Due to my boyfriend living in Mundesley and two of our friends living in Cromer, it has become a place we go to quite often when I'm there. I come from a seaside town myself but Cromer is so different in comparison. Now known as the Gem of the Norfolk Coast, Cromer has a population of about 8000 which is a huge difference to the 32,000 who live in Cleethorpes.
Something that I didn't know about Cromer until only last week was that it is famous for its crabs. Crab fishing forms the major source of income for local fishermen and there is even a small festival to celebrate the animal and the industry. Friends tell me that the cinema in Cromer shows some very strange films during the crab festival and they're always interesting and strange. I would love to be there for this one year just to see what is being shown and to see how strange the film is. If you want to try some famous Cromer crab then you can do so in many of the local shops.
Although only a small place, there is still plenty to do and see. As I just mentioned, Cromer does have its own cinema, although cannot be compared to any of the bigger chains. This cinema only has 4 screens and while playing the newest films, they have to be moved around during the day to fit them all in. The cinema is extremely dated and could do with a massive upgrade (especially the colours and neon lights outside of the building). However, with the next nearest cinema being in Norwich, I wouldn't complain about it too much. I think it's great that such a small town has something for people of all ages to do.
Cromer is not a place well known for its upmarket pubs and clubs but that does not mean there aren't any. At No. 98, you can have a fantastic night out and try some delicious cocktails. With well over 100 drinks to choose from, you are spoiled for choice. I loved going to No. 98 with my friends and being able to have a nice, relaxed night in the lounge downstairs. In the upstairs of the bar though is a club room and a dance floor. When the drinks are flowing and the night is getting late, this is the perfect place to go to let your hair down. Again, here there was a mix of ages drinking and having fun so it is not somewhere only for the younger people of Cromer.
A large part of the town is purely residential but once you get into the heart of Cromer, you will find all kinds of wonderful shops and things to see. For me, going to see the pier was high up on my list of things to do. In Cleethorpes, the pier is a nightclub so I wanted to see what another town did with theirs. Cromer's pier couldn't have been any more different. As I walked up the pier, I realised that at the very end, there was a theatre which I thought was amazing and so different to a club. Although I haven't been to see anything there, I would very much like to depending on what is showing next time I am there. Also along the pier were people eating ice creams, children fishing over the sides in the hopes of getting a crab or two as well as people generally taking in the scenery. You don't get anything like this on Cleethorpes pier so I thought it was lovely.
Speaking of ice cream... I have a massive thing about banana ice cream and I cannot seem to find it anywhere apart from in Cromer. I know Ben and Jerry's do one but it's not all that nice. In Cromer, right near the sea is a little window that sells fantastic ice creams. You can probably guess that one of these in banana. The first time I went here was in October and I didn't care how cold it was, I was determined to have a scoop! Now, every time I am in Cromer during the day I make a point of going to visit this little window and getting my fix.
Something else that I love Cromer for is its bookshops, which might sound like a strange thing to be liked. My friend Kirsty pretty much took me on the Cromer tour of bookshops and showed me which the best are. There aren't many current bookshops though and the majority are second hand or antique which is why I love them so much. I'm doing my dissertation next year on Fairy Tales and so far, have found a lot of my research in Cromer. I love looking around the old book shops and seeing what treasures they have for sale. Some of the books you can find are extremely old first editions though so the prices aren't those of a charity shop.
Even if you don't want to do some of the things I love doing here, you can still do the traditional seaside things. There are tacky souvenir shops where you can waste your money on tat as well as arcades which will eat up your copper collection. Whatever you want to do though, Cromer has fun things for all tastes and really is a gem to visit!
Having spent a lot of time in Southwold on the Suffolk coast, we decided to move further northwards this year, to visit Cromer in Norfolk. Tempted by the many good reviews of Cromer Crabs and an unspoilt coast, we set off with our tent to explore.
When we arrived, we were not disappointed. Cromer is a small seaside town that has kept much of its character and charm. This very traditional town manages to combine the conventional seaside attractions with Victorian appeal. Perhaps a little seedy and run down, it has none of the big, glaring amusement arcades or loud funfair thrills of bigger and more popular resorts, but offers a more sedate type of holiday.
I love it for its unspoilt Victorian cottages which line the promenade with no road separating them from the seafront. I also love the small streets and the way that the whole town is suffused with the history of brave men and lifeboat rescues. The strength and power of the sea is all around you, from the Lifeboat Museum, to the statues of courageous lifeboat men which stand in tribute, to the shops which all seem to mention life at sea.
The most famous of the lifeboat men was Henry Blogg - a Cromer hero who received the RNLI gold medal for heroism three times, and the silver medal four times. Blogg was a member of the Cromer lifeboat crew from 1894 to 1947, and the town honours him with a statue on the cliff top with the inscription "one of the bravest men that ever lived". The east end of the promenade has an impressive modern building with cream coloured walls and a blue balcony. This is the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum which illustrates the history of Cromer's lifeboats and tells the story of Blogg's most famous rescues. Blogg's lifeboat, the HF Bailey, is the centrepiece of the museum and this, together with historical photos, interactive activities, readings and artefacts, make the museum an interesting place to spend an hour or so.
As well as bringing historical perspective, the museum offers a welcome break from the beach - having one of the nicest seaside cafés that I have been to for a long time. The Rocket Café is on the first floor, on top of the museum, and has a curving chrome and blue balcony that you can sit on and look along the beach and out to sea. Inside, it is spacious and calm, with artwork and photography on the walls - and you can still see wonderful views from the huge balcony windows or the large porthole style windows. We sat safely inside for hours during an amazing storm out at sea, watching the lightening forking down to the water from a huge black cloud. The café offers excellent coffee and cake, as well as more substantial fare such as Oak Smoked sprats, Calamari, or Cromer lobster. The café turns into a restaurant on Friday and Saturday evenings, offering larger versions of their delicious main courses, with half price versions for children.
Westwards from the Museum, the seafront is dominated by the stunning Victorian Hotel de Paris, which stands just in front of the pier. The pier itself, dating from 1901, is nice to walk out on to look back and view the town, but ultimately disappointing with only a small café, a souvenir shop and large theatre at the end. The 510 seater Pavillion Theatre was showing the rather dubiously titled 'T Rextasy' but has been one of the most famous and successful Pier theatres in the past.
The attractive Victorian pier is somewhat spoiled by the modern lifeboat house which is perched behind the theatre. A lifeboat station has been situated at the end of the pier since 1920, but this 1999 replacement looks a little too large and out of character to fit in with the Victorian architecture. The lifeboat house is open during the day so that you can look around it and remember the long history of Cromer lifeboat men.
Further west again from the pier is the slightly tacky end of Cromer, containing a small fun fair, crazy golf, and a canoeing pond. This end is full of character and does not overwhelm. I like to walk around and buy fresh prawn, cockles and mussels from the stalls that abound in the area.
Cromer itself is famous for the Cromer crab, which forms the major source of income for the local fishermen. On a lesser scale, children follow this tradition by hanging over the side of the pier with their crabbing lines, and on a larger scale, shop, restaurants and stalls around the town sell dressed crab and crab sandwiches - all delicious!
The beach itself is long and slightly sandy and a very good swimming beach. There is a popular surfing school at the beach, with the usual collection of body boarding novices alongside. A small space on the beach which is lifeguard protected and showers and beach huts make this a very nice family destination for the day.
The beach is much lower than the town, but the promenade has been made very accessible for the disabled through the building of ramps which allow access to the museum, the pier and the funfair. We stayed at the nearby Manor Farm campsite, but there are many well located bed and breakfast accommodations through the town.
Overall I thought that Cromer was a lovely destination. It has not turned its back on the Victorian day trippers that provided it with its history and architecture, but it has moved nicely into the twenty first century with the addition of stylish cafés and modern museums.
Good fun for all ages.
I have very fond memories of Norfolk and in particular Cromer as this is somewhere i used to holiday with my dad.
A lasting memory for anyone visiting Cromer must surely be going crabbing, Selecting the bait then sitting on the sea edge dangling a rod with your bucket at the ready is such a lasting memory!!!
There is a lot to enjoy in Cromer, be it the pier, museums, or the lovely stretch of beach, it will surely appeal to all.
If you didn't manage to catch a crab of decent proportions then you must buy one of the famous Cromer crabs... they really can't be beaten!
There are plenty lot of places to eat and drink, and all tastes and budgets seem to be catered for which is great. Shopping for essentials and holiday souvenirs is great fun and a must for all tourists.
Perhaps Cromer's greatest appeal is the atmosphere it provides... it really is such a relxed and friendly place and so welcomiing to all its visitors!
Where I Stayed:-
A nice little place I stayed was the Kings Chalet Park. As the name suggests the accommodation provided is chalets. Each Chalet is well equipped with, two bedrooms (sleeping a Max of 4 people), bathroom, fitted kitchen, microwave, and colour TV. The park itself is situated on a quiet landscaped site, adjacent to sandy beaches, woods, cliff top walks the Lighthouse and golf courses. The site is just a ten minutes walk from town, and there are local shops nearby.
The Town :-
An idyllic town, with narrow winding streets and a huge open seafront.
The Seafront is home to Cromer pier, a great place to try your hand at crabbing, a line costs around £2.50 and you purchase some fish heads from local fishmongers. Typically you attach the fish to the line then drop it off of the end of the pier, and wait. After a while winch it back up carefully and see how many crabs you have. Its great fun for adults and children alike. Talking about those crabs, Cromer Crabs are a delicacy and if you go to any of the local seafood shops you can try a Dressed Cromer Crab for around £5. On the end of the Pier is The Pavillio, Theatre, which shows a variety of performances throughout the year, it has a seating capacity of 510, there is also Tides Resteraunt, which can boast the best views in Cromer, and also a small shop called Footprints.
In the centre of the town is a large Church, The building itself is over 600 years old, and the architecture is amazing to see, The church tower is open Monday to Saturday from May to the end of September and at 50 metres, it is the tallest in Norfolk , the view from the top on a clear day is stunning. There are also a diverse selection of shops around the town, including seaside rock shops, novelty shops, and many more known highstreet shops like Boots the Chemist.
On the Promenade a New Lifeboat Museum has recently been built. It has been named the Henry Blogg Museum after one of the first mid-ship steering type of lifeboat, and the new museum is home to the H.F. Bailey Lifeboat. The new structure also has a resteraunt, and an information centre, and hopefully soon will have disabled access via a lift from the cliff top to the promenade.
The main event in Cromer is the Carnival, usually in the 2nd week of August, there is a whole week of celebrations an an actual carnival usually in the middle of the week. The carnival includes Air Shows, Fireworks and Parades, aswell as other great fun events.
The beach at Cromer has won many excellence awards for its clenliness over the years, and it is a fun safe enviroment for adults and children to play or relax, There are many sections of the beach with rock pools for the children to explore, and the sand is perfect for making sandcastles.
Overall I would say that Cromer is a great place to visit, it has a town steeped in history, and an award winning beach, the locals are friendly and the area is picturesque. A great place for a British Holiday.
When I was a young girl my parents would drag me, kicking and screaming, on holiday to Norfolk every year for the summer holidays. I hated it. Every year there seemed less and less to do, having exausted all the options the year before. A year ago my parents retired to Cromer from Hertfordshire and I have to say it was the best decision they ever made. They seem happier, healthier, younger even. For one the air up there is so much cleaner and crisper than in London. The pace of life off-season there, is much more relaxed too ( Cromer being almost entirely occupied by retired people.) There are some fantastic restuarants as well in the surrounding area ( Mirabella in West Runton springs to mind ) and the locals in some Fish restaurants don't mind you bringing in your own bottle of wine ( or four!) For fish and chips in Cromer head to MaryJanes in the town centre, the freshly cooked chips cannot be surpassed and taste great walking along the sea-front. If you want to head out a little further in the evening, by far the best fish I have ever come across is to be found at Daves Fish restuarant in Sheringham ( approximately a five mile drive away and not to be confused with Daves 2 a more recently opened burger bar.) Shops are fairly sparse in Cromer and limited to a Woolworths, Martins newsagents, chemist, and various gift shops. There is however a big Safeways store on the outskirts of the town centre next to the railway. For lunch I highly recommend The Rocket Cafe ( known to our family now as rocket-man, the owner and his family make all their cakes fresh daily on the premises). You have to try their blueberry scones - the best I have ever tasted. Even the stars flock to this cafe...recent visits have been made by Hugh Grant ( wish I had of been there!! ) and some of the Corrie / Eastenders cast. Another good cafe is Harrisons, a higgledy piggeldy little teashop that only has about three tabl
es but is well worth a visit for their steaming mugs of hot chocoate with lashings of whipped cream oozing over the sides of the mugs. The beach is wonderfully clean and unspoilt and streches for miles when the tide is out.Cromer is one of the few seaside resorts that actually still has it's own pier ( as well as the obligatory End of pier variety show with c-listers such as Val Doonican!! ) It also has a cinema with all the latest releases, although at approximately five pounds for an adult ticket it is quite expensive by Norfolk standards and not the most comfortable or warm experience!! I hope I have given you a little taste of this 'Gem of the Norfolk coast' I never thought that I would hear myself sing it's praises, but now as an adult I can see what so enchanted my parents to it all those years back when I just wanted to stay in Hertfordshire with my friends.
Sunday morning, late November. It's supposed to be a Photo Society trip to Cromer, but apathy prevails, and the group consists of me (the society president) and two of my housemates (who are both members). A shame really, as the day is bright and clear, although a bit cold, and it's the right place in the term for a bit of sea breeze to blow away the cobwebs. Still, their loss. We take the little train from Norwich (Anglia Railways, 01603 764776) - just £3.50 return, less with a railcard - and it only takes an hour or so, passing through the open countryside of North Norfolk, the fields either stubbled or bare beneath a crystal blue sky. Suddenly, there's the sea, a smudge of darker blue between two hills, and the train begins to round the long curve to Cromer. It's not the most exciting or imposing station - a dead-end halt beside Safeway. The train reverses here and carries on to Sheringham, but we head up the road towards the sea front. The neatly kept promenade gardens are empty (something to do with the howling wind, maybe?) overlooked only by the illuminations. Acknowledging Cromer's heritage, they take the form of seafood, including fish, crabs, lobsters and shrimp. There's one green and red garland in a nod to the Christmas spirit, but all else is marine life. We take the steps to the beach (Cromer has some fairly serious cliffs), joining the wellied dog walkers and bescarved families tramping across the stones. The flints make a satisfying tinkly crunch as you walk over them, but it's hard going. However, the tide is out, so we head for the flat, firm sand, which just begs to be written on (housemate Simon writes "Raaaa!" - don't ask). The wind is gusting along the coast, but it's exhilarating, and whips up the waves to a salty mist in the air. A few hardy (or crazy) surfers bob in the waves like seals, but I doubt they'll catch anything today except the train home. On to
the pier - I haven't ever been when the tide's been so far out, and we mooch around underneath the pier's seaweed-entangled legs, taking photos of the Victorian engineering and the lonely beach and sea beyond. It's tempting to go up on the pier itself, but the crab boats further along the beach look interesting, so we wander up there. The much-painted boats, knotted rope and ancient, salt-rusted tractors provide rich pickings for us photography types as they sit on the slipway in front of the old lifeboat house. It now forms the Henry Blogg museum (01263 512503) - he was perhaps Cromer's most famous son, and won three RNLI gold medals for bravery between 1902 and 1947. Further along there's nothing but beach and cliffs, and we're getting cold, so an executive decision is taken and we head to the Red Lion Hotel (01263 514964). Its bar has a sea view, and is lovely and warm, although they charge a pound for a small cup of tea. We check out the seasonal menus on the table, and are actually pleasantly surprised - some seriously posh food (woodpigeon salad; various things "nestling on a bed" of other things, with coulis of this and jus of that), but the price comes in at £15 or less for three courses and coffee, and the top price is for dinner on New Year's Eve. The catch is that once out here, and having drunk a bit, you'd probably have to stay at the hotel as well. Suitably refreshed, we head through the town's narrow streets to a favourite haunt of mine - the secondhand bookshop Bookworms of Cromer (01263 515078). All manner of books, new and old, on every topic, packed into a tiny shop, with classical music playing softly in the background... I'm a happy browser here. Eventually I pick up a couple of books for £1 each (despite being tempted by many more!), and we decide it's time for lunch. We head for the chip shop, determined to sample the fish here of all places. Fresh from the
fryer at Mary Jane's (01263 511208), my haddock tastes like nothing I've ever had inland - sweet and juicy, the flesh melts away in flakes of pure white, and the batter is golden and crunchy. Even the chips are fresh and very hot, and just as they should be - golden outside, fluffy white inside. Eschewing the attached restaurant, we head down to the pier to eat them and sit in one of the shelters that face out over the sea, shooing off the scavenging seagulls which hover in the wind and wait for scraps. Sated at last, we notice that the grease has congealed on the paper - confirming that the crispiness of the batter and chips is due to them being cooked in lard. Ah well. We make (false) promises to eat healthily that evening in penance. Time to move on, but we can't go without strolling to the end of the pier. Past the Pavilion Theatre (01263 512395), home of the last traditional "Seaside Special" in the country (a traditional variety performance, no less), around past the sea anglers and their tubs of writhing bait, there's the lifeboat house, the replacement for the old house on the slipway. Open for viewing, and free, we take a look, marvelling at the sleek, beautiful power of the boat, and almost hoping for a launch just to see her surge down the slipway. Painted boards tell of every launch, and the lives saved, since the first lifeboat here, and suitably awed by the work of these brave volunteers, we drop a donation in the box. It's getting late, so we head along the seafront towards the station. A crumbling, dilapidated hotel (the Melbourne) looms over us from the top of the cliff, a pointer to Cromer's seedier side, the one seen by locals (and described in other opinions here). Further along, as we turn to climb the steps, an amusement arcade jangles out its discordant theme, tempting in the bored teenagers and younger kids alike, for whom Cromer's blue-flagged sands and Victorian charms hold nothing. Cromer's station is cold and unfriendly to the waiting traveller, a dark, dank and graffitied shelter the only building, so we spend as much time as possible in Safeway's coffee shop before electing to sit out in the gathering gloom on the platform. The last train of the day pulls in to trundle us home at just after 4pm, right on time. I'd never go to Cromer itself for longer than a day, as its charms are easily exhausted. But for the odd Sunday, when I need a break and some fresh sea air, it's a perfect trip. Easily accessible, familiar yet never exactly the same... even the slightly forlorn feeling you get at the seaside out of season just adds to it for me. Maybe this is the photographer in me talking, but I'll always go back to Cromer.
having lived in cromer as a teenager and now living near cromer and running my own business there i think that people should realise the nature of this town. as all the advertising stuff will tell you cromer has a rich history, if you dont believe me visit the museum. it is on clifftops along the norfolk coast. although most people use the coast road it is also accesible from a larger faster straighter road. although during the summer it is an extremely popular holiday resort <the beaches have won the uk clean beaches awrd for years now> there is another darker side to the town. there is a huge amount of alcohol abuse in the young people of the town, there a very few police<999 emergency calls may be dealt with from north walsham 15 miles away or yarmouth 30 miles away> and the town is rife with drug abuse. although the average person is a cannabis user cromer has a huge heroin user <smackhead> community making it prone to frequent crime. in the winter cromer is a frightening and horrible place to be although it looks pretty when it snows. i would recommend cromer during the summer as an ideal affordable place to visit but avoid it at all costs during the winter when the locals get bored.
I have written reviews already on 3 other local places (to me) in Norfolk, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton. I left Cromer until the last, as although I visit this resort on ocassions, this is my least favourite resort in Norfolk. Firstly, it's quite difficult to get to by road. Now, if you are a tourist, you will no doubt absolutely lurve meandering around the coast of North Norfolk, gazing at the lovely scenery, and perhaps even stopping off en route to explore such places as Burnham Market (good enough for Prince Charles) or Brancaster. However, when you are a local, like me (!), getting stuck behind endless streams of caravans doing the aforementioned is not really my cup of tea, even on a lazy Sunday morning. I therefore always try to set of very early, aiming to arrive in Cromer before 9.30 a.m. I drive straight through the town and park on the "cliffs" car park. This isn't the cheapest car park, but it's the easiest to get in and out of. You're also on the main road when you want to make a quick exit at 5 p.m. like a thousand other people do. We then walk down the hill to the beach and have a paddle before the beach gets too crowded. This isn't the cleanest of beaches in Norfolk, and neither are the toilets, but it's sand and sea, which is all the children want! We then have a wander in and out of the arcades and up and down the pier, watching people catch crabs off the side. (they're world famous, you know!) Finally, we usually walk around the shops and sample yet another flavour of the many, many choices of ice cream available, scour the bookshops and then walk back to the car, sometimes stopping off at the park, or to play crazy golf or "pitch and putt". On the way home, we moan once again that we are stuck behind yet another caravan, but are pleased that we had a "typically British" summer's day out in Cromer.
Cromer is my idea of heaven. situated on the north norfolk coast, this is a sleepy little town. There is enough to keep the children amused without breaking the bank. It is well situated for planning days out. There are a lot of caravan parks so holidaying is very cheap. In fact I like the place so much I bought a Static Caravan here. During the middle of August they have Carnival week, there is so much to do, loads to see from a firework display (free entrance last year), to parades, competitions and not forgetting the Red Arrows, this location is really great for the Red Arrows as they perform out to see and you are looking at them from on top of a cliff. **Update** As pointed out to me, there is a cyber cafe in the middle of Cromer. I have used it and have found the propriator friendly and helpful, see the comments here, sideards is the owner and he makes great coffee =)