by Janis / 0 comments - Orginally published:8th June 2017

The golden sandy beaches of Great Yarmouth

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.

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.

The Pin image for our Post - 'Sandcastles & Slapstick, Great Yarmouth, England,
Why not Pin it for later?

Where's Great Yarmouth?

Need a car?

The open roads await, pop in your location details, then Rental Cars will search well-known car hire brands and discover the deals that suit you the best.

British nostalgia through & through

Arcades, donkey rides and candy floss
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.
Janis's hand, feeding a two pence piece into a coin pusher in the arcades or Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Playing the arcades, Great Yarmouth

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.

Save them coppers

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

A Great Yarmouth makeover

Tender, loving, care to its historic past
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.

If you're intrigued by Norfolk, a UK county with an interesting past, then why 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)

Family fun on Britannia Pier

Bumpy slides and fun fairs
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.

Stay informed

Why not subscribe to our monthly newsletter for some travel inspiration, some tips and find out what we've been up to?
Or alternatively, why not follow us on your favourite social media channel?

The "end of pier' shenanigans

Reminiscing decades of traditions
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

Tourist Information

If you're tempted by the beautiful English county of Norfolk and its incredible far-reaching coastline take a look at the 'Visit Norfolk' official website.

Need a hotel

Have a peek at the latest offers from, our preferred hotel booking website.

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile of a bygone age

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

Escape for a few days

Are you searching for a tranquil hideaway to unwind in, while you explore the picturesque Norfolk landscape?

After a day visiting the golden beaches or touring the charming, quaint villages return to one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.

Fish & chips by the seaside

There's 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!!!

I think Gary suits stripes
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!)

Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

A little more of Norfolk

Our few days in Norfolk gave us some wonderful memories,  Why not check out our posts on the places we visited with tips & inspiration to get the most out of your visit?

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.