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‘As hot as Majorca and easier to get home’ - Tourism bosses celebrate staycation boom

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:09 29 July 2020

Lucy takes her fishing net to the rock pools at West Runton beach in North Norfolk. Picture:  Neil Perry / Archant

Lucy takes her fishing net to the rock pools at West Runton beach in North Norfolk. Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Archant

Tourists are turning to a Norfolk break over trips abroad, with the county’s hotels, campsites and guest houses seeing a surge in demand.

The Victoria Inn, Holkham. Pic: Victoria Inn HolkhamThe Victoria Inn, Holkham. Pic: Victoria Inn Holkham

Hospitality businesses across the county are reaping the benefits of good weather forecast closer to home and travel restrictions being reimposed in Spain because of coronavirus.

Hugh Garnish, who runs the Sandcliff guesthouse in Cromer, Runton Road, which has 23 rooms, only has one room free this weekend and a couple available right through until mid August.

He said: “It is turning, we have tried to keep our prices competitive, we have also put some things in place to encourage people to come, for instance we are now delivering breakfast to people’s bedroom doors. We are telling people what we are doing and we are busy.

“People are coming from a 2.5-hour radius, from Lincolnshire right across to Leicester, although some people come from Norwich.

The Sandcliff guest house in Cromer. Pic: SandcliffThe Sandcliff guest house in Cromer. Pic: Sandcliff

“Overall I feel confident, we have a good product and I think whatever the situation, people will always want to come away for a break and Cromer is a very good place to come. I do worry about the winter, though.”

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Joshua kicks up the waves at West Runton beach in North Norfolk.  
Picture:  Neil Perry / ArchantJoshua kicks up the waves at West Runton beach in North Norfolk. Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

At the Victoria Inn, in Holkham, which has 20 rooms, a spokeswoman said they were completely booked up with just a couple of rooms available in the second half of September. And at the Hickling Campsite and Canal Camping, Dilham, near North Walsham, it was a similar picture.

Jo Sindall, who runs the venue, said they were also almost completely booked up until September. “We have had a high demand for bookings with very little availability until the end of August.”

Peter Williamson, chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions Association, said: “Since lockdown was lifted, we have seen an excellent beginning. Although our sympathies go out to foreign holiday operators, we are grateful for any extra that will come and remain in Norfolk.

“The weather is forecast to be around 29C this weekend so it should be as good in Norfolk as Majorca and it’s a lot easier to get home.”

Simon Altham, chief operating officer, Awaze, parent company of Hoseasons. Pic: VICTORIA PERTUSASimon Altham, chief operating officer, Awaze, parent company of Hoseasons. Pic: VICTORIA PERTUSA

Boats on the Broads have also been in high demand. Simon Altham, chief commercial officer at Awaze, parent company of Hoseasons, said: “Norfolk is proving to be one of our most popular regions in the UK, with holidays selling out very quickly at the moment.

“Boats on the Broads are completely sold out in August which is a big boost for boatyard owners. We still have a small amount of availability within our portfolio, but we expect to sell out in the next few days.”

Borther and sister Joshua and Lucy head to the rock pools at West Runton beach in North Norfolk.
Picture:  Neil Perry / ArchantBorther and sister Joshua and Lucy head to the rock pools at West Runton beach in North Norfolk. Picture: Neil Perry / Archant


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