Great Yarmouth

Located in Norfolk County at the mouth of the River Yare, Great Yarmouth is a pleasant coastal town renowned historically as a fishing port but, since 1760, it has also cultivated a reputation as a great English seaside resort.

Despite being in close proximity to the ancient Roman camp of Gariannonium, Great Yarmouth was only established as a permanent settlement around the 11th century AD due to the local fishing. A charter of King John secured the town's new status in 1208, reflecting its important regional role in the fishing trade. However, with the East Anglian coast vulnerable to invasion, Great Yarmouth gradually became a crucial naval base, assisting against the Spanish Armada in 1588 and, more decisively, during the Napoleonic Wars between 1799 and 1815.

Although substantial bombing during the Second World War damaged much of the town, Great Yarmouth continues to exhibit its long history for all to see. Moreover, thanks to expansion and redevelopment of key areas like the South Quay, Great Yarmouth caters to all kinds of visitors.


Erected in 1119 courtesy of Herbert Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich, the Church of St. Nicholas is the main religious building of interest in the town. Continual changes have revolutionised the church's original design and, charmingly, reflected in these changes are major developments in English history, such as the demolition of the 18 chapels within the church by the 16th century Protestant Reformers.

Two other monuments to the town's past can be found elsewhere. A rallying point for defenders against the Spanish Armada, the medieval town walls date back to 1261 and remain in excellent condition. Reaching further back, the motte and bailey of Burgh Castle at the end of Breydon Water was once part of the Roman defences against the Saxons.

The South Quay houses the town's central museums. Nominated in the UK Museums Awards in 2005, the Time & Time Museum on Blackfriars Road is of particular interest, providing an overview of Yarmouth's history. More specifically, the 13th century Tolhouse Museum focuses on crime and punishment in the town. Perhaps the most fascinating is the Norfolk Nelson Museum, which naturally looks at the life of the English naval hero who frequently docked in Great Yarmouth. The museum contains new displays and themes every year (the current one being Nelson's funeral), but is only open between April and October.

The Brittania Monument in the South Denes area is a further tribute to Nelson. Initially intended to mark his victory at the Nile, lack of funds meant construction was only completed in 1819. Nevertheless, the Monument is an imposing sight, some two-thirds the size of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

The five-mile long beach of Great Yarmouth is its main attraction. As well as soft sand and two promenades, you can find streams of amusement arcades, a Pleasure Beach with rides and even crazy golf courses. Moreover, the nearby Brittania Pier contains a town fair and the Brittania Theatre (the Wellington Pier was demolished in 2005 and is currently under reconstruction as an entertainment centre).

Great Yarmouth hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Maritime Festival, typically held in September for a weekend and containing exhibitions of tall ships and vessels, live music, theatre and craft marquees.


Great Yarmouth's market is one of England's largest and originates from the 13th century. If the rows of stalls aren?t enough for you, the town's Market Gates shopping centre is nearby as well as the major shopping streets.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Great Yarmouth has a number of bistros, fish and chip outlets and takeaways, as you might expect from a traditional English coastal town. However, there are also plenty of high quality restaurants like the aptly named Italian Restaurant on King Street and the Rambouillet Restaurant in the Imperial Hotel.

You're never far away from a pub in Great Yarmouth, but you can also find a range of bars and wine bars in the town. For dancing, both Marine Parade and the entire seafront have a selection of nightclubs.

For something different, the St. George's Theatre can be found on King Street and the Hippodrome Circus on St. George's Road is a particular treat.

Tourist Information

Great Yarmouth Tourist Information CentreMaritime House25 Marine ParadeGreat YarmouthNR30 2ENTel: 01493


The nearest airport to Great Yarmouth is Norwich International Airport, some 22 miles away. Buses and taxis can be used to reach the town itself but a very limited selection of international and domestic connecting flights are available from NIA.

Despite being 105 miles away, London Stansted Airport provides an alternative for visitors. Train and bus services are excellent, and you can find regular domestic and international connecting flights.

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