Cromer is a coastal town on the north coast of Norfolk. A traditional tourist resort since the early 19th century that is able to boast that Edward VII played golf there before becoming King.
Traditionally a fishing town, Cromer is well known for its crabs. Which are renowned for their sweet, delicate flavour and their higher proportion of white meat to dark. Which has formed the major source of income for the local fishermen.
We brought the girls here in the school summer holidays 8 years ago, during a heatwave. We weren’t lucky enough to manage spring sunshine this time. That didn’t stop us from having a thoroughly enjoyable day wandering the beaches and the town.
Walking into Cromer we came across a little area dedicated to Deep Coast History just beside the big car park above the beach. There are several boards placed around the little garden area filled with interesting facts about prehistoric Cromer. We found it fascinating.
500,000 years ago lions, wolves and hyenas roamed the planes around Croma.
We then walked along the promenade and beach to Cromer Pier. It is a completely different place pre-easter. On our previous visit, this area had many vendors selling their wares. The little cafes where open and the children’s entertainment areas were filled with happy little ones.
It’s nearly time for them to open, there were people cleaning down blow-up climbing frames. The cafe’s owners were dragging things from the buildings and scrubbing them. But because we aren’t quite into the season of tourist, the promenade was missing all of its colour.
The same has to be said for the pier. Without all of the hustle and bustle usually associated with the tourists, it all looked colourless and slightly unloved.
It was interesting to us as we also come from a seaside town. Bude however, doesn’t have beachside amusements and the few cafes that are beside the sea stay open all year round. So other than the car parks overflowing and the beaches becoming wall to wall people, nothing else visually changes.
The beach huts remain the same of course and Nik enjoyed photographing them. We walked to the end of the beach huts on Cromer beach toward Overstrand. Here we decided to sit and eat our lunch. Whilst eating we realised that we could see a very pale seaweed, that was in abundance in
Sutton on Sea. Our initial thoughts were that it had been on the sand for a while and lost its colour. However, whilst sitting there we realised this seaweed is completely different. So I took a photo, for research when we returned to the van.
This isn’t seaweed! What you are looking at is actually Hornwrack. A colony of thousands of animals called a bryozoan. If you find a fresh piece it smells like lemon. (info from https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/wildlife/identify/beachcombing )
On our walk back toward the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum, which is at the beginning of the beach, two fishing boats returned with their catch. Beaching themselves so that they could be driven to the top and unloaded. This was Nik’s first bonus feature of the day. The tractors added some wonderful colour to an otherwise grey scenery day.
We then discovered North Lodge Park. A lovely lawned area with a small cafe and boating lake, very pretty flower garden and much more. The owner of the little cafe is very friendly and helpful. You can also buy a little booklet detailing the history of the park from here.
Moving on to the town centre. The first thing we came across is Cromer Parish Church. St. Peter and St. Paul’s church. It is absolutely stunning and totally unexpected. It has the tallest tower of any Norfolk parish church. Before the current lighthouse was built, a light on this tower shone out to warn seafarers of the hazardous coastline at night.
We spent quite a while at the church before wandering through the town. Although we weren’t really interested in shopping. We did not that there is an abundance of cafes along with all your usual high street shops.
On our way back to the van Nik’s second bonus of the day flew or rather glided past us on the cliffs in the form of 2 paragliders. Finishing a very enjoyable day with a nice splash of colour.
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