside, visitors can admire stunningly decorated stained glass windows and an unusual font, which dates back to the 15th century. Another Happisburgh must-see is the red and white striped lighthouse, which was built in the 1700s and still has a lamp, the light of which can be seen from almost 20 miles away.

Just down the road from Happisburgh are the magnificent East Runton Old Vicarage Gardens . These spectacular gardens were created by their owners fairly recently and are open for the public to explore.

A trip to Happisburgh would be incomplete without a pint of local ale at the Hill House Inn , a lovely pub which dates back to the 1500s. This atmospheric establishment is famous for being the place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote one of his Sherlock Holmes stories. The Hill House serves reasonably priced pub food, including burgers, baguettes and pies.

“One of England’s most important archaeological discoveries was recently made in this peaceful village, on the rugged Norfolk coast.”

If you’re planning a day trip from Happisburgh, many of Norfolk’s most interesting destinations are easily reached. To the north is the charming seaside town of Cromer, where you can enjoy fresh seafood at one of a number of outstanding restaurants. Also nearby are the Norfolk Broads, a stunning network of lakes and rivers, which are lovely to explore by boat.

While you’re there

Hill House Inn

Friendly atmosphere and fantastic food, just what you need after a day of exploring.

Happisburgh Lighthouse

The most iconic building in Happisburgh, offering fantastic views.

East Ruston Old Vicarage

A wonderful display of beautifuly kept formal gardens in the grounds of a vicarage.

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