Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Visiting Wells lifeboat station

New boathouse building

We've moved into our new boathouse building on the end of the beach bank and our new Shannon-class RNLB 13-46 Duke of Edinburgh is now on service as the town's all-weather lifeboat, alongside our inshore lifeboat D-797 Peter Wilcox.

There are new arrangements for visiting the lifeboat station and a shop and viewing gallery where you can see the boats.

The shop is open!

Shop and viewing gallery open
10-4 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Shop, Visitor Centre and Public Viewing Gallery

New boathouse shop interior

The new lifeboat station has a Shop and Information Centre next to the beach bank. We're delighted to have welcomed a new team of volunteers to run this and at the moment the shop is usually open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10am until 4pm with some additional days. We're intending for the shop eventually to be open most days and will post more information on opening times when we can.

There is access, via a small staircase, to a public viewing gallery in the new station. You are in the boat hall at first floor level here and can see both the Shannon lifeboat and SLRS launching carriage, and the inshore lifeboat and Softrak launching vehicle. The viewing gallery is usually accessible whenever the shop is open but it may sometimes be necessary to close it if there aren't enough volunteers on hand or while training or other work is going on in the boat hall. Further, on good weather days over the Summer, we sometimes can have the main doors open and you can get a good view of the Shannon lifeboat from the front.

Visiting when the shop and gallery are open is the easiest way to get to see the lifeboats but if you are a 'Launch A Memory' donor please note that there is not a clear view of the names on the boat's 13-46 decals from the gallery.

Viewing days and doors open

We've held some successful viewing days with 13-46 on public display in front of the boathouse with volunteers from both the crew and the shop and visits team on-hand to chat and answer questions about our work and we've had many Launch A Memory donors visit specially to view and stand by the boat. We will be repeating this format on additional days over the summer... look out for dates and information on our events page or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

We've also been able to open the main doors in good weather on some days so that the public can see the boat and names on the bow from the front of the building. There's no fixed schedule for this but if you're visiting over the summer, you may find this is an option.

Out of hours visits

When the shop is closed or the building is unmanned, you can still view the inshore lifeboat and a glimpse of the Shannon lifeboat through the main window looking onto the beach bank path. Additionally, on three custom benches to the south of the building, there are exact reproductions of the 'Launch A Memory' names carried in the 13-46 decals on the Duke of Edinburgh. This area is open to the public and you are welcome to view the names at any time.

Boathouse tours

New boathouse building

Starting in January 2023, our volunteer guides will be showing people around the lifeboat station on 50 minute tours. These are free but limited to 12 people at a time so must be booked in advance on the Eventbrite link below.

Book a boathouse tour

Groups and other visits

Please contact the station in advance if you wish to arrange a visit for larger groups such as schools and clubs. This may be difficult for us to fit in at the moment but we'll do our best to accommodate you.

Launch A Memory names

Looking for names on 13-46

If you wish to visit to see the lifeboat, it is best to come on a day when the shop and viewing gallery are open. There is not a view of the actual names in the 13-46 decals but you are close to and get a good view of the lifeboat. You can see exact reproductions of the name decals at any time on the benches behind the building.

On some days, we may have the main doors open so you can see the names on the port or starboard bow. The names on the wheelhouse roof are too high up to be seen from the ground or viewing gallery.

You might also want to keep an eye out for days when the boat is on exercise (see our home page) when you may see her launch or be recovered... although you will have to stay at a safe distance from the boat, this is a good way to see her operating with the crew.

We also have occasional public viewing days where donors will be able to get closer to the boat; see our events page for dates.


Shop Opening Times

Our shop, visitor information centre and public viewing gallery are open weekends from Friday to Monday and some extra weekdays from 10-4. In good weather, the main boathouse doors may also be open to view the all-weather lifeboat. See below for latest times or our visits page for more information.

The shop is open!

Shop and viewing gallery open
10-4 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Wells RNLI 200th Anniversary events

Celebrating 200 years

The RNLI is 200 years old this year and the anniversary is being marked nationally and by lifeboat crews and stations around the UK. In Wells, we held a series of events and an exhibition in Wells Maltings in March and we'll be flying the RNLI 200 flag throughout the year.
Wells RNLI 200th Lifeboat Horse scuplture
Lifeboat Horse marking 200 years in the quay

Shannon lifeboat
and boathouse build

New boathouse build

Wells RNLI is now operating from the new building. See the boathouse build pages for the story of how the new station was built.

Our new Shannon lifeboat was funded in part with a station appeal for £250,000 in 2014-15 and also by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund with its 150th Anniversary Appeal. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and across the UK and further afield.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity, registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). This website is managed and maintained by local volunteers at Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station and is not the main RNLI site. All text and images copyright (C)2005-2021 RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station, or as indicated, and may not be downloaded, copied or reproduced elsewhere without prior permission of the station or the relevant copyright holder.