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Things to do in Cromer, Norfolk

Cromer Pier © Anthony Lomas

Cromer is captivating. It is an old town with a long and unique history. Today one tends to be reminded of the archetypal Victorian seaside town with atmosphere from different eras seeping through the old buildings in the windy backstreets just behind the sea front.

Cromer is small and easily explored on foot. The main road runs in front of the wonderful renowned old church where one can sit on a bench and soak up the atmosphere. If you are lucky there may be a wedding at the church and you can often be treated to horses and carriages drawing up to the impressive building to deliver the bride. It is well worth the wait to see the grooms in their finery settle the bride and groom in to the carriage to whisk them to their wedding breakfast.

The church has a very high tower which is possible to climb at certain times of the day. Worth the effort for a wondrous view. As you sit on the bench outside the church facing the shops opposite, do not forget to cross the road and walk down the small side streets which are interesting. Towards the back there is a local carpark and a wide open parkland where you can walk and run off energy (if you should have some to spare).

To one side of the church is the revamped small museum - very well worth a visit, it really does help to put this delightful town into its modern context and see its long history. So many of the building and the names of local people are legends in Cromer.

The small streets throw up delightful local shops where fresh sea food, fine fish and chips, ices, clothes, fruit, can all easily be found. There are a variety of shops on the high street and it is likely that you can find all you need here in Cromer to give you a good holiday or short stay.

The seafront is easily accessible by stairs, long slopes, and the new lift - a design masterpiece that so compliments this old seaside town with the very best of modern improvements. Cromer is accessible to all, I write this as someone who frequently uses a wheelchair.

The front is long with plenty of newly placed benches and it is possible to sit and have refreshment at small tables overlooking the sea. To the right and left of the pier are safe bathing places, and when in season there are lifeguards on duty.

Over the years I have watched their vigilance, and listened to the blowing of whistles to get the attention of bathers and children at play if they seem at any risk. The Lifeguards have canoes and are out into the sea within seconds if alerted. They guard the beaches watching from their standpoint with binoculars. It is a credit to them and to Cromer that the town is made as safe a haven as possible for a seaside break.

The pier is a true delight having benefited from significant financial input. The pier has been extensively renovated and one can saunter along taking advantage of the many seating arrangements down its length. Towards the end one can buy refreshments, and from here down anglers and crab catchers while away their time.

Here on the pier is a well known and loved theatre where there are seasonal shows and a full programme of artists throughout the best part of the year. There is always something worth watching and the professional performances belie the community atmosphere inside this theatre over the sea. To walk out after an evening performance and see Cromer on the cliff lit up by all the towns twinkling lights is quite magical and is definitely part of the magic of Cromer.

At the very end of the pier is the lifeboat station which can be visited. It has a wonderful history which you can learn about through a trip to the museum. Both lifeguards on the beach and the lifeboat personnel train regularly and you may be lucky enough to see them in their training modes. One can only respect and admire such selflessness which reflects much of the community spirit that is Cromer.

The beaches are made of golden endless sand and many an evening after work it has been worth a forty minute drive to walk along those sands as the sun begins to set low over the horizon and cast a reddish glow which throws its dappled light over the sands and rock pools.

At this time a few people walk and sit as if awed by the simple views onto the horizon that at times seem majestic. This view can also be watched from the cliff top where one can sit on a few benches perched high on your own eyrie, perhaps eating hot Cromer chips, as the day draws gloriously to its end. Be sure Cromer always has another day!

Description by Christine Cottrell

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Images of Cromer


On Cromer Beach © Alexander Nitzsche
On Cromer Beach  © Alexander Nitzsche
Cromer Beach and Pier © Alexander Nitzsche
Cromer Beach and Pier © Alexander Nitzsche
Cromer Pier © Alexander Nitzsche
Cromer Pier © Alexander Nitzsche

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