Overstrand to Cromer Coastal Walk
Published date: March 2020
The village of Overstrand is located on the North Norfolk coast and is around a 45-minute drive from Norwich. There is a large pay and display carpark in the village overlooking the beach, with toilets, an ice cream van during the holiday season and a café close by. The walk starts at the cliff top carpark in Overstrand, to the left, as you look out to sea. It continues into Cromer, along the cliffs that tower above the beach, in some places reaching 70m high.
They are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, considered to be the best example of soft cliff habitat in the whole of East Anglia. Composed of sand and clay, unfortunately they continue to suffer erosion and cliff falls, and care should be taken when undertaking this walk. The views from the clifftops are breath-taking and on a clear day you can see for miles.
The walk takes you past Royal Cromer Golf Club, its course originally designed by Tom Morris, and is considered one of the best cliff-top courses in England. With spectacular views the golf course boasts a wealth of sandy hills, grassy valleys and abundance of gorse and bracken.
It’s impossible to miss the next landmark, Cromer Lighthouse, a distinctive octagonal building that was built in 1833. Continue along the main path towards the town until you reach North Lodge Park. The Tea Rooms next to the boating lake serve delicious home-made cakes and crepes as well as good coffee and make an ideal place to stop off and refuel.
From here head towards the beach, following signs to the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum. This free to enter museum is full of fascinating local information and history of the town and Cromer Lifeboat and famous local coxswain, Henry Blogg. A great place to spend an hour or so, the museum also has a café above it – Rocket House Café, serving excellent food and providing stunning views of the North Norfolk coast.
Continue along the promenade towards Cromer Pier, an iconic landmark and home of the Cromer Lifeboat Station and the Pavilion Theatre. Popular for crabbing and its variety show, it claims to be the only full season end of pier show in the world. At least one lap around the pier is a must, taking in spectacular views of the coastline and then exit the pier and climb the nearest slopes up into the town. Here you will find a good variety of independent shops and cafes, two excellent fish and chip takeaways and restaurants, No.1 and Mary Jane’s and Cromer Church.
Visitors used to be able to climb Cromer Church’s tower, but in 2019, a pair of Peregrine Falcons made the tower their home, thus closing it until further notice. It is thought that the birds are likely to return for the 2020 breeding season, so it is expected that the tower will not be open in the foreseeable future. Whilst this is disappointing for those wanting to enjoy the breath-taking views from the top of the church’s tower, having Peregrine Flacons breeding in the town is very exciting. Cromer Church excluding the tower is however open daily to visitors and is a lovely place for quiet contemplation or prayer, with its large stained-glass windows depicting various scenes.
Then, when you’re ready, head back the same way you came, or along the beach at the base of the cliffs, tide permitting, via one of the slopes or stairs. If you choose the beach route you will have quite a steep ascent once you reach Overstrand, back up to the carpark. Whilst the cliff top walk is by no means flat, its descents and ascents are more gradual, and a reasonable level of fitness is recommended for both routes.
Cliff Top Café in Overstrand serves a good range of hot and cold food and drink and has both indoor and outdoor seating, is dog friendly and open all year round. A stone’s throw from the cliffs, the café offers a welcome break for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
It’s around 2 miles to walk this route from Overstrand to Cromer
Royal Cromer Golf Club
North Lodge Park Tearooms - Cromer
RNLI Henry Blogg Museum - Cromer
Rocket House Café - Cromer
No. 1 Cromer Fish and Chips
Mary Jane’s Cromer Fish and Chips
Cliff Top Café - Overstrand