England-Norfolk Flag

   Overstrand >  Google™ Map

UK > England > Norfolk

England-Norfolk Flag
Norfolk Coat of Arms

Sep 2017

ōfer (a) margin, sea-shore + strand Old English land at the edge of water esp. the sea.

Population - 1,030.

Norfolk Coat of Arms

There's often a smaller, posher neighbour to the traditional seaside town and so it is with Overstrand in North Norfolk.

It's what Lytham St Annes is to Blackpool, what Frinton is to Clacton, on-Seas and up in North East England, why it's only Whitley Bay's... Oh! That one doesn't always work[1].

Two miles east of Cromer, they'll let you park up for free on the High Street but there are rumblings, appetite-wise, so some of the time will be eaten into. The rest will be spent nearly walking to Cromer and back and some of that will be wondering just why would you strap yourself into a giant Wellington boot?

[1] Possibly Seaton Sluice at a slightly posher push?

The 'village of millionaires' they nicknamed it in the late 1800s and the village store now sells lottery tickets to those hopeful of joining the club.

Not that you need to be one to live here, these days, the Art Deco shop is an architechtural anomaly next the neat, Norfolk-cobbled terraces and beside the bijoux bungalows.

This Edwardian-era and Grade II listed building was once home to one, probably, a wealthy, half-German financier.

Because of that, the neighbours stopped talking to him during World War I and George Speyer was, indeed, accused of being one, a spy that is, signalling to submarines from the clifftops, they said.

Nonsense or not, the family upped Stecken to New York in 1916, never to return, and George died from a botched nose job in Berlin in the '30s.

It's the  Seamarge Hotel, these days, and isn't all that posh with just the 4****s although they might still have a croquet lawn in their 5-acre garden.

Head down Cliff Road where there's a path down to the promenade and the beach. The concrete's a bit ugly but necessary and it's all the tide's fault, naturally.

The chalky cliffs are prone to landslips, you see, seeing to one former hotel up there but, on the plus side, that means a different kind of old fossil to this one is likely to be found along here.

  Cliff Top Café (Cliff Road)

Fantastic food provider that's worth the trip to Overstrand for alone. Away from the favourable café fayre, local crab's available, when available, and it's hoped they're from the rather ramshackle 'Crab Shed' next door.

Overstrand - Cliff Top Café

There's a seated 'VIP' area outside making for a thought that this is still the village of millionaires? Not quite, Very Important Pooches, you see, so yes, they're dog-friendly as well.

There's a 2-mile walk to Cromer along a colourful shingle 'raft' that's also caused by the tide and if it just happens to be out, the hardened sand is much, much easier, honestly.

  Norfolk Coast Path

Between here and Cromer, the beach is part of the Norfolk Coast Path, a 62-mile route between Hunstanton and Sea Palling. Don't be fooled by the modest distance, there are lots of shingle-sapping stretches and this type of coastline can be a right calf-killer[1].

If you're walking from Hunstanton then congratulations, just the dozen or so miles to go but if you're coming the other way, see you in 'Sunny Hunny' in 3 days time.

[1] Extended in 2016 to Hopton-on-Sea making it 83 miles so not nearly so modest.

Cromer approaches and in between the colourful beach huts, there are some steep steps up, which you might not be expecting in what's officially the UK's flattest county but only if you don't think the  City of London really counts.

It's up to the clifftop path back to Overstrand and highlights include Happy Valley, a small recreational area that's also the name of this local walk.

It's along here where you might also see one or more of these nutjobs, paragliding on the uplifts from the cliffs with some of them strapped into what looks like a giant Wellington boot, just not this one.

Near Overstrand - Paragliding Nutjob

Tomorrow's local news will report that one of these guys was seriously injured after bouncing off a building in Cromer this afternoon. Strange that since it happened to be the gable end of the Wellington  Pub, seriously.

The terrain up top is best described as 'heathy' and is home to Cromer Lighthouse.

If you're renting the former lighthouse keeper's cottage for the week, you'll be needing extra thick curtains as it's still doing some blinding work.

The path soon cuts through the left-hand side of the  Royal Cromer Golf Course with fine views out to sea and an indicator to be grateful for access to what's rightfully yours anyway. WALKERS ↖.

Just before this tricky par-3, it's thought, is another reminder written on the Tarmac™ and putting pedestrians, not right but left, in their place...

With an imaginative bit of whitewashing, that arrow could be made to point to the golfers and the lettering changed slightly, right kids?

You're soon back where you started in Overstrand and a previously overlooked plaque that's been laid to celebrate the little lord baby Jesus' 2000th birthday.

There's quite a strong religious presence here, actually, what with the distinctive looking Methodist Church passed earlier and the Pleasaunce.

This old, 6-acre pleasure garden, literally, is part of a family-friendly, Christian  holiday centre and the accommodating mansion was designed by the fairly well-known architect  Edwin Lutyens, no less.

All of this in the 1890s for one of those old millionaires and while Lutyens was in town, he also found time for that Methodist Church.

The Pleasaunce has only fairly recently been run as a religious retreat and their rates look reasonable although they charge a bit more for your own bog.

What's that you say? Hey, they're pretty 'Rock & Roll' kinds of guys, a clifftop walk has just been done for goodnesses sakes and that's the second use of the word 'guys'[1] today.

Walking on that beach, however, is a reminder of the sands of time and how the legs now tire to the point that English Heritage™ has 2 new recent members.

Rather more worrying are the Pleasaunce's suggestions for things to do while you're here. Visit Cromer, explore a number of RSPB™ nature reserves and take a steam-powered  choo-choo that runs out of Sheringham to Holt.

That's pretty much what this pair have got planned this week. Now, does anyone know where you can buy a pipe and a pair of slippers in  North Norfolk?

[1] That'll be 3 now.