Tuck into fish and chips on the pier – a restored Victorian gem – and stroll the atmospheric old town.
If you’re staying at The Harper with kids, or you’re in the least bit partial to that peculiarly British phenomenon of seaside nostalgia, Cromer comes highly recommended. It’s the closest thing to a traditional ‘resort’ on the North Norfolk coast (think miniature golf, fish and chips and fairground rides), yet Cromer is also blessed with good looks and a great selection of small, independent shops and cafes. It’s famous for its pier – classically Victorian, with one of only five remaining pier theatres in the UK - and crabbing. Cast a line off the pier and you can land some of the most flavoursome specimens in all of England. Tender and flaky white, Cromer crab meat is particularly lauded thanks to the nutrient-rich waters off this stretch of the Norfolk coast. You can pick up everything you need for an afternoon’s crabbing on the pier itself, and while there, admire the view back to the town, with the mighty tower of St Peter and St Paul (the tallest in Norfolk) presiding over the hotchpotch of Victorian and Edwardian townhouses tumbling into the dip in the cliffs. If you’re staying at The Harper in May, you might want to soak up the atmosphere of the Cromer & Sheringham Crab & Lobster Festival, coupled with Folk on the Pier, when the town is at its liveliest.
The pier aside, it’s a pleasure just to wander the esplanade - although Winston Churchill wasn’t always a fan - look out for an inscription of his diary entry from a childhood visit to Cromer: “I am not enjoying myself very much”. Years later, it didn’t stop him holidaying here with his own children.
As you amble up the steep slope back to the old town, past buzzy cafes serving fresh dressed crab, you realise the British seaside is still alive and well, in Cromer at least.