Cromer Pier Norfolk - places to photograph - sample image-16

Cromer Pier Norfolk – places to photograph

Cromer Pier Norfolk – places to photograph

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This is the first in a new series of posts on photography locations. Cromer Pier is a location I know well and have visited many times. Some of the other locations will include places I’ve visited on holiday that I found particularly good for photos. The series is mostly for landscape photographers. But, the places suggested should have something for of interest for most photographers.

Cromer Pier in Norfolk is one of the key places to visit when on the north Norfolk coast. For landscape photographers, the pier and surrounding beach provide many opportunities. With the pier facing north, you can also get sunrise on one side and sunset on the other at the right time of year. Waves at high tide can be intense and powerful. But at low tide, the sea is often extremely calm.

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The beach is covered in pebbles, which make good subjects for the foreground of your photos. The groynes that act to protect the beach from the sea can become powerful leading lines in your images. They make a good contrast against the water for wild or calm scenes. The pier makes a strong subject within your seascape images. It can also be a great position from which to take photos. Look back at the shoreline for winter sunsets and longer beach vistas.

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Cromer Pier & its architecture

The buildings on the pier itself also make interesting subjects. The Pavilion Theatre is a strong piece of architecture that is extremely photogenic. The shelters along the pier look a little like fancy bus stops. Even the lamp posts seem to come alive with interest when they light up the evening.

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Night shots of the pier have a different mood. The lights reflect back off the sea beneath. Highlights and sparkling lights contrast with deep shadows. 

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You will certainly want to use an ultrawide lens near the pier. In order to get a good amount of the pier in the frame along with some foreground a wide angle lens is essential. It is a good place for long exposure photography. So, I would recommend bringing strong neutral density (ND) filters if you are shooting during the day. As the evening light levels fall, you may be able to manage without. However, if you want to do long exposures before sunset, a 10 stop might be wise.

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The water tends to be more interesting from mid to high tide. Low tide can be too calm. The next beach along to the east is Overstrand. The breakers there are a little different and waves at high tide can be exciting. Overstrand is normally a quieter beach. To the west is Sheringham. Despite being quite busy and popular with tourists, it is worth a visit. Large rocks act as breakers on the beach and offer photo opportunities.


There are several car parks in Cromer. I’d suggest Runton Road Car park. The postcode is NR27 9AU. It is a pay and display car park. It is just up the hill from the pier. Occasionally, there may be spaces along the road on the way up. This isn’t very likely in peak season, but can save you the parking fee. 


At the seaside I would, of course, recommend fish and chips! There is an excellent shop on the corner by the petrol station above the pier. No 1 Cromer serves takeaway and also eat in fish and chips. They also have a restaurant with an excellent sea view and a choice of fish dishes. If they are busy then there are plenty of other places to eat in town.


Video of images taken around Cromer Pier

The images are set to music by Dave Brons.

Images & words © Joe Lenton, 2017

If you would like to learn landscape photography with me at Cromer then take a look at our long exposure photography workshop

1 thought on “Cromer Pier Norfolk – places to photograph”

  1. Pingback: Southwold Pier Suffolk - Places to Photograph Seascapes

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