Everything to see and do in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile. Seaside towns need to find creative ways to challenge deprivation acco

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile. Seaside towns need to find creative ways to challenge deprivation according to a House of Lords report Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Great Yarmouth is famous for its wide sandy beaches and busy Golden Mile full of jingling arcades and fun, family attractions.

Think buckets and spades, warm sugary donuts, candyfloss, piers, and donkey rides.

But there is much more to this vibrant seaside resort with a burgeoning gallery culture, street art scene, and heritage offer making for an eclectic, exciting vibe in summer and winter.

Charles Dickens and Admiral Lord Nelson were fans and its historic quayside dubbed by Daniel Defoe "the finest in Europe" continues to draw trippers today.

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile is preparing to host its first ever Pride parade Picture: James Bass

Joyland on Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile is a popular family destination famous for its 1949 snails. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Where is Great Yarmouth and how do I get there?

Right on the east coast you will find it on the A47 about 20 miles from Norwich. It takes around 2hrs 20mins from London Liverpool Street on the train, and is around 1hr 40mins from Cambridge via the M11.

The grand reopening of the Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honey

Great Yarmouth's Venetian Waterways and boating lake offer an oasis of calm at the hub of the busy resort. - Credit: Archant

How much is parking in Great Yarmouth?

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There is a mix of long and short stay options on the seafront. Charging comes into force from April 1 to October 31. For long stay it is £6 up to four hours and £9.30 for over four hours.

For short stay prices vary according to the season, in summer they are: up to one hour £2.50, up to two hours £5 then £3.30 per hour thereafter Monday to Sunday. Any period between 9pm and 8am, £1.50.

There is also on-street seafront parking at £4.50 up to four hours, £7 all day, free after 6pm.

In the town centre there are a number of borough council run car parks charging £1 an hour for up to four hours, and £8 for over four hours. They are free after 4pm and some are free from midday on Wednesday to support the town's main market.

Daniel Sanders and Abbie Bull, both 29, from Milton Keynes, at the Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth.

The wooden roller coaster is among highlights at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. - Credit: Archant

What is there to do in Great Yarmouth?

For thrill seekers head straight to the Golden Mile and its Pleasure Beach for a ride on the historic wooden roller coaster.

The amusement park also has a fun house, haunted house, traditional gallopers, and fairytale snails that trundle under the big dipper.

For 2021 there is also a giant observation wheel, creating a spectacle on the seafront.

Other attractions include the Sea Life Centre, Adventure Golf, Britannia and Wellington Piers, numerous arcades,  Merrivale Model village, horse and carriage rides, open-topped bus rides, and Joyland and its famous snails that have been delighting visitors since 1949.

The recently refurbished Venetian Waterway and gardens offer a peaceful antidote to the seafront bustle.

A very busy Regent Road in the summer, the main pedestrian road from the seafront to the town centre

A very busy Regent Road in the summer, the main pedestrian road from the seafront to the town centre.August 2013.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

What shops are there in Great Yarmouth?

Great Yarmouth has plenty of options for retail therapy. Along the main tourism thoroughfare of Regent Road you will find an array of gift and novelty shops brimming with beach balls and other holiday fare.

In the town centre you will find a good mix of high street brands with River Island, WH Smith, Pandora, JD Sports, New Look,  and Claire's Accessories.

Sports Direct is due to open in King Street in June 2021, bringing Evan's Cycles, Game, and USC.

There are plenty of independents along the Medieval Rows with out-of-town retail parks hosting the likes of Next, M&S, and TK Maxx.

The town also has one of England's oldest markets, where traders have been selling their wares for over 1,000 years.

Teddie the cat at Darling Darlings Cat Cafe on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Danielle Bo

Teddie the cat at Darling Darlings Cat Cafe on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

Where is there to eat and drink in Great Yarmouth?

There's The Troll Cart Wetherspoon pub at the top of Regent Road. The town also has a McDonald's, Subway, Greggs, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Frankie and Benny's.

Yarmouth also has an array of cafes and restaurants along the seafront, with the Yankee Traveller in King Street being popular with burger fans.

Darling Darlings Cat Cafe offers a retro dining experience with "mash pots", and for high end fine dining there is Pamela's in Wellington Road.

Quayside Plaza in South Quay has more of a bistro vibe and is well-located for museum and heritage buffs.

But no visit to Yarmouth is complete without a portion of the town's famous market chips - reckoned among the best in the country.

Sea views from the new Premier Inn on Great Yarmouth seafront- the first building in a multi-million

Sea views from the new Premier Inn on Great Yarmouth seafront- the first building in a multi-million pound complex which will also see a casino, restaurants and cinema built. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Where is there to stay in Great Yarmouth?

There are two Premier Inns, one on the seafront and one within walking distance of the town. The town has a multitude of hotels and guest houses to suit all price ranges, including a Medieval tower.

Independent hotels that are highly rated by guests include The Furzedown, The Imperial, and Andover House with Kilbrannen guest house winning a crop of Tripadvisor awards.

The Time and Tide Museum is one of the attractions on our Great Yarmouth bucket list Credit: Norfolk

The Time and Tide Museum in a former herring curing works is among attractions that are well-worth visiting in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant

Is there a museum in Great Yarmouth?

Great Yarmouth has five museums; The Time and Tide Museum dedicated to Great Yarmouth life, The Tolhouse Museum in the town's oldest building tells the story of crime and punishment, and the Elizabethan House Museum where visitors can explore life in a merchant's house.

There are also the Row Houses, and the Lydia Eva steam drifter - a floating museum that tells the story of the fishing industry.

hippodrome circus

The Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth provides entertainment throughout the year. - Credit: James Bass

What entertainment is there in Great Yarmouth?

The St George's Theatre and Britannia Pier Theatre both host live shows throughout the year.

There is The Arc cinema on the seafront showing all the latest releases. There are a variety of festivals throughout the year including the Out There Festival staged in September which brings together street performers from around the world.

There is also the purpose-built Hippodrome Circus which hosts performances in-the-round with summer, Christmas, and Easter shows as well as a venue for other acts. 

For racing fans there is a racecourse at Yarmouth which holds Ladies' Day events and a greyhound racing stadium with stock car and banger racing.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is known for its tigers. The attraction says it was preparing for a Ju

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens near Great Yarmouth is known for its tigers - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Is there a zoo in Great Yarmouth?

There are no wildlife parks in the town itself (apart from the Sealife Centre) but just outside in Thrigby you will find Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens which has a good range of animals from tigers to gibbons, crocodiles to owls.

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park at Reedham also offers the chance to see a mix of mainly smaller creatures as well as children's rides and shows.

Yare Gallery Great Yarmouth

Inside the new Yare Gallery in Great Yarmouth which opens on Saturday May 29, 2021. - Credit: Yare Gallery

Is there an art gallery in Great Yarmouth?

Great Yarmouth has a fine pedigree when it comes to art.

A new art gallery in South Quay The Yare Gallery is a showcase for contemporary artists, spanning some of the best known names in the field like John Kiki and Bruer Tidman.

A satellite gallery Skippings in King Street is a platform for emerging talent. There is also a street art trail with large, vibrant murals springing up on private properties across the town.

Anna Sewell House, Church Plain, Great Yarmouth.

Anna Sewell House, in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Bass

What famous people come from Great Yarmouth?

Anna Sewell of Black Beauty fame, Oscar-winning film director Jack Cardiff, actor Jason Statham, choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan, actor Matthew Macfadyen, painter Charles Burton Barber.