Cromer pier

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 .

Get in

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.

Get around

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.



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