Cromer and Sheringham are two of Norfolk’s most popular and best known resorts, often seen as rivals, with many people having a firm favourite. In truth, they are both delightful seaside towns, starting as fishing villages and becoming popular in the late Victorian era thanks to the railway line which brought holidaymakers to the coast from London. The Bittern Line still runs, with regular trains to Norwich, and both towns are part of the Deep History Coast, which runs for 22 miles from Weybourne to Cart Gap, and is home to the earliest evidence of humans in Britain.

Each boasts lovely beaches, fine Victorian architecture and good facilities from supermarkets to schools, numerous clubs and activities, independent and High Street shops, and great pubs and restaurants. Water sports are increasingly popular with Cromer becoming quite a hot spot for surfing.

Cromer has its iconic pier with The Pavilion Theatre, a great entertainment venue, showing everything from variety shows to pop legends. There’s also a cinema, golf club, thriving tennis club and Amazona Zoo.

It’s a great place to simply meander around with lots of trendy shops and cafes opening - do visit the lovely Garden House Gallery With Shop, the plant shop Roost, and there’s a branch of the popular department store, Jarrold. 

Foodies should try Galton Blackiston’s No1 (their first floor restaurant has great seafood platters), there’s a Grey Seal coffee shop and The Grove, on the town’s outskirts, is not only a great place to stay but also has a fab two AA rosette restaurant which really showcases local produce.

North is an artisan coffee shop, right on The Prom, Mary Jane’s is a long standing fish and chip shop and Poppyland Brewery produces high quality, small batch real ale - and has a new gin to try, too.

Cromer Carnival, held every August, is a real highlight and often plays host to the Red Arrows who sweep and soar over the coastline, while the Crab and Lobster Festival in the early summer celebrates the town’s famous seafood, and New Year’s Day sees a fabulous fireworks display over the sea.

Nearby are several charming villages which offer a more relaxed pace but are near to Cromer’s  extensive facilities. Overstrand, a pretty seaside village high on the cliffs, has the dog friendly Cliff Top Cafe, the posher Sea Marge Hotel where Winston Churchill once stayed, and an extensive garden centre. It’s a great walk to Cromer from here, keeping the pier in your sights all the time, and the village shop is a real Aladdin's Cave. Equally charming are Trimingham and Sidestrand whose beaches are often deserted, while slightly inland is Northrepps, with a school and pub. 

Sheringham’s main claim to fame is that it’s the HQ of the North Norfolk Railway, aka the Poppy Line, which runs steam and diesel trains to Holt, passing through some magnificent coastal scenery. There are festive specials, gala steam days and there are a couple of stops en route, including Weybourne, so you can make a decent circular walk or two.

It has an attractive high street, packed with independent shops such as the fashion boutique, North, and is also home to the Little Theatre which has a great panto and summer rep season. Reef Leisure Centre has first class sports facilities including a 25m pool, and the town’s golf club is highly respected.

There are numerous cafes: coffee buffs like artisan roaster Grey Seal, while Harris and James has amazing cakes! Fat Teds Streat Food, the quirky Tex-Mex Guac&Mole and The Gangway (also in Cromer), which offers everything from coffees to cocktails, are further options.

Sheringham Carnival is a busy week each August, and April sees a Viking Festival.

Upper Sheringham is very charming, nestling in the higher ground, with the Dales Hotel offering lovely afternoon teas in their extensive gardens, and don't miss the National Trust’s Sheringham Park for walks and a look around the impressive Walled Garden.

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