Norfolk, United Kingdom
Cromer beaches route map.
I found myself with a weekend in Cromer to do with as I pleased and as I pleased was to walk along the cliffs and beaches. This seems to be what a lot of the local population pleases, as well, especially since the day was amazingly lovely.
|Looking out over Cromer and then to the North Sea beyond.|
I headed out onto the bluffs from by the lighthouse and turned to the east. In this direction, the city park by the lighthouse quickly morphs into the Royal Cromer Golf Course. There is still a path along the side of the cliff between the manicured lawns and the drop off. Signs point out there is no public right of way but leave it as your own risk rather than forbidding. Further on, the use trail along the cliff passes behind some back gardens, mostly mediocre but with a few that are quite nice, and more signs about one's own risk.
|The Cromer Lighthouse, which is still in use.|
|The cliff side along the side of the golf course. While there is still snow, it is not freezing, especially not in the sun.|
|These probably shouldn't be blooming in early February, but it has been a very mild winter and a few flowers have gotten confused.|
|On down the beach to the west is the pier and launch for the local lifeboat.|
|Down below the cliff, the tide is going out and many people are taking a moment to walk along the beach.|
After the houses, I came to a large, dirt parking lot. After that, the road goes close to the cliff for a bit, then there's a spot that allows driving down to the beach. I went down with it. At the bottom, there is a bit more road some feet above the beach level that goes on for a while until some colorful sheds, then ends. From time to time, there were streams across the cement, sometimes with ice for added excitement. At the end, I dropped down to the beach and continued on eastward.
|Development along the bottom of the cliff provides a roadway to the sheds at the end.|
As I continued along the beach past the sea walls on the beach, I was being followed by a dog that seemed determined to ignore its owners. I walked down along one of the walls and still she followed instead of going with her people who wanted to head the other direction. She also kept digging into the sand for water to drink, which was worrying. I stopped and let the folks catch up, still shouting for the dog who was more interested in jumping on me than being in reach of them. I grabbed her collar and let them catch their dog finally. They said she was just a puppy and it was her first time on the beach as they clipped her leash on and headed off in the direction they wanted to go. I turned to continue to the east again.
|A sea wall along the beach. Presumably these are meant to help keep the beach in place and try to reduce erosion of the cliffs.|
|The barnacles and muscles on the wall's wood look just like the ones at home on wood and rocks.|
|Every few walls had a basket set up high that stays above water as the nearly 5 meter tides (as they were running when I was there) roll in and every few of those had a bird or two on top of it.|
As the tide came to be low enough, I walked along below the sea walls instead of above.
|The sea gulls can still be found in occasional flocks on the beach, but seemed to be of a smaller and faster build.|
|There's lots of water flowing out of the hillsides and sinking into the sand only to come up again and pool and reflect.|
|The end of a sea wall that isn't very wall-like anymore.|
The sea walls ended for a bit as I continued on my way. This allowed for the beach to be a little bit of a different character. Soft rocks poke out of the sand and the water that was puddling around the walls no longer had that direction. I had to maneuver around a stream at one point as it was getting too deep to cross in my boots. I walked a bit a little closer to the cliffs for a bit then was able to walk by the breaking waves again.
|Some white sandstone stuff lodged in the beach.|
|Every place has its detritus.|
Eventually the sea walls started up again. Not too many walls in, I decided it was well past time to get something to eat.
|A few places at the center of the walls attempted to wall the cliffs away from the pounding of the ocean waves.|
|Yet more sea walls along the beach.|
|While still not alone for very long at a time, but there are fewer and fewer people as I go.|
|A few boats could be seen far out, chugging up or down the coastline.|
After eating, I walked back. I followed along above the walls for a bit and then dropped back to crossing the walls below them, taking advantage of the continuing low tide.
|Some ice delicately growing from the presumably wet wood of the wall on the cliff.|
|These bits of dark looked to be rocks sticking up through the sand, but it took a footprint just as well as the rest of the sand.|
|This iced over pool seems to have shrunk after the ice froze until it was no longer well enough supported.|
|This flow seemed fast enough to stay visible, but was sinking into the sand all the same.|
|A lot of the stones on the beach actually were quite hard rather than just sandstone.|
|Cormorants making a rare stop on the land.|
|With the tide very low, there is a lot of space to walk around below them.|
As I walked along below the walls, I spotted a bunch of holes dug in the sand. There were more and more as I walked along and I noticed a couple people digging them up ahead. I had to ask what they were doing and I was told "digging for worms" and was shown one that really looked a lot like a night crawler except it was hanging out in the very wet and salty environment on the beach.
|Father and son (or at least they looked it) digging for sea worms.|
A small dog came along and waded through the bit of water that was between me and the rest of the beach showing me that it was actually too deep for me to go through with my boots. I had to double back for at least a quarter of a mile to find a spot shallow enough and then could continue on. I stuck to the beach all the way to some steps that come down below the city park and lighthouse, getting me back where I started mostly along the beach.
©2012 Valerie Norton
Posted 8 March 2012
Posted 8 March 2012