*Disclaimer* As part of this review to Cromer we were gifted our accommodation and some of the restaurants we visited provided us with lunch. All opinions and views are my own, and this review is truthful and honest.
As the British summer time came to an end and the autumn began, we started looking for a little get away, as many of us are priced out of a summer holiday abroad, we decided to look closer to home. A stay-cation is the term for that I believe. Well, this October half term we were kindly invited to explore the Norfolk seaside town of Cromer. As part of our trip we were asked to share our experience with you.
We have always enjoyed travelling the British coastline on our holidays and we were excited at the prospect of exploring somewhere new in the UK. So, this is what we found on our travels.
Location location location – As the saying goes, location is key. Cromer is settled on the East coast of England. In the pleasant county of Norfolk. Just 150 miles North East of Central London.
Cromer is dubbed ‘the gem of the Norfolk coast’ and in my option, didn’t disappoint. The town it’s self is placed elegantly on top of a rolling coastal hill. Providing glorious uninterrupted views out over the North Sea, looking out towards The Netherlands with the Cromer Pier in sight and the offshore wind farm out on the horizon.
Cromer’s geography means you are able to witness both sunrise and sunset over the waters horizon. Which, for those budding photographers is an unmissable opportunity.
Vibes – When visiting anywhere, you get an immediate vibe about the place. This is particularly important when travelling with children. As you want to feel safe, and be able to enjoy yourself.
Upon our arrival to Cromer we were greeted by calm open roads, charming views, and scenes of people going about the day. We soon found out that all we would need was within walking distance, so set out on foot to see what we could find. Making our way around the town, we immediately noticed how clean and tidy the area was. We were hard pressed to find litter, or anything undesirable! The bus shelters and beach shelters had no graffiti, or anything. Every installation looked as new as the day it was installed. Even the public beach front toilets were nice and clean. – I know that sounds like a strange thing to talk about, but for us, and many other people out there, especially those with children. You want to see clean, safe and looked after facilities. There was even a unisex changing table in a private cubicle!
After a couple of days in Cromer, we quickly began to understand why the place felt so calm, hospitable, and inviting. One simple reason for this, was that a huge percentage of the business’ in the town were independently owned, by members of the community, something that has been lost across a lot of the British isles. Having such a community of local business owners, supporting each other, and recommending each other was pleasing to see.
Although many of the cafes and restaurants are competing with each other, they would still cater for your needs and recommend a similar place, that suited your taste or requirement better.
A big difference with the whole indie scene, was that every place was unique, they each put their own spin on things. From Henry’s Coffee And Tea Store serving nutritious locally sourced whole foods and a wide variety of teas and coffees to the Sticky Earth Cafe which offers paints and arts and crafts while you dine.
As a whole the community vibe was massively free spirited and a pleasure to be in the company of.
Accommodation – We elected to stay in a guesthouse B&B for our trip. There is a variety of places to stay in Cromer, from caravan lets to big hotels, and B&Bs, even camping near by if you fancy that.
The place we chose was the ideally placed Cromer Beachcomber. Located a stones throw from the main town centre and only a short walk from the beach below, set off the main road on a quite side street. This guest house was ideal for what our little family needed. Large rooms, with an en suite, WiFi, TV, central heating and the real winner, a great selection of breakfast ready made for when you wake up. The guest house in particular brought the little seaside town of Cromer inside, with beautifully seaside themed rooms. The owner Jill, was a beacon of local knowledge and a splendid host making us feel very welcome from the off. She knew the best places to visit and the hidden gems of the town.
A strong influence on your holidays is often the place you stay, and the Cromer Beachcomber Guesthouse was just that, a strong influence on our enjoyment while we visited.
Dinner and drinks – With ample choice of restaurants and cafes, you certainly won’t go hungry in Cromer. A wide selection too, from fine dining at Bolton’s Bistro, to no nonsense eats at Breakers Cafe. The service across the board is second to none.
Our first night in Cromer we made a visit to Bolton’s Bistro, located inside the Cliftonville Hotel, a fine elegant establishment, serving up some of the most delicious local meats as part of a wonderful menu, a fine dining experience without busting the bank.
Our second meal out was to the Breakers Cafe right in the heart of the town, a casual, no nonsense restaurant. Offering a menu complete with all your usual favourites. From Burgers to milkshakes you’re in for a treat. We had the pleasure of trying one of their seasonal themed milkshakes aptly named a freakshake made around a Halloween theme.
We also paid a visit to Henry’s, this is one of the first places you’ll see as you enter Cromer, and it’s definitely worth a visit. A delightful family business serving a grand selection of coffees and teas, along with home made bakes and cakes, with a unique crafted table you can watch the world go by as you enjoy your meal. I can recommend the unmissable Charlie’s sausage roll!
Things to do – Although Cromer is small in comparison to some other seaside towns, there’s still plenty to do. Once you’re done eating, you can wander down to the explorers paradise of a beach, where you can search for many treasures and fossils, a mammoth skeleton was found on the Norfolk coast, so who knows what you’ll find!
The pier is a must, with a selections of bars, and the pavilion theatre where they have a great line up all year round. The Henry Blogg lifeboat station and museum is at the end and is always nice to see. Even just to stand and stare out to sea. The sunset and sunrise from the pier can be truly majestic.
You could also pay the gigantic 14th century church as visit, or pop into the 1820s Hotel de Paris. If you have a little more time maybe a round of golf at the Royal Cromer Golf Club.
During the summer season you will find many attractions along the beach front, with different activities for the kids, and amusements up in the town.
Not forgetting the numerous festivals and carnival that frequent Cromer every year!
Concluding thoughts – My final thoughts on Cromer, are that of happiness, during our stay we had some terrible weather, but Cromer still enabled us to have fun, we had many great walks down by the waters edge, getting splashed with big waves and blown away in the wind, we made the most of our time away as a family. The real highlight for me was seeing the whole community come together to make a place look and feel so welcoming. From the moment we arrived we felt at ease, something we always look for when going away to relax from the stresses of normal life.
We fully recommend a visit to Cromer, and hope you have a great time once you get there.