Aside from offering numerous activities, memorable amusement centers, and unique attractions, Great Yarmouth, or Yarmouth as it is popularly called, was one of the titans in the herring fishing industry – which made the town one of the richest in Britain.
In the novel David Copperfield, author Charles Dickens described Great Yarmouth as “the finest place in the universe” while completing his book at the Royal Hotel. This description is a testament to the beauty and long-preserved heritage of the town, which continues to attract people from all walks of life. This long-gone heritage gave rise to popular, breathtaking ancient buildings and medieval structures, which have been made into tourist attractions alongside their famous beach resorts. Apart from its fabulous attractions by the seaside, Yarmouth offers many tourist attractions that will make your visit more memorable.
The Hippodrome Circus
Established in 1903, The Hippodrome Circus has withstood the test of time, making it one of the last remaining permanent circuses in Britain. At present, this unique circus is one of only three in the world that has a floor that submerges into a pool. It operates four times a year with its show Circus Spectaculars.
The Tolhouse Museum
The Tolhouse Museum was built in the 12th century, making it one of the oldest prisons in the UK. A visit inside gives you a historic sense of how prison life was during the early days. The gaol was home to the country’s smugglers, thieves, murderers, pirates, and even witches.
St. George’s Theatre
This Baroque-style church boasts of a renovation that costs millions of pounds. The roof beams are exposed, representing the forefathers of the town’s boat-building skills.
Old Merchant’s House and Great Yarmouth Row Houses
Also known as The Rows, these are composed of narrow alleyways that connected the three main roads of Yarmouth and the two remaining representative homes that served as living quarters for port workers. During World War II, many of these Row Houses were demolished but these two remain today.
St. Nicholas Minster
Located at the center of Great Yarmouth, St. Nicholas Minster is the oldest and most historic landmark of the town. The third-largest church in England has gone through several renovations and has withstood the test of time.
In the South Denes stands a Grade I-listed edifice named Nelson’s Monument or the Britannia Monument. The commemorative tower is topped by a statue of Britannia holding a branch of olive and trident while standing on top of a globe. It was built from 1807 – 1816. It is a tribute to the victory of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 in which he lost his life.
Merrivale Model Village
This features a whimsical miniature landscape, buildings, and people roaming amongst. There is also a fabulous tea house and scrumptious eats. You can play miniature golf and roam through their Sensory Garden, then try your luck in the Penny Arcade.
The Lydia Eva is the only remaining steam-driven ship called a steam drifter. It is what remains of Great Yarmouth’s herring fleet. Today, the Lydia Eva has been converted into a museum where the herring industry is commemorated via films and displays.
Elizabethan House Museum
The National Trust’s Elizabethan House is a 16th-century abode that takes visitors back to the old times as they peek through different rooms. Equipped with a toy room, children will spend hours enjoying the activities. To complete the experience, clothes from the old days are also available for dress-up.
The Great Yarmouth Town Hall and Heritage Quarter
Near Haven Bridge, along the newly renovated quayside, you will find the Heritage Quarter wherein tourists can walk and enjoy the tree-lined avenue and the riverside. You can also find the Victorian Gothic-inspired building, the Great Yarmouth Town Hall.
Time and Tide Museum
Set up inside a smokehouse, the award-winning Time and Tide Museum takes you down to memory lane not only with the Great Yarmouth’s early trade and curing works but also with its exhibits of smoking and curing their herring.
The Golden Mile
Great Yarmouth’s waterfront is truly an eye-catcher for millions of tourists who visit the town every year. Aside from its golden sands, and beach activities it also boasts of indoor and outdoor activities and amusement centers that will surely make time pass.
ANIMALS AND WILDLIFE
Yarmouth is home to unusual and rare species. Mediterranean gulls flock by hundreds of thousands, especially in the town’s waterfowl and major wader site. Offshore, seabirds like guillemot, razorbill, common scoter, little auk, and gannet are found along with common seals and Grey Seals.
PASTIME AND SPORTS
Near the borders of Yarmouth at the Vauxhall Holiday Park, the English Pool Association holds several 8-Ball Pool competitions throughout the year.
The Great Yarmouth Sport and Leisure Trust also run the Marina Leisure Center where Pantomime live entertainments are being shown. It also has a huge swimming pool and luxurious conference facilities.
There are also speedway racing, Grand Prix, and horse racing at Yarmouth’s horse racetrack. Finally, Great Yarmouth also has a football (soccer to the Yanks) team called The Bloaters, playing in the Eastern Counties League.
The closest major airport to Great Yarmouth is Norwich International Airport. It is just over 3 miles away.
While there is no water transportation to Great Yarmouth, the Southern Belle is a restored steamer that offers river excursions regularly. Traveling down the River Yare it passes under the Haven Bridge, which opens up for the ferry to get through (at press time, however, the bridge is out of commission).
A quick ride in a taxi will bring you from the airport and it’s a good way to get around town. However, public transport in Great Yarmouth is the bus. Their bus station serves as a local hub for buses that travel across all areas of the town. There are also tour buses that travel to Great Yarmouth from major cities.
Numerous rail lines are available that go to Great Yarmouth. Trains from nearly every major city run almost daily.