A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to stay in my aunt and uncle’s flat in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast. We’ve visited this area before, specifically Brancaster Staithe in 2019 and Kings Lynn in 2017, our main takeaway being that blimey, Norfolk is windy! This time we were blessed with sunshine and blue skies every day, and we packed in the coastal walks to make the most of it.
Thursday: North Norfolk Railway
Part of our generous gift from my aunt and uncle was cream tea on the steam train that leaves from Sheringham station, so we planned our weekend around this hotly-anticipated event.
Cream tea isn’t available everyday, only Thursdays from April to October and you need to book a table in one of the dining carriages. With two massive fruity scones, bottomless tea, and a big slice of Victoria sponge each, it’s safe to say we had food to spare. Luckily, the staff kindly wrapped up four of the leftover scones for us to take away.
Opened in 1887, the North Norfolk Railway between Sheringham and Holt was built expressly for tourism in the local area. It was hugely successful from day one, and it was later very useful for transporting military personnel and cargo during the Second World War. When the modern Sheringham station was built in 1967, the old station was leased to the Midland and Great Eastern Joint Railway Preservation Society. Today the trains and stations are run almost entirely by volunteers.
We rode the train to Holt, where we got off to have a look at the model railway. When we got back into Sheringham there was time for a quick stroll through town before heading to the big Tesco to stock up the flat for our weekend.
Friday: Walk to Cromer
We decided to do our walking day first, so after a big breakfast of local sausages on fluffy crusty rye bread we set off on the coastal path towards Cromer.
The walk from Sheringham to Cromer is pretty gentle, as coastal paths go, at just over 6km with an elevation of 113m, it took us about an hour and a half with regular stops to admire the view.
The route is pretty easy to follow with lots of sign posts, however a section of it is condemned just between Woodhill Park and East Runton village. You’ll need to walk through Woodhill Playing Field, then along Cromer Road and down Beach Road to East Runton Beach. From here you can walk all the way along to the Esplanade at Cromer. If it’s high tide you might want to stay on Cromer Road the whole way.
Cromer is another gem of a British seaside town, with a beautiful Victorian pier and lots of winding streets. The Hotel de Paris on the waterfront is a notable historic building, visited by King Charles III when he was touring the area as the Prince of Wales.
Lunch: Mary Jane Fish & Chips
Once in Cromer we headed to the recommended fish & chips joint: Mary Jane. What Rosie and I loved about this place was that it did child-sized portions, which were perfect after our late breakfast and with a dinner booked for that evening. We found a bench to enjoy our lunch and the view at the same time. Normally I would avoid eating out in the open by a beach, but Norfolk seagulls don’t seem as vicious as their Cornish cousins.
We grabbed some ice cream after lunch and strolled leisurely towards the train station, where we caught a train back to Sheringham.
That evening we headed to my aunt and uncle’s highest recommended restaurant in Sheringham – No10. This is one of those lovely little eateries where the wine list is longer than the food menu. Inside, the cosy vibes and townhouse decor makes you feel like your mate who’s a chef has invited you round for dinner, especially with the handwritten menus and warm lamplight.
We thoroughly enjoyed our two course meals, and the desserts in particular were a hit. Matt’s vanilla cheese cake was lighter than air, while Rosie’s creme brûlée was made with locally grown rhubarb.
At the end of the night we were the last ones in the place, and we chatted to the owner who told us all about the history of the restaurant and how they’d managed to keep it going through lockdown. Definitely book a table here if you’re planning a visit to the area.
Saturday was our super chill day, with pottering around Sheringham highest on the agenda. We started at the Gangway, which came highly recommended as the best coffee in town. We basked in the late morning sun and enjoyed our flat whites. I would love to come back here for an evening drink — they had a whole bar stocked with interesting gins, and a big fridge of craft beer including lots of fruity and sour varieties.
After this leisurely start, we explored Sheringham. Matt took us all into the model shop to examine all the trains, planes and automobiles. Luke popped into CA Seafoods to buy some Cromer crab. There were a lot of touristy shops and boutiques selling beach-themed trinkets, greeting cards and that sort of thing.
Fun fact: The motto of the town, granted in 1953 to the Sheringham Urban District Council, is Mare Ditat Pinusque Decorat, Latin for “The sea enriches and the pine adorns”.
Lunch: Guac & Mole
Matt and I headed to Guac & Mole on the beach for our lunch, and ordered mini burritos to conserve our appetite for the pizza we had planned later.
We spent the late afternoon playing boardgames, and then headed back out for our reservation at Stubby’s Pizza, taking the scenic route along the beach.
Dinner: Stubby’s Pizza
Stubby’s Pizza is a great little family restaurant with very trendy interiors. They had some very nice cocktails on the menu as well as lots of craft beers. The staff were really friendly and helpful, and even let me and Rosie order a pizza with half-veggie half-n’duja toppings.
The sourdough pizza was exactly how I like it, with big fluffy crispy crusts perfect for dipping in the truffle alioli I ordered.
Stuffed with pizza, we popped into the arcade to play some penny waterfalls, completing the perfect British seaside holiday.
But Sheringham had saved the best till last, and our walk home along the beach was lit by the evening sun as it set over the sea.
Sunday: Norfolk Coastal Path
Before setting off for our journey home, we made the most of another beautiful day with a coastal path walk, this time headed west across the cliffs next to Sheringham Golf Club.
Fun fact: Sheringham Golf Club was one of the first clubs to introduce gender-free tees! Go Sheringham!
The views were really gorgeous and the headland meant we were often sheltered from the wind off the sea. Lots of the grassland here has been re-wilded which is lovely to see, especially with all the flowers and birds.
Another fun fact: This coastal walk is where my cousin got engaged, exactly a week later!
For lunch we decided to fit in another helping of fish n chips, this time from Straits on the High Street. We sat on the Promenade for our last feast and then grabbed our final ice creams to eat on the beach before the drive home.
We loved Sheringham, and I would definitely recommend it as a slightly less crowded beach option this summer, especially if you like steam trains and golf!