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In at 10 Great Yarmouth! What would be in your top 10 of Norfolk’s towns and villages?

PUBLISHED: 11:19 12 December 2018

A busy Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth during the last few weeks of the summer holidays.
August 2014.

Picture: James Bass

A busy Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth during the last few weeks of the summer holidays. August 2014. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

I’m going to use my column this week to set you a little challenge.

If you were asked to recommend your top 10 towns, villages, or city in Norfolk to visit, what would they be?

After a fair bit of soul searching, this would be my current pick. I’ll share them in the style of the music chart run down so as to increase the tension even further!

10 - Great Yarmouth. Some are put off by the kiss-me-quick culture, lighten up I say and just enjoy the ride (literally).

9 - Horning. Hire a boat, head to the pub or just gaze at the water. A great place to visit.

8 - Blakeney. Take a stroll and enjoy Norfolk solitude at its best.

7 - Wroxham. I love a potter around and there’s also a surprising amount of things to do.

6 - Wymondham. A very under-rated town, but a little gem.

5 - Cley. Picture perfect.

4 - Hethersett. My home village and I visit it every day and love it. Has to make the list therefore.

3 - Cromer. Gaining a growing and deserved reputation as a great place for a day, week or even to live.

2 - Norwich. Wonderful city, we’re so lucky to have it.

1 - Wells-next-the-Sea. So much charm. Whenever I’m there the troubles just fade away.

Of course I’ve missed a stack load of wonderful places off the list and believe me it isn’t because I don’t love them, but what a great way to drive home just how brilliant and varied the mix is in this fine county of ours.

But that wasn’t why I drew the list up. It came off the back of me spending a fair bit of time this week thinking about Great Yarmouth and some of the challenges it faces over the next few years.

I’m a big fan of our coastal capital, visited it regularly as a child and probably go there even more now I have youngsters of my own. We spend action packed days on the beach, at the swimming pool, in Joyland, the sealife centre and of course at the machines.

I also feel it has more charm than it’s given credit for and the long sandy beach can look stunning on a blue skied day.

But of course it isn’t without its challenges, many of them extreme, some of them related to poverty of its residents and others to that undeniable fact some of its buildings need a bit of TLC.

But what I like about Yarmouth is a spirit (and a growing one at that) of ignoring those who like to run the town down and of constantly trying to improve their lot.

Over the last few years we’ve reported on several projects designed to upgrade its offering. These include a new River Crossing, reopening of the Venetian Waterways, a refurbishment of the Winter Gardens, a revamped market place and last week the announcement of proposals to upgrade and modernise the Marina Leisure Centre.

These might not all see the light of day and those that do could take decades to come to fruition but at least the ambition is there to make the necessary changes. And if they do come off, maybe it won’t be long before we see Great Yarmouth wrestle the top spot from it’s seaside rival.

* Please do feel free to send me your top 10 to david.powles@archant.co.uk

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