Why our readers love Cromer

Cromer pier stretches ut into the distance with the Pavilion Theatre in the centre

Cromer is a highlight of the Norfolk coast - Credit: Stefan Siegel, Unsplash

We reveal our readers' favourite things about this renowned seaside town.

Last month we asked our readers and followers on Instagram to tell us what they loved about the town of Cromer. We were overwhelmed by the amount of feedback we received, with people sharing what makes the seaside spot special to them and their families. 

To celebrate this wonderful turn of events, we have collected and grouped the responses into the definitive guide of why we all love Cromer. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and memories. If you would like to share your own feelings about Cromer, don't forget to comment and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

1. Crab

Possibly the most famous aspect of Cromer has to be the seafood. The crab in particular is renowned around the country, and even further afield, as a real treat. Extremely flavourful and meaty, the delicacy can be enjoyed in a number of ways, but most will agree that dressed with soft bread and a salad is simply divine.

But why is Cromer Crab seen as such a luxury compared with other British crabs? Would it surprise you to learn that Cromer Crabs are exactly the same species as all the other crabs caught and eaten in the UK. But there are some slight differences that may cause the special flavour. According to discoverseafood.uk

"[Cromer Crab] tend to be on the small side: Cornish brown crabs are substantially bigger, for example. But that could be part of their secret: they are thought to be particularly slow-growing, which might allow them to fill their shells with meat more completely, and indeed more sweetly...

"Environment could be another factor. Cromer crabs live on a chalky, flinty reef that lies just offshore, where there is less mud than in many other UK coastal locations. The same environment supports a high proportion of similarly “clean-living” smaller crustaceans, molluscs and bivalves, on which the crabs feed."

A plate of dressed crab with bread and salad

You can't visit Cromer and not try Cromer Crab - Credit: Redison Productions, Flickr

2. Fish and Chips

Another delicacy of the Norfolk coast has to be the fish and chips. There are several chip shops to choose from in Cromer, but our readers unanimously chose No 1 Cromer as the ultimate place for a delicious takeaway. Situated right on the cliff above the beach, No 1 is always popular with visitors and locals alike during the warmer months. Not just a takeaway, you can also choose to dine in at their two-floor restaurant. Downstairs is a walk-in only classic fish and chip restaurant (open seven days a week), whereas Upstairs at No 1 Cromer is perfect for something a little more special, with plenty of fresh seafood and other hearty meals to enjoy with amazing views over the water. 

3. The Beach

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When the weather is fine, many flock to the Norfolk coast to enjoy a day at the beach. Cromer is one of the most popular locations thanks to its soft sand and great amenities. Within Norfolk's Area of Natural Beauty, the beach between Cromer and Sheringham is backed by tall cliffs, making it a sheltered area that is ideal for families. The sea slopes down gently to deeper waters, meaning young children can enjoy chasing waves without fear of getting out of their depth. 

Right on the beach's edge are a number of food stalls where you can grab fish and chips, snacks, plus hot and cold drinks. This means you don't have to pack up the beach-stuff when you get peckish, and can spend even more time out on the sand. There are accessible toilets nearby too and the parking is just up the hill from the beach.  

If you fancy stretching your legs, there is a lovely walk along the beach and then onto the cliffs which takes you all the way to Sheringham. It's very easy to then get the train to Cromer if you don't fancy the walk back.

A child's sandcastle is just starting to crumble on the beach

Cromer beach is part of Norfolk's AONB - Credit: Phil Hearing, Unsplash

4. The Pier

One of the most iconic structures on the Norfolk Coast, and a firm favourite with our readers, has to be Cromer Pier. Whilst it has completely changed with the times, there has been a pier or jetty at Cromer since at least 1391 - that's over 600 years! Through the years, the majority of the wooden piers were damaged or washed away during storms, until an iron structure was erected in 1901. Even this couldn't withstand the coastal storms through the years, so in 2012 a whopping £8 million was spent reinforcing both the pier and Cromer's sea defences to make sure the area could be enjoyed for many years to come. 

Nowadays, the pull of the pier has to be its gorgeous views out to sea and back at the town, plus the pavilion. There is always something happening at Cromer Pavilion, with musicals, comedy, and extravaganzas occurring throughout the year. Highlights include the annual Cromer Pier Christmas Show which runs through November and December. Expect glitzy costumes and amazing dancing from some of the best in the business.

Learn more about the pier here.

A photo of Cromer pier looking back towards the town. Families hold crabbing lines over the side

Cromer is the perfect place for a family day out - Credit: Geoff Henson, Flickr

5. Shops

With its quaint little streets, many of which end with a stunning sea view, Cromer has a real charm. There are plenty of friendly boutique shops where you'll find everything from memorabilia to handmade clothing. We recommend taking the time to wander and find the hidden treasures for yourself. This is perfect for when the weather is a little chilly or you don't fancy a trip down to the beach.

A narrow street is lined by colourful stone houses, the lane leads to the seafront

The charming lanes of Cromer - Credit: Laura Goodsell, Unsplash

6. The people

Last, but certainly not least, our readers love the people of Cromer the most. They adore how friendly and pleasant people always are to visitors, even if it's just a smile as they pass in the street. This creates a wonderful atmosphere in the town that is hard to find elsewhere. Individuals, families, and couples can all enjoy a wonderful day out on the Norfolk Coast without breaking the bank at this sweet seaside town.  

On a drizzly day, someone sits on Cromer beach under an umbrella with the pier in the background.

Cromer can be enjoyed no matter the weather - Credit: Phil Hearing, Unsplash

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