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Wells-Next-The-Sea Area Guide

Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk Image courtesy of Flickr user neiljs

Wells-Next-The-Sea is a seaside town on the North Norfolk Coast in East Anglia. Known locally as 'Wells', the town is actually over a mile away from the open water, and is built around a port that has been active for 700 years. The main quay was built in the middle of the 19th century when the town was at its peak. At this time, the primary trades of the town were the import of coal and salt, and the export of corn, barley and malt for breweries.

Many of the granaries and maltings built to serve these industries still exist, including the large granary building on the harbour that features a large overhanging gantry. Built in 1903, the granary has been converted into luxury apartments with views over the harbour.


The town has 3,000 inhabitants who are predominantly white British, but sees around 10,000 tourists over the summer season. It is a relatively aged population, with over half being 55 years or older.

The majority of housing is semi-detached traditional Norfolk brick and flint cottages, as well as some detached and terraced housing of the same style. Some of the properties (such as former coaching inns and pubs) are listed, and date as far back as the 1500s.


Alderman Peel High School on Market Lane is the only secondary school in Wells-Next-The-Sea, and is a mixed, state maintained school with 345 pupils on its register. It was rated 'outstanding' in a 2009 Ofsted inspection.

The area also has only one primary school, Wells-Next-The-Sea Primary and Nursery School, which is again a mixed, state maintained school with 139 pupils on its register. It was rated 'good' in a 2009 Ofsted inspection.

The nearest independent school is Gresham's School in Holt, which is a coeducational boarding and day school for pupils aged 3-18 years, with 885 pupils on its register.


Wells-Next-The-Sea is connected to the rest of North Norfolk by the B1105 and the A149. Bus services run to and from King's Lynn, Norwich, Fakenham and Sheringham. As well as this, the town benefits from access to the Coasthopper, a regular bus service that runs along the North Norfolk coast from Sheringham to Huntstaton.

The town does not have a train station, the nearest being Sheringham which is approximately 27 km away by road.

Amenities and Shopping

A variety of shops are dotted around the narrow lanes of the town centre, along the Quay and up to Staithe Street, which is the main shopping street. The shops are a diverse selection of small, independent outlets that sell everything from buckets and spades to designer gifts.

For those looking to eat, there are several pubs located in Wells that offer traditional British cuisine, local ales and fresh seafood.

In the summer, the town hosts a carnival which usually takes place towards the end of July, and draws visitors from all over Norfolk. Throughout the annual festivities, live music, competitions, barbeques and workshops spring up around the town, and the carnival culminates in a procession, where a queen is crowned.

In addition to this, the area is also a haven for birdwatchers, and nature lovers are attracted to Wells beach, pinewoods and the nearby salt marshes.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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