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Cromer Pier

A Very British Affair!

Cromer Pier is the archetypal British Pier.  It remains the quiet relaxing pier it was designed for in the Victorian seaside town of Cromer on the North Norfolk coast with;

It’s also the town’s most famous landmark, you can’t miss it! 

Cromer Pier

The History of Cromer Pier

There has been a pier in Cromer since 1391, but history really relates from 1822 onwards.  In this year, a 210 foot wooden jetty was built, but unfortunately it was washed away in 1843.  It was then replaced with another slightly longer one, 240 foot, which lasted until 1890.  This one was also destroyed by the stormy seas and the remains were consequently sold at auction for £40.

Following this, very sensibly, an iron jetty was built that was 500 foot long, together with a bandstand which was eventually extended into a pavilion.

During the war Cromer Pier was sectioned for defence purposes.

The poor Pier also had its fair share of being damaged too, which I suppose is understandable, being stuck out in the sea!

In 1949, 1953, 1976 and 1978 it was storm damaged.
In 1990 gales destroyed the amusement arcade and it was never replaced
In 1993 a 100 ton rig crushed into the Pier cutting off the theatre and lifeboat station from the land
In 2004 there was yet more storm damage
In 2013 we had the tidal surge which also damaged the Pier.   You can see some storm damage pictures here.

The Pavilion Theatre

For many of you, the Pavilion Theatre is the highlight of your visit to Cromer.   

The Pavilion Theatre, Cromer, Norfolk

The theatre, with its 510 seats, puts on two long running end-of-pier shows during the year, and is an event that many of you come back to year after year.  There’s the Christmas Show, lots of sparkly fun and entertainment, and the Summer Show full of real seaside showbiz .  Over the years these shows have improved hugely due to public demand.

The Pavilion Theatre also puts on a lot of other individual shows throughout the year, as well as the two main long running ones as mentioned above.  For more on the shows and for booking tickets, you can visit the Cromer Pier website. 

Enjoyment on the Pier

At any time of year, and in any weather, this pier is one where you can come and enjoy the very best of being in Britain.  The views from the pier are stunning, looking back onto Cromer as well as the coastal views towards both East and West Runton beach and Overstrand beach.

The view from Cromer Pier towards East Runton
The view from Cromer Pier towards Overstrand

And whilst there, why not while away the hours at the theatre bar or café which are excellent?  If you just want a drink overlooking the sea with wonderful views, then this is a perfect place to come.  The bar is open all year, so whether it’s sunny, rainy, windy or snowy, come and get away from it all on the pier. 

Have a drink in the bar or cafe on Cromer Pier

Or enjoy some fish and chips from No 1 Cromer which is perched just on the top of the cliff from the Pier and bring them down to eat on the plentiful seating all the way along the pier.

Most use the pier for pure enjoyment.  And the best bit about it is that there are no noisy amusement arcades or computer games here (apart from everyone’s iphones I suppose!).  Relax as you stroll along the wooden decking, taking in the seaside atmosphere, children enjoying themselves, dogs having a little wander, and fisherman trying to catch that elusive fish and others just pondering on life!  

Strolling along Cromer Pier
Having a rest on Cromer Pier

Dogs are allowed on Cromer pier, but not into the Pavilion Theatre or the Lifeboat station.  You could also take a lovely walk from the Pier to Cromer Lighthouse walking up the steps in the cliff face just a short distance from the east end of Cromer promenade.

There is limited disabled parking near the front of the Pier, and access to the Pier is via ramps.

The RNLI Lifeboats

Cromer Lifeboat

The RNLI Lifeboat has been an extremely important part of Cromer over the years and there’s a very strong community attached to it.  Today you can visit three places of interest regarding the Cromer lifeboat and its history.  The first is the Pier-head station, where the present lifeboat is stationed.  In a large corrugated building at the end of the pier, you can walk around the viewing platform and have a good look in to the all-weather lifeboat and get a good idea of the size and importance of this job.  This station is open all year, (depending on operations).

The Henry Blogg Museum in CromerH F Bailey Lifeboat at the Henry Blogg Museum

The second place is in the “old” lifeboat house on the Gangway, which houses the inshore lifeboat, a much smaller and quicker boat which can get much closer to the shore and the cliffs around Norfolk.

Finally, sitting right on the edge of the beach is the Henry Blogg Museum which houses the RNLI museum which has some really interesting history about the Cromer Lifeboats and its volunteers.   This picture above is from this museum.   For more detail on this, why not visit my article on the Henry Blogg Museum

Cromer Pier also features in the Cromer Museum.


Crabbing from Cromer Pier

Crabbing off the top of the pier is a hugely popular past-time for the children and adults alike.  It doesn’t matter where you’re crabbing, it’s always great fun.  Trying to catch those pesky crabs with their sharp claws, putting them in the bucket of sea water and watching them try to scrabble out is all part of the enjoyment!  I don’t know what it is about crabbing, but it’s one of those activities that is always great fun and guaranteed to have the children occupied for hours! 

What a great way to spend a morning or an afternoon on the pier.  I have to say, with the rise of the nets that now come with crabbing paraphernalia , I think that’s an unfair advantage!!  Just a bit of bacon, and the fun is to lean over the handrails and see if you can get them into the bucket before they drop off.

High tide is usually best for catching crabs.  Wells harbour is another great place where crabbing is very popular.


Fishing on the end of Cromer pier is also very popular due mainly to the fact the fisherman can get their lines out further than if they fish from the beach.  Mackerel and bass are the main catches here.

Fishing off Cromer Pier

Planning your trip

There are so many other lovely places to visit in Norfolk and particularly around Cromer that I’d be happy to help you plan your trip, especially if you’re uncertain as to what to do and where to go.   With the Norfolk Travel Support and Help Service, we can give you suggested itineraries that will make your trip much more centred on what you want to do and see.

Suggested Accommodation

Cromer Pier is such a lovely place to come to that it definitely deserves a visit when you’re here.  To miss out on this would be missing out on a piece of Victoria Seaside history.

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