A deckchair hut on the golden sands of Great Yarmouth beach in the county of Norfolk, England

Sandcastles & Slapstick, Great Yarmouth, England

In Counties, En-Route, Norfolk, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by 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.
A deckchair hut on the golden sands of Great Yarmouth beach in the county of Norfolk, England

The golden sands of Great Yarmouth

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.

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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.
A period tourist poster from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk depicted in a family in a small motorboat at sea.

A period poster from Great Yarmouth

Three donkeys lined up on the beach, next to the Britannia Pier, offering rides to the little ones who visit the seaside in Norfolk

Donkey rides on the beach - for the little ones

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.

Janis's hand, feeding a two pence piece into a coin pusher in the arcades or Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Playing the arcades, Great Yarmouth

Save them coppers

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

Makeover

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 wrought-iron & glass structure of the Winter Gardens behind hoarding as it awaits restoration.

The Winter Gardens,Great Yarmouth

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.

Further reading

If you're intrigued by Norfolk, a UK county with an interesting past, then wy not check out  "The Little Book of Norfolk".  Full of facts and obscure information. It's a fun read on the region.

You can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old hardcover. (Depending on region)


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, with the golden sands in the foreground.

The Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth

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.

Advertising hoardings, displaying the acts scheduled to appear at the end of the Britannia Pier's theatre, Great Yarmouth

End of the pier attractions

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 telescope on the Britannia Pier, offering views over Great Yarmouth's stunning golden beach

A view of the Golden Mile, Great Yarmouth

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 exterior of the turn of the 20th century, Empire Theatre, in much need of restoration, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

The Empire Theatre, Great Yarmouth

Something to make your travels easier?

  • 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station

  • Mini Dual USB Car Adapter

  • Portable Charger 2 USB Ports Power Bank

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve, Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • USB rechargeable LED Flashlight

  • Collapsible Water Bottle

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.

A battered golden fillet of cod, speared with a wooden fork, rested on a portion of chips in a polystyrene container from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Fish 'n' Chips, Great Yarmouth,

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.

Gary posing through a strongman cutout on the Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth

How strong is Gary?

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 😀

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 YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

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Inspired to visit Great Yarmouth?

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

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

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About the Author

Janis

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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