Norfolk is one of the most popular seaside holiday destinations in Britain. Holidaying in the area goes back to the 1700s, when people from London and other parts of the country travelled to the region to enjoy its warmer climate. With a stunning coastline, it if is not difficult to see why people feel in love with the place. With pristine beaches, golden sand, beach huts and plenty of beachside activities it is a terrific place to spend a holiday.
There are a few 5-star hotels in Norfolk for those who want to stay in comfort and luxury on a holiday.
One of the best luxury hotels is The Harper Langham in Norfolk ideal for families and groups looking for accommodation in the area.
History of Norfolk as a seaside resort
The early visitors to Norfolk belonged to the nobility and upper classes during the 18th century. There was a commonly held belief that sea water, like those of the spas at Bath and Buxton, were therapeutic in nature and would be beneficial for those with a weak constitution. Great Yarmouth became a popular destination with the Bath House opening in 1759. Visitors could enjoy taking a bath with seawater at the place and socialise with other visitors. The more adventurous would take a plunge in the North Sea, albeit for a very brief time.
During the Victorian era, sea bathing and beachcombing were popularised among the middle-class along with studying nature and pursuing health and fitness. As those were prudent times there remain the beach huts, now unused. After the Great Eastern Rail network became operational in the area in the 19th century, Norfolk became accessible to all and sundry. It was both affordable and saved time on travel to Norfolk, unlike previous modes of travel by horse-driven carriages or boat.
By the 1840s, trains began to arrive in the towns of Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and Cromer. These brought along the lower middle class and labourers. A number of guesthouses sprung up in the area with an increase in the numbers of visitors. Some of the gentry were not too thrilled to mix with people below their social class and moved to Gorleston.
The guesthouses had puritan rules and were not too comfortable an abode. During the latter end of the Victorian age, a new kind of accommodation surfaced in the form of the camp. The first such holiday camp opened at Caister-on Sea in 1906, with campers living in tents and minimum facilities. The camp is still around with more such camps at Hopton and Great Yarmouth. More camps opened later in different areas with modern facilities like electricity and running water. During WWII these camps were seconded by the military for use as military bases.
In the 1970s the craze for seaside holidays in this part of England began to decline. European countries like Spain with its year-round sunshine and beaches and other Mediterranean locations gained traction with holidaymakers. With staycations growing in popularity in the UK since the past few years, Norfolk once again has become a popular seaside holiday destination.