Sheringham is the quintessential north Norfolk flinty seaside town; a high street haven of ice creams, crab sandwiches, postcards and holiday treasures. A great beach town to visit all year round.
The Vikings missed all this of course, but they came for other reasons no doubt. Another thing that came to Sheringham, at precisely 8.30pm on 19 January 1915, was an incendiary bomb, the first for Britain by a Zepplin in WWI.
There are many fascinating features around the town. So if you’re planning a visit to Sheringham, with ‘the sea on its doorstep and countryside in its backyard’ here are our top 5 things to do and see.
Far-reaching coastal views from anywhere along the seafront come complete with the magical sound and salt-tang smell of the sea. Climb up Beeston Bump (formed 10-15k years ago and still rising!) by walking through the town’s allotments (nice eggs) for a panoramic view and discover Norfolk is NOT flat! The rough meadow occupying its flanks lays out a glorious carpet of wildflowers, full of happy butterflies, in spring and summer. The Coastwatch hut at Skelding Hill, just past the West Prom boating lake, offers an appealing view all the way to Blakeney Point.
Purchase a platform pass and explore Sheringham’s Midland and Great Northern/North Norfolk Railway station, which is as much fun as a steam train ride to Holt itself!
Head to Platform 1 for buttered buffet buns, proper potted tea, classic wartime wireless and station souvenirs.
Over on Platform 3 is a wooden train carriage housing a hands-on children activity area.
The fishing industry was at its peak in the late 19th Century. Londoners took the train to the Norfolk coast just to eat crabs, lobsters and whelks. Of 200 boats back then, now only eight remain, but ties to the sea stay strong. An annual crab and lobster festival in May celebrates these tasty crustaceans. The town's own Morris dancers are known as ‘The Lobster Potties’! The Mo, Sheringham’s Museum, has a collection of old lifeboats and is home to the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm visitor centre.
The Fishermen’s Heritage Centre charts the history of the private ‘Upcher’ lifeboats, provided by the Upcher family of nearby Sheringham Hall. Next door’s shell gallery displays over 200 exquisite examples.
A walk along Sheringham’s seafront will take you past exhibits from The Sheringham Art and Sculpture trail; unique works by local professional artists, part of a regeneration project transforming stark areas of the concrete sea defence.
Sheringham is home to artist Brian Lewis. He depicts iconic Norfolk scenes; seal boats, stately homes, beach huts, with mischievous individuality. Don’t miss Sheringham’s Little Theatre (big programme!) the smallest stage of any professional theatre in the UK and one of the last surviving summer rep seasons in the country.
Situated 1.5 miles from Sheringham itself, enjoy a lovely walk around the landscaped park and gardens of National Trust property Sheringham Park.
The Park has one of the largest varieties of rhododendrons in the country and great paths for walking (and it is dog friendly).
The wooden viewing tower offers fantastic far-reaching sea views and in the distance you can see Weybourne’s iconic windmill (pictured above. Image by Lesley van Dijk).
Also take a look at ‘Experience Sheringham’ website which includes heritage trails that enable you to explore the history of this town on foot.
Iif you are interested in wildflower walks at Sheringham Park, read here more about it.
Have a look at these beautiful beachside self-catering apartments in Sheringham.
The images are by Sheringham based photographer Chris Taylor unless stated differently.