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Great Yarmouth

The medieval fishing port of Great Yarmouth is not only one of Norfolk’s earliest  seaside resorts – having attracted holidaymakers ever since 1760 – it’s also where the Broads flow into the sea and the  gateway between the Northern and Southern Broads river systems. 

Whether you are crossing Breydon Water or simply exploring the length of the Bure make sure you stop off at Great Yarmouth to enjoy a day of traditional seaside fun. The town boasts miles of golden sandy beaches bordered by a huge range of attractions plus a historic town to explore and plenty of shopping options.

Fun at the seaside

Most visitors to Great Yarmouth head straight for its famous seafront – The Golden Mile – for its kitsch seaside experience.  This is classic bucket and spade country with Great Yarmouth’s wide, clean central beach offering the perfect place for the kids to play in the sand under the watchful eye of RNLI Lifeguards and the option of deck chair hire and donkey rides.

The beach is flanked by a host of dazzling attractions from amusement arcades to crazy golf.  There is an abundance of cafes, tea rooms and snack stands selling anything from cockles to candy floss, which is perfect to enjoy while meandering along the vibrant promenade between the two Victorian piers.

Don’t miss the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, which has the oldest wooden roller coaster in the country, the Scenic Railway, at the south end of the prom, or for little ones head to Joyland, next to the Britannia Pier in the north, for a ride on the world famous snails!   Also on the Golden Mile you will find the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre, Merrivale Model Village, a tropical swimming pool at the Marina Centre, bowling alleys and a cinema.

Great Yarmouth is a great place for an evening out and the weekly Wednesday night summer fireworks displays during the school holidays are a real highlight. The evenings start with live music at the Sea Life Centre Gardens from 8pm and culminate with a spectacular display at 10pm.

For more seaside entertainment it’s hard to beat the famous Hippodrome Circus and its water spectaculars (01493 844172). Alternatively, check out the events listings at the Britannia Pier Theatre. 01493 842209.

If you fancy a flutter visit one of Great Yarmouth’s many casinos or head slightly out of town for horse racing at Great Yarmouth Racecourse (01493 84252) If you prefer the Greyhounds don’t miss Yarmouth Stadium (01493 720343) which also hosts stock car races.

History and Heritage

To discover Great Yarmouth’s proud maritime heritage head to its Cultural Quarter on the South Quay where hundreds of fishing boats once docked on the River Yare to unload their catch. Packed full of museums and historic buildings you could spend a whole day admiring this area, which has everything from fine Tudor houses to row cottages as well as the remains of one of the most complete medieval town walls in the UK.

Sights not to be missed include:

  • The award winning Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life (01493 743930)
  • The Nelson Museum, which is the only museum in the world dedicated to our National Hero who had a strong connection with Yarmouth (Open: 1 February to 30 November. 01493 850698)
  • The Nelson Monument/Norfolk Naval Pillar (Open: Sundays from June to August)
  • The Tolhouse Gaol, which is one of the oldest gaols in the country telling tales of thieves, smugglers,witches and pirates (Open10am – 4pm Sunday to Friday during Norfolk school holidays only. 01493 858900)
  • The LYDIA EVA – Yarmouth’s last steam drifter. Built in 1930 and now fully restored and moored on the South Quay the Lydia Eva charts the history of fishing in Great Yarmouth. (Open: May to October. 07500 603734.

Shopping

If you are in need of some retail therapy Great Yarmouth town centre has plenty of shopping options from high street stores to unique, family-run shops.

The market, which is one of the largest and oldest town markets in the UK dating back to the early medieval period, is a great place to start your shopping experience.

The covered section of the market is open six days per week selling everything from fish and chips to groceries and household items. A larger open-air market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday year round, with an additional market visiting the town on Fridays in summer too.

A wide range of high street brands and independent shops surround the market place, including Palmers family run independent department store, with plenty more shopping options on the streets nearby.

If you are looking for a quaint shopping experience with lots of small boutiques visit the Victoria Arcade and the historic Rows leading off the market place. And for something more lively don’t miss the pedestrianised Regent Road, which runs between the town centre and the seafront and is beautifully lit up with street decorations at night.

If you are looking to stock up on food for your holiday Great Yarmouth has a number of supermarkets, including Aldi and Asda, which are a short walk from the moorings at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station.  Great Yarmouth also has a train station pus all the other amenities you might require from banks to pharmacies.

Mooring

Great Yarmouth Yacht Station

Broads Authority managed yacht station on the River Bure on the outskirts of Great Yarmouth with quay attendant on site 8am-8pm from the Saturday before Easter until the first week of November. Mooring fee applies. Toilets, showers and rubbish disposal available. 01493 842794.

Great Yarmouth’s amenities can be reached on foot in the following walking time – railway station – 5 mins, town centre-10 mins, supermarkets-10-15 mins, seafront and beach-30 mins.

Eating out

You won’t go hungry in Great Yarmouth.  Whatever your taste or budget there’s everything from snack stands to high end restaurants to enjoy but to whet your appetite here are some favourite spots:

Chico’s Restaurant
Restaurant and bar serving steaks, seafood and Greek cuisine. Located on Marine Parade, near Joyland. Closed on Tuesdays.01493 856222.

Harry Ramsden
Famous fish and chip restaurant and takeaway in a converted museum on Marine Promenade. 01493 330444.

The Quayside Plaza
Portuguese and Mediterranean restaurant on South Quay. Closed Sundays. 01493 331777.

Food stalls on Great Yarmouth Market
Going for a bag of chips on Great Yarmouth market is something of a local tradition!