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Great, Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth (England)
Member Name: mreyre
Great Yarmouth (England)
Date: 02/11/00, updated on 02/11/00 (153 review reads)
Advantages: An excellent, typically British seaside day out.
Disadvantages: Get their early so you can park.
I moved to Norfolk from Derbyshire about 4 years ago, and now have the luxury of being able to visit the coastal resort of Great Yarmouth whenever I want. Having lived in Derbyshire for 20 years, the furthest away possible from any beach whatsoever. Now, with Hunstanton only about 30 minutes away and Great Yarmouth just over an hour away, I visit the seaside whenever I can, even in the winter.
Now, Great Yarmouth is not great in the Winter months - we tried walking along the beach last January, just so we could say we have done it, and let me tell you, it was blooming cold!! Also, all the seaside-type shops were (predicatably) boarded up, so there was not a lot to do.
However, on a Summer Sunday, Great Yarmouth is packed full of exciting things to do! To give you a good example, this is how I would spend a typical day in Yarmouth:
I always aim to get there for about 9 a.m. Go to bed early the previous night, and this is not too much of a problem. I drive straight through the town and park in the car park near the cinema, opposite the toilets! (very useful!) Now, initially, I was very shocked at the rates charged for car parking. At last count, it was 70p an hour, so to stay for the majority of the day, this works out at over a fiver, just for car parking. However, on a glorious sunny Sunday, the car parks are completely full by 10 a.m., so this proves that they can jolly well charge what they like!!
We then make the most of the beach, which is always very clean and tidy, going for the usual paddle and sandcastle-build, before the beach gets too packed. You are also able to hire deckchairs for around £1. When we have tired our daughter out, we make our way to what we call "The Snails".
Now, this attraction has certainly been at Great Yarmouth for over 25 years as we have a cine-film of my wife on the snails when she was 5, and they weren't new then, certainly. The rides have very much worn the test of time, a
nd are great for children - there are rockets and cars to ride on, as well as a fast water rapids-type ride. You buy tickets, which can be exchanged for rides.
We then make our way up the "seaside-shops" street. There are some superb shops here, we sometimes stop at the first one on the right for a great mug of tea or coffee, it's set out like an old fashioned diner, and the service is oustanding. There is a great "cheap" bookshop (you know the type of thing) and the ubiquitous "rock" shop, complete with "rude" rock-shapes to take home for your friends! There are some dodgy shops, too, which should be avoided, including the usual "£2.99 music tapes" shops, which seem to only sell Line Dancing or Daniel O'Donnel tapes.
It's now about lunchtime, we stop at the chip shop at the top of the main street on the left (before Kentucky) and go and sit in the park to eat our fish and chips, which are always scrummy! We then let our daughter play on the park swings, slide, etc.
By then, she has usually fell asleep in the pushchair, allowing Mummy and Daddy to zoom around the shops for an hour or two without interruption. All the major high street stores are here and are very well stocked. There is also a great indoor shopping centre, and an outdoor market, again with more fish and chip outlets than you can shake a stick at.
One tip: make sure you have been to the bank before you arrive in Yarmouth, as the banks are all on one road, near the docks, ie. miles away from the shopping centre. The times we have forgotten and wasted valuable time walking around to the banks, it's really inconvenient.
Depending on time, we now either make our way home, or take a long walk down to the Pleasure Beach. This is comparable to the one at Blackpool, though much cleaner and less "rough!", in my opinion. There are loads of great rides here, mainly for older children (and adul
ts!!), but there are some which are suitable for youngsters. Along the way there are plenty of side-stalls to keep the kids amused, my Lucy loves the trampolines.
Finally, we often stop at the HUGE Asda store on the way home and pick something tasty for supper, and look at the clothes, too. There are lots of great Bed and Breakfast places in Yarmouth, or in nearby Gorleston, which is much quieter, great for watching the sun go down (with yet more fish and chips!). There are also plenty of caravan sites, many of my colleagues at work have their own static caravan, which sounds like a great idea to me - perhaps my dooyoo rewards will go some way to investing in one!
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