Many people stuck in traffic on the A149 Lynn Road must have lamented the demise of the little railway line from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton, which was closed in 1969. The entrance to Hunstanton station was in Le Strange Terrace and was on the site now occupied by the South Prom Car Park. The building known as Harlequin House (occupied by Azam’s store) is on the site of the demolished railway hotel, The Sandringham, which was next to the station with its entrance in Le Strange Terrace. The Waterside Bar in Beach Terrace road was the station waiting room, and another original railway building is the one now known as the Coal Shed Gallery in Le Strange Terrace, marked by a railway signal.
The railway line ran out of the town across the land now occupied by the coach park opposite Tesco in Southend Road. It was possible to take a train from Hunstanton to London’s Liverpool Street station, and in the early 1900’s thousands of people travelled to Hunstanton on special excursion trains.
To get an impression of what it was like to travel on the railway, see John Betjeman's 1962 film, King's Lynn to Hunstanton on YouTube. In the final shot you will also be able to see another vanished landmark - behind John Betjeman is Hunstanton Pier.
Milestones in the History of the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway
|1862||The railway was constructed. The chief engineer was John Valentine, after whom Valentine Road is named.|
|1863||The railway was opened and operated by the King’s Lynn & Hunstanton Railway Company between the following stations: Hunstanton, Heacham, Snettisham, Dersingham, Wolferton, North Wotton and King’s Lynn.|
|1865||The railway was taken over by the Great Eastern Railway (GER).|
|1866||A branch line was added between Heacham and Wells-next-the-Sea, with stations at Sedgeford, Docking, Stanhoe, Burnham Market and Holkham.|
|1899||The Sandringham Hotel was opened by the GER.|
|1920||The railway was taken over by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER).|
|1940||Hunstanton Urban Council purchased the Sandringham Hotel.|
|1964||The Heacham to Wells branch line was closed.|
|1967||The Sandringham Hotel was pulled down.|
|1969||The Hunstanton to King’s Lynn line was closed.|
For more information about the history of the Hunstanton to King's Lynn railway line, see the following book by Stanley C Jenkins: