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
If you are thinking of taking a holiday, weekend break or day trip to Great Yarmouth you will no doubt want to eat out at some point during your stay. This Norfolk seaside town is one of the most populated places in Norfolk and offers all manner of cuisine, from chip stalls on the market to fine dining experiences. It is close to the Norfolk Broads, the beach and the city of Norwich and it is thought that around 5 million visitors visit this Norfolk town each year.
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.
Map of Great Yarmouth
Attractions in Great Yarmouth
Step back in time and experience the sights and sounds of the Great Yarmouth of yesteryear. Find out how Yarmouth's 'Herring Girls' lived and worked in and see the amazing collection of artefacts rescued from the Rows after World War II bombing - including fireplaces, wall anchors and door knockers! Hear an original BBC Wartime Broadcast and 'Mr Rope's sea shanties' and contrast tenement conditions with 'respectable' Merchant's quarters.
You will find Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens south of the village of Filby, just 8 miles outside Great Yarmouth. Follow the brown road signs from the A47 at Acle or from A149 at Caister on Sea. Progressive zoos like Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens are fast becoming a last refuge for many species as their natural homes are destroyed by the greed of man. Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is a strong supporter of The World Zoo Conservation Strategy of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The collection of animals at Thrigby was the first to be signed over in its entirety to the Joint Management of Species Programme. The tiger tree walk high in the trees is not for the faint hearted. It is a special walk constructed in the trees that surround the tigers' enclosure to provide the opportunity for an excellent birds' eye view. At Thrigby visitors can see a vast range of animals including tigers and other cats, red pandas, primates, small mammals, crocodiles, snakes and an array of birds. There is a cafè and gift shop and children's play areas.
Experience the lives of families who lived in this splendid Quayside house from Tudor to Victorian Times. Decide for yourself if the death of Charles I was plotted in the Conspiracy Room. Dress the family in Tudor costumes. Discover Victorian life 'upstairs and downstairs' and what it was really like to work in the kitchen and scullery. Children will particularly enjoy the activity packed toy room. Pause for a moment of peace in the small but delightful walled garden.
Great Yarmouth Sea life Centre
Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre allows you to get closer than you have ever imagined to a breathtaking world of underwater life where you will come face to face with an amazing array of creatures from curious rays to majestic seahorses.
Great Yarmouth's Edwardian Hippodrome Circus is great family entertainment with world class acrobats, contortionists, dancers, aerial acts and clowns. The crowds are amazed when the ring floor lowers and fills with 700,00 gallons of water and synchronised swimmers appear.
Norfolk Nelson Museum is a Grade II listed Georgian Merchant's house where you can learn about Nelson and the times in which he lived. Explore Nelson's career, from his Norfolk childhood through to his famous battles and his tragic and heroic death. Find out about his mesmerising personality, his terrible wounds and his many illnesses, not to mention his scandalous love life. Avoid the rats and beware of the cannon fire in 'Below Decks', a re-creation of HMS Victory.
Situated on Yarmouth's busy seafront, Pleasure Beach Great Yarmouth is a very popular tourist attraction covering an area of nine acres. There is a good mix of white-knuckle rides, children's rides, water attractions and crazy golf and of course the traditional hot doughnuts, candyfloss and rock.
Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
Blakfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Come and explore this museum set in one of the UK's best preserved Victorian herring curing works and take an exciting journey into past. Discover the town's rich maritime and fishing heritage and its growth as a popular seaside resort.
Visit one of the oldest prisons in the country and explore Great Yarmouth's story of crime and punishment from the medieval period up to the present day. Listen to the stories of the characters associated with the Tolhouse.