Sandcastles & Slapstick, Great Yarmouth, England

In Counties, En-Route, Norfolk, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travelby JanisLeave a Comment

Ohhh, I do like to be beside the seaside

As part of our ‘Norfolk’ road trip, our first planned stop was Great Yarmouth on the North Sea. Neither Gary nor I had visited there before, but we both had nostalgic memories of days out on similar South Coast seaside resorts with our respective families.

The beach at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

I must admit I was expecting to see a slightly tired & run down resort, but to my surprise, Great Yarmouth (known locally as Yarmouth) had injected some pride into their town and was giving some of their grand historical buildings a facelift.

Nostalgia through & through

For us, it was like stepping back in time to our more youthful and innocent days of candy floss and kiss-me-quick hats.

Great Yarmouth has been a seaside resort since 1760 and boasts some fantastic, expansive sandy beaches. But as it sits on the coast of the North Sea I can imagine in less favourable winter months the appeal of building sandcastles perhaps isn’t so great.

Donkey rides on the beach - for the little ones, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain
A period poster from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

But today Great Yarmouth’s “Golden Mile” was attracting the young and old & the sun was shining.

It was great to see the good old classic fun and games still living on.
When you are young, crazy golf, donkey rides, miniature trains & arcade machines are all you need & of course the obligatory pink stick of rock.

Playing the arcades, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Save them coppers

Collect your bag of coppers (2 pence pieces) for the coin pusher machines

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Since 2015 the council have decided on a 5-year makeover project to restore this nostalgic town and transform some of its architecture back to a bygone era.

The once majestic structure of the cast-iron Winter Gardens in front of Wellington pier is still waiting its turn. After years of the salty air taking its toll, Great Yarmouth’s very own Crystal Palace is undoubtedly in need of some tender-loving-care.

The Winter Gardens,Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Only on a pier

One of the iconic sights in Great Yarmouth is the Britannia Pier, originally it opened in 1858 but regrettably has been besieged by various forms of unfortunate accidents. Not to be defeated time and again the pavilion has been rebuilt to come back stronger.

The Britannia Pier,Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

I think the motto for Great Yarmouth must be ‘family fun’, you perhaps might not see the genteel promenading that you may find in other seaside resorts, but equally, there is a place for everyone.

Decades of tradition

For those unfamiliar with the British tradition of “end of pier” entertainment, seeing the Britannia Theatre brought back no end of memories for me.

End of the pier attractions, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

There are some newer acts performing now, such as the comedian Jimmy Carr, but I couldn’t believe that there were still some household legends/favourites from the 70’s & 80’s entertaining. The likes of Jimmy Tarbuck & Jim Davidson, (it would appear your name needs to Jim to get on here).

A view of the Golden Mile,Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Golden Mile of a bygone age

Wandering back down the “Golden Mile’ some stunning old buildings are hiding behind a twinkling façade of seafront arcade lights.

If the Windmill Theatre, the Empire Theatre & the Royal Aquarium are restored back to their former glory. Great Yarmouth will see an even bigger rise to the millions of visitors it currently attracts every year.

The Empire Theatre,Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

No other choice

Unable to resist any longer and being overwhelmed by the nostalgic smell of the seaside, there was only one thing left to do, ‘Fish & Chips’ with lashing of salt and vinegar.

Fish and Chips at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

The pleasure of sitting watching & listening to the waves come crashing in, and fighting off the dive-bombing seagulls, it doesn’t get any better.

He wanted to do it really!!!

Oh and make sure you get your photo taken at one of the traditional ‘head-in-the-hole’ boards, along the boardwalk of the pier.

How strong is Gary, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Something to make your travels easier?

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of the few hours we spent in Great Yarmouth (Don’t worry the clip is just over 2 minutes!)

Why not subscribe to our channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Have You

Visited Great Yarmouth recently? Or would you like to experience the nostalgia of a day by the sea? Great Yarmouth certainly ticks a lot of boxes 😀

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit Great Yarmouth?

Does the ‘Golden Mile’ tempt you? Can you smell the fish ‘n’ chips already?

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?
The beach at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain
About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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