Back in August, we decided to have a relaxing dog friendly weekend in Cromer / Norfolk. Not the first time we had been to the Norfolk coast. After all Norfolk is a convenient distance for a weekend trip from the London area. But what is there to do in Cromer? What have we been up to? And how did the dog like it? Well, all those questions, let me tell you a little about our weekend in Cromer.
Actually, let me set the record straight. If you are looking for a concise guide to Norfolk and want to know all things you can do in and around Cromer, you have come to the wrong place. Sorry. Instead, this time this is more of a diary style post. Telling you what we have been up to during our weekend in Cromer. And what makes Cromer so dog friendly.
Just to be clear right from the start: any places mentioned or linked in this post are my own recommendations. This is not a sponsored post, and I did not receive any incentive for mentioning any places.
Where is Cromer?
The title might already give it away, Cromer is in Norfolk. North Norfolk to be precise. With around 120 miles (190km) from London, a weekend in Cromer is the perfect short get away. In my opinion at least. We have been up to Norfolk on a couple of occasions. Last time when Mr T did his 3-day cycle ride from Cambridge to Norfolk.
But this time, it wouldn’t be just the two of us. Obviously, dog would come with us. So, it was important to check beforehand that Cromer is dog friendly.
With around 7.500 inhabitants, Cromer is by no means a big town, but what it lacks in numbers, it makes up in small town charm and beautiful beaches.
Where to stay for your weekend in Cromer?
There are plenty of places to stay for a weekend in Cromer. Not just hotels, but also plenty of camp sites. This was the first time we stayed directly in Cromer. On previous visits, we had either stayed in King’s Lynn and driven to Cromer for the day. Or we had booked an Airbnb in the countryside.
But this time we needed dog friendly accommodation in Cromer. And ended up booking two nights at the Links Hotel in Cromer.
The Links Hotel in Cromer offers dedicated garden rooms that are suitable for dogs. No carpet in the room and direct access to the garden. Dogs are allowed in the main entrance area of the hotel and the bar. But not in the restaurant. Since we weren’t planning on having breakfast in the hotel anyway, it didn’t matter. Otherwise, we’d have had to leave the dog in the room. Or have our breakfast in the bar area instead of the restaurant.
The hotel provided a dog bed, separate dog towel and even a little welcome present for Frank.
This was the first time our dog stayed in a hotel. And we were a little unsure how he would behave. But we needn’t worry, he was good as gold. Although not too happy about not being allowed into the bed. But that aside he enjoyed his weekend in Cromer.
Mr T and I both worked on Friday but managed to finish a little early. By 3.30pm we set off and made our way up to Cromer. What should normally be a 2 ½ hour drive, dragged on for quite a bit longer, thanks to heavy traffic.
As we eventually made it to Cromer and checked into the hotel, the sun was setting. So, we rushed to the beach for the dog to have a little run around. And to check out the beach obviously. After all, that was our main goal for the weekend. Enjoying a little beach time.
The nearest beach to our hotel was West Runton Beach, so that had to do for the evening.
A weekend in Cromer: Saturday
Well rested the next morning, we headed out to explore Cromer. The weather was gorgeous, so we also loaded our swimming gear into the car. But before we would head to the beach, it was time to hunt down some breakfast.
We parked up at East Runton Beach this time and walked along the beach to Cromer. During his last stay in Cromer, Mr T found a little beach café that served breakfast, so that was where we were heading.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the coffee was absolutely undrinkable. But the fry up was really good. Suddenly it made sense, why everyone around us had tea with their breakfast. And why there was such a long queue at the small coffee shop next door. Oh well, next time we’d know.
Well fed, we did a little tour of Cromer, before heading back to the beach. After all, relaxing beach time was the main goal of the day.
The beaches in Norfolk are absolutely gorgeous. Endless sand with hardly any pebbles. As the tide was out, the sandy beach was even wider and the water stayed relatively shallow for quite a bit. Perfect for our short-legged dog. And definitely one to go on my list of dog friendly beaches in England.
Frank loves to swim and he will jump into the nearby lake almost daily on our walks. But last time we were at the beach, he wasn’t too keen on the waves (as they would just wash over him). So, to keep him from drowning (and ease our nerves a little), we bought him a life jacket in preparation of our weekend in Cromer. Armed with a ball and his life jacket, he would go in and out of the water and be the happiest bunny around.
Once we had enough of beach and sun, we packed up and drove to Sheringham.
Just five miles up the coast, Sheringham is another picturesque seaside town. Complete with some cute stores on the high street and a steam railway at the old train station.
The North Norfolk Railway is a re-instated line between Sheringham and Holt, operating a heritage steam railway. Since our weekend in Cromer included the dog, we did not go onto the railway. To be honest, it was also a little too hot for me wanting to sit on a steam train. Maybe next time.
As we were arriving in Sheringham in the late afternoon, the big Saturday market had just finished for the day and the stalls were busy packing up. But never mind. We just had a walk through town instead, followed by some ice cream (including doggy ice cream). And dinner. Because all that fresh air and swimming left us very hungry. And what could be better than eating by the sea.
A dog-friendly weekend in Cromer: Sunday
We were up early, so we decided to make the most of the cool(ish) morning. We checked out of the hotel, parked up by Cromer beach and decided to go for a little hike. To start with, we had a quick walk around Cromer Pier (for once a pier that actually allows dogs, well done Cromer for being dog friendly).
Walking along the Esplanade, we eventually left the beach promenade and headed up hill.
Starting at Cromer Pier, we walked along the Esplanade until the lifeboat station. Then uphill to the Cromer Lighthouse. In all fairness, I think we underestimated the route a little. It kind of looked like a fairly short walk, but it went on for a little longer than we thought. However, once we were up at the lighthouse, we were rewarded with quite a view over the bay and sea.
Once we had enough of the view, we descended towards the beach again. Instead of walking back the same way we headed down the woodland steps. Which might have been a shortcut. But boy, was it steep. Mr T had to actually carry Frank down, as there was no way dog could walk those steps.
But once back on solid (well sandy) ground, the dog could barely contain his excitement and immediately headed back to the water. To quickly work out, that sea water is not for drinking (yes, we did bring a bottle of water for him).
When doing my research of things to see during our weekend in Cromer, I came across a Banksy mural down by the beach. So, as we were heading back, I kept my eye out for the mural. As you might know (if you follow me on Instagram), I do love a bit of streetart.
To be honest, had I not known the mural was by the beach, I would have walked past it. Turned out, the Cromer Banksy mural is a lot smaller than I anticipated. But I did eventually spot it.
And which English seaside town would be complete without a row of colourful beach huts?
After all that walking, our next stop had to be breakfast. And we found the perfect spot. The Doggie Diner. Shows you just how perfect Cromer is for a dog friendly weekend getaway.
The Doggie Diner is a cute café with plenty of food and drink offerings for both humans and canines.
Watered, fed and rested, it was eventually time for us to leave Cromer behind.
But rather than heading straight back home, we finished our weekend in Cromer with a stopover in Holt.
A picturesque little village, about 10 miles west of Cromer.
As I quickly checked online to see what Holt had to offer, we came across the Holt Owl Trail. 24 plaques guide you on a round course through town, highlighting everything Holt has to offer. Including small yards with cute independent shops and cafés.
With the trail completed and after a coffee and some food, we eventually called it a day and drove home.
There you have it. Our dog friendly weekend in Cromer.
Tell me, have you been to Cromer? Did you enjoy it?