Cromer as we know it today, barely existed before the coming of the railway. There were two older villages, Shipden-juxta-mere and Shipden-juxta-Felbrigg in this area. The former was a mile or so north of Cromer Pier and is now under the sea.
The later forms the core of modern day Cromer in the area around the parish church of St Peter and St Paul.
Although a small resort popular with Norwich bankers had grown up in the early nineteenth century, it was the coming of the railway in 1877 that triggered the real growth of this area as a tourist destination.
Modern Cromer has managed to tread the narrow path between the twin evils that have plagued so many of our traditional seaside resorts. It has neither faded to become either a glorified retirement village or Social Security doss-house. Nor has it become overwhelmed with up-market crafty gift shops, expensive restaurants, Chelsea tractors and second homes.
Cromer still clings on to the old traditions. The pier is still operational, indeed thriving. The Pavilion Theater still has its summer show, one of the last in the country, and very good it is too.
On the other-hand trying to get a meal after nine o'clock can be a bit of a challenge, and some of the pubs are a bit rough and ready.
Crab Boats on the East Beach
In addition to the tourists, the town's other major source of income is the famous Cromer crabs. About a dozen boats ply their trade from the foot of The Gangway on the east beach, and many shops and retaurants in the town sell fresh crab, whenever it is available.
The town has two museums, Cromer Museum dedicated to local history, and the RNLI's Henry Blogg Museum dedicated to the town's famous lifeboat station.