We’ve visited North Norfolk as tourists for many years and personally consider Sheringham to be one of the best coastal resorts in the county.
We have a young family, currently aged 8, 13 and 15, so this list is very much tailored to our tastes. For that reason there are many other worthy reasons to visit Sheringham which didn’t make our list this year, including Sheringham Park NT, Sheringham Golf Club & The Mo.
Here are our top 10 reasons to visit Sheringham
The beach has to be the number one reason, especially as it’s only a couple of minutes walk away from our front door. One of the reasons why we purchased The Prairie is its location; ideal for us and for our guests.
The beach is perfect for sun worshippers & bathers, having won the Blue Flag award in 2013. I’m at my happiest after I’ve found a nice spot for my deckchair, with a good book in hand, watching the kids build sandcastles and hunt for crabs in the rocky areas.
North Norfolk Railway
This is an attraction for children of all ages. My kids & Uncle Phil (who is a proper steam enthusiast) love it. The railway operates from a beautifully maintained station at the top of the High Street and is home to a number of local & visiting locomotives.
I like pottering around with my camera hopelessly pretending that I’m not a train spotter and chatting to the staff, who are very friendly and helpful. Uncle Phil is in his element talking to me about the locomotives. My wife and kids enjoy all of the special events that they put on for tourists including the 1940s Weekend and the Santa Specials. Something for everyone!
Sheringham Little Theatre
This is a little theatre with big ambitions, and it’s right in the heart of Sheringham. We try to catch a show when we’re in town and have enjoyed various shows in the past, such as Alan Ayckbourn’s “Intimate Exchanges” directed by RSC actor Nicky Henson. My wife managed to snag Nicky’s autograph, having recognised him from Eastenders!
The theatre attracts a lot of local & national talent and recently snagged a Doctor in the form of John Hurt, who leant his vocal talents to the voice of The Mirror in the 2013 pantomime.
Festivals, Events & Carnivals
There is always something going on during the summer months to entertain. From the week long Sheringham & Cromer Carnivals to New Year Fireworks from Cromer Pier, the 1940s Weekend for adults, A Day out with Thomas the Tank Enginer for younger visitors and the Christmas Lights & Parade for everyone.
A lot of the events are so popular now that visitors book their holiday accommodation over a year in advance to avoid disappointment. It’s fair to say that Sheringham knows how to entertain visitors!
The High Street
My family love the high street for different reasons. Being a practical man, I like the fact that I can purchase more or less anything required for The Prairie in town, plus there are a couple of good grocers & butchers for BBQ provisions.
My kids usually have one of two destinations in mind: Starlings or Fudgetastic; great ways to spend their pocket money.
My wife & her aunt love pottering around the fashion, craft and gift shops, picking up thoughtful presents to store away for birthdays & Christmas and last, but not least, Granddad likes spending quality time in Westcliffe Gallery and the antique shops.
Splash Leisure Centre
Having family in the area means that we often visit Sheringham out of season. My wife still packs the swimwear though. “Why is that?” you may ask yourselves. I can assure you that it’s not because we hit the beach during all weathers!
Sheringham boasts an excellent family orientated leisure centre on the outskirts of the town called Splash! It has a wave machine (which operates periodically during sessions) and a slide. During fun sessions the centre allows small inflatables and floats into the pool.
The leisure centre also has a gym (though I’ve not tried that out yet) and a viewing area.
There are a number of great pubs, restaurants & takeaways on Sheringham High Street. We have our favourite haunts; these including the Chai Yo Thai and The Lobster to name but two.
For a traditional fish & chips supper on the seafront we can highly recommend Straits. If you fancy a lighter bite, then I recommend the Jolley Good Food Deli; their sandwiches are second to none.
Sheringham is steeped in history. You will find dozens of blue heritage trail plaques dotted around on walls of buildings with quite interesting facts about the town. For example, did you know that there is a yard in Sheringham that was the first site in the UK to take a hit from a Zeppelin during the First World War? What’s more, the bomb, which did not explode, was carried out by a resident in a bucket!
It does not take an awful lot of decoration to make visitors believe they’ve stepped back in time during the 1940s weekend. Small fishing boats still operate off the beach and there is a regular steam service maintained by volunteers.
The heritage trail continues along the promenade, including some fabulous murals, and culminates in The Mo & The Henry Ramey Upcher museums. Sheringham is a place firmly rooted in, and proud, of its heritage.
We are rather spoilt for choice when it comes to ice-creams in Sheringham, with Pungleperry’s and Ellies practically next door to each other and within walking distance of our front door. Our motto is “It’s never too cold for an ice-cream” and are tempted by the delicious flavours they have on offer on a daily basis.
But don’t take our word for it; here’s a picture of Uncle Phil enjoying a flavour outside of Ellies just after New Year…
The Boating Lake
We have to visit the boating lake (near the West Promenade on the Esplanade) every visit with the kids model boats. This trend started when we purchased a traditional wooden sailing boat for our eldest, then a toddler, and have returned upon every visit since.
Over the years we’ve amassed what seems like a small flotilla of model boats, purchased in Starlings and launched with great excitement every summer. We are currently operating an RNLI lifeboat and a speedboat, and are keeping Duracell in business.