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The local Railway from Norwich to Cromer & Sheringham

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Roughton Road Walk

Directions

Note: This is not a circular walk. The walk is between Roughton Road and Cromer stations. It includes a stretch along the beach between Overstrand and Cromer and you must carefully check the tide times to be sure you will be able to walk safely along the beach.

Stout walking shoes are advisable, a pair of binoculars would also be useful. Some of this walk includes country roads. Please be careful of traffic when walking on these roads.

Leave the station by the one exit and turn right when you reach the road. This leads you through the outer edges of Cromer, through a long residential road on which you stay until it reaches the main road in to Cromer. You need to cross this road and take the road which is almost directly opposite, called Cromwell Road. At the next junction, join the Overstrand Road (not the right turn into Mill Road signposted to the Hospital).

The Overstand Road rises slightly, passing a chalet park on the left. As the houses end look for a fork to the right, Northrepps Road, which is marked by a rather grand memorial to Clement Scott the writer who discovered Poppyland. Go down this road which passes houses and then deciduous woodland. You will then pass a caravan park on the left. Take the next left signposted Overstrand; the road bears left past a restaurant and then takes you down towards the village, joining another road at a t-junction opposite the parish church.

Turn right walking past the front of the church. When you reach the end of the church look for a footpath leading off parallel with the main road. It has metal bars at its entrance and is way marked. This path goes between the backs of gardens and emerges on a narrow road.

Continue straight on and then turn right into Harbord Road. This road twists left and then right before coming to a t-junction. Turn left, walking past the village shops and pub, passing a large and impressive building called Sea Marge. The road comes to an end because of a cliff fall. Turn right into Carr Road, and at the top of this road when it joins the main road turn left. Follow this road until it leaves the village, entering Sidestrand. The road dips slightly and at the foot of the hill between the road and the sea are a pair of flint cottages and just beyond them is Mill House, made famous by Clement Scott.

Once you have glimpsed this, turn back and then take the right hand turning into Coast Road. This bends to the left and then to the right. On the right is a man-made slope down to the sea. Walk down this and then turn left along the promenade. At the end of the promenade there are some concrete steps which take you down to the beach. Carry on towards Cromer along the beach.

There used to be a cliff top path which has almost eroded away to nothing. You can see the severe erosion of the cliffs as you walk this stretch. Keep an eye open for the odd fossil, snail-like ammonites or amber coloured, bullet shaped belemnites (an ancient cuttle fish).

Join the promenade at Cromer wherever you choose. As you approach the town, the seaside illuminations appear on the cliff top terraces of beach huts that line the promenade. Continue past the beach huts, cafes, beach shops and the Cromer Lifeboat Museum on the left. Cross the slipway and continue towards the pier.

When you reach the pier take the flint railed slope which zig-zags to the top. Take the left hand slope for the final section of the zig-zag to jetty cliff. Go up Jetty Street to the left of the Hotel de Paris, signed for the museum.

At the end of Jetty Street, the church is on your left, (Follow the signs if you want to take a detour to the Museum - it is well worth a visit.)

To reach Cromer Station, leave Jetty Street and walk straight to the main street. Turn right at the t-junction and then cross over the road. Take the next left into Chapel Street. At the end of Chapel Street turn right. Pass the car park on your left and carry straight on into West Street. The station is on the right just past the Methodist church.

Points of Interest

1. Poppyland

Clement Scott's name will always be associated with Overstrand, Cromer and to a lesser extent Sheringham. Scott was a London drama critic who came to Cromer in the 1880's collecting material for an article he was writing for the Daily Telegraph.

He found lodgings at Mill House, where he met the miller's daughter Louie Jermy, and it was to here he was to return many times, bringing friends to enjoy his discovery. The Poppyland Legend was born. Poppyland became an industry. There were posters, postcards and souvenirs, many of which are now collectors items. But with such energetic marketing came change. Scott himself was to lament: 'The Cromer that we visit now is not the Cromer I wrote about but a few short years ago as my beloved Poppyland'.

2. Design and Architecture

As Overstrand grew more popular grander lodgings and hotels were needed. Edward Lutyens, later knighted, was commissioned by Lord Battersea to enlarge two seaside villas into an enormously exotic creation called 'The Pleasuance'. The gardens were designed by Gertrude Jeckell, a well known garden designer of her day.

The Pleasuance is now a Christian fellowship holiday home.

3 Coastal Erosion

Coastal erosion is part of a way life for the north Norfolk coast. At Cromer, some distance out to sea, is the site of a lost village called Shipden, which was gradually destroyed by the sea in the 14th century. With it was swept out to sea the original St Peter's Church, and church rock lying about a quarter of a mile from the shore is said to be the old steeple of St Peter's Church. If the wind is in the right direction, it is claimed that you can still hear the bells tolling warning of bad weather.

4 Tradition of Rescue

Both Cromer and Sheringham have lost many sailors and fishermen to the sea, and have built up over the years a tradition of selfless rescue and courage in the face of the elements. The first lifeboat stationed at Cromer was in 1804, and in 1830 a lifeboat was stationed in Sheringham.

Probably the most famous of lifeboatmen was Henry Blogg of Cromer (1876-1954). He was coxswain of the Cromer lifeboat for about 50 years. While he served on the boat it saved nearly 900 lives, and Blogg became a national hero. He was decorated with the George Cross and five other medals for skill and courage at sea. He neither smoked nor drank and apparently never learned to swim. When he died in 1954, 3000 mourners attended his funeral.

5 Turrets and Towers

As you walk through the streets of Cromer, you cannot fail to see some stunning buildings - especially the turrets and towers of some of the big houses and hotels. Many of these are either the work of, or were inspired by Norfolk-born architect George Skipper who is perhaps the most well-known locally for his design of the Norwich arcade and Norwich Union office with its stunning marble interior hall.