Cromer is one of my favourite towns to visit on a trip to Norfolk. Why is it different? Simply because it’s still full of individual shops where you won’t be buying something that thousands of other people have as well. Let’s go for a wander!
There is some on street parking, but we’ll make life easy and park in the short term car park. On the edge of this is the lovely Tourist Information Office. Masses of information in there, friendly staff and a few nice gifts too. The building also houses the smart public toilets too. Very convenient. 😉 Walk past Lily B, a great womens’ clothing shop with an individual style, down Hamilton Road and you see The Old Rock Shop Bistro. Nice little cafe, open seven days a week, into the evening as well. Unusual for many places in rural Norfolk, so worth making a note of! On the other side of the road you pass Waverley Cake shop. Well worth popping into for some goodies – our favourites are the chocolate ones made with Mars Bars. Scrumptious!
Bear off to the left and you are in Garden Street. There’s a new kid on the block, The Hucks Stop, a quick lunch pit stop and little sister to Huckleberries, one of my favourite cafes. Wander past and you’ll find my favourite fish shop, Davies. I always buy my dressed crab and prawns in their shell and have a fabulous fresh seafood salad. Of course they have numerous varieties of fish; will wrap it in paper and give you ice if needs be for a journey home. A little tip from a guest was to buy an empty bread roll from one of the bakers, then pop back to Davies to have your roll filled with fresh crab.
Into chocolate? No need to ask me that one, it’s a given, so Digby’s is just one of several sweet shops worth a look. For all things seaside related, then pop into The Garden House Gallery and shop. A treasure trove of local art and beautiful seaside themed gifts. I bought the clocks for the properties here that not only tell you the time, but the tides too. So useful. There’s a lovely Beauty Salon, Beauty Boutique, if you fancy a treatment or two, but they get busy, so do book in advance. Fancy This, Fancy That has lots of useful beach supplies, including the ubiquitous crab bucket and line. Pop next door to Budgens for your bacon bait, then off to the pier for some crabbing!
At the end of Garden Street you find the famous Mary Janes fish shop. Still going strong, but it has perhaps been superceded by No 1 Cromer, started up by Galton Blackiston, our local Michelin chef, which has the wonderful view overlooking the pier and coastline. There’s room for more than one fish and chip shop though! On the way to No 1, there are a couple of amusement arcades. Well it wouldn’t be a seaside town if it didn’t have some to amuse the kids on a dull day!
Back along the main street, towards Church Street, then down Jetty Street, you’ll find Jetty’s cafe. I only tried this last visit, but it has a great reputation and is now in the hands of new owners. Wishing them a very successful season and I’m sure they’ll continue to flourish. In Church Street you will of course find Cromer Church, standing tall and proud over the town. Behind this is the wonderful Cromer Farm & Health Shop, packed full of local fresh food and veg. You can easily buy several complete meals here. Also here is Wet Dog, an emporium for all things surf related.
Back into Church Street and you’ll find K Hardware. A hardware store you ask? Not the most exciting of shops. For me though it is. Whenever I need an unexpected item, perhaps to replace a breakage, or a light bulb, then you can be sure this hardware shop will have something suitable. Packed full of everything you can think of and more, there are two floors of goodies to explore. Finally into Huckleberries cafe. They have the most delicious fresh soup and roll in the colder months, but more importantly they stay open the latest out of all the cafes in Cromer. So you can finish your shopping with a lovely Cappucino and they don’t shut until 5pm.
There are so many more that I haven’t touched upon, but pay Cromer a visit and tell me what you find.