Cromer is a delightful little town, with gift shops, ice cream sellers, a charming pier, and other seaside attractions, says Susie Kearley
The pier is home to the RNLI lifeboat station, and inside, visitors can see the lifeboat from a viewing gallery, learn about rescues at sea, and peruse the RNLI shop.
If you prefer, you can book ahead to join a guided tour, where you’ll learn about safety at sea, day to day operations at the station, equipment, and the Tamar class lifeboat, Lester. You can also see video clips, try on the uniform, and test your knowledge in a quiz. Tours should be booked at least four weeks ahead.
Cromer Pier has an interesting history. There’s been a pier or jetty in the town since 1391, but the original structure fell into disrepair. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth I granted the locals permission to export grains to raise money towards the maintenance of Cromer village, and to rebuild the dilapidated pier. For centuries the piers were wooden structures. Then in 1901, the current 500-foot iron pier was erected, costing £17,000, which is equivalent to around £1.9m today.
The first lifeboat station opened on Cromer Pier in 1923. Then in 1940, due to wartime threats, the Royal Engineers removed the middle section of the pier, to prevent enemy forces from using it as a landing stage. Cromer’s lifeboat crew still needed to reach the station at the end of the pier, so they bridged the gap with planks, which enabled them to launch rescue missions when needed.Buy Now