Originally a small Norfolk fishing village, once having 100 boats working from the beach, the advent of a direct railway link to London in 1887 turned Sheringham into a popular destination for visitors. Sheringham Golf Club was founded in 1891 and boasts such notable former members as Robert Falcon Scott (better known as Scott of the Antarctic) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Evidence of occupation in the immediate area can be traced back as far as the 9th Century, with a Roman Kiln being excavated at Upper Sheringham. Dating back to pre-Roman times, a church in Upper Sheringham is recorded as being part of the route on the pilgrimage to Walsingham. There are actually 10 churches in Sheringham, notably St Joseph’s on Cromer Road, a grade II listed building, St Andrews, a modern building whose design was inspired by the sea and the Victorian-era St Peters with its magnificent stained glass windows, but all are worth visiting.
Sheringham has a beautiful, fine shingle beach, which runs between itself and West Runton. It is a Blue Flag beach and there are a number of coastal walks along the chalk cliffs. However, Sheringham has suffered from long-shore drift and coastal erosion and a number of sea defences have been built to combat this. Unfortunately it seems inevitable that natural erosion will eventually shape Sheringham’s landscape, especially if the sea defences are cut.
Sheringham was the first place in Britain to have a bomb dropped on it (by Zeppelin) in January 1915 during World War I. Plans to redevelop itself in the post war years were shelved due to funds not being able to be raised, leaving the unique character of the town preserved.
Sheringham is a lively and quirky seaside resort with plenty to do. You’ll find the usual (and unusual) collection of shops, cafes, hotels and eateries, but also plenty of attractions that pay homage to the town’s rich and interesting past. An old lifeboat house – the first RNLI station in Sheringham, Oddfellows Hall, is now a stunning meeting venue, while ‘The Mo’ Sheringham museum charts the town’s development from a little fishing community.
Nearby is Sheringham Park, a wonderful landscape park and woodland garden designed in 1812 by Humphry Repton, and now under the care of the National Trust. Here you can experience magnificent coastal views from the gazebo viewing tower and really stretch your legs following the various tracks, trails and pathways.
You can start at Sheringham Park and continue to Weybourne Woods, which flank the wonderful North Norfolk Railway Line. A terrific day out for all the family, the North Norfolk Railway transports you back into the past, offering a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train. The journey starts at Sheringham Station, itself seemingly ‘frozen in time’, harking back to a bygone era.
Our recommended places to stay and visit in Sheringham: