Moving to Cromer
“Twenty-three miles from Norwich and with a population of around 8,000, Cromer has retained a traditional, unmodernised air that many seaside towns now lack”
Moving to Cromer
Sitting on the North-East Norfolk coast, the resort town of Cromer started life as a fishing town before gradually becoming known as the home of Cromer Crab – an industry which still supports many local fishermen today. Twenty-three miles from Norwich and with a population of around 8,000, Cromer is somewhat remote and as a result has retained a traditional, unmodernised air that many seaside towns now lack. Popular with families and retired couples, the median age is around 51, and most young couples and students tend to find it too quiet and slow-paced for their liking.
Considered in its heyday to be a weekend retreat for wealthy Norwich families (and even visited by Edward VII himself), tourism in Cromer has increased over the years with thousands flocking to visit the beaches, picturesque cliffs and delicious crab dishes. This can make the area a little crowded during the summer, although it hasn’t yet reached the levels of Aldeburgh or other seaside towns – and the limited transport options are often a tourist deterrent in themselves.
House prices in Cromer
With an average house price of around £278,584 in March 2020, Cromer is relatively affordable for Norfolk, and even comes in cheaper than the Norfolk average. It is significantly more affordable than local towns such as West Runton (£416,000) and similarly priced to nearby Sheringham.
“When it comes to restaurants, you’ll find an impressive variety here considering the size – from the high-end No.1 Cromer to the quaint Buttercups Tea Room, there something for everyone”
Travel in Cromer
As a rather remote area, transport is limited in Cromer – major roads such as the M1 and A1 are over an hour and a half away, with the area served by small B roads instead. Journeys to Norwich take around 50 minutes by road, with a similar journey time if you go direct by train from Cromer Station. Throughout Norfolk there are also extensive bus services and for further travel, Norwich International Airport offers flights to destinations across Europe.
As is typical in Norfolk, shopping tends to be limited in most urban centres outside of Norwich, with many residents travelling to the city when they need anything beyond the basics. Cromer does have a small selection of shops however, which include popular high-street shops such as Argos and Halfords, as well as friendly independent boutiques including Digby’s Sweet Shop and Cromer Farm & Health Shop.
When it comes to restaurants, you’ll find an impressive variety here considering the size of the town. From the high-end No.1 Cromer to the quaint Buttercups Tea Room, there is something for everyone (and every budget) in Cromer. Delicious seafood is plentiful, with numerous eateries and various takeaway shops offering the fruits of the sea (unsurprisingly, crab is particularly popular). A little beyond Cromer, the nearby area is dotted with country gastropubs, with favourites including the Foundary Arms, The Anchor Inn, and the Vernon Arms. The town is also renowned for the annual Cromer & Sheringham Crab & Lobster Festival, an unmissable event for any fans of fresh crustaceans.
Food shopping in Cromer
Branches of most major supermarkets can be found either within the town or a short drive away, including Morrisons, Tesco, The Co-op and Lidl, and the closest Waitrose is located in nearby North Walsham. Meanwhile, if it’s fresh local produce you’re after, there’s a popular market in the town centre held every other Friday, and plenty of fishmongers selling crab and other seafood.
Health and sport
There’s not much choice when it comes to gyms and fitness facilities in Cromer, with most options a short drive away towards West Runton and Bodham. Here you’ll find Woodlands Leisure Pool & Fitness Centre, Splash Leisure Centre, and a number of small studios for yoga and pilates. However, cricket fans are in luck – the well-established Cromer Cricket Club is one of the oldest in the country, and there are also various golf clubs nearby.
Cultural life in Cromer can be a little limited, particularly compared with other seaside towns, but there’s usually enough activity to keep locals and visitors entertained. Cromer Pavilion Theatre and the nearby Sheringham Little Theatre put on regular performances, and Cromer’s historic Grade II listed pier is home to the vibrant Cromer Pier Show twice a year. Film buffs can enjoy both Hollywood blockbusters and independent favourites at the Regal Movieplex, while local ghost hunters should pay a visit to the pretty Victorian Hotel de Paris, rumoured to be haunted after a spooky face was spotted in an upstairs window.
“What North Norfolk lacks in transport, it makes up for in green spaces – there are miles of coastline, beautiful beaches, and plenty of parks to enjoy”
Schools and education
Cromer is home to both a secondary and primary school, and while the primary school offers a ‘Good’ Ofstead rating, the secondary school is less well regarded. However, there are other good schools on offer in the North Norfolk area, and an abundance of options in Norwich.
For younger children, as well as Cromer Junior School in the centre of the town, excellent nearby primary schools include Aldborough Primary School and Langham Village School, both of which score more than 95% of pupils achieving expected levels of Maths and English. At secondary level, the leading state schools in the North Norfolk area are Alysham High School and Sheringham High School, both of which are within 10 miles of Cromer. For independent schools, you’ll need to travel to Norwich where both Norwich School and Norwich High School for Girls are regularly ranked among the UK’s top independent schools.
For further education, the closest university is the University of East Anglia in Norwich, which regularly ranks among the UK’s top 20 universities.
The area around Cromer has a very low crime rate of around 33 crimes per 1000 as of 2017, slightly lower than South Norfolk and almost four times lower than the Norwich crime rate. It is considered to be a very safe area to live in.
What North Norfolk lacks in transport, it makes up for in green spaces – there are miles of coastline, beautiful beaches, and plenty of parks to enjoy. Spend the day exploring the Norfolk Coast Path, enjoy a picnic in the National Trust Sheringham Park or The Links Country Park, or make the most of the seaside location on the stunning Cromer Beach.
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