Great Yarmouth became a desirable holiday location by the 1800’s and, with the rail link between Norwich and Great Yarmouth being completed in 1844, it meant that the town became even more accessible, making it the hugely popular holiday town that it is today. Attracting vast crowds of visitors each year, this popular sea-side destination is amongst the UK's top ten seaside resorts.
Mainly as a result of its herring industry, Great Yarmouth once boasted being one of the wealthiest towns in Britain. Since the 1930’s however this industry has ceased and is all but memories, with the boat ‘The Lydia Eva’, which is open to the public, remaining.
St Nicholas Church, which stands near the Market Place, is the largest parish church in England. Originally built in the 1100’s, it was then rebuilt between 1957 and 1960 after it was almost completely destroyed during the bombing in 1942. Adjacent to the church is the birthplace of Anna Sewell, author of ‘Black Beauty’.
During the 1960’s oil and gas companies began to explore the North Sea off Great Yarmouth, bringing with them all the associated businesses. This brought wealth and jobs and the town grew. This industry has since declined, and the town now relies mainly on tourism for its income.
Great Yarmouth has over fifteen miles of sandy beaches that stretch from Winterton in the north to Hopton in the south. There are many traditional beach attractions, including trampolines, crazy golf, fun fair, pony rides and bouncy castles. There are also plenty of indoor activities for all ages and a variety of shops and an open-air market.
The Norfolk Broads are renowned for their beautiful flora and fauna and it is at Great Yarmouth that the Rivers Yare, Bure and Waveney converge and flow into the North Sea. The area is a haven for wildlife with many rare species like the swallowtail butterfly.
Interesting facts about Great Yarmouth:
- Great Yarmouth has been a sea-side destination since 1760
- The Tolhouse Gaol, with dungeons, dates from the late 13th century and is one of the oldest gaols and oldest civic buildings in Britain
- The market place in Great Yarmouth is one of the largest in England, and has been operating since the 13th century
- Britannia Theatre which features well-known acts such as Jim Davidson, Jimmy Carr, Jethro, Basil Brush and Chubby Brown, is one of only a few end-of-the pier theatres surviving in England
- Great Yarmouth attracts around 6 million visitors each year, on day trips, weekend breaks and longer holidays
- The Nelson's Monument is a commemorative column built in memorial to Admiral Horatio Nelson and can be found on the South Denes beach in Great Yarmouth. Lord Nelson was born close to Great Yarmouth and paid a number of visits to the town throughout his career
- Charles Dickens used Yarmouth as a key location in his novel David Copperfield and described the town as "the finest place in the universe"
- The Time and Tide Museum still smells of smoked fish, even though it hasn’t been used for smoking herring for many years
- The North Denes area of the beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its dune plants and each summer is home to one of the largest little tern colonies in the UK and a small colony of grayling butterflies
- The grey seal and common seal are frequently seen off the shores of Great Yarmouth
- There has been a lifeboat in Great Yarmouth since at least 1802
- Actor Jason Statham (born 1967), lived in Great Yarmouth during his childhood and attended the local grammar school
- Matthew Macfadyen (born 1974), actor, was born in Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth is like Marmite – some people love it and some people loathe it. Whatever side of the fence you sit, there is no disputing the fact that it attracts a vast number of visitors each year and is one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations. Situated 20 miles east of Norwich, Great Yarmouth has been a seaside resort since 1760 and with more than 70,000 bed spaces it accommodates over a third of all visitors to Norfolk each year.
If you are interested in greyhound racing, motor racing or are looking for a party venue, Yarmouth Stadium in Caister is where you need to head.
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Norfolk + Suffolk Tourist Attractions is the trade association for tourist attractions in Norfolk and Suffolk.