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Once a profitable fishing port, now Norfolk's biggest and best seaside resort

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Highlights

Sandy Beach
Golden Mile
Britannia Pier
Pleasure Beach
Heritage Quarter
After bursting into life as an extremely profitable fishing port, Great Yarmouth, on Norfolk's coast, has turned into the county's biggest and best seaside resort.

Great Yarmouth is a great bucket & spade seaside resort
Of course, that means that the focus of the town is its shoreline. The sand here is particularly fine and soft, making it the perfect place to throw down your towel and get sunbathing. This stretch of sea and sand is known as "The Golden Mile", although it actually makes up part of the Greater Yarmouth area's 24-kilometre stretch of pleasant beaches. Further to the north and the south, there are a multitude of different towns and villages, each with their own relaxing, relatively quiet shorelines. Great Yarmouth's, however, remains the best, and the most fun.

Enjoying the sandy beach


Deck chair hire and refreshment shops line the beach
Running alongside the beach is the town's main promenade, known as the "Marine Parade". It's an overload of sights, sounds and smells, with every inch crammed full of caf├ęs, restaurants, bingo halls, crazy golf courses, gift shops, amusement arcades, and much more besides. There are no concessions; everything you might conceivably want or expect from a seaside resort is here.

All kinds of attractions line Marine Parade

Horse and Carriage rides from one end to the other - there is also a road train

You will find all kinds of fast food restaurants, including fish & chips, pizza, jacket potatoes and burgers

The whole seafront comes ablaze with lights at night

Wellington Pier
The entertainment carries on at Britannia Pier, which is especially eye-catching at night, when its bright lights stand out against the dark sea. This 250-metre-long structure is still standing after more than a century, despite a series of terrible accidents. It has been the victim of four major fires, and has even been rammed by an out-of-control ship! As you stroll down the wooden boardwalk, you'll come to one of England's few remaining "end-of-the-pier" theatres. Throughout the year, this hosts many different performances, including routines from the country's best-known comedians. Just a few hundred metres down the beach is Wellington Pier, which has a recently refurbished bowling alley with fantastic ocean views.

Britannia Pier

Kids rides on Britannia Pier

Britannia Theatre, staging typical seaside shows
If you move a little further south, you'll find Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, a waterside theme and entertainment complex which recently celebrated its 100th birthday! Entry is completely free, so you'll only pay for the rides you actually go on. The most well-known of these is the Scenic Railway Rollercoaster, which has been in use since 1932! It is one of only a handful of coasters in the world that has no brakes on the track; instead, a professional brakeman rides in the car and operats the vehicle! This is still the park's most popular attraction, despite there being around two dozen other large rides available.

Scenic Rollercoaster Ride

Waltzer Ride

Log Flume Ride

Fun House
Great Yarmouth's inland contains the Heritage Quarter, which features several buildings that you might not expect to find in a seaside tourist town like this. The Town Hall, for instance, is a huge, beautiful structures that dates from the 1870s. This area also has several museums, such as "Time and Tide", which tells you about Great Yarmouth's previous life as a fishing port. In the far south of the area, there is a monument to the great British Navy captain, Horatio Nelson, which was erected 24 years before the more famous Nelson's Column in London. It has been noted though, that Norfolk's version doesn't look out to sea, which is unusual for monuments to naval heroes. It's unknown whether this is intentional, or a mistake!

Great Yarmouth Town Hall

Inside Row 111, a museum re-creating life inside a typical Yarmouth 'row' house
Another little-known fact about the town is that it contains the most complete set of Roman Walls in England, coming second only to the ancient Roman capital of York. It's things like this that give Great Yarmouth a unique appeal - it has all the chips and candyfloss that come with any British seaside resort - but by digging just a little deeper, the place reveals all sorts of other surprises.

The remains of the old city walls at Yarmouth Yacht Station
Visitor Information
Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Maritime House, 25 Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2EN. Tel: 01493 846345
Car-parking can be found along North Drive, which starts off pay at the meter, but then becomes free as you walk further along.

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