What to do near The Golden Lion | Coast & Country

Plenty To See And Do

It’s easy to see why Hunstanton is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in Norfolk, and why it’s so popular with visitors choosing to holiday in the region.

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Hunstanton is a place of natural beauty, where the beaches are lined with rich red and orange cliffs.

Tourists have been enjoying traditional seaside activities here since the Victorian times. Golfers can savour the sea breeze as they look out over the expansive salt marshes, and lovers of history can admire exceptional buildings that include the whitewashed Old Hunstanton Lighthouse and the remains of St Edmund’s Chapel.

The Le Strange family have had a big part to play in Hunstanton’s current popularity. It was Henry Styleman Le Strange that chose to turn Hunstanton into a seaside resort, and encouraged the production of the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway. He employed his friend William Butterfield to construct new Hunstanton’s first building, which today is the Golden Lion Hotel and was then known as the Royal Hotel, and he mapped out the rest of the town including shops and a church to attract a variety of visitors.

Old Hunstanton Park includes a magnificent moated hall that was the home of the Le Strange family throughout the 1800s, and it’s in this park that you’ll find the source of the River Hun. Affectionately known as ‘Sunny Hunny’, Hunstanton is a wonderful place to enjoy romantic walks on the beach.

The sun sets on the horizon, out over the water, often orange in colour to blend with the red chalk cliffs.

'Sunny Hunny' remains as a seaside resort popular with couples and families of all ages. Many enjoy the bustling bi-weekly markets, the arcade and the bowling alley, as well as lazy afternoons on the beach.

Try traditional fish and chips served at local restaurants and chip shops, or buy tickets for one of the many wonderful performances at the Hunstanton Princess Theatre.

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Hunstanton Searles Seatours

Hunstanton Searles Seatours is perfect for visitors of all ages. You can book onto a seal safari or a coastal trip, and learn all about the history of Hunstanton.

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This historic town is the perfect place to spend a day wandering around, surrounded by charming buildings.

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Visitors of all ages love this fascinating sea front attraction, standing on the Promenade.

Interactive pools filled with crabs and starfish are the perfect place to get up close to creatures of the deep, and you’ll find Nemo a million times over in the vibrant Clownfish Kingdom. Seals, penguins and otters live amongst the centre’s fishy residents, and the sharks are particularly popular. It takes just ten minutes to walk to the Sea Life Sanctuary from the Golden Lion, which makes it a great attraction to visit in any weather.

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Perhaps the region’s most famous attraction, the Sandringham Royal Estate includes Sandringham House and its gardens.

More than 60 acres of land have been carefully maintained, with woodland walks and beautiful flowers. Parts of the estate are open to the public, and royal collections are housed in on-site museums. The visitor centre includes shops and a restaurant, and guided tours are available.

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Houghton Hall

Houghton Hall is a mere 30-minute drive from the Golden Lion Hotel. It’s elegant but impressive – a large building set in well-kept grounds including a deer park, ornamental gardens, a sculpture park and stables.

The world’s largest private collection of model soldiers can be found in the on-site Soldier Museum, and the grounds include a lovely gothic church. Within the Stable Block, there is a restaurant offering indoor and outdoor seating.

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Peckover House and Garden

A National Trust property, this fascinating building was home to the Peckover family of Quakers. It’s a Georgian residence that houses artifacts and exhibits, giving an insight into life in the Peckover household.

Two-acre grounds include a rose garden and croquet lawn, as well as a barn and stable. The house was built in the early 1700s, and now includes a gift shop and a tea room as well as a second-hand book shop. Garden tours are free, and many National Trust events are held throughout the year.

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Oxburgh Hall

This moated manor house is a popular National Trust attraction, originally built in the 15th century.

The gardens include woodcarving trails, and the National Trust holds various events throughout the year. Visitors are sure to love the colourful floral gardens, and the on-site Catholic chapel, as well as the woodland walks.

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Elton Hall

Those interested in historic buildings and carefully maintained gardens often take day trips to Elton Hall. It’s just a little less than 1.5 hours away, and is situated close to Peterborough in an extensive estate covering 3,800 acres.

Part romantic and part gothic, the house is surrounded by mature trees and pretty ponds as well as an arboretum and shrub garden. The Loch Fyne Restaurant is a cosy traditional eatery serving locally sourced seafood, and the grounds also include a tea room and a lovely little garden centre. Inside the house, you’ll see opulent rooms including marble halls, banqueting spaces, a chapel and a library.

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Grimsthorpe Castle

Also worth a drive out, Grimsthorpe Castle stands on the historic edge of the Lincolnshire Forest, where there are formal parks featuring mature interspersed oak trees.

Around a 1.5 hour drive away, the house and gardens are open to the public, and are well-maintained with plenty of interesting features. Youngsters can enjoy the adventure playground, and all ages can view three species of deer that reside within the grounds. The tea rooms serve light lunches and traditional afternoon tea, and the shops are open throughout the year. It’s possible to book hot air balloon flights that depart from the grounds of Grimsthorpe, ideal as a luxury activity or for a unique wedding proposal.

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