George IV’s interest in sea bathing made it a popular pastime for the upper classes during the latter part of the 18th century, when, as Prince of Wales he visited Brighton.
The following advertisement appeared in the Norwich Mercury during June 1789:
“SEA-BATHING AT HAPPISBURGH. Benjamin Barrow respectfully informs the Public in general that he has erected a Bathing-Machine of the most approved Construction and provided proper Attendants for the Ladies and Gentlemen who may honour him with their patronage. The easy Declivity of the shore, the beauty of the surrounding countrv, and the convenient accommodations which Happisbureh can afford, are objects sufficiently important to attract the Attention of those who are in the Pursuit of Health and rural Enjoyment.”
This was quite early in the discovery of sea-bathing as a pleasure, and shows Happisburgh was on a par with other Norfolk coastal towns such as Sheringham and Cromer.