Happisburgh

Happisburgh Gallery

Happisburgh Gallery

Happisburgh Attractions and Things To Do

St Mary's Church

This 15th century church has a practical as well as interesting history. The church tower is a landmark well-known to sailors keeping a close eye out for the dangerous sandbanks around here. Inside the church the pillars down the aisle shows the scars of a bomb which landed here during the Second World War. There is a mass grave outside the church in memory of the sailors of HMS Invincible which was shipwrecked near here in 1801, killing 119.

Tourists can climb to the top of the tower for a wonderful view of the nearby fields, coast, lighthouses, churches and mills. The tower is open to the public from 11am to 4pm on alternate Saturdays and the majority of Wednesdays between mid-April and October, but this is subject to church services and weather.

Happisburgh Lighthouse

This red and white striped lighthouse has a couple of claims to fame. Not only is it the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia, but it is also the only UK lighthouse which is operated independently.

Built in 1790 it originally had a slightly lower twin lighthouse near it, which was demolished in 1883 when it became seriously threatened by coastal erosion. The remaining building was a candle lighthouse until it was electrified after the Second World War. It was scheduled for closure in the 1980s until pressure by local residents helped achieve the foundation of the Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust. The lighthouse continues to guide ships round the treacherous waters of the nearby coast.

Tourists can climb the 112 steps to the top during the open days which take place some Sundays during summer.

Lifeboat house

The nearby Haisborough Sands, a hazard for passing boats, is the reason for the long history of lifeboat houses in the village. The first lifeboat house in the village was built in 1866 but closed in 1926. A new one was constructed in 1965 and improved and extended over time until coastal erosion resulted in the launching ramp being lost. The original building is still open, it is used for training but you can also buy souvenirs there. The current station dates from 2002.

Beaches

The sandy beaches near the village and in the surrounding area offer some excellent spots for families to relax and enjoy the sea. Happisburgh beach is also a place where fossils and molluscs from the last ice age are sometimes found.

Walks

Some lovely, gentle cliff top walks are east available around the area, offering views of the North Sea and also of the charming Norfolk countryside.