“ Great Yarmouth, often known to locals simply as Yarmouth, is an English coastal town in the county of Norfolk. It is situated at the mouth of the River Yare, 30km east of the city of Norwich, and has a popular beach attracting large numbers of tourists each year. „
In May this year, my boyfriend and I spent a week in Great Yarmouth, because it was cheap and it got us away for my birthday. I have been to Great Yarmouth many times and always seem to enjoy it so I knew we would have a good week. Turned out we had a great week, even though we spent nearly all of our money in the first 2 days and had to budget for the rest of the week! The rest of my review is based on the days when we only had £20 to live,in diary layout, to show that it can be done on a serious budget!
On Tuesday, we realised that we only had £20 a day to live in and £30 extra for food. We decided that the best option would be to buy food and cook in the caravan, and use our money for entertainment.
We were staying at the Haven Seashore park and decided to take a walk along the beach into Yarmouth. This took us around 45 minutes, we met met my aunt and her 9 year old daughter and decided to browse the shops with them.
It soon became obvious that none of these shops sold anything worth buying, all of the clothes seemed to be very outdated and everything else was 'seaside tat'. My cousin was starting to grow restless so we took her over to Joyland, a small children's 'theme park'. At 50p a token, and 2 tokens per ride, this was cheap enough and we took her on 3 rides. The rides are very old, i have photos of myself 20 years ago on some of them! However, it was fun going on them again and seeing the disappointment on my boyfriend's face.
After we had done this, we thought we had better get some food in and head back to the caravan. We found an Iceland and managed to grab plenty of bargains, our weekly food shopping coming to £30!
We got a lift back to our caravan, had a few drinks and went to see what entertainment was on our site (see review of Haven Holidays, Seashore).
After we had gotten ready, and armed ourselves for our £20 for the day! We decided to head back into Yarmouth and take a walk along the main road to see what we could get up to.
As we passed Britannia Pier, I told my boyfriend he could not come into Great Yarmouth without taking a walk around the pier. We did this and played a game of Camel Derby, which we won! The prizes that we had to choose from were not exciting at all so I got him a BB gun, how I regret it!
We carried on walking and came across a big arcade, which seemed to have another large building attached to it via a pier? The arcade was called Wellington Pier and we decided to have a look around. It turned out that the second building was a bowling alley. I had a look through my trusty 'What's on in Great Yarmouth' magazine and found that we had some vouchers for Wellington Bowl. It cost us £13 for 2 games each, which kept us entertained for a couple of hours.
We then realised that we hadn't eaten all day so decided to spend the rest of our budget on food from the bar. It cost us £2 each for burger and chips, not too bad, which was lovely and filled us up.
With little money left, we grabbed a drink from a small shop and started to walk back to our caravan site.
We spent the Thursday morning on our caravan site, having breakfast and swimming. Once we had returned and gotten changed, my aunt and cousin turned up to say happy birthday. It was decided we would all go into Yarmouth (again) and see if we could discover anything new. Whilst walking along the front, we passed the Model Village and remembered the they had an 'old penny arcade' around the back. This arcade is so fascinating! You pay £1 for a bag of old pennies and use them to play on arcade machines from the 70s, according to my aunt. We managed to spend a couple of hours in here playing on all the old machines. And it only cost a quid!!
After this, we went in a couple of arcades and headed back up the main shopping street. Again, none of us brought anything.
My boyfriend and I decided we would walk back again but noticed a little train waiting outside Britannia Pier, we asked where he was going and he said to our site so we jumped on. It cost £1.50 each but it saved our legs from walking any further and was a nice ride back.
We were heading home on the Friday and had to be out of our caravan for 10am. We left our luggage at the bike hire shop on our caravan site and went to play on the beach for a bit. I'm not a big fan of beaches so this soon got boring but we tried to stay entertained by collecting stones.
As we were out of money by now, except our train fare home, and were getting restless, we grabbed our cases and did our final walk into Yarmouth. We did have to stop a few times as the weather was lovely, so we were burning, and we had 2 suitcases with us!
We had planned to catch the train from Yarmouth into Norwich, to then get our train into Nottingham, but asked around and found a bus service that ran into Norwich. This saved us dragging our cases all the way to the train station!
The bus was quite cheap, around £3 each for a single, and we arrived in Norwich an hour later. This may be useful if you're planning a day trip into Norwich from Yarmouth as it is easier to access.
We then jumped on our train and headed home :(
Overall, we had a really good week. Even with the lack of money, we found things to do that were cheap and kept us entertained. It may look like we didn't do a lot but I haven't mentioned things we did on site, such as swimming.
I know a lot of people don't enjoy Yarmouth, as it is very outdated, but I think it's a nice getaway for families. I wouldn't recommend going for a week if you can afford to go somewhere nicer but, as this was the most affordable thing for us at the time, it was our best option.
Hottest day if the year so far so my we (a family of 4) decided to head for a day out in Great Yarmouth.
My daughter is 14 and son 12.
Was a Sunday and expected it to be jam packed but surprisingly it wasn't!
First we decided to go round and have a look at some of the shops, we walked along this long street straight across the road from Joyland.
Really tacky out of date clothes shops and shops selling a lot of tat. I can't believe these shops actually sell this stuff, but when I had a look at everyone during the day I realised that there is no such thing as fashion in Yarmouth-it simply does not exist!
People just seem to wear anything and it reminds me of the sort of clothes worn in the early 90's.
Some shops were closed due to it being a Sunday, but I would say about 70% were open from what I saw.
The beach is nice if a little stoney, but nice clean sand and clean promenades and streets, apart form the one dog pooh on the beach! YUK
Lots and lots of ice cream/ candy floss huts and food outlets to choose from.
Massive beaches some with sand dunes, plenty of space to sit and enjoy the fun.
All in all I would say that this place is best to go to if you have young children up to the age of about 11 years old if you are just going for a the sun, sea, sand and ice cream, not a great deal to do there, but needs a new theme park as it tired and dated.
Pleasure beach is not very good, rides are few and expensive at £18 for a wristband, not worth it.
Typical tacky seaside town, no unusual boutiques or gift shops, cheap looking shops and arcades.
Lots of seating for tired travellers is a good point and the pace is slow!
avoid ATLANTIS ARENA the door security accuse you of things get you in back office and give you a good kicking these are SIA licenced staff so avoid at all costs
Great Yarmouth is, for me, the best seaside resort in the UK. It really does have something for everyone and that includes a gorgeous stretch of sand rarely seen on these shores.
I first went to Yarmouth as a small child and ended up going there every July for the next 16 years. It is fair to say I know every nuck and cranny of that golden 2 miles and have loved every minute of exploring it. As my needs and interests changed over the years, I never found myself growing out of the place as it was progressing all the time, whilst curiously managing to stay the same in a funny sort of way.
The beautiful sandy beach and clean north sea are among the highlights for me, but these would be nothing without the quality amenities that are within touching distance of any part of the beach.
You can find everything you would want as a family, couple or group of friends along this sea front. There are countless amusement arcades, lots of well placed bars and cafes and no shortage of hotels. Additional attractions like the Sea Life Centre and the Tower itself are interspersed amongst the usual sort of sea front goings on. There are some wonderful park areas and some huge and interesting crazy golf courses. From one end to the other you can find no end of attractions from a cinema, a leisure centre, 3 piers and right down the other end is the Pleasure Beach theme park, although this is nowhere near the standard of its namesake in Blackpool.
My particular favourite attraction when I was younger was Joyland, a mini-theme park for young kids and I can't wait to take my 2 year old daughter there later this year. She is going to love the Snails ride. Next to Joyland is the horse and cart shop where you can buy rides from one end of the sea front to the other. She will love that too.
There are plenty of things for the shop-aholics to do too as the backstreets are basically part of a busy town centre. There is bowls and other greenery for the elder stateman of our community and plenty of attraction shops like the rock factory on Regent Street. There is even a circus too!
One lasting though I have is that smell of hot dogs as you walk the promenade at night. This leaves a tricky decision between the hot dogs and the doughnuts. Oh decisions decisions.
On the outskirts you will find many a caravan park where people will just commute to the front daily, a racecourse, numerous golf courses and a greyhound track.
Yarmouths main downside is that it can be really difficult to get to, especially if you are not a driver. Luckily, lots of coach trips are on all year round.
Everyone should go to Yarmouth at least once.
Great Yarmouth is RUBBISH. It's a disgrace to people who live here - me being on of the unfortunately. We aren't known for our amazing seaside getaway holidays anymore. We're the town where crime goes down all the time. The town with the amazing amounts of dog s***. The town full of derelict buildings, grumpy people and a town where walking home just isn't safe. C'mon people let's face it, the housing market has gone down for a reason. No one wants to buy houses here anymore. And whose to blame them? It's a filthy town and making Market Gates sparkly and pretty isn't going to take away our reputation. I am certainly not proud to say 'I live in Great Yarmouth'. It's bland, it's dangerous, it's tacky, it's a town I wouldn't pay money to visit on holiday - you people are crazy.
Well, i thought i would drop by and write a review about my current home, Great Yarmouth.
Im currently a student in Norwich but i live in Great Yarmouth and travel in. I have been here just over 3 years but have had family live here for many years so i always used to visit as a child - so ive seen a lot of changes and development over the years.
Great Yarmouth is a seaside town in East Anglia. We are located around 117 miles away from London, and have a population of 47,300. We are most often considered a holiday town, but be assured, people do live and work here! Work is currently being undergone on a new outer harbor, which intends to take passengers to Holland from 2011.
Where to stay?
There are loads of different places to stay in Great Yarmouth. Some people enjoy caravans, and there are many large caravan parks locally, including a Haven based in Central Great Yarmouth.
Within the town, there are a large amount of hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. Right on the beach there is a travelodge which offers rooms from £20 a night. However, there are so many little bed and breakfasts all around the town it is worth shopping around to get the most for your money. Most of the B&Bs are a little dated but really sweet, great just to act as a base.
Where to eat?
there are all types of food for all types of budget here!
For quick snacks, there are 2 KFC's (one next to the 'Market Gates' shopping centre, one in Amusements next to the beach) McDonalds (next to KFC opposite Market Gates), a Pizza Hut (Across from McDonalds), Spudulike (Next to McDonalds) and a Subway (along the seafront)
However, for the ultimate Great Yarmouth cheap snack you need to hit the market for some chips! At last count, there was around 10 chipshops on the market, so no need to queue. Portions cost between 60p for a kiddie cone, and £1.50 for a large. There are LOADS of different sauces to pick; from salad cream and tomatoes sauce to Sweet and sour sauce and gravy!. Not so good for you but needs to be done once :)
Also, on the market you can get a carvery sandwich and a selection of lovely chinese food for around £3. For pudding, along the front you can get freshly made donuts, candy floss and rock. (Its all health food here!)
Those of you who are looking for a mid-cost sit down meal, try the restaurant between the bottom of regent road and along the seafront (you will see that i mean when your there!) So many restaurants in such close competition leads to great prices and a lovely range of food. Id recommend the all you can eat chinese next to the bingo, and the little italian on the corner of regent road.
Yarmouth also has a fatso's speak easy on kings Street. The food is great for carnivores! with lots of burgers and American style treats.
If you prefer the finer things in life, i would recommend Olive Garden on regent road, Friends Bistro on St Georges Road or, top of the bunch, Cafe Cru at the Imperial Hotel (Along the seafront towards Scroby Sands) Excellent food, at a higher price.
What to do?
Well, this depends a great deal on your age range or family status, ill touch on some of the highlights, but these wont be for everyone.
- Pleasure Beach
Yarmouth's biggest theme park. Including one of the oldest rollercosters in Europe. No entrance fee, but you need to buy tokens or a wrist band. I would recommend getting there early and buying a wristband for £20, allowing you to go on as many rides as you like all day.
for more information, check out the website -http://www.pleasure-beach.co.uk/
- Pirate Golf
Right on the beach, the pirate crazy golf is grrrrreat fun! around £4 a game, which depending on how busy it is, takes around an hour. Great fun for the whole family, with all different sorts of challenges.
Along the seafront, there are tonnes of different amusements to visit! from the 2p pushers, to dance machines, to shoot-um-ups, there really is something for everyone. This can get expensive though so id recommend you set you budget before you hit the town and get carried away!
The shows at the Hippodrome change year round, but normally incorporate some kind of clown show. Honestly, i cant say much as i have never been, but my younger brother and sister went to the christmas show and had a fantastic time. They also do more adult shows, such as blues brothers and sea shanties.
Give the website a check for the latest shows.
- Marina Center
The marina center is based on the beach and has a full gym, swimming pool and monkeys climbing area for children. Excellent for working off those chips!
The swimming pool has a slide and a babies area for younger children.
- The beach!!
Of course, the highlight of Great Yarmouth is the lovely beach. Obviously, what you do on the beach is up to you, but i thought id give a few hints and tips;
- Feel free to take a picnic and drinks, but PLEASE take your rubbish with you to keep the beach clean.
- If you go in the water, please either dont take or use extreme caution with inflatables. Several people a year die being swept out to sea on these or at the very least cost a fortune for the lifeguard to go out and rescue.
- If you take your dog, please dont let him leave any nasty surprises.
Clubs and pubs
Alongside the fun to be had during the day, get yarmouth has a great night life too :)
Longbar - Open until 6am on fridays and saturdays (£3 entry after 12, free before) Longbar is one of the best and most popular clubs in the Area. Found on the corner of Regent Street. Thought drinks are expensive here!
Mission - Along from Longbar, and much more classy, mission is a lovely buzzing little place with different music on different nights. Free entry
Arena - This club is based in the old viewing tower over great yarmouth. Honestly, i have never been! but people travel in from Norwich to go to the club nights here. They often have themed nights and guest stars.
Troll Cart - Opposite McDonalds, this Wetherspoons is great for pre-nights out meals and drinks. The cheapest in the town, get two meals for £7, with drinks for £10.
Shopping in Yarmouth
You get an awful lot of souvenir shops and pound lands in yarmouth! but we do have some high street favourites to, and a great market!
Topshop, River Island, Debenhams, BHS, Woolworths, WHSmiths, Superdrug, New Look, Peacocks, Size Up, Staples, Ryman, Dixons, Curries, Hughes..ect.
However, my little superstore is Bizarre, Bizarre. Found just along from Poundstretcher and Mocha (lovely proper coffee shops) just go and see. full of lovely things. Also, fellow goths will love 'Dead Good' on Regent Road.
What to do outside Yarmouth?
Hemsby - Great for Amusements
Cromer - the crabbing capital of the East!
Norwich - nearest big city, EXCELLENT for shopping!!
Hope this helps - hope you enjoy Yarmouth!!!
I have been to great yarmouth a great number of times in fact we have a holiday caravan there.
Great Yarmouth is a very typical seaside town.
To some people it may be considered tacky , but in my opinion its a great little town.
Its not the most glamourous of holiday towns and could do with updating quite a lot, but its undergoing development at the moment to improve the sea front and main promenade which is making a real impact.
You can have a lovely stroll along the sea front which is littered with arcades, food outlets and sweet shops, if your feet get tired take a carridge ride from one end to the other!
The local fair called the pleasure beach is to be found at the bottom end of the town, it is again a little dated but it does have an original wooden rollercoaster. Rides are a little on the exspensive side but you can buy a wristband which allows you to ride all day.
Another redemming feature for great yarmouth is the theatre on brittania pier , it hosts an array of famous faces including roy chubby brown , jim davidson to name a few.
In the main town centre there is a small selection of high street shops, and yet more places to eat and drink.
There is always something to do whatever the weather, crazy golf , playing on the golden sands for when the sun is shining, or visit the arcades, wax museum or swimming pool when its not!!
Great yarmouth is also a good base for lovely days out. Situtated near by is pleasure wood hills, suffolk wildlife park and peites animal park, these are all within a 40 min drive.
For a cheap good old british holiday definately visit yarmouth!!!!
This is a brilliant sea side resort and it is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the uk and it is well known through out england. It has a massive beach with a prominard which you can walk along for miles.
It has a pleasure beach on the seafront with small rides and crazy golf, it also has a theme park called pleasure wood hills which has the oldest roller coaster in the uk and it is still running it is made out of wood and has no upside down parts on it. And there is a ghost train and the walzers and small kids rides for the younger children.
There is alot of amusment arcades and they are certain to keep you busy but watch you dont waste all of your money. There are alot of icecream shops and fish and chip shops which are really nice and some of the icecrams are home made. There are a couple of peirs here too which are nice to walk along.
There are hundreds of gifty shops so you can always grab a bargin to take home.
I have been to great yarmouth once and i really enjoyed it. We visited the place when we were on the norfolk broads on a boat we stayed there two night and i found that there was alot to do here.
The prices are cheap and the weather stay red hot especially in the summer but in the winter it can be really cold.
All the shops lead to the beach thy are on one long road but you will find most of them are gift shops and the main shops are out the way of the beach.
It has a good reputation for the night life too. Although with 2 under 8's I didn't get to try any.
Great Yarmouth in Norfolk or just Yarmouth to the locals is a great place to not only spend your holidays but also for business and for living. With plenty of things to do for all the family including Arcades, Amusements, Theme parks and a lot more. Come to Great Yarmouth not only for the beach but for the broads, where you can spot many types of wildlife and walk along the canal. Also come for the historical market and the fishing industry, the market is open most days and there are several museums to have a look round and learn about the history of Great Yarmouth. History not your thing? Then go the pleasure beach home of Britains oldest wooden rollercoaster, as well as many other rides and attractions that attract many vistitors every year. The Sea front itself has been put through a "makeover" and now looks a lot modern to what it used to.
Overall a great lace for holidays and a great place to live.
Great Yarmouth is situated in Norfolk along the coast and is a traditional english seaside town, not far from the Norfolk Broads this town is more than due for a revival. It has a definite dated feel.
Like a lot of coastal towns in England, Gt Yarmouth feels like it is stuck in the last century and needs a lot of updating and refurbishing to appeal to a more youthful market.
There isn't a lot here to do, the hotels and B&B's are dated and tired and its not the easiest of places to get to, in fact all of east anglia feels like it is stuck in a time warp.
Having said that, there is a lovely beach for the kids to play on and plenty of room to run about if the weather is kind, but they really need to invest some money in this place to attract more visitors
We got back here yesterday and had a fantastic time! we stayed in our tent at Wild Duck Haven Resort in Belton which was 15 min drive away. We went back down to Great Yarmouth 3 times in the weekend we were down there and loved it so much. If you want the classic British Seaside feel you've got it in Great Yarmouth. There are numerous food outlets, restaurants, arcades, sea life, pleasure beach, the pier, crazy golf and suvernior shops galore. There is also a little train which takes out up and down the sea front and horse an carriages. From what we could see the beach was clean and well kept. We will definately be returning.
For those who have seen my Breydon Water review, you shall know of where I stayed come my first trip with a group of friends to Yarmouth. Now, the hard thing about that review was not turning it into a diary of my times outside of the location where I was staying at, but now I do get to share my experiences and impressions of Great Yarmouth in general. So, is it really as great as the name makes it out to be?
My first indication that we were getting close to Yarmouth, having never been there before, was the fact that I was starting to see a lot of rivers and dare I say marsh land. I was a little surprised to encounter quite a few single carriageway roads so close to Yarmouth, considering what a huge tourist sight it actually is, although I'm expecting those roads are quite adequate when it isn't the summer holidays. Bad timing on our part. I do believe I said in my previous review that the roads in Yarmouth do all appear very new, and whilst they are supposed to be designed to the highest level - everyone knows the highest level isn't always practical. There are quite a lot of slopey roads, so people who aren't used to hill starts may have to hold their breath a bit, and in peak periods the roads did appear very busy. I expect that at about 3am at night those roads would probably be perfect for boy racers to tear around down, although the ones I encountered were, unfortunately for them, broken up by quite a lot of roundabouts.
A great range of shops were actually on offer on the outskirts of Yarmouth, with some good parking, and whilst there was quite a lot of traffic it seemed to move faster than perhaps it would in Cambridge. They had huge versions of TK Max, Sports World, a drive through McDonalds, and whilst we have very similar areas in our city it is always fun to visit them in what almost feels like a different country. How can you not go to Yarmouth and spend time on the seafront though? And that is where we would head for next, it was quite easy to get to, but we were looking for free parking. Interestingly enough, there was quite a lot on offer if you are willing to walk for 5 minutes from the Pleasure Beach. We're young and didn't have loads of crying kids with us, so I guess that's why weren't bothered at all by that, although we did wonder why people were paying for parking and using a £3 car park when free parking was only a minute away.
Walking along the seafront was not a chore, and something that was very fun to do, looking around. We would always walk through the Pleasure Beach as well, to make the walk feel shorter. I don't really know what I was expecting from the PB, having never been to Yarmouth, but some of the rides on offer such as the rollercoaster and log flume looked good. No one could really be bothered to go on rides ( =[ ) but some time was spent in the multipul arcades on offer. The security in the arcades did tend to follow us around though like we were some sort of criminals. Walk past the log flume at the wrong time and you will get soaked, as we saw happen to many people, although we always timed it right. It is made so it will soak you! There is some sort of £16 wristband avaliable that entitles you to come on, presumebly, all the rides as many times as you want.
There's something slightly unappealing about English beaches, perhaps it stems from that moment when I was a toddler where my parents made me paddle through the sea and I cried my eyes out. I don't really like swimming in the sea at all, but the beach was quite nice and clean. Due to the fact that we were there on one of the hottest weekends of the year (yes!) it was quite busy, although it still would have been very easy to grab yourself a good spot. Continuing the walk down the shore you see the usual seaside haunts, such as the Sea Life Centre and the little shops with all kinds of junk. There was also a good range of arcades, and I think the best one we came across was one that has a bar at the back of it, I never took any notice of the name of it though sadly. What did annoy me was that there was no big chain food restaurant along there, and I only spotted a tiny KFC, when I was just dying for a McDonalds.
Yarmouth had two big screens that we came across, there's probably more - people from there will have to help me on this - and one was showing GYTV, that's Great Yarmouth TV. The other screen was showing BBC News 24 (could have sat there and wrote a review to enter into product of the week), which was interesting to hear the breaking news of the Food And Mouth outbreak. There is quite a lot of room on the paths, as long as you don't have people randomly stop infront of you, but watch out for people getting horse rides as they do have their own little road - as does the motor train tour. There's pretty much everything you would expect to see in a seaside resort in Yarmouth, which makes me feel wrong for mentioning all the market shops they have.
There is a long, long, long... long stretch of all privately owned shops promising things like discount clothes and the such. It felt like I was 5 and in Hunstanton again. One shop was even trying to drag people in so that they could sell Xbox 360's to them for £30 (scamming like the Real Hustle anyone?) and interesting that shop had a sign above it saying 'FOR LEASE'. Everyone I saw leave there didn't leave very happy, although I'm sure the owner enjoyed the money he was making. Whilst some of my friends were taken in by trying to see how this stuff could be sold so cheap, me and my other friend continued our search for food (there was a kebab shop that I bought a drink from, but I literally saw NO ONE else go in there so I figured there must be something wrong with it, it was empty when I went past the next day as well). A long walk took us to the end of the road, where we were expecting to finally see some brand shops by the way we had seen people walking along with big name bags. Finally I saw a big 'M' popping out of the wall and I knew I was finally there.
My trip around Yarmouth didn't really take me much further than this 'L' shaped walk from the Pleasure Beach to the Market Gates shopping complex, unless you count Tesco and ASDA, but what I did see of Yarmouth I did like. I would have preferred to see more of the nightlife around Yarmouth, but a reviewing income can't pay for everything sadly. Just an interesting insight that I did get from Yarmouth though was the fact that literally everyone has tattoos, I swear I'd never seen that many people in one place with them. If you've never been to Yarmouth, you should probably give it a try as chances are your kids will drag you around the Pleasure Beach all day, although if you're a bit older you probably won't find anything in Yarmouth that you haven't experienced in a seaside resort out there. Yarmouth is just the big name craze.
The shopping Centre:
Market gates is a enclosed Shopping Centre in Central Great Yarmouth. Its not as large as most shopping centres but has enough space for 39 retail outlits.
To find market gates shopping centre you need to Follow signs to town centre and market gates it situatated next to the main market place area. If you follow the sign to town centre you will come across market gates own muti story carpark. Price in summer months 80p per hour and 60p in winter.
Market gates is open
Mon - Sat 8.30 to 5.30pm
Sun and Bank holidays 10am to 4pm
Market gates shops include the following, with a little information on what each shop sells.
Boots - Big RetaIl chain that sells cosmetics, medicines etc.
Wilkinsons - You can buy just about anything here like DIY stuff, Stationery, Toys, books etc.
Mothercare - Sells baby items like clothes, prams etc.
Iceland - Supermarket which focus's on frozen foods
New Look - Top Womens clothes store
Game - Sells games consols and games, grab a reward card from here if you use the store alot.
Gamestation- Same as the above but Game is cheaper and is more friendly.
Church Belles Ltd - Sells items for weddings, i.e. dress's and suits.
Claires - Sells hair stuff and girly items.
Peacocks - Clothes store male, female and childrens.
Cards and Co - Cheap cards shop
Sense- Charity shop that sells bits and bobs.
Plus several other shops which seem to change like the weather.
Market gates also has a cafe called The lighthouse it is right at the end of market gates if you come in from the front.
The cafe is really freindly and provides a lovely selection of snacks or main meals.
You can get a full english breakfast for £3.99 which includes Tea or coffee, they are just yummy.
The Cafe also overlooks part of the town, the tables near this area are normally always full.
There is a man who does some lovely photo packages of children for excellent prices, i have several photos of my children taken by him. He is normally outside wilkensons, so keep an eye out.
This is a non smoking Building.
Keep your children away from the little ride-ons that cost about 50p they eat your money.
At Christmas See Santa here with his furry friends.
As you go into market gates, their is a person their who sells bunchs of flowers ideal if you need to pick some up on your dinner break.
Latest news on Market Gates:
Joint venture partners Miller Developments and Centenary Investments applied for a 55,000 sq ft (5,110 sq m) extension to its Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth, The proposed four-storey extension will comprise three large stores, along with nine other shops. We are all waiting on if this is going ahead.
I ALSO HAVE REVIEW ON CIAO
We had a week's holiday in Caister in October this year which is a small town 3 miles outside of Great Yarmouth and I thought I would share our experiences with you and give you an idea of what there is all to do round that area. I'm going to do this one in sections to make it easier and will try to cover everything from the shopping facilities to the pleasure beach as well as some of the attractions that are nearby too. I've been to Yarmouth a couple of times before but the last time was 5 years ago and had forgotten just how much there is available to do. Being October some of the attractions have limited opening times so unfortunately we missed them because of this but there are a lot of places which stay open the whole year through.
We saw lots of bed and breakfasts just off the sea front road which looked lovely from the outside and had awards galore, and there are a number of hotels as well as caravan sites around so whichever way you want to spend your holiday there is plenty of choice. We stayed in Caister at the Haven site there which cost £280 for a 6 berth chalet which was very comfortable and roomy and included on site activities and entertainment. There is another Haven site on the north coastal route out of Yarmouth called Seashore near the race tracks where I stayed 5 years ago and that was lovely too.
The best bit about the shopping in Great Yarmouth is on market days which are run all year round on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in the summer have one on a Friday too. There are a limited number of stalls on a daily basis but this is when you get around 100 stalls available. You can find everything from fruit, veg and meat to clothes, collectables and novelties. Great for picking up stocking fillers or larger gifts. I managed to get a couple of good quality t shirts for only £4 each and some early xmas pressies which I can't mention any more about in case my daughter reads this. Don't want to spoil the surprise. Seriously though I find it great fun to look round the stalls as I used to love going round the market in Selby when I lived there and although Arbroath does have a market it isn't really up to much these days. The market is held in a car parking area in Yarmouth and can take a while to walk round when you are checking out all the bargains.
Right next to the market is a good shopping centre with a variety of chain stores to choose from and there is parking available in the shopping centre from 60p per hour. If you are just stopping off quickly though you can usually find parking spaces free for half an hour at a time. If you don't mind a bit of a walk though there are streets around Trafalgar Square which have free parking with no time limits although finding a space can be tricky at times.
Every good seaside town though has what we lovingly refer to as a 'Tacky Street', you know the place where you can get your cheap souveniers and sticks of rock. Great Yarmouth is no exception and you can find this one in Regent Road which is just off the main shops heading towards the seafront. It has shops which sell buckets and spades, t-shirts with the latest trendy slogans on, souvenier rock, fudge and shortbread selections, shell ornaments and much more of the usual 'tacky' stuff that holidaymakers (especially the children) like to take home as reminders of their holidays. One shop which did catch our eye though was a Chinese shop and no I'm not thinking of food (for once). Inside was a vast treasure trove of gorgeous dragons, hand painted screens, amazing swords, amazing themed chess sets and beautifully made hand crafted jewellery and clothing. It was probably just as well we didn't have much room in the car what with the 3 kids and their many clothes (although I was tempted to try to leave my bloke behind so I could have a set of the screens). The prices were reasonable and I was extremely surprised to find such a quality stock amongst so much of the rubbish in other establishments (no offence meant by this - I love looking through the cheap stuff too).
As far as eating in the centre goes there are many pubs who do meals and welcome families and there are also MacDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut within a stone's throw of each other. Of course for a real seaside experience there are lots of little fish and chip kiosks along the front and most of these offer good value food with excellent portions.
There are 3 supermarkets which we found round about Great Yarmouth although there are probably more. Tesco's can be found at Pasteur Road, Sainsburys is at St Nicholas Road and Asda is at New Acle Road. Plenty of choice whichever you prefer shopping at. We were self catering and found another Tesco's just on the outskirts of Caister which was smaller but had a good selection of food. There is also an Iceland store at the Market Gates shopping centre too if you are looking for frozen food.
We did manage to venture onto the sands although the tide was quite a bit out and as we weren't expecting as good weather as we got no buckets and spades were packed this time. However my son did have fun searching for elusive shells which seemed to be missing from the sandy area near Britannia Pier and wasn't too disappointed to only find some unusually tiger coloured stones and an old crab's claw instead (he seems to have a fascination for these). Most of the area was clean and tidy although nearer to the Pier there was a lot of empty beer cans and cigarette ends so we swiftly moved along again which was a shame as my son wanted to play hide and seek under the pier. It was a pleasant walk though but shoes were needed as their is a lot of shingle on the beach.
We didn't actually go into Yarmouth for any of our entertainment at night as we had all the entertainment we needed on site but wandering around the centre we saw lots of pubs advertising that they had live bands on in the evenings and there are plenty of shows to be seen depending on the time of year. If we hadn't had the kids with us we would probably have explored this more.
People like Cannon and Ball and Joe Pasquale have appeared at the Britannia Pier over the summer as well as the more adult comedy of Jim Davidson and Chubby Brown. There have also been performances of The Drifters and Abba, The Show for the music fans out there.
Daytime Activities - Look out for a free brochure called What's On in Greater Yarmouth as this has lots of money off tokens for some of the activities mentioned below. Some will entitle a child to get in free with an adult and some have a value of between 25p and £1 per person usually up to a total of 6 people. It also has lots of information of opening times and where to find places in it.
This year the main activity we chose to do in Yarmouth itself was Pirate's Cove. I had been on my previous visit with my girls but this was the first time my bloke and my 3 year old had seen it. It is situated right on the seafront at Marine Parade and is an 18 hole adventure putting course. I've been to a few mini golf attractions in the past and always seem to end up a little bit disappointed but not so here. It is open from 9am til late and is lighted up at dusk although we were there on an unusally warm afternoon for this time of year.
It is £4 for adults and children although my son got in free and was given his own special plastic club and bright orange ball to keep him happy. The rest of us got a putter and a token to choose from blue, red, yellow or green balls. We were also given a score sheet booklet which had details of the par of each hole (thats how many shots it should take you to sink the ball in the hole for the beginners out there) and a Pirate's Cove pencil.
After fighting amongst ourselves we finally decided who would have which colour and set off on our adventure round the course. Each hole is pirate themed and there is a little bit of information about different pirates on boards to read as you go round - so even if you have to wait for people in front to finish there is something to keep you amused. There are cannons, treasure chests, waterfalls to walk under and of course pirates suspended from rigging and in row boats all around you and it really is a fantastic setting. My son loved all this as he has recently attended a pirate day at nursery.
As for the course itself you have to use obstacles such as planks of wood to get balls to go round corners and then there are tunnels which drop your ball through to another level. There is also a water hazard at one of the hole's and my daughter had to fish her ball out at one stage. This caused much amusement from the rest of us of course. On the final hole your ball drops into the hole and gets locked away in a treasure chest and you can return your clubs to the front desk. It took us an hour and a half to get round what with the 5 of us and we felt it was excellent value for money as we had a great time making fun of each other when we missed what looked like the simplest of shots but turned out that the ground around the hole was on a slope.
There are lots of other places to visit along Marine Parade including some of the other places I had seen previously.
The Model Village, Railway and Gardens is £4 for adults and £3.50 for children although under 3s are free and is another place that is lit up when it starts to get dark although at this time of year it closes at 5pm. There are many things to look at and kids will love spotting the miniature funfair and seeing the firemen at work. There are also cricketers playing on the green and many unusual people to look out for like the bank robber and the streaker. It takes around an hour to walk through this attraction as well as having a go in the old fashioned penny arcade museum. There is also a lovely tea room and a gift shop too.
The Winter Gardens are free to get into and it is lovely to walk around. It includes family bars, a bistro and and beer garden which is great for the grown ups while the kids enjoy the Jungle Adventure play area which costs £3.25 per child. This is a great place for them to let off steam and go wild in the jungle setting of slides, ball pools and obstacle course.
The Sea Life Centre is a great one in Yarmouth and has a host of interesting marine life to watch. My favourites are always the seahorses and the rays and this year there is a new Seahorse Breeding Centre and you can learn all about the process here. There are also the the Touchpools where you can have a feel of certain creatures such as starfish, The Lost City of Atlantis and the amazing site of the piranhas. There are also talks and feeding displays throughout the day and you can take note of these on the notice board at the front entrance. I have to drag my bloke out every time we visit a place like this and my son loves anything to do with fish since Nemo came out (there are clownfish too for fans of these colourful creatures).
Keeping on the theme of creatures there is Amazonia World of Reptiles. I know this wont be to everyone's liking but if you love the unusual species which aren't just soft and cuddly looking then this is the place for you. It costs £4.35 for adults and £3.75 for kids but again under 3's are free. We cash in with this every time as my son is small for his age. Be warned it is very humid in this attraction and it is best to remove jackets before going in. It is set ou brilliantly and the star attraction has to be Goliath who is a full grown American alligator who was born in Flamingoland in North Yorks. near where we used to live. The geckos are another favourite with my family as some of them will copy you as you put your head to one side or bob it up and down. Of course everyone else thinks you are nuts but it's great fun to watch. There are lots of snakes and tortoises too as well as the one bit I always avoid and that is the Insects and Spiders section. I am told they are impressive but I just can't look. The gift shop has a nice selection of goodies including the usual stuff of toys and T-shirts as well as the more unusual real fossils and dinosaur bones. This really is a worthwhile place to visit.
The Pleasure Beach is unfortunately only open at weekends at this time of year so we didn't manage a visit this time but all day wristbands are available to buy or you can get tokens for 50p each. However most rides do require a up to 4 tokens so this can be an expensive way to do it. Wristbands are either £13 or £15 depending when the park is open to. There are over 70 rides to choose from including the big rollercoaster and log flume to the less frightening tea cups.
Away from Marine Parade there are a few other worthwhile or interesting places to visit.
You can see how rock is made at the Rock Shop in Regent Road as well as being able to choose from over 70 varieties of rock and novelty items at factory prices. This is the world's largest rock shop.
Time and Tide is a museum which specialises in the fishing history of Great Yarmouth and can be found in Blackfriars Road. See smokehouses and hear stories from the past as you travel back in time here. This is a good place to visit with slightly older children.
There are also open top buses to view the sites of Yarmouth from and lots of amusement arcades to visit if you like that sort of thing.
I know this is about Yarmouth itself but I though I would just mention a place we visited this year and a couple of other places that might interest you if you are in that area.
Pettitts Animal Adventure Park which is situated in the village of Reedham is around 15 miles from Yarmouth. It cost £6.95 per person but again luckily under 3's are free. This is a mixture of animals and rides and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful warm sunny day on which to enjoy ourselves.
There are lots of animals to see and there is a petting area included although be very careful of the goats as they tried to escape every time someone opened the gate and they could be a little bit frightening to smaller children. Some of the other animals there are donkeys, miniature horses, tamarins, wallabies (which had some very cute babies), and owls. There is also a reptile house and a koi carp pond where you can get a large handful of fishfood for 20p to feed them with. This delighted my son as they came up for a bite with their mouths wide open.
The rides are all aimed at small children but adults can get on them too and I was really surprised at how my 16 and 13 year old girls enjoyed going on these with my son. Rides include:-
Toad of Toad Hall - Sit in a car and go travel round an area filled with scenes from the stories.
Alice in Wonderland - Same idea but in a train named after one of the characters.
Flying Elephants - You control how high or low you go at the push of a button.
Pirate Ship - Mini version of the larger version for adults.
Cups and Saucers - Sit and spin in this small ride which makes you just as dizzy as some of the more 'dangerous' rides at theme parks
Roller Coaster Runaway Train - Only small but very fast round corners and bumpiness has you holding on.
Pettitts Railway - Takes you round the park to see all the attractions as you sit back and relax.
There is also a crazy golf course (not a patch on Pirate's Cove but fun all the same) a bouncy castle, a snake slide, a giant slide and walks though Gnome village and a peek into Santa's Grotto where at the push of a button music plays inside and mechanical toys start moving. My son was enthralled by this and we had to practically drag him away. A large adventure play area which is themed like Robin Hood with cargo nets, slides, and bridges to climb kept the kids amused too as well as a fantastic zip slide which I loved as much as the kids did. These attractions are all included in the price although there are quite a few small coin rides there too which luckily we managed to avoid.
The last part of this trip was the show by the clown called Bubbly Bingo who does some simple magic tricks and tries to involve a member of the audience as well as creating some massive bubbles too. Although the day we went their was only a small number of visitors to the park (great cause it meant no queuing) he put on a brilliant show. There are usually 3 shows a day so you can choose which one to attend however on quiet days they bring this down to 2 shows.
We had a brilliant day out here and it was well worth the money.
Other places nearby that may be of interest are Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park which was unfortunately closed at this time of year, Caister Castle Car Collection where a vast amount of vintage vehicles are on view, Suffolk Wildlife Park, Sutton Windmill and Broad Museum and Fritton Lake Countryworld which has lots of outdoor activities. There really is something for everyone in this area and we are only sorry we didn't manage to visit more than we did - another holiday at some point round here is definately in order.
So in summary my answer to my original title question has to be everything. We had a fantastic week away and would love to go back in the summer months to see some more of what this great seaside town has on offer.
NAME OF LOCATION: Great Yarmouth, a coastal town in Norfolk that has been popular for generations with day-trippers and longer stay holidaymakers alike.
BACKGROUND: I went for a week with Gee Vee Travel (see separate article) to Great Yarmouth staying at the Swanvale Lodge Hotel, 6 Standard Road, Great Yarmouth Norfolk NR30 2EZ (Tel/Fax: 01493 331442) with my parents. We had the opportunity to visit places around on a couple of the days, too but spent much of our time in Yarmouth (as it is generally known but not to be confused with the Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight). Kevin and Iain run the hotel on behalf of Gee Vee Travel and there is a lift to all floors and ramps to the dining rooms and there was entertainment provided within our holiday price every evening.
Land train £1.50 (one way) for adults. This was cheaper for children and very enjoyable to watch. I spent all week trying to persuade my parents to go on and eventually my mother went on it with me (and I am 33!!) It travels along the sea front between the two piers and the Pleasure Beach theme park further down. It also went past the cinema and down to the boating lake and crown green bowls area, which was near one of the car parks just outside the town. It seemed to be that you had to hail the train and it would pull in and let you on, although it did stop outside the pier (opposite Regents Road, which is where all the shops are) for a few minutes.
Great Yarmouth waterway/boating lake did not appear to be open when we visited in June 2005.
Pirates Cove 18 Hole Adventure Putting course (mini Golf) was £4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children, and although very enjoyable, was exceedingly busy and you often had to wait for 2 or 3 groups in front of you to complete each hole. However, I found that there were several very welcome seats (not one at each hole unfortunately) and plenty of amusing pirate related snippets of information to read at each hole, which educated me and would keep youngsters enthralled if read out. Unlike the Arnold Palmer course (see below), there is no opportunity to win a free game, but there is an offer of a discount (if you want to play again immediately). More information is available at Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth on Tel. 01493 331785.
Arnold Palmer 18 Hole Adventure Putting course (mini Golf) was £2.50 (all classes) and £2 (for 9 hole course), and although very enjoyable, was quite busy and you often had to wait for other groups in front of you to complete each hole. However, it was nowhere near as busy as the Pirates Cove course and quite a bit cheaper! I also found that the course was slightly easier (no water features to avoid and no hole on more than one level but the windmill one was quite tricky. I won a free game, on the 19th hole, which is valid indefinitely! My dad went on this course with me and failed to get a free game (despite several holes in one on the course). More information is available at Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth.
Victorian Carriage rides not tried, as I was always too busy shopping and the price was unknown.
Sea life centre This is a seahorse breeding & conservation centre and also houses other sea life such as sharks, fish, and has various activities for the children including a touch pool where at certain times with guidance from a member of staff you can touch star fish and other selected sea life. There is also a quiz sheet with questions around the facility. On the day we visited the sharks were not available as their tank was being renovated (you normally walk underneath the tank) so £1 was knocked off the admission price, but it was still pricey. I had a free ticket (from the Daily Mirror) but it should have £8.95 for adults and my parents got in for £7.95 (£6.95 with the discount which was the Senior Citizen rate and I believe the childrens rate). It is near the Wellington Pier. (Open daily from 10am (except Christmas day), Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 3AH. Tel. 01493 330631).
Market every Wednesday near Woolworths. There are a few shops in the covered area every day, but these tend to be butchers, fast food stalls and card/wrapping paper stalls. I enjoyed the market
Amazonia (World of Reptiles) a living jungle tropical zoo (visited in the past but not on this occasion) More information is available at Marine Parade 01493 842202 and it is open all year round from 10am between Sea Life centre and Marina Leisure centre on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth.
Yarmouth quay there are several museums at Yarmouth quay (all within walking distance of each other, within about 10 minutes (snails pace because I was with my mother who has angina) including
1. Norfolk Nelson museum (Open 1 Apr to 31 Oct Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm Sat/Sun 1pm to 4pm 2005 prices adult £2.90, Concession £2.40, Child £1.50 or Family £7). We were offered discounts on all other museums listed below (an offer which we took up and benefited from but was available from all other museums so if visiting ask if there are any discounts available we received a small card which gave us a £1 off here or 3 for 2 offers, depending on the museum). Quite interesting and had child friendly exhibits as you were actively encouraged to try your hand at knotting or complete jigsaws or other places you could push buttons. There was an upstairs room where you saw life size models of Nelson and his men and was the teaching room for school groups it had pictures drawn by child visitors and had a find the correct eye for the Nelson pictures, which was fun to try. (Address details 26 South Quay, Great Yarmouth NR30 2RG Tel/Fax 01493 850698 www.nelson-museum.co.uk)
2. Great Yarmouth potteries (not visited so can not comment but more information from www.greatyarmouthpotteries.co.uk or 18/19 Trinity Place, Great Yarmouth NR30 3HA Tel. 01493 850585 NB opposite the Time and Tide museum);
3. Elizabethan House museum, (Open 21 Mar to 30 Oct Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm Sat/Sun 1.15pm to 5pm 2005 prices adult £2.90, Concession £2.40, Child £1.50 or Family n/a but adults in a family group get in for £2.30, National Trust and NMAS museum pass holders get in free). Again this was a child friendly museum, with its own activity packed toy room and you can even dress in Tudor costumes in the upstairs bedrooms. Adults will enjoy the chance to read up on Tudor history on the plaques provided in each room. (Address 4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth NR30 2QH Tel 01493 855746 season only)
4. Tollhouse Museum, (Open 21 Mar to 30 Oct Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm Sat/Sun 1.15pm to 5pm 2005 prices adult £2.90, Concession £2.40, Child £1.50 or Family n/a but adults in a family group get in for £2.30, NMAS museum pass holders get in free). This has an audio tour but is not suitable for disabled visitors without prior notification as the main access is by a large set of stairs. You get to visit the town jail and compare current day jail cells with the town dungeons and experience life in a 19th century jailhouse. (Address just off South Quay behind the Central Library Tel 01493 858900)
5. Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life (Open 21 Mar to 30 Oct Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm Sat/Sun 1.15pm to 5pm 2005 prices adult £2.90, Concession £2.40, Child £1.50 or Family n/a but adults in a family group get in for £2.30, NMAS museum pass holders get in free). This is a very child friendly museum with loads to do for adults and children alike, my favourite museum (especially as it lets you in for half price next time you go provided you keep the receipt). Has an audio tour but was not available when we went due to volume of users they were taking them off users to give to waiting visitors! We plan to go at the New Year (if time) and try this out.
6. Last and by no means least Great Yarmouth Row Houses. (Open 24 Mar to 30 Sept Daily 12 noon to 5pm 2005 prices adult £3.30, Concession £2.50, Child £1.70 or English Heritage members get in free). I had a 2 for one offer, which I used at this property as my parents were with me (I am an EH member) and it ran out that day! Lucky or what! This is a row of houses just off South Quay including Row 111 and the Old Merchants House. With the former you can listen to an old wartime BBC broadcast and discover more about herring girls. The latter has beautiful plasterwork ceilings and oak panelling. Tel 01493 857900 South Quay, Great Yarmouth NR30 2RQ.
I went by Coach to Great Yarmouth with my parents. We used a taxi to get to Yarmouth quay from Standard Road and this cost between £2.40 and £3 (we got one back another day from a slightly nearer location) and the hotel recommended the taxi company. There was a taxi rank near the shopping centre at the end of Regents Road (opposite end to the pier).
The Quay is ½ mile from the train station at Great Yarmouth. Train Tel. 0845 7484950
Bus timetables are available from Tel. 0870 608 2608.
See each individual area.
1. Plenty of shops
2. Plenty of seats
3. Good weather it was really hot.
4. Plenty to do even if the weather is bad (see Yarmouth quay section)
1. Long way to walk between Historic Quay and promenade need a taxi
2. Very busy in summer months
3. Lots of amusement arcades on promenade very irritating music.
If you have more time than a day trip, then you could visit Norwich a historic cathedral city (need transport though) our trip offered this as an included excursion but as we have been before we chose to try to visit as many museums as possible in Yarmouth itself. Norwich has a city sightseeing bus tour and a castle. The Inspire Discovery centre and an Aviation museum are also nearby but I have never visited either, so cannot comment.
Other excursions provided were
1. A trip to Wroxham (morning) and Potter Heigham (afternoon - both well worth a visit). However, on this day we could not visit Wroxham, as we were booked on a Mississippi style paddle steamer, the Southern Comfort, from Horning. A 1 ½ hour trip during the daytime (night trips of 2 hours also available) Prices (day or night for 2005: Adults £5.20, OAP/Child (2-17) £4.60, Family (2 Adults/2 children) £16.80. Telephone bookings advisable, Tel. 01692 630262 sail from the Swan Hotel in Horning off the A1062. Easy wheel chair access please book wheelchairs and boarding commences 15 minutes prior to departure. Times Monday to Friday 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm, Sunday 1pm and 3pm with 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays mid season only. Available on Saturdays but must phone for sailing times.
2. A garden, craft and DIY centre (which we did not visit) again opting to visit Yarmouths attractions including the Sea Life centre and museums
3. Gorleston Pavilion theatre Music Hall (which happened to be their 10th Anniversary show). Box Office 01493 662832. This was an exceptional show; all tickets were just £10 (3rd May to Mid October 2005) and had your own candlelit table with waitress service for drinks. There was a person from the Black and White Minstrels show and a person playing instruments who was also an accomplished comedian. I would heartily recommend visiting this show, if you get chance.
Alternatively, you could visit Lowestoft, a nearby Suffolk town which also has a country park (Fritton Lake Countryworld) nearby which has birds such as geese, swans and other nature life good access for disabled as most walks have boardwalks and bridges onto islands. Lowestoft has a fairly good market and some quaint shops. For children, Pleasurewood Hills is nearby too but I have never been and cannot comment on it.
MORE INFORMATION FROM
Any tourist information office should be able to provide information about Great Yarmouth or provide you with a contact in Norfolk. www.norfolktouristattractions.co.uk or www.visitnorfolk.co.uk as recommended by the Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association in my leaflet which had some money off vouchers, picked up in the hotel. Have fun, werewolf.