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Thrill seekers enjoy one of the carnival rides found along the boardwalk of Hunstanton, a beach town that overlooks the North Sea.

Thrill seekers enjoy one of the carnival rides found along the boardwalk of Hunstanton, a beach town that overlooks the North Sea. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

Thrill seekers enjoy one of the carnival rides found along the boardwalk of Hunstanton, a beach town that overlooks the North Sea.

Thrill seekers enjoy one of the carnival rides found along the boardwalk of Hunstanton, a beach town that overlooks the North Sea. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

Windsurfers head back to shore before heavy rains drop on Hunstanton.

Windsurfers head back to shore before heavy rains drop on Hunstanton. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

Jade Wei lines up a putt at a miniature golf course along the boardwalk of Hunstanton.

Jade Wei lines up a putt at a miniature golf course along the boardwalk of Hunstanton. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

HUNSTANTON — There are a few things that need to be considered when heading to the seaside in this country.

Perhaps the most important is not the sunscreen lotion, sunglasses or towel. It’s the weather report.

That preparation was thrown out the window on a recent weekend trip to the beach town of Hunstanton, roughly 50 miles north of RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall.

Although the sun shined bright most of the day, heavy rains from the North Sea moved in and left beachgoers drenched.

Before the storm, the town’s boardwalk was bustling as visitors rode carnival rides, played miniature golf, sunbathed on a grassy knoll, trekked the coast on horseback and devoured sweets from seaside vendors.

Out in the sea, windsurfers negotiated calm waves that faintly crashed below the feet of those sitting on the boardwalk. Also, World War II amphibious craft took passengers on sea tours.

To the north of town, people flocked to cliffs and wide, sandy beaches for leisurely strolls along the coast. Seashells littered the beaches and were a delightful treat to any packrat.

All in all, the town had a lively atmosphere until the dark clouds rolled in. The long boardwalk does, however, have a few indoor attractions when weather doesn’t cooperate.

The Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary has more than 30 displays including starfish, sharks, rays and seahorses. There are feeding demonstrations throughout the day, which costs 10.25 pounds for adults and 8.25 pounds for children younger than 14 to enter.

Nearby the Oasis Sports and Leisure Centre has an indoor swimming pool and spa for those who came here to take a dip.

The center even has an ice skating rink made of Ice Magic, a synthetic product that won’t freeze or melt.

"It’s a little bit of a novel twist," Darryl Frammingham, one of the centre’s supervisors, said. "You don’t typically associate a beach town with ice skating."

The "fairly big" rink can hold up to 70 people at one time. A trip to the center’s pool and rink is 8 pounds for adults and 6 pounds for children younger than 16, he said.

Besides the center, Frammingham said the town and its other attractions are well worth the trip.

"It’s a proper seaside town," he said.

Getting thereLocation: Hunstanton is a beach town roughly 50 miles from RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall. The town can be found along the coast off of the A149 highway about 16 miles north of King’s Lynn.

What to do: Attractions such as carnival rides, games, horseback riding, sea tours and even ice skating.

Web site:www.hunstanton-info.com


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