It wasn’t love at first sight.
Navigating Sheringham’s busy high street, crammed with people distracted by the eclectic mix of shops, who all seemed to be accompanied by dogs merrily dancing about their legs, with a blind man and a then four-year-old terrified of our four-legged friends, had not endeared me to the town.
However, our day trip last year couldn’t have been all bad. There must have been something I liked; a glimmer of what could have been, a clue that there was more to be had from this quaint seaside town because, when thinking about where to go this Easter, Sheringham immediately sprang to mind.
And thank goodness we gave it another chance.
This time, love definitely blossomed.
It helped that our accommodation, a two-bedroom bungalow, was not only massive for four people but also a couple of minutes walk from the town and, more importantly, the beach. Here’s a link to it (not an ad).
It meant we could explore before many of the day visitors arrived. It also meant we could visit the beautiful beach after many of them left. When the sun came out and the sky turned blue, well, I was pretty much ready to sell up and move to the town.
I’m going to have to break this up into two posts because I, as usual, snapped way too many photos and I can’t choose between them all. I’ll start with an overview in this post and then talk about the museum in the next one.
Back in the day, Sheringham was actually two villages (upper and lower). The former was mainly a farming community and the latter combined farming and fishing.
According to Wikipedia:
“The fishing industry was at its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the coming of the railways made it possible for fish to be transported more efficiently to market.”
While at one time there were more than 200 fishing boats, today only a few remain. One of the joys of staying at a place is not having to rush about. It meant we were lucky enough to watch a boat go out and then, much later in the day, see it hauled back up the beach.
The town is still rightly proud of its heritage, which can be seen in a visit to Sheringham Museum (coming up next) and The Fisherman’s Heritage Centre (sadly closed during our week).
What else is there?
It’s a fantastic place to explore on foot and over the four days we were there, I roamed far and wide. I found some great spots as a result (imagine my face when I discovered this beautiful array of tulips – and daffodils – up near the boating lake).
Freya and I also discovered a play area up some steps on our first night, which we visited almost every day. I think this might be the highlight of the holiday for her and, with a sea view, I was pretty happy too.
A walk along the long promenade is not only pleasant because it’s so picturesque – I could take photos of the beach huts and waves forever – but also for its art and sculpture trail. It was exciting to discover all the different pieces. We never knew what we would find next.
There are lots of cafes, ice-cream shops and pubs to enjoy and a variety of general shops selling all sorts of things, including the ‘ethical children’s boutique’ Heirloom Toys and Clothing. This was a firm favourite with the whole family (we went with my mum and dad?) for the many traditional items it stocked as well as the ethos behind it (also not an ad).
If, like me, you enjoy a rummage in the odd charity shop, Sheringham has several (I went in five!). I *might* have come home with several items for my summer wardrobe.
Did I mention the railway?
Last time we visited we arrived in a rather romantic fashion, through the fog on a steam train. The volunteers of the North Norfolk Railway, known as the Poppy Line, do an amazing job running the heritage line between Sheringham and Holt. You can also get to Sheringham from Cromer and Norwich via more modern trains on the Bittern Line.
Even if you’re not taking a ride, Sheringham Station is well worth a look.
So, did I like it?
Yes! Sheringham is lovely. I could carry on writing for another 1000 words and still not do it justice. We had a brilliant week and it was one of those holidays I never wanted to end, even though we’d left Mark at home. We will definitely be heading back because I really want to visit the shell museum, which was also closed, and explore some more.
Here’s a selection of lovely doors I snapped on my walks.