Britannia Pier
Beach at Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Racing in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth

Introduction

Great Yarmouth in Norfolk a traditional bustling seaside resort with a long sandy beach, many attractions, entertainment and activities for all the family.

HISTORY

 

Today Great Yarmouth is a famous seaside town but for centuries it was an important fishing port, famous for herrings. Founded by the Saxons, Great Yarmouth was originally built on a sandbank in the 5th century. By the time of the Domesday Book, in 1086, it had grown into a little town with a population of just one hundred. In 1209 King John granted Great Yarmouth its freedom through a charter allowing it autonomous governance. In 1261 a wall was built to protect the town, remains of which can still be seen today.

 

In the Middle Ages the prosperity of Great Yarmouth was based on herring fishing and by the 12th century a herring fair was held at Yarmouth. However the harbour kept silting up, several attempts were made to dig a new haven until recently the harbour dated from 1614. From the 1300’s to the mid 1800’s Yarmouth had its own Navy of greater strength than even London’s. It was considered by the Admiralty to be a port of vital significance. 

 

During the 17th and 18th centuries Great Yarmouth continued to quietly prosper. The Old Merchants House dates from the late 17th century. In 1702 a Fishermen's Hospital (almshouses) was built for poor fishermen. Also in the early 18th century the Custom House was built. (It was originally a private house). St Georges Church was built in 1714.

 

Great Yarmouth as a holiday destination dates back to 1759 when a bath house was erected. By the 1800’s the town began to expand into the Yarmouth we see today. A racecourse was built in 1810 and by 1846 much of the seafront had been developed. By 1870 Yarmouth had three railway stations and attracted tourists from across the country.

 

1903 saw the opening of Wellington Pier and the Hippodrome and in 1927 Britannia Pier followed, today both piers still host live entertainment. Great Yarmouth was subject to over 150 air raids during World War Two and sustained substantial damage to buildings and the historic quay area.

 

Only with the advent of the offshore oil and gas industries in the 1960’s did Great Yarmouth begin to recover and become the thriving holiday destination we see today.

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

Situated at the mouth of the river Yare, the borough of Great Yarmouth comprises of many small outlying villages. Great Yarmouth is situated at the eastern extremity of Norfolk some 18 miles south east of Norwich.

 

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

 

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens – the grounds of Thrigby Hall were opened as a wildlife garden in 1979 and now have a Children's Playground, Summerhouse, Cafe and Gift Shop. It is home to Snow Leopards, Red Pandas, Gibbons, Monkeys, Crocodiles, Alligators, Otters, Porcupines, Pig-Deers, Owls, Tigers and many more. Thrigby Hall is open daily from 10am and is located in the village of Filby, 8 miles outside Great Yarmouth accessible via the A47 or A149.

 

Bewilderwood – here you can find the regular wildlife of squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs but also creatures such as the Thornyclod Spider, Marsh Boggles, Tree Twiggles and the Crocklebog! An accompanying book, gives children the chance to follow in the footsteps of the lead character Swampy, a 2ft Marsh Boggle with a taste for adventure. Bewilderwood features fantasy treehouses and aerial walkways through the trees above unspoilt Norfolk Marshland. The trees also have miniature villages for the Twiggles. Attractions include the Broken Bridge where you have to walk over invisible glass 7 metres above the ground, the Wobbly Wires, a daring zip wire slide and the Slippery Slopes. Entry to the park is by boat through the marshes, adding to the sense of fantasy and adventure. Located on the A1062 between Wroxham and Horning.

 

Pleasure Beach - a 9 acre theme park situated on the Great Yarmouth sea front, Pleasure Beach is home to over 70 rides and attractions. The main park has over 20 large rides as well as crazy golf courses, water attractions, children’s rides and white knuckle classics.

 

Banham Zoo – a fun filled day out, the zoo is home to almost 1000 animals from around the world including, Tigers, Giraffes, Zebras, Penguins and Camels, amongst others. Open daily from 10am, Banham Zoo is 25 minutes from Norwich, 45 minutes from Yarmouth on the B1113.

 

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park – the park has rides for children, family entertainment, shows and exotic and domestic animals to see, feed and pet. Pettitts is open from 10am, 7 days a week and is on the B1140 at Reedham, 12 miles from Great Yarmouth and 17 miles from Norwich.

 

Joyland - Joylandwas originally opened in 1949 by the Cole family as a children’s theme park with rides like the 'Snails' and 'Tubs' which are still in existence today along with newer rides. Joyland is located on the Great Yarmouth seafront.

 

Redwings Horse Sanctuary – Redwings is the largesthorse charity in the UK, working to savehorses,ponies, donkeys and mules.The Charity’s base is in Norfolk, at Caldecott Hall, situated on the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Beccles (opposite Fritton Lake Countryworld). The Visitor Centre has over 70 acres of paddocks and is home to rescue horses, ponies, donkeys and a few mules. There is an Information & Welcome Centre, Nosebag Café and terrace, Gift Shop, donated goods charity shop, Tombola and the Horse Wise Education Centre.

 

Fritton Lake – home to an adventure playground, Viking fort, children's farmyard, pony treks, falconry centre, waterfowl reserve, rowing boats, 9 hole putting green, cycle trail, wellie walks and course fishing; Fritton Lake is on the A143 Great Yarmouth/Diss road.

 

Great Yarmouth Racecourse – holds race meetings from Easter to October with children's entertainment in school holidays and live music after evening race meetings. Children under 16 go free and the racecourse is on the A149 between Great Yarmouth & Caister-on-Sea.

 

Great Yarmouth Stadium – Among the most popular events held at the stadium are Greyhound racing (every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) and Motor Racing; throughout the year the stadium stages Hot Rod racing and Banger racing amongst others. The stadium houses a 240 Seater Restaurant, 3 private Executive Lounges, two Raceview Bars, a trackside bar, a Raceview Diner & a ground floor snack bar. It also has an amusement area. The stadium is located between Great Yarmouth and Caister-on-Sea, on Yarmouth Road.

 

Merrivale Model Village – located on Great Yarmouth seafront you can wander around the maze of paths, spot the cricketers playing on the village green, the firemen carrying out a daring rescue and relive all the magic of the funfair in miniature. You can also sit back and relax in the beautiful gardens surrounding Merrivale model village and the village comes alive after dark, street lamps glow and windows are lit to add a whole different dimension.

 

Time & Tide Museum – Finalist in the European Museum of the year completion in 2006, the museum details the history of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. Open all year round, located on Blackfriars Road in Great Yarmouth.

 

BEACHES

 

Great Yarmouth - One of Britain’s most popular seaside resorts, Great Yarmouth has a long, soft, sandy beach, located between the two piers. There are a plethora of activities, even on a rainy day! As a bucket and spade resort it never fails to deliver.

Great Yarmouth came third in the top five beaches for sandcastle building in 2004, when scientists visited popular beach resorts in Britain to collect sand samples.

 

Gorleston- A 3km stretch of sandy beach with lifeguard service during the summer season, Gorleston beach is protected by timber groynes and rock armour.

 

Sea Palling - A blue flag sandy beach with a number of offshore reefs that provide a safe beach for families. Sea Palling is also popular with jet skiers.

 

Tourist Information Centre

Marine Parade

NR30 2EJ

Tel; 01493 842195 or 846345

 

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015


Four legs to Four wheels see all the action at Yarmouth Stadium