Where have we got to?

Our Playful Connection is nearly there

When we launched the public appeal last April to sponsor planks on the proposed new bridge in North Lodge Park we were quite overwhelmed with your response –  raising over £20,000 towards the project. Brilliant. Since then we have been busy finalising the design, getting the necessary permissions in place, and working with potential suppliers. Plus, of course, essential fundraising …and with two major recent grant successes we’re almost there!

We couldn’t have got this far without your support and confidence.

THANK-YOU for being part of this unique community project.

We hope to begin building the new bridge in May 2020 but just need your help one last time to get us over the starting line. Whilst you are one of over 200 people who have dug deep to sponsor a plank – there are many more people who have been putting off taking the plunge until they were more confident the project was really going to happen. You may well have friends, neighbours or colleagues or know businesses who have delayed making a pledge and committing to the project. Please can you help us by spreading the word? Not only do we need their sponsorship help but we want to ensure that everyone who loves Cromer and North Lodge Park has the opportunity to be part of the project to bring life back to this very special place.

find a heart in the park

Half Term Hearts

Starting on Friday for Half Term – find a heart stone in the park and exchange it for a free heart biscuit in the cafe

Each day one lucky person who finds the special Jack Valentine stone will get a free hot drink and cake.

north lodge park cromer gardening festival 2020

Cromer Gardening Festival May 16th 2020

north lodge park cromer gardening festival 2020

In 2018 we launched a new event to the Cromer calendar as an addition to the popular Crab and Lobster Festival:the CROMER GARDENING FESTIVAL. This festival fringe event, built on the enormous success of the Crab and Lobster Festival, providing the thousands of visitors with an extra focus during the weekend. In 2019 we repeated the successful event, growing the range of attractions across the day, linking with the 90th birthday of the Park.

This May, 2020, we are hosting the 3rd GARDENING FESTIVAL on Saturday May 16th there will be more fun across the park, making the day a much bigger event.

If you would like to take part in this exciting festival please get in touch with your proposals for the day. We are looking for creative ideas around the gardening theme to make the day really special.

If you would like a stall to sell products, these are available under the same terms as the main Crab and Lobster festival, but with discounts for booking early:

  • Standard 3m x 3m £35, book by the middle of February for only £30
  • Double 6m x 4m £60, book by the middle of February for only £50
  • Large 10m x 5m £100, book by the middle of February for only £80

You can book using the attached booking form, or complete the form below and payonline with paypal

Please get in touch should you need more information: friends@northlodgepark.org.uk

happy new year

Happy New Year – 2020

A HUGE HUGE thanks to all of you who supported us over the last year – whether it’s helping in the cafe and gardens, supporting the events, supporting the cafe, sponsoring a plank – the Park really benefits from your contributions. 

What a year 2019 was: we hosted over 20 events across the year, from ice skating to theatre, brass bands to dragons, a breakfast special to afternoon teas. 

Shortlisting for the EDP Norfolk Best Coffee/Tea Shop Award was a real surprise and a credit to all the volunteers who work so hard keeping the cafe such a special place.  All our TripAdviser reviews in 2019 were very good or better which is amazing! 

The gardens have continued to flourish thanks to the hard work of the volunteers.  The rose garden is starting to mature following the major restoration works the gardeners have achieved, and other borders adding colour to the Park.

We are really pleased with the support you have given to the Playful Connection project – the plank appeal has raised over £20,000 towards the project and we know some of you are still looking for the right phrase for your plank – we need another 50 planks sponsored to reach our target so please don’t wait too much longer as we want to start the build this Spring.

The two books we published last year, the Chronicles of North Lodge Park and the Cafe Cook Book,  received great reviews, including Book of the Month, and have sold really well with all profits going towards the Playful Connection project.

New Year Opportunities

If you’re looking for something new for 2020 why not come and join us.  We’ve always got space for new volunteers so please don’t hold back – it’s 2020!  Come and talk to us about where you can contribute and join the great team of volunteers we have.  Send an email (hello@northlodgepark.org.uk) or pop into the cafe to have a chat.

We issued tender documents at the end of last year to several potential construction companies and should be in a position to appoint a contractor and start digging to start the Playful Connection project this Spring.  However, we do need to raise a bit more money so if you haven’t already sponsored a plank please pop over to the website or pop into the cafe for a sponsorship form.  If you’d like to discuss other sponsorship opportunities please get in touch  (hello@northlodgepark.org.uk) – we can help put your business on the map.

What’s planned for 2020?The major event for 2020 will be implementing the Playful Connection project.  But there is lots more planned including:

  • Gardening Festival in May
  • Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company with some Shakespeare in the Park (Twelfth Night) in June
  • Illyria theatre with  Gilbert and Sullivan (HMS Pinafore) in July
  • Boxtree Productions with Alice in Wonderland in August

More details on these and other events when they are confirmed.  And don’t forget the cafe which is open all year Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays) 10am to 4pm.  Come and join the many regulars who help make it a special place.

Christmas Tree in North Lodge Park

Christmas in the Park

The park cafe will be open as usual in December upto Sunday 22nd, following which our volunteers will be having a well earned break. We’ll be back on New Year’s Day.

Christmas Tree in North Lodge Park
Photo: Malcolm English
coop members contribution to NLP

Co-op Members Fund

Friends of North Lodge Park were one of this year’s local causes, and through their members contributions we have received over £1700. many thanks to the co-op and its members.

Coop members fund contribution to North Lodge Park

October in the Park

Playful Connection Plank Appeal

We have been overwhelmed by your support for the plank appeal with over 180 planks sponsored so far, 70% of our target of 250!  As with any appeal of this size, getting all the details right takes time.  If you haven’t joined the campaign to sponsor a plank, there is still time – hop over to our website or pick up a leaflet in the park cafe. 

If you have sponsored a plank, but not yet decided on your words for the plaque, the time for your deliberations is drawing to a close – please let us have your words by the end of the year. 

The projected costs for the project are just over £200,000.  How near are we to our target? Currently about £80,000 short! Our finance plan is as follows:

PlanStatus
cafe contribution £60,000£60,000
plank appeal £25,000 £18,000
other fundraising £10,000£3,000
Town Council  £25,000 £29,000
grants £65,000 £20,000
other  £25,000
TOTAL£210,000£130,000

We are really grateful for the support from the Town Council for giving our funds such a boost.  We have several grant applications pending decisions (but can’t count on them – as we have found out from our many applications that have not been successful).

Since launching the appeal we have been working hard with the engineers to finalise the detailed design.  There haven’t been any major changes except the projected costs have gone up!  This detailed work takes more time that expected – especially when we’re all volunteers, and the engineers are working on a pro-bono basis to help us save money.

All being well we will be going out to tender for the works before the end of the year (which will confirm our project cost estimates).   With your continued support with our fundraising we hope to get to a position where the works can start in the Spring.

Will You Marry Me?
Our Cafe Cookbook ‘Will you Marry me’ is still selling like the proverbial  hot cakes! And why not? We have just been voted  one of the top 4 tea shops in the whole of Norfolk!   The book is only £10, available in the cafe, Jarrolds Cromer and online. 

Have you baked one of our recipes yet? We’d love to hear from you and to see the results so please post us a message and a picture or two. We want to fill our Facebook page and website with your images and feedback. And please re-post to your friends to spread the news.

This amazing cookbook is a lovely memento of the cafe, the cakes and the bakers here in Cromer on the North Norfolk coast – a perfect present to give to family and friends.  It’s getting time for present buying.

Chronicles of the Park
North Lodge Park opened on Saturday 18 May 1929 – and to mark 90 years of Cromer’s clifftop park we have published a 28 page ‘Brief History’ of the Park 1929-2019. 

You can buy the book online, in the park cafe or Jarrolds.  Only £5

Dare I suggest it would make an ideal present?

Ceilidh Supper

Do you know your Dashing White Sergeant from your Flying Scotsman? (no, neither do I!)

Come and join us for a Ceilidh and supper on Friday 15th November at the Parish Hall, Cromer. All the dances will be taught and nothing is compulsory (except having fun).

Please come and join us for a fun evening of music, dance and food.  Let us know if you want to reserve a table.

The music will start at 7pm and the dancing at 7.15.

A light supper is included in the ticket price.

Please bring your own drinks (Wine/Beer); we can only serve soft drinks.

Hope to see you soon.

Barry Meadows

north lodge park cafe cook book

Have you baked one of our recipes yet?



We’d love to hear from you and to see the results so please post us a message and a picture or two. We want to fill our Facebook page and website with your images and feedback. And please re-post to your friends to spread the news.


This amazing cookbook is a lovely memento of the cafe, the cakes and the bakers here in Cromer on the North Norfolk coast – a perfect present to give to family and friends.  It’s getting time for present buying.



Chocolate Fudge

Pumpkin Carving 2019

Join us on Friday 25th October for our annual pumpkin carving extravaganza. We’ll provide the pumpkins and equipment – you bring the creativity.

pumpkin carving