When in Cromer go by horse and cart!

THE HORSE and cart is going places in Cromer…Tourists all over the world are used to trying out fun and unusual forms of transports as they take in the sights of a town or city.

THE HORSE and cart is going places in Cromer…

Tourists all over the world are used to trying out fun and unusual forms of transports as they take in the sights of a town or city. Go to Bangkok and you are likely to jump in a tuk tuk to explore the capital, while in Venice people often favour a gondola as the best way to explore.

Now a couple from Cromer are hoping visitors to the seaside town will shun their cars, give their tired feet a rest and take a trip on a horse and cart.

Joe and Amanda Cook have spent many years being pulled around their home town, reigns in hand, by their beautiful Gypsy Cob horse and now plan to turn their favourite pastime into a business.

From Easter, Rocky - one of the family's two horses - will set off at a leisurely pace from the Runton Road car park with up to six passengers and trot past the key sights.

Mr Cook hopes it will encourage people to the town and work as a novel taxi for tourists with weary feet and a mini tour. "I think a lot of people coming into Cromer aren't too sure what's available," he said. "People sometimes miss the side streets - we can make them aware of the good shops that are there to see."

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The couple started planning their business venture last summer after attracting attention during trips on the cart with their children, Lauren, 14, Allyse, eight, and Bobby, two.

Mr Cook said: "We used to get out and have an ice cream at the caf� on Runton Road. When we were parked, we found we had people queuing up and asking how much it would be to take them."

The couple have since got a hackney carriage licence from North Norfolk District Council. Licensing officer Tony Gent had to be taken on a safety-test ride and the cart put through an MoT, with disc brakes added to ensure passengers are safe.

Having spent the past week getting Rocky, who used to pull carts through Yarmouth, familiar with the town, the intrigued and delighted faces of the children and adults he has passed has made Mr Cook confident the novelty of the attraction will bring in plenty of trade.

He said: "Everybody in town stands on the pavement and looks at you - I've certainly never been photographed quite so much."

Rocky and his fellow cart-puller Faye should also appeal to the increasing number of tourists who are concerned about their carbon footprint.

Mr Cook said: "We don't have to put too much petrol in the horse. Everybody complains about the traffic so this is a green way to see the town."

The horse and cart will run alongside the town's yellow and blue road train, which also stops at Runton Road car park.

But rather than seeing the venture as competition for

his five-year-old business, owner Alan Blomfield welcomed it: "I'm hoping it will benefit Cromer. We're here to attract more people into the town," he said.