Great Things To Do In Great Yarmouth
On the gorgeous coastline of Norfolk, we have Great Yarmouth. I love Great Yarmouth. It is a holiday resort that is close to my heart, and one that I try and visit as often as I can. There are lots of great things to do in Great Yarmouth and around Great Yarmouth, including a visit to Norwich and the Norfolk Broads.
Great Yarmouth has always been a popular UK staycation resort with lots of arcades, attractions, Britannia Pier, shopping, and the popular Great Yarmouth beach.
You are spoilt for choice for accommodation from hotels, guest houses, and the many different caravan parks in and around Great Yarmouth.
Over the years Great Yarmouth has improved with lots of investments. If you have not been for a long time, then you need to return as it has changed for the better. For one there are more things to do in Great Yarmouth, and more investment to improve the appearance of the popular Norfolk seaside resort.
It is not just Great Yarmouth that is a great holiday resort, there are lots of wonderful places along the Norfolk coastline that are worth visiting. There is something really special about the Norfolk coastline.
About Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth has been welcoming holidaymakers since the late 1700s. Thanks to the popularity of the resort and the amazing beach Great Yarmouth has to offer, it has become one of the most popular holiday resorts in the UK.
The railway which was opened in 1844 helped to bring even more holidaymakers to the resort. Great Yarmouth welcomed two piers, the first Great Yarmouth pier opened in 1854 (Wellington Pier) and the second opened in 1958 (Britannia Pier).
In 1902, Great Yarmouth welcomed the first Electric Trams, sadly these were replaced in 1933 by busses.
In the first World War, Yarmouth became a victim at the hands of Germany where they suffered Zeppelin and air raids, as well as being bombarded by German ships.
It was not just the First World War that brought destruction to Great Yarmouth. During the Second World War, Great Yarmouth was once again a target for the Germans where it was severely bombed.
With 15 miles of sandy beaches, Great Yarmouth has become a hot spot for sunseekers.
Great Yarmouth seafront
One thing I love when I stay in the UK is a visit to the beach. Great Yarmouth beach stretches further you can see, with soft golden sands, and ships passing in the distance. Along the promenade, you have great attractions including two theme parks, lots of places to eat, and an amazing pier. There is something for everyone along the Great Yarmouth promenade including horse carriage rides.
When you walk along the seafront in Great Yarmouth you will come across the brand new leisure centre which is very impressive, and you will also find the SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth, which is one of the best aquariums in England.
The parking in Great Yarmouth along the promenade is exceptional. There are lots of parking in Great Yarmouth available like most seaside resorts, but to have so many spaces available including disabled spaces is something I would like to see more seaside resorts provide.
I love Great Yarmouth Beach, but there is another beach nearby that I also love and is very special, and that is Gorleston-on-Sea Beach. It is only up the road, and I will be writing more about that beach and the things to do there very shortly.
The Best Things To Do in Great Yarmouth
Take a look at my favourite things to do in Great Yarmouth, and which I believe to be the best things to do for the whole family. Let me know if you agree.
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
What I love about Great Yarmouth or Yarmouth as the locals call it is the Pleasure Beach. Great Yarmouth knows how to provide tourists with what they want and need.
With a backdrop of the beach, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is situated on the main promenade. It is one of the first places in Yarmouth that children want to go and visit.
For some reason, Yarmouth Pleasure Beach reminds me of the fair in Morecambe back in its heyday in the 1970s. I would always go and visit Morecambe when I stayed in the Lake District. Morecambe fair was amazing, and so is Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is spread over nine acres and has more than 28 fantastic rides, which include a 1932 wooden roller coaster. The Yarmouth Pleasure Beach which has amusement arcade rides for the little ones as well as the big kids, and places to eat, has become Great Yarmouth’s number one attraction.
Great Yarmouth Joyland
Joyland is an amusement park in Great Yarmouth that is popular with families. It is a great place to take children for a great day out. The Great Yarmouth theme park is right next door to Britannia Pier and opened in 1949,
There are lots of great rides at Joyland, and what makes it great for families is it is very affordable. Great Yarmouth beach is just behind Joyland, and there are lots of places to grab something to eat or drink.
The rides at Joyland, include the Spook Express Kiddie Coaster, Balloon Wheel, Skydiver, Major Orbit, Tyrolean Tub Twist, Neptune’s Kingdom Under Sea Fantasy, Jet Cars, and Pirate Ship.
Joyland is one of the best things to do in Great Yarmouth for children.
Great Yarmouth SEA LIFE
SEAL LIFE is one of the big names in UK aquarium attractions. Great Yarmouth SEA LIFE Centre is up there with some of the best aquariums in the country.
It is home to over 1,500 fascinating sea creatures, and features like most of the SEA LIFE centres, an underwater tunnel, and a rock pool encounter. Kids will love everything that the Great Yarmouth aquarium offers.
It is a perfect day out where you can get close to marine animals and penguins, rays, and starfish. If that is not enough, then how about watching the crocodiles and deadly sharks, and the amazing turtles? You can even visit the shark nursery.
A visit to Great Yarmouth SEA LIFE Centre is not just a great day out, and a great place to go when it’s raining, it is also a great educational experience.
For Me, it is one of the best Great Yarmouth things to do for children.
There is plenty of parking in Great Yarmouth near SEA LIFE, but be warned, please make sure you give yourself plenty of time. The traffic wardens are very good at their job, and I was late by ten minutes and got a ticket.
Great Yarmouth Central Beach
I love a good quality beach. Great Yarmouth has an amazing beach that stretches right along the seafront and past Haven Seashore holiday park.
In the summer Great Yarmouth Beach comes alive with adults and children playing games and dipping in the water. The sandy beach which is surrounded by lots of attractions, cafes, ice cream sellers, and fast-food outlets, is a great way to spend a day.
See the Circus at the Hippodrome
I have visited Great Yarmouth many times, it has a special place in my heart especially Britannia Pier, Pleasure Beach, and Gorleston-on-Sea which is just up the road. But what surprised me last year was the discovery of the Hippodrome Circus. I never knew it existed, which is bad as a travel writer, but I am not taking the blame for this.
The Hippodrome Circus seems to be a hidden secret which is not a good thing. It seems lots of holidaymakers and day tourists don’t know about it. I would like to see a lot more promotion of the circus at the Hippodrome so more people can enjoy the fun that it offers.
The Hippodrome is a special place to see a circus as you will see when you visit. Kids and adults alike will love it. It has clowns, and acrobatics which you will love, and what also amazed me it has a water feature, which was restored in 1981.
They have world-class shows all year round and have a special Halloween show and Christmas show. It is a great place to visit for a fun day out in Great Yarmouth.
Merrivale Model Village
If you are looking for something fun to do in Great Yarmouth, then how about a visit to the Merrivale Model Village?
The Merrivale Model Village is popular with young children. Here you can see the miniature reconstruction of famous landmarks. There is also a Garden Railway which stretches 350 metres across its gardens. There is also a crazy golf course there.
The popular tourist attraction is located at Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth.
See A Show At The Britannia Pier Theatre
During the high season, The Britannia Pier Theatre has some great shows on. It is a great place to go for some amazing entertainment. Some of the big names in entertainment and comedy have performed at the Britannia Pier Theatre. To see the latest shows that are available, visit their website for full details.
Sarah Millican and Jimmy Carr have performed at the Britannia Pier Theatre with other big-name acts.
Don’t worry about parking in Great Yarmouth. There are plenty of spaces available within walking distance of the Britannia Pier Theatre.
Great Yarmouth Racecourse
If you are a racing fan, then the Great Yarmouth Racecourse is for you. It is a great day out for the whole family while having a flutter on the horses.
The thrill of the races is always a great day out. People come far and wide to spend the day at the popular racecourse.
Best Things to Do in Great Yarmouth In The Evening
We have looked at all the best things to do in Great Yarmouth during the day like spending the day on Great Yarmouth Beach, or having a fun time at Pleasure Beach, but what about in the evening?
There are lots of great things to do in Great Yarmouth after dinner, and here are some of my favourites.
Greyhound Racing Great Yarmouth
If Great Yarmouth Racecourse and horseracing are not your thing, then how about greyhound racing? Great Yarmouth has its own greyhound racing track which is very popular and a great night out.
Greyhound racing takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. You can have a bite to eat and a few drinks while trying to win some money on the dogs.
The Pavilion Theatre is located to the south of Great Yarmouth in Gorleston-on-Sea. The popular theatre which is also known as Gorleston Pavilion holds some great shows. They can include music shows, comedy shows, stand-up comics, and at Christmas, pantos.
It is a great place to visit for a night out in Great Yarmouth.
If you are feeling lucky then how about a visit to Great Yarmouth’s casino? The Grosvenor Casino offers a great night out. It is located on the seafront of Great Yarmouth.
There are lots of casino tables on offer from Blackjack, Poker, to roulette. There are also high-rolling fruit machines. The casino in Great Yarmouth closes at 6 am.
If you are looking for Great Yarmouth things to do in the evening or when it rains during the day, then Arc Cinema is a popular choice. The Great Yarmouth cinema has five screens. They show all the latest films.
Arc Cinema is right near Britannia Pier on Marine Parade and near the Pleasure Beach. If you can’t find parking in Great Yarmouth when wanting to go to the cinema, then don’t worry. There is parking right outside the cinema.
Things to do Near Great Yarmouth
Each time I visit Great Yarmouth I always make sure I visit Gorleston Beach which is in Gorleston-on Sea. It is a great place to visit, and I love the fish and chips there which I have with curry sauce.
In the summer months, Gorleston Beach is like being abroad. It’s a magical place and one of my favourite places to visit in Great Yarmouth. In my opinion, it is one of the best beaches in Norfolk.
Gorleston Beach is about five miles from Great Yarmouth Pleasure. It is not hard to find parking in Great Yarmouth, and the same can be said about parking in Gorleston-on Sea. There are plenty of parking spaces available.
While having fun on the beach, you can pop over the road and grab yourself something to eat or even an ice cream. There is a great café there that does amazing fish and chips. You can also grab yourself an ice cream, or pop into the restaurant that has an upstairs which looks over the beach.
There is a lovely pond at Gorleston Beach where people go and sail their model boats. It was built in 1927. Something I really love about Gorleston Beach is the bandstand. When you get out of the car in the summer months, on many occasions you will hear lovely music and singing. The bandstand has a range of musical groups performing there.
You can also find some gift shops there, a few cafes, as well as some small amusement arcades. There is also a theatre there, which is great, and some lovely pubs.
If you are looking for things to do in Great Yarmouth, and you have a car, then do go and visit Gorleston Beach, you will love it.
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Park
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Park is a zoo near Great Yarmouth. It is about 17 minute’s drive from Great Yarmouth Beach. It is a great place to visit for the whole family.
As someone who loves zoos, this is one of the best things to do in Great Yarmouth, and once you have visited Thrigby Hall Wildlife Park, I think you will agree,
This exotic animal attraction is set on the grounds of Thrigby hall. There are lots of great animals to see which include leopards, Asian golden cats, tigers, red pandas, monkeys, macaques, gibbons, otters, peacocks, cockatoos, owls, pheasants, ducks, cormorants, hamsters, chipmunks, porcupines and Prevost’s squirrels.
Children will love the zoo; it really is a special place to visit in all weathers.
The Norfolk Broads is known all around the world. It is an amazing place to visit for the whole family. It offers 125 miles of navigable waterways, where you can enjoy great boat rides and even hire your own bot. It has been awarded a National Park status.
You can rent a small boat for a few hours or even all day, or if you want to spend a week on one as part of your holiday, then you can do that as well. There are some magical things to see and do on the Norfolk Broads.
If you have a car, then a great thing to do near Great Yarmouth is a visit to Burgh Castle, which is about a 15-minute drive away from the main resort. You will find a 3rd-century fort that was built as part of the Roman network of coastal defences. It has been described as one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in Britain.
Burgh Castle is free to visit, and there is a car park there.
Caister Castle is another great place to visit in Great Yarmouth. It is about a ten-minute drive from the main resort. In 1432, Caister Castle was commissioned by Sir John Fastolf.
If you are looking for some amazing views, then climb up the 90-foot tower. You will be able to see the surrounding area. If you love cars, then you are in luck. They have a classic car collection and there is a café that serves light refreshments.
Free Things To Do In Great Yarmouth
Going on holiday does not always mean you must spend lots of money. You can have a great time in Great Yarmouth no matter what your budget is. I have provided details of the best Great Yarmouth things to do, but what about if you are looking for free things to do on a budget? Can you really have a great time without having to pay to visit some of the best Great Yarmouth attractions? The answer is yes.
I remember as a kid that my parents would take me on holiday or for a day out at the seaside. It was not about how much money was spent, it was about how much quality time we all had together and the fun we had. There are lots of fun things to do in Great Yarmouth without spending a fortune.
Here are my favourite free things to do in Great Yarmouth
I have already talked about Gorleston-on-Sea Beach, but for me this is one of the best beaches in Norfolk as well as one of the best free things to do in Great Yarmouth. You can have lots of fun on Gorleston-on-Sea beach during the summer without having to spend a penny.
Caister Lifeboat Station
If you are looking for free things to do in Great Yarmouth that will get the kids excited, then Caister Lifeboat Station is a great choice. Caistor Lifeboat which relies on public donations has been saving lives since 1791.
The Caistor Lifeboat Visitor centre is open from 4th April to Sunday 24th October every Sunday and Wednesday and every Bank Holiday.
Just 18 minutes from Great Yarmouth is Hemsby Beach. The reason why it is on my list of free things to do in Great Yarmouth is because it is the perfect place to sea seals. It is a beautiful beach and a popular spot amongst seals. So, if you pick the perfect day, then you and your children may come across some seals lazing around.
The Last Steam Drifter was originally a fishing boat but was bought
For someone who loves boats, this is one of the best free things to do in Great Yarmouth. The last steam drifter (Lydia Eva YH80) is located at South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2QJ. It was built in 1930 and was originally a fishing boat. However, in 1939 she was bought by the Royal Air Force and was used in a variety of roles.
A visit to Lydia Eva YH80 is a fascinating day out.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Redwings Horse Sanctuary which is around 16 minutes from Great Yarmouth is the biggest of its kind in the UK. It cares for ponies, mules, donkeys and horses. There are more than 110 animals to see. It is a free visitor attraction in Great Yarmouth and perfect for children.
Great Yarmouth F.A.Q
Who founded Great Yarmouth? Great Yarmouth was founded by the Angles
How many people live in Great Yarmouth? According to recent figures. The population of Great Yarmouth is 98,923
When did Great Yarmouth Railway Open? The railway was a changing point for Great Yarmouth. It opened in 1844 and allowed more holiday makers to visit the popular Norfolk holiday resort.
When did the first pier open in Great Yarmouth? The first pier to open in Great Yarmouth was in 1854 (wellington Pier). The second pier (Britannia Pier) opened in 1958
Did Great Yarmouth have trams? Yes! Great Yarmouth introduced electric trams in 1902. Sadly, they were replaced by buses in 1933.
Does Great Yarmouth have disabled parking? Yes! there are lots of spaces for Blue Badge holders in Great Yarmouth. People with Blue Badges can park for free on North Drive, Marine Parade, and Sandown Road.
Do Blue Badge holders have to pay in Great Yarmouth council car parks? Yes! Blue badge holders will have to pay to use the disabled spaces in all of the council car parks in Great Yarmouth
What is the nearest caravan park to Great Yarmouth beach? The nearest caravan park to the resort of Great Yarmouth is Haven Seashore Holiday Park.