The king of East Anglian seaside resorts. Brash but loads of fun, with plenty of attractions to keep you entertained all day and night.
An Introduction to Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth is an ancient town which for centuries has been an important centre for the fishing industry. Nowadays, it is a popular seaside resort with miles of sandy beach, attractive gardens and a huge variety of traditional seaside entertainment and amusement. There is still a busy commercial harbour and a section of the medieval town still survives, despite heavy bombing during WW2. The old houses were crowded into narrow alleyways called rows and a few of these can still be seen in the Heritage Quarter. The South Quay area features a number of museums, showcasing the town's past. In the 19th Century, the arrival of the railway brought visitors to the town from the major cities and there was even a regular steamer service from London Bridge in season! This brought a massive increase in visitor numbers and the facilities available in the town. There is a mile long promenade strip with numerous tourist attractions, gambling amusements, restaurants and bars. The top attractions of Great Yarmouth are the miles of sandy beach, the Britannia Pier and the rides of the Pleasure Beach. During the summer months, various events are staged including weekly firework displays.
We start our tour of Great Yarmouth parking the car. Fortunately there is plenty of free parking at the Northern end of the strip. The road extends for miles and you can nearly always get a space here - if you prefer, there are plenty of pay car parks in the centre of town. The walk into town along North Drive is lined with hotels on one side of the road and attractive gardens on the other.
Hotel along North Drive
Boating Lake and Gardens along North Drive Great Yarmouth
The beach at Great Yarmouth is fabulous. The sands extend for miles to the North, as far as Winterton on Sea and beyond. It makes a great safe place for a traditional beach holiday and there are deck chairs for hire as well as stalls selling all kinds of refreshments. Even in high summer you can still find a place on the beach to yourself!
Relaxing on Great Yarmouth
Deck chair hire on Great Yarmouth Beach
Bucket and Spades at Great Yarmouth
Beach terrace tea rooms Great Yarmouth
As you get into town, North Drive becomes Marine Parade, a mile long strip of seaside attractions. These include many amusement arcades, a Sealife centre, a model village, a pirates golf course and plenty of restaurants and bars. For those choosing not to walk along the parade, a road train and horse drawn carriages transport visitors from one end to the other.
Horse drawn carriage rides along Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth Road Train
Pirates Cove Golf Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth Pirates
Barking Smack Bar Great Yarmouth
Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth
Mint Amusements Great Yarmouth
Golden Nugget Gambling Great Yarmouth
Harry Ramsdens Great Yarmouth
Seafront Great Yarmouth Restaurants
You can take a boat trip from Yarmouth beach out to Scroby Sands, the site of an offshore windfarm. You will also get to see and colony of grey seals that live there.
Boat trips from Yarmouth beach to Scroby Sands
Boat trips to the see the seals on Scroby Sands
Scroby Sands Windfarm as seen from Great Yarmouth
Scroby Sands Windfarm seen from Winterton on Sea
At one end of Marine Parade is the famous Britannia Pier.
The original wooden structure was opened in July 1858 at a cost of £3,158s. It measured 700ft long but was badly damaged by the schooner 'James & Jessie' only a year later!
In the 20th century, the wooden structure was replaced with a wooden/steel construction with a grand 2000 seat pavilion, opening in 1902. Only 7 years after the pavilion opened, it suffered a fire, a 2nd pavilion opened a year later but burn 't to the ground in 1914! The 'Floral Hall' Ballroom, which opened in 1928, was only to survive 4 years - you guessed it, destroyed by fire - this was rebuilt and opened again in 1933. Amazingly, the pier survived the war, but was destroyed by yet another blaze in 1954! The 4th pavilion was rebuilt and opened in 1958. Amazingly, this construction has survived! As well as the theatre, the pier has a number of rides and stalls.
Britannia Pier Great Yarmouth
Britannia Pier from the Beach
Formule 1 Fair Ride on Britannia Pier
Walking out along Britannia Pier Great Yarmouth
At the other end of Marine Parade is Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach - one of the top ten free entry attractions in the UK. This 9 acre seafront funfair tourist attraction has over 70 rides and attractions, including 20 large rides as well as crazy golf courses, water attractions, kiddie rides and some white knuckle classics. Entry is free, with payment by wrist band and tokens. A horse drawn carriage takes visitors from Britannia Pier down to the Pleasure Beach and back.
The log flume and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Traditional Waltzer Ride
Pleasure Beach Fun House
Twister ride at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Haunted House at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Horse and Carriage Ride to the Pleasure Beach
At night, the whole of the Strip becomes a blaze of colourful lights. In the summer months, there is a free firework display on a wednesday night at 10pm (held near Wellington Pier).
The Mint at night
Mid way along Marine Parade is the Atlantis resort. An entertainment complex featuring conference and banqueting facilities, live music and a family amusement centre. Above the resort is a tower giving spectacular views out over the whole of Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area.
The tower at Atlantis Resort
Atlantis Resort Great Yarmouth
Moving into the town centre, Regent Road takes us from the Britannia Pier to the town centre and is lined with discount shops, offering bargains galore! The town centre has many high street shops, a shopping centre and an outdoor market.
Regent Road Great Yarmouth
Outer Limits Shop Great Yarmouth
Market Gates Shopping Centre Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth Market
Great Yarmouth has a long history and association with the sea. The Heritage Quarter of the town stretches from the Victorian Town Hall to the Nelson Monument. In this sector is the historic South Quay where you can find a number of interesting museums, such as the Norfolk Nelson Museum, Elizabeth House and Row 111.
Great Yarmouth Town Hall
Norfolk Nelson Museum Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth Port Authority South Quay
Port and Haven Commissioners Offices
Commercial Ship South Quay Great Yarmouth
Quayside Plaza Restaurant
Row 111 House Great Yarmouth
The Victorian Parlour inside Row 111
Finally, accommodation in Great Yarmouth is plenty and varied. The seafront has plenty of hotels and the streets to the town centre are lined with some really colourful guest houses and B&Bs.
Vauxhall is one of Great Yarmouth's top holiday parks, offering you everything you need for a fantastic family seaside holiday. The first-class tropical Waterworld provides hours of splashing fun for all, while the wealth of facilities on offer ensure no one misses out. The under 5s enjoy their own club, while kids will love Louie's Aquatic Adventure soft play area and the Arty Kidz club, and teenagers are also well-catered for with the chance to meet new friends in their own programme of T-Zone activities. The Reedcutter's Restaurant and coffee shop is on hand for tasty meals throught the day. Once the day is over, the Regency Room is the place to be, with sparkling cabaret, glittering shows, dancing and competitions for the whole family. Over 18s can relax and take in the nightly floor shows at the Starlight Club. Once evening falls, the Regency Room offers sparkling cabaret, dancing, competitions and family fun, or you can just relax in the Starlight Club and enjoy the nightly floor shows.
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Click the picture for more information and availability
Enjoy a boat trip to Scroby Sands and see the Seals
Great Yarmouth delivers exactly what you expect. It offers everything you can think of regarding a traditional British seaside holiday - pier, amusements, rides, sandy beach, fish and chips! Great fun for all the family, we love it!!
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Thank You for you wonderful pictorial guided tour. My ancestral home was in Great Yarmouth from the 12th and 13th centuries until my 7th Great Grandfather emigrated to the New Jersey Colony in the late 1600s. Until now I have had only a slight knowledge of Great Yarmouth from my tour of duty with the Royal Navy as an American Sailor. Your magnificent pictorial has reaffirmed my belief in the fortitude and courage of those early English men and women who founded this nation. I will be visiting your area with as many of my family as I can convince to come along within the next few years. Thank you, God Bless and we look forward to seeing ALL Great Yarmouth has to offer!
Regards, Jack Conger, 7th Great Grandson of John Belconger and of Great Yarmouth and 8th Great Grandson of Edward Fuller of Redenhall, Norfolk - Ship's Doctor on the Mayflower.
What a great site. I was born in Great Yarmouth, in Salibury road. Visited in 1996, 1997 and 2000... will be over this year too! Loved the pix, they are a credit regarding the town. regards, Keith Bunn, Australia.