An attractive east Norfolk coastal village, situated on a cliff-top overlooking fine sandy beaches.
An Introduction to Overstrand
Overstrand is an attractive East Norfolk coastal village, situated on a cliff-top overlooking fine sandy beaches. Visitors come to Overstrand to take in the fine coastal views of the sea and beach below, including a lovely cliff-top path taking you right into Cromer, about one and a half miles away. The village grew up around its fishing industry and a few fishing boats are still based here. The beauty of Overstrand did not go unnoticed however and many rich and famous people built holiday homes here, leading to its nickname as "the village of millionaires". As a result the village contains some fine and unusual properties, dating from several periods. Overstrand has a village shop, post office a couple of pubs and clifftop cafe. It makes a fabulous base for your holiday, or a day trip to relax on the beach, enjoy some walking or mountain bike in the surrounding woodland.
We start our tour of Overstrand at the car-park on the cliff-top. Looking north, you can see Cromer in the distance (about a mile and a half) and to the south, the cliffs continue towards Mundesley.
View North towards Cromer
View South towards Mundesley
A path snakes it's way down the cliffs to the beach below. This section of coast does suffer from erosion and several of the paths from the cliffs have been damaged in the past. The beach itself is one of the best in Norfolk, as it has golden sand and plenty of space to play a game, walk the dog, paddle in the pools left by the retreating tide or simply relax in the sun.
Relaxing on Overstrand Beach
A Game of Cricket on the sandy Beach
Overstrand grew up around its fishing trade and at one time, many fishing boats would have been based here. Over the years that has declined, but has not disappeared completely and several fishing boats can still be seen; their catch includes lobster and crabs.
Fishing Nets and Boat
On the cliff-top overlooking the sea you will find a cafe that is a great place for a mid-morning snack, lunch, or afternoon tea. The Cliff Top Cafe offers amazing views and it is one of our favourite places in Norfolk!
Cliff Top Cafe, Overstrand
Cliff Top Views
Moving into the village centre, Overstrand has a village shop and a post office. The village pub - White Horse - has recently been refurbished. They allow dogs in to the bar and its a great place for a pub lunch.
Overstrand Post Office
White Horse Pub Overstrand
The Sea Marge is an elegant Edwardian mansion steeped in history. It was built in 1908 as a country home for Sir Edgar Speyer, a London banker, who was chairman and founder of London Underground. He had the house finished to a high standard, including bathrooms with hand painted tiles and large cast iron baths. The formal and ornamental gardens were laid between the house and cliff top and Italian sculpture was used to enhance the design. The Sea Marge first opened as a hotel in 1935 and survived as a hotel until 1955, when it became a nursing home, following the decline of Overstrand as a popular holiday destination. It eventually reopened as a hotel again in 1996, following much hard work and restoration. Today, the Sea Marge has all the comforts of a modern hotel, but retains all of its character, it is a wonderful place to stay, or to take lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea! Thoroughly recommended.
Winston Churchill Portrait in the dining room
Cosy corners in the bar
During the first World War, as Sir Edgar Speyer had German parents and was a friend of the Kaiser, he became the subject of many unproved rumours and propaganda. One rumour was that the Sea Marge was being used as a signaling point for German submarines. Sir Edgar was stripped of his knighthood and British nationality on the grounds of disloyalty to the king and unlawful communications with the enemy. Soon after, he was deported.
Other property in Overstrand reflects it's status as a popular holiday destination and contains a real mixture of architecture and styles - from Victorian to Art Deco. Many have fabulous gardens with views out over the North Sea.
Art Deco Property
Garden ornaments overlooking the sea
Sitting at one end of the village is the lovely church of St Martin. The church was built during the reign of King Henry IV in 1399. The church eventually fell into ruins and in 1867 another church was built in the churchyard. In 1884, it was decided to rebuild the ruins of St Martins and the restored church was rededicated in 1914. The interim church then became redundant and was finally demolished in 1951.
The Church of St Martin
The church bell dates from 1605
Inside St Martin Church Overstrand
Stained Glass Window
SUGGESTED WALK - Cliff Tops to Cromer (one and a half miles approximately)
Returning back to the car-park on the cliff-top, a footpath can be found at the rear. This footpath takes you on one of the best walks in Norfolk - along the clifftop, past the Royal Cromer Golf Club, Cromer Lighthouse and eventually right into Cromer itself (about a mile and a half). The CromerLighthouse was originally built in 1680, but the present lighthouse, a white octagonal tower, was built in 1833 and converted to automatic operation in 1990.
Cliff top path to Cromer
A rest on a seat
Royal Cromer Golf Club
Overstrand summary of what to SEE and DO
Enjoy the magnificent cliff top views of the sea
Take a walk towards Cromer on the beach or cliffs
Wander the village centre and admire the property
Enjoy a drink or bar meal in a pub or restaurant
Visit the village church and discover its history
Take a walk in the surrounding countryside
Enjoy a game of golf at the local golf club
Take lunch or afternoon tea at the Sea Marge
Overstrand is one of the best places in Norfolk for cliff top views, with the walk to Cromer being one of the best in East Anglia. Overstrand is an attractive village, surrounded by attractive countryside.