'It feels like freedom' - Families separated for months enjoy day at coast

Family meets at the coast

From left to right: Bronwen, Megan and Sue Price enjoy a long-last reunion at the coast - Credit: Sarah Burgess

Families and friends were reunited for the first time in months as lockdown eased and people enjoyed a sunny day on the Norfolk coast.

Though the beach itself was quiet and mainly populated by dog walkers, North Drive and Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth were full of families, couples and friends enjoying picnics and iced coffees in the midday sun.

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing - Credit: Sarah Burgess

For Sue Price and her daughters Megan and Bronwen, the moment was particularly special: they hadn't been together since Christmas. Before the third lockdown, the sisters had seen each other every day.

"We're just so relieved to be able to see each other in person again, and to see everyone else out and about too", they said.

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing - Credit: Sarah Burgess

Megan added that it was "absolutely lovely" to have a coffee out with her mum for the first time in three months.

"It's so windy, and we probably shouldn't have worn our hair down, but we don't care," she said.

Gloria and David Johnson were out too - on a long-delayed day trip from Norwich with their grandson, Seth.

family enjoying a day out at Yarmouth seafront

David and Gloria Johnson with their grandson Seth enjoying a day out at Yarmouth seafront - Credit: Sarah Burgess

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"We haven't been here in weeks", Mrs Johnson explained. "It finally feels like freedom."

Meanwhile for personal trainer Peter Dewar and his clients Ana Matos and Maria Carvalho, being able to hold an outdoor boxing session was "fantastic".

"Maria and I have been out boxing a fair bit over the last few months", Mr Dewar said, "but it's great to be able to have Ana here and for all of us to work out together. It really lifts your mood."

boxers at Yarmouth seafront

Maria, Peter and Ana enjoy an outdoor boxing session along the seafront - Credit: Sarah Burgess

For Alberto Menezes, co-owner at The Beach Hut along North Drive, trade was definitely starting to "pick up" around lunch time as families made the most of both the weather and the Easter holidays.

"We've been closed for the past few weeks", he said, "but there's more of an atmosphere here now that the restrictions are lifting."

From left to right: William, Billy and Lily Robinson, with their dog Reggie

From left to right: William, Billy and Lily Robinson, with their dog Reggie - Credit: Sarah Burgess

However, he did add that there were quite a few "unfamiliar faces", and worried that many of the people passing his cafe were not ostensibly "local".

For larger families not much had changed, but Billy Robinson and his children were out enjoying a coffee and a walk regardless.

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing

Yarmouth seafront on the first day of lockdown easing - Credit: Sarah Burgess

Mr Robinson, who lives nearby at Yarmouth Racecourse, said: "There's five of us, so the rule of six doesn't feel like a big difference.

"But we do appreciate being able to sit here on a bench and enjoy a coffee. There's definitely that."

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