As the spring semester draws to a close and Easter break looms in the distance, many students may be considering what East Anglia has to offer them in terms of a refreshing break from impending deadlines. You do not need to travel very far in order to travel. Just an hour’s bus ride from Norwich city centre is the seaside town of Cromer, blessed with sand and sea. But like all English seaside towns, Cromer has its vices and, indeed, its crabs.
As you enter Cromer, you are greeted by its small and quaint charm. The seaside town has a wide stretch of secluded sandy beach that lies underneath the traditional English pier. The beach is a trek down some dunes, but the trip is well worth the awkward bumblings and stumblings. As you climb down, most days the beach lies completely empty. Isolated Caribbean island Cromer most definitely is not, but it is a breath of fresh air nonetheless.
The beach is unique in that it covers a wide stretch. Visitors can run loose below the pier and totter into the sea all with complete freedom. This is because unlike most beaches in England, Cromer does not seem to be overwhelmed by tourists and locals all taking advantage of the sea and any small slither of sun. The beach remains wide open to run and explore, rather than dodging the wind-breakers and sunbathers.
On top of the pier, tourists can be seen replete with buckets and nets as they attempt to beach Cromer’s infamous crabs. As you look around the pier, you can see the hills that surround the town. All with impressive properties on them, the hills make a refreshing change from the monotony of flat land that East Anglia tends to offer. This is not a cluttered derelict seaside town, but a place that has somehow maintained its charm throughout the years.
Just off of the pier is a life-guard museum. The experience leaves a lot to be desired, as boats clutter the room and are hung from every available crevice in the ceiling. The museum, if meant to be informative, fails remarkably with its lack of signs and information. It seems, rather, that the museum’s sole purpose is to comfort the visitor that life-guard services are available for emergencies. Disappointments aside, the museum still should be seen, if not only for the small pleasure of writing your name and message in their guest book, then the slight shelter from the English weather is worth the visit.
Further up the shore, a walk around the town will lead you to some small shops and stalls selling crabs. Trying out the shellfish is essential to truly tasting Cromer. The crabs are the seaside town’s claim to fame, and is most definitely worth a try. If they’re not for you, however, then the many fish and chip stalls that Cromer has to offer will give you a taste of the traditional English sea-side. As well as plenty of ice-cream stalls if you’re lucky enough to visit on a warm day.
Cromer will never be the Carribbean, but it does not try to be. The town boasts its seaside attributes humbly and it is its quaint charm that lures visitors to the area for a quiet day out. It is an afforable distance away and will help students get to know the county that they study in. A day’s trip will not be wasted: how can a day at the seaside ever disappoint? Grab your all-weather garments, crabbing gear and appetite and enjoy what Cromer has to offer, even if it’s not very much.