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What is there to do in Cromer, Norfolk?

Mar 21, 2024 #Cromer #Norfolk #North Norfolk
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Cromer, said the Eastern Daily Press in May 2023, is “fast becoming Norfolk’s coolest seaside spot“. It’s always been a popular haunt for tourists, but what is there to actually do and see while you’re there?

If you’re in need of inspiration for an upcoming Cromer trip, read on…


1. Cromer beach

Cromer’s sand and shingle Blue Flag beach is popular with paddlers, sandcastle builders, sunbathers, walkers and surfers alike. Flanked by chalk cliffs and with the obligatory brightly coloured beach huts, there are plenty of facilities within walking distance and lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

Whether you choose to head east or west from Cromer, the beach is also a good starting point for some great local walks. You may also be able to see the tractors hauling the fishing boats to and from the sea…


2. Cromer pier

Cromer’s Grade II-listed pier, in its current form, dates back to 1902. Unlike many, the 151-metre long pier has no amusement arcades (but you’ll find these not far away).

What you will find is the Pavilion Theatre: one of just five end-of-pier theatres in the UK. It also features the only full season end-of-pier show in the entire world.

Cromer Pier is also a popular haunt for crabbing, as well as being home to the town’s lifeboat station.



3. The RNLI lifeboat station

At the very end of the pier, behind the Pavilion Theatre, you’ll find the Cromer Lifeboat Station. Since it was established in 1804, the lifeboat teams there have received 56 medals for gallantry – an impressive achievement!

You’ll encounter the shop first off when you walk in. Head up the stairs, though, and you’ll find a large viewing gallery. You’ll see the lifeboat if it’s docked – or, if you’re lucky like we were, you’ll even see it being winched in.



On certain days of the year you can even board the lifeboat – and there’s plenty of information about the boats and their history to take in, too.


4. Rockpooling

With the pier stretching out in front of you, turn left and walk along the beach or the seafront. Between Sheringham and Cromer , at the foot of the cliffs, the low tide will reveal rockpools to explore.

Here, you could find crabs, lobsters, anemones, winkles and sea scorpions. If you’re lucky, you may even find a fossil or two…


5. Crabbing

Cromer is renowned for its crabs. Cromer’s train station opened in 1877, and that was the catalyst for the local crabs reaching a wider audience.

The crabs in Cromer – which fishermen catch using pots – are tender, meaty and sweet. It’s the nutrient-rich waters and chalk shelf that give them their distinctive flavour. They’re so popular that there’s even a crab and lobster festival every May.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular place for crabbing for visitors, too. During the warmer months you’ll find plenty of people crabbing from the pier: the gift shop there sells everything you need to get started. Apparently, these crabs prefer squid or mackerel as bait, rather than bacon. Just be sure not to overcrowd your bucket – and take the crabs down to sea level to return them, as dropping them from the top of the pier can injure them.


6. Eat fish and chips

Fish and chips always taste SO much better when you eat them by the sea! No1 Cromer is a great place to do just that. With huge windows overlooking the pier, Galton Blackiston’s fish and chip restaurant is family-friendly and serves great food, too. Click here for my review.


No1 Cromer - Haddock and Chips


7. Spot the remnants of a Banksy artwork

As part of his “Great British Spraycation” series in 2021, Banksy created a piece of artwork for Cromer residents and visitors to enjoy. You’ll find it on the beach near the beach huts towards the eastern end of the town…but if you want to spot it, you may need to be quick.

Not only has the artwork been vandalised, it’s also deteriorated because of the weather and the movement of the stones on the beach. Find out more about the artwork here.


8. Visit the zoo

It may only be a small seaside town, but Cromer has its own zoo! The Amazona Zoo features over 200 animals from South America. There’s also an outdoor play area, an under-12s indoor play area, a cafe, a gift shop and more, all set within 15 acres and within walking distance of Cromer town centre.


9. Take in the Lifeboat Museum

If you want to learn more about Cromer’s lifeboats, there’s a separate museum in addition to the lifeboat station. The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum celebrates its namesake: a man who served 53 years on the town’s lifeboats and saved 873 lives throughout his career.

The museum is free to visit and has a varied range of exhibits – including plenty of hands-on activities for children.


10. Follow a walking trail

Whenever I visit anywhere new, I have a habit of looking for free walking routes online. Normally, I’ll try and find ones that give some information about local history and culture, too.

There are people out there offering paid-for tours of the Norfolk seaside town. Treasure Trails also have a Cromer adventure, which could be a fun way to explore with the family.

Alternatively, take a look at the Walk Cromer website. Here you’ll find a range of local walks, from the more leisurely to those designed more for day hikers.


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