Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside
My daughter, who now lives in St. Albans came ‘home’ to Norfolk for the weekend. She has lived here for 17 out of her 23 years and it is a county she has grown to love as she has grown up in it and will, she tells me, return to eventually. On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon last week, we decided to take a stroll on the prom and headed for the lovely seaside town of Cromer.
We started off at the top end of the seafront where the ladies and gentlemen’s of the Bowls Club were in full swing and looked lovely in their crisp white outfits, which sang out against the immaculately manicured bowling green; perhaps an old fashioned past time to my daughter but none the less exciting to the participants as the ‘hoorah’ went up as bowl struck bowl. We then carried on along the cliff tops past the Pitch and Putt and down through the sunken gardens. At the end of the promenade we stopped for a well-deserved ice cream (well we thought we deserved one!) and sat on the sea wall with our 2 scoops each – rum & raisin/banoffee pie and lemon & lime/pistachio. The Pier looked magnificent as always and was in full view with the tide out. It was hard to think that in December last year, the sea surge was so huge that it covered the top decking and put the pier, literally underwater.
There were plenty of people enjoying the wide expanses of sandy beach, amusements, tea shops and restaurants. Strolling on along the front we passed various gift shops, one in particular had a Norfolk dialect tea towel in the window, where we learnt that here in Norfolk a ladybird is a ‘Bishy Barnabee’ and a friendly chat is a ‘Mardle’. We also walked past the stone sign set in the pavement that told us Cromer is the only place in the country where you can see the sun rise in the east and set in the west, from the same window!
We carried on and went up the hill on the coastal path and eventually reached the lighthouse at the top; there was plenty going on. Beside the lighthouse is Cromer Golf Club who on occasion allows hang gliders to fly from the edge of the course. We were in luck and saw quite a few who were skimming the cliff edges in their colourful harnesses but not having a head for heights, I was happy to watch and keep my feet on terra firma. Some brave soul got to the top of the hill to watch them on a Penny Farthing bicycle but his wife had sensibly ridden there on a more conventional bike!
We sat up on the cliff tops for a while before coming back down and returning towards the town were rewarded with a lovely view of the great Victorian architecture that still remains a quintessential part of this seaside resort. There is, I think, a little bit of everything for everyone to be found here and we had had a great afternoon beside the sea.