Cromer is a town on the North Norfolk coast famous for its crabs, fishermen and lifeboats. The North Norfolk coast is one of the most rapidly eroding coastlines in Europe. A thousand years ago Cromer was inland ('Crow Mere' - the lake of crows - seen on the town's coat of arms), and the coastal village was called Shipden. This is now several hundred metres out to sea.
Modern Cromer is a mélange of architectural styles. Everything from charming brick-and-flint and stately Georgian, to 1960s carbuncular to modern bungalows and caravan sites. But the heyday was the 19th century, as witnessed by several streets of tall townhouses (now mainly B&B hotels), the growth stimulated by the coming of the railways and when the popularity of the town and environs was raised by the writings of Clement Scott .
The drive from Norwich on the A140 takes about 35-40 minutes. This is a much more dangerous road than it appears - at harvest time especially you should watch for farm vehicles emerging from side roads. Alternatively you might try the train. The Bittern Line is allegedly one of the great railway journeys of the world. Leaving Norwich, it crosses the broads via Salhouse, Hoveton & Wroxham (change for the wee Bure Valley railway to Aylsham), Worstead, North Walsham, Gunton and Cromer. The line extends to West Runton and Sheringham, where it joins up with the North Norfolk steam railway to Holt. You can also get to Cromer quite easily by bus from Norwich. The Coast Hopper operates throughout the year runs to Wells next the Sea with connections to Hunstanton. This is a great way to explore the coast. As you go west along the coast, especially after Sheringham, each village is more picturesque than the last. Lots of barn conversions and vernacular brick-and-flint architecture. By air, the nearest airport is at Norwich.
Regional Cycle Route 30 goes through the town.
- Norfolk Coast Path. A long distance (63 miles) footpath originally ending at Cromer (running westwards to Hunstanton) but the path now run westwards to Sea Palling. Links to the Peddlars Way long distance footpath near Hunstanton
- The Weavers' Way (56 miles) ling distance footpath runs to the town from Great Yarmouth.
Cromer is 23 miles from the centre of Norwich, and is a good base for exploring the north coast of Norfolk. Cromer is on several main roads - to Norwich, Holt, along the coast to Sheringham to the west and Overstrand to the west - it can get congested in the town centre especially during the summer months. Although Cromer bustles at all times of the year it is much busier in the summer, especially during Carnival Week in mid-August. There are several car parks inside the town, all of which are pay-and-display. Competition for the few free parking bays is fierce. On the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month, Cromer's Market is held inside the Meadow Car Park, reducing the number of available spaces.
In Cromer and in general in East Anglia, bringing or hiring a car is highly recommended as the area has many small villages and towns separated by long country roads. There are quite a few reasonably good local bus companies (Sanders is the main one) and although Cromer is remarkably hilly for Norfolk, cycling is a good way to get around.
- 1 The Lighthouse, Overstrand Rd, Cromer, NR27 0JH. A pleasant walk eastwards from the town centre and affords fine views.
- 2 Amazona Zoo, Hall Road, Cromer, NR27 9JG, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00). View and learn about a wide variety of animals from South America. Cafe and Gift Shop on site. £11.50 (adult). £8.50 (child) (other options).
- 3 Cromer Beach, Runton Rd, Cromer, NR27 9HP. The beach at Cromer is public and free to access and rated very highly. The West Beach (west of the pier) is more built up, with toilets, a shop and a funfair. The East Beach (east of the pier) has fewer amenities. Walking east along the shore, you'll soon be out of the main tourist orbit, and even in the summer holidays you can have huge stretches of beautiful beach more or less to yourself. Even in winter it has a rugged grandeur. The most notable beach fauna is the edible crab (Carcinus edulis), served when available in local cafés and restaurants. Crab boats can be seen launching and returning with their catch.
- 4 Cromer Museum, East Cottages, Tucker Street, Cromer, NR27 9HB (near the church), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Cromer Museum is housed in several converted fishermen's cottages, and includes many interesting and picturesque arcana of local and town life. It also includes a few scraps of the famous West Runton Elephant. Some of the rest of this enormous fossil beast can be found in the Norwich Castle museum. There are also displays of local lore and legend including the Black Shuck.
- 5 Cromer Pier and Pavilion Theatre, ☏ . Cromer Pier is one of the oldest in the country and has been damaged and restored several times. The Pavilion Theatre at the end of the pier runs a Seaside Special variety show during the summer season (June 21 to September 20 in 2014), and also around Christmas. There is lots of other entertainment throughout the year from ballet to variety to blues and folk and rock. Check the web-site for dates, times, prices, and tickets. Fireworks on the pier are a highlight on 1 January and in Carnival Week, and the pier is a good place to stand when observing the traditional Boxing Day Swim on 26 December. Beyond the theatre is the new lifeboat station. The old one is on shore, next to the Henry Blogg RNLI lifeboat museum.
- 6 RNLI Henry Blogg Museum (Cromer Lifeboat Museum), The Rocket House, The Gangway, Cromer, NR27 9ET, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10am to 4pm February to early December. Learn about the courageous lifesavers. See one of the lifesaving boats. Free.
- 7 Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate, Felbrigg, NR11 8PR, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 8 Cromer Church, Church St, Cromer, NR27 9HH. Like many Norfolk churches, it is much vaster than would seem to be necessary. Much of it was restored after partial destruction by a World War II bomb. The view from the tower is, reputedly, extensive.
- Cromer has three Amusement Arcades on or near the Promenade.
- Surf - believe it or not, Cromer and nearby East Runton offer reasonable surfing.
- 1 Regal Movieplex, 2-4 Hans Place, Cromer, NR27 9EQ, ☏ . shows all the latest releases. Screen one still has a mighty wurlitzer in it. Screen four is hardly bigger than one's front room. If you like 3D and earsplitting surroundsound, go elsewhere - it's a popular local cinema, even more so when it rains (frequently) during the summer holidays. It's also much cheaper than big city picture houses.
- 2 Royal Cromer Golf Club, 145 Overstrand Rd, Cromer, NR27 0JH, ☏ . offers a course as challenging as it is spectacular.
- 3 Glide Surf School, Cromer Promenade, Cromer, NR27 9HE, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Surf School, Paddle Boarding, Equipment Hire.
- Shopping - Cromer has many of the usual chain stores, charity shops and so on, but has a selection of unusual independent gift shops, secondhand book stores, grocers, hardware stores and so on, and in the Crossways tobacconists, one of the last of its kind.
- 1 Morrisons (Supermarket), Holt Rd, Cromer, NR27 9SW, ☏ . M-Sa 07:00-22:00. Su 10:00-16:00. ATMs.
- 2 Co-Op (Supermarket), Middlebrook Way. Holt Rd, Cromer, NR27 9JR, ☏ . M-F 08:00-21:00. Sa 08:00-20:00. Su 10:00-16:00. ATMs.
- 3 Wet Dog Surf Shop, 7 Tucker St, Cromer, NR27 9HA, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10:00-17:00. Su 11:00-16:00. Surf & skate shop.
- 4 Amy's Sweet Shop (Traditional Sweet Shop), 11b West Street, Cromer, NR27 9HZ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M Tu 09:00-17:00. W 09:30-13:00. Th-Sa 09:00-17:00. Su 11:00-16:00..
- 5 Black Bikes (http://www.black-bikes.co.uk), 28 Beeston Rd, Sheringham, NR26 8EH (4½ miles W of town.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 09:00-17:30.. Sales, service & repair, hire.
- 6 Halfords, Unit C, North Norfolk Retail Park, Holt Rd, Cromer, NR27 9ST, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-18:00. Su 10:00-17:00..
- 1 Will's Plaice (East Runton Fish & Chip Shop), Beach Road, East Runton, NR27 9PA, ☏ . Daily 12:30-14:00& 17:00-20:30 (seasonal variations).
- 2 The Old Rock Shop Bistro, 10 Hamilton Road, Cromer, NR27 9HL, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-18:00. Great local café.
- 3 The Rocket House café, The Gangway, East Promenade, Cromer, NR27 9ET (above RNLI Henry Blogg Museum), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F: 09:00-17:00. Sa-Su 10:00-17:00.. A room with a view, this is found on top of the lifeboat museum
- 4 Peggotty's, 6 Hamilton Rd, Cromer, NR27 9HL, ☏ . Daily 07:30-18:00. Great when you need that all-day fry-up.
- 5 The Bann Thai, 1a Church St, Cromer, NR27 9ER, ☏ . M 17:00-22:00. Tu-Sa 12:00-14:.30 & 17:00-22:00. Su 17:00-22:00.. Homecooked Thai cuisine
- 6 Browne’s on Bond Street (Tea Rooms), 5 Bond St, Cromer, NR27 9DA, ☏ . M-Sa 08:30-16:30. Formerly Aristocrats Tea Rooms.
- 7 Cromer Tandoori Restaurant, 29 Church St, Cromer, NR27 9ES, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-14:00 & 17:00-23:00. Su 12:00-23:00..
- 8 Dalia Spice, 36 Prince Of Wales Rd, Cromer, NR27 9HS, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-14:00 & 17:00-23:00. Su 12:00-22:00..
- 9 Mary Jane's Fish Restaurant, 27-29 Garden St, Cromer, NR27 0AA, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Take-away & restaurant.
- 10 Bolton's Bistro, Seafront, Cromer, NR27 9AS (Inside Cliftonville Hotel.), ☏ . Slightly posher than most, a short walk from the town centre.
- 11 Kanton Chinese Takeaway, 30 Church St, Cromer, NR27 9ES, ☏ .
- 12 Le Moon Chinese Restaurant, 5a Prince of Wales Rd, Cromer, NR27 9HR, ☏ . Daily 17:00-23:00.
- 13 Breakers Cafe, 28 Garden St, Cromer, NR27 9HN, ☏ . Daily from 08:30 (close time seasonal).
- 14 Park Chippy, 37 Station Rd, Cromer, NR27 0DX, ☏ .
- 15 Groveland Farm Shop, Thorpe Market Road, Roughton, NR11 8TB, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Has a small attached cafe specializing in sweet and savory waffles. Many of the ingredients are fresh grown on the farm.
- 1 Sticky Earth Café, 15 Church St, Cromer, NR27 9ES, ☏ . M, Th, F 10:00-17:00. Sa 10:00-17:30. Su 11:00-16:30.. Enjoy hot and cold drinks while painting pottery.
- 2 The White Horse, West St, Cromer, NR27 9DS, ☏ . Live music occasionally on Saturdays. also food & rooms.
- 3 The Red Lion, Brook St, Cromer, NR27 9HD, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-23:00. Great selection of beers and superior bar food. A good place for a quiet pint overlooking the sea. Also food & rooms.
- 4 The Kings Head, High St, Cromer, NR27 9HG, ✉ email@example.com. Also food.
- 5 The Wellington, Garden Street, Cromer, NR27 9HN, ☏ . M-Th 11:00-23:00. F-Sa 11:00-23:59. Su 12:00-22:30..
Accommodation is plentiful and cheap, especially out of season.
- 1 Cromer House Bed & Breakfast, 10 Alfred Road, Cromer, NR27 9AN, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Satellite TV. Free Wi-Fi.
- The White House. bed and breakfast on cliff drive.
- 2 The Dormy House Hotel, 100 Cromer Rd, West Runton, NR27 9QA, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. £135-£145 (offers sometimes available).
- 3 Beachcomber Guest House, 17 Macdonald Rd, Cromer, NR27 9AP, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: after 13:00 (prior arrangement for after 20:00), check-out: by 10:30. No pets.
- 4 Ogilvy House B&B, 7 St Mary's Rd, Cromer, NR27 9DJ, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. No pets. £78-£88.
- 5 Pantiles B&B, The Croft, Cromer, NR27 9EH, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. No children, no pets, no one night stays.
- 6 Glendale Guest House, 33 Macdonald Rd, Cromer, NR27 9AP, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3* £35-45 (one night, lower for longer stays).
- Many of the private homes in Cromer are Holiday Homes and may be available for rental or time sharing, especially out of season.
- Touring - there are many touring parks and campsites around Cromer, especially on the west side towards East Runton.
- Visitor Centre. Next to the Meadow Car Park. Inside are some very nice loos - and all the information you'll need on local sights and accommodation.
- 1 Nearest Accident & Emergency: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (Casualty or the Emergency Room), Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY (25 miles S of the town.). 24/7.
- 2 Minor Injuries Unit, Cromer and District Hospital, Mill Road, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 0BQ. Daily 08:00-20:00. Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness) simple wounds; Simple eye conditions, foreign body, corneal abrasions; minor burns; soft tissue injury; bites and stings, with no associated complications, or acute reaction; simple fractures; fingers that may be broken or dislocated
- 3 Cromer Group Practice (GP/Primary Healthcare), 48 Overstrand Rd, Cromer, NR27 0AJ, ☏ . M 08:30-18:00. Tu 08:30-13:00 & 14:00-18:00. W-F 08:30-18:00.
- 4 Corner House Dental Practice, 24 Norwich Rd, Cromer, NR27 0AX, ☏ . M-F 08:30-17:00.
- 5 Lloyds Pharmacy, 51 Church Street, Cromer, NR27 9HH, ☏ . M-F 09:00-18:00. Sa 09:00-17:30.
- 6 Post Office, 50 Mill Road, Suffield Park, Cromer, NR27 0AD.
- Blakeney (Norfolk) with Blakeney Point Seal Colony and Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Nature Reserve
- Wells-next-the-Sea with its oysters and its seal-watching trips.
- Walking long distance North Norfolk Coast Path that leads via spectacular cliffs, breathtaking beaches and charming woodland to Hunstanton westbound and Sea Palling eastbound. A lovely walk at low tide is the mile between Cromer and Overstrand, which has refreshments and loos, and back again. Where else can you walk a mile completely barefoot?
- Along the coast - to the west, visit the village of Overstrand. This was once very fashionable with some spectacular houses and one or two fairly upscale hotels such as the Sea Marge, reminiscent of an earlier age.
- Inland - lovers of great houses can visit Blickling Hall (National Trust) nr Aylsham, home of the Boleyns, with lovely gardens and one of the best secondhand bookshops anywhere
- National Trust's Sheringham Park, woodland park and gardens with costal views.