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Influx in West Norfolk trade as visitors flock to the coast over Bank Holiday weekend

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The scorching weather over the record-breaking Bank Holiday weekend had a positive impact on West Norfolk businesses in the main.

With the UK enjoying the hottest late August Bank Holiday Monday ever, visitors flocked to the coast to soak up the sun.

Darren Barker, owner of the Sunset Grill in Heacham, said it was the first time in 17-years that he has seen the car park on North Beach “chock-a-block”.

The coast was the place to be as temperatures soared to 30C
The coast was the place to be as temperatures soared to 30C

He said: “We were selling more than usual over the weekend and there definitely seemed to be more people here than usual.

“I think the weather has helped many people clear out stock they should have cleared out months ago.

“Last week we were worried we would not sell out of ice-creams and now we are stocking more of them so you just do not know what you will be doing.”

Visitors flocked to Hunstanton at the weekend
Visitors flocked to Hunstanton at the weekend

However, he added that Brexit has had a negative effect on his business in general this year with people seeming to “spend less money” in his eyes.

He added: “We have not made as much as we should have done for the season but we have still done okay.

“Three months do not make a season but it is what it is.”

Nigel Croasdale, general manager of Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, said: “I think the hot weather brought an influx of tourists and day-trippers into the resort.

Businesses benefited from the weather
Businesses benefited from the weather

“During the school summer holidays we are busy every day. What we find happens is if it’s wet weather, people on holiday in the resort start to look at something to do indoors and we do see an increase in people visiting us.

“On the other side of the coin, when it is hot, more people are coming to the resort. Although we may see a drop in holiday-makers already here when it is hot, there are more new visitors coming throughout the day.”

However, Mr Croasdale said the year as a whole has been “a bit of a mixed picture” and “very up and down”.

“The volume throughout the summer has been a little quieter than last summer but last year was the busiest we have had in many years,” Mr Croasdale added.

“Last year we had a prolonged period of nice weather before the summer holidays which encouraged people to come to book a holiday on the coast whereas this year we had not had that same prolonged period.”

Ice-creams proved popular as temperatures soared over 30C.

Louise Sandercock, of the Pavillion in Hunstanton, said the weekend was “a very good” one for the parlour.

She also said the Tuesday following the weekend was “manic”, but the company were expecting the customers to die down when Leicester schools went back this week.

“It’s pretty difficult working in the heat but we make sure to drink plenty of cold water,” she added.

The scene at Hunstanton's promenade on Bank Holiday Monday
The scene at Hunstanton's promenade on Bank Holiday Monday

Jo Artherton, of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said visitor numbers were slightly down over the weekend.

“We are attributing this to the hot weather and we did notice there were less people,” she said.

However, the park was up by four per cent for the week overall compared to last year.

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