Thursday, 18 August 2011

CROMER

By the time we get to Cromer, we are entering the stretch of coast known as the North Norfolk Coast, one of those prized parts of the British coastline beloved by second home owners, Norfolk being near enough to London to act as a magnet for weekenders up from the “big smoke”. In fact, the area proved a magnet for the well-heeled as long ago as the turn of the last century, when the area around Overstrand on the coast just before Cromer, was nicknamed Poppyland by the journalist Clement Scott, whose romantic descriptions of the area drew the rich and famous, including Winston Churchill’s father, leading to Overstrand becoming known as the Village of Millionaires. This transformation of the area into the playground of the rich is visible all over North Norfolk with the rash of smart, upmarket cafes and restaurants, shops and galleries.

Cromer is known for its crab, to the extent that when crab features on the menus of Norfolk pubs and restaurants it is invariably listed not just as ‘crab’, but as ‘Cromer crab’. Cromer started off as a fishing village, in fact it was predated by another one with a different name, Shibden, but this one was swallowed up by the sea. Cromer’s history as a resort dates back to 1779, when the first bathing machine appeared on the beach there, prompting visits from rich banking families from Norwich. The resorts’s development continued apace in the 19th century, helped along by its sandy beach and bracing, elevated clifftop location. Many resorts pride themselves on their sunrises or sunsets, but Cromer can boast both sunrises and sunsets due to its unique position on the coast, where it starts to curve round to the west. The town is dominated by the church of St Peter and St Paul, which has tallest church tower in Norfolk, standing at 160 feet, and built in the 14th century. All of this history is on display in the Cromer Museum. The resort has a pier complete with a Pavilion Theatre which puts on shows during the holiday season.

For a list of events in Cromer see here.

Map of the area.

'Cromer Norfolk, April 2010' photo (c) 2010, Martin Pettitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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