The Golden Lion Hotel in Hunstanton has ceased trading. Picture: Ian Burt

The historic Golden Lion Hotel on Hunstanton Green has closed following the collapse of a major travel firm.

Built in 1846, the grade II-listed hotel is thought to be the town’s oldest building and its loss has been described as “the end of an era”.

The long-standing business was bought by The Specialist Leisure Group (SLG) in 2007 and was marketed under its Coast & Country brand following refurbishment.

SLG, which operated several travel businesses including coach trip company Shearings and National Holidays, went into administration on Friday. 

Around 2,500 previously furloughed staff lost their jobs and it’s thought 64,000 bookings have been cancelled,

The firm, based in Wigan, said on its website that all tours, cruises, holidays and hotel breaks had been cancelled and would not be rescheduled “due to the impact of COVID-19”. 

“All hotels trading as Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels will not reopen,” the statement read.

Staff at the Golden Lion Hotel  posted an emotional Facebook message over the weekend thanking customers for their support.

“Some things are completely out of our control,” the post said.

“No words can currently describe what we are feeling. The end of an era.

“All of Team Lion can say that  we have made lifelong friendships with guests and staff.”

The Bay Carlton Hotel in Great Yarmouth, marketed under SLG’s Bay Hotels brand, has also closed.