Cromer is one of the most popular seaside destinations in the UK and with good reason. There is plenty to keep all ages entertained, from surfing to crabbing and local history. On first sight, it might seem like a typical tourist coastal town, but is far from it.
The quintessentially Victorian destination is full of history and beautiful architecture and plays a vitally important role in the local fishing industry. There are countless things to do in Cromer, from visiting the impeccably preserved pier, to taking in the views from the tallest church tower in Norfolk and enjoying the sublime Blue Flag beach. There is also an array of independent shops, restaurants and museums to peruse as well as a fun fair on the promenade during the summer months which is especially fun for the kids. Children will also enjoy a go at crabbing off the end of the pier, a traditional seaside activity which is sure to stick in the memory.
Henry Blogg Museum
Located at the end of Cromer’s delightful promenade, the Henry Blogg Museum celebrates the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history, who served for 53 years. Along with his crew, he saved 873 lives from the choppy water of the North Sea. He was also the cox of the lifeboat H.F Bailey during World War II which is on display in the museum.
You will also find model lifeboats, Henry Blogg’s medals, videos, old photographs, paintings, and some hands-on activities for the kids at the site. The museum also documents the storied history of lifeboats in Cromer which goes back over 215 years. The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and with free admission there really is no reason not to stop by on your visit to Cromer.
Try the local fish and chips
On the seafront of Cromer you can find a wonderful fish and chip shop called No1 Cromer. True to their name, they do indeed serve the finest fish and chips in Cromer using locally sourced produce. The fish and chips served at No1 are renowned for being fresh with crispy batter and no uncooked batter in sight.
The regular fish and chips are made with quality ingredients and come at affordable prices for all the family. There is also the newly opened ‘Upstairs at No1’, for an extended menu of traditional and modern British dishes. Tables are available on a first come first served basis and reservations aren’t taken, so even though the shop is open seven days a week between 12pm and 8pm, it’s best to aim for a non-peak time as this is one of the most popular restaurants in Norfolk.
Visit Amazona Zoo
Amazona, set in secluded grounds on the North Norfolk coast, is one of the best things to do in Cromer as a whole family. Home to over 200 animals from tropical South America, including monkeys, pumas, capuchins monkeys, spiders, snakes and flamingos. Get up close and personal with Brazilian wild animals or pay a visit to the education Yurt to learn facts about the fascinating continent of South America. Under 12s will also love Jungle Tumbles soft play adventure where they can let off some steam.
Once you are finished with the animals, there's a wonderful gift shop that stocks a range of soft toys, games, souvenirs, confectionary and gift ideas from jewellery to colourful stationery and fun books. The zoo is open from 10am to 5pm with last entry 3.30pm. Amazona is cashless and it’s always best to book ahead!
Undeniably one of the most popular things to do in Cromer is crabbing. Should you try your luck then you won’t be alone, you’ll have plenty of company on the pier and all the supplies you need can be purchased at the gift shop. Make sure you’re stocked with the correct equipment – you’ll need bait (bacon, mackerel and squid all work well), a line or net with a weight and a bucket to put your catch into. Be sure to return the crabs to the sea though: it’s best to take the crab back to the beach and release it there.
The best time to go crabbing is from March through October with the peak season between May and June. If you enjoy crabbing, consider also visiting Walberswick in Suffolk, where the world championships are held or Gorleston-on-Sea, right next to several Haven sites, where the concrete pier juts out into the sea.
Enjoy the beach
Cromer’s large beach with Blue Flag status is what the town is best known for. Cromer Beach is perfect for swimming during the summer, especially when low tide exposes miles of soft sand. Cromer is also famous for the colourful beach huts that are located on either end of the beach. They are a popular way to spend the day, so you will need to book in advance if you fancy your own private bit of shade.
Fossil hunting is another popular activity in Cromer and while the Norfolk Coast may not be as iconic a location for prehistoric finds as the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, you can still find some interesting fossils on Cromer Beach if you chose to go in search of them. You can also try your hand at surfing or simply relax along the charming promenade, which plays host to a small funfair for the kids during the summer.
Great Yarmouth is a seaside town around 20 miles east of Norwich, and just under an hour’s drive from another fantastic Norfolk day out - Cromer. Having originally flourish as a fishing hub in the 1700s, Great Yarmouth has since become a popular family holiday destination with plenty of fun things to do.
The famed ‘Golden Mile’ is a paradise for lovers of all things seaside entertainment with venues lining the promenade that offer adventure golf, rides on giant snails and even rollercoasters, while the alluring smells of freshly friend doughnuts and fish and chips waft through the air. With several of the best holiday parks in Norfolk on its doorstep, Great Yarmouth is a classic Haven-approved destination.