Explore unexpected and surprising heritage in Great Yarmouth

21 March 2021 Posted by: [email protected] Hotel Travel Tips
Friends enjoying the fresh lobster and crab dinners at Belliveau Cove

Explore Great Yarmouth, an ancient Norfolk port where the sea meets the Broads with amazing Medieval town walls, Rows designed by the Victorians, and a Minster dating to 1101 combined with the retro chic of the seaside, where you can ride the oldest wooden rollercoaster in the country and have a spin on the unique Joyland snails on the seafront.


Old Penny Museum at Merrivale Model Village

Rows, fishwives & spending an old penny

Set on a sandbank between the North Sea and the river Yare, the quickest way to get from Great Yarmouth town centre to the quayside was along the ‘Rows‘ – narrow streets just 34 inches wide in places housing wealthy merchants’ houses between fishwives’ dwellings, bars and brothels, making for a heady mix.

Find out more about Great Yarmouth life and the riches that the herring trade brought to the town at the award winning Time & Tide museum (book online for a timed entry slot) or English Heritage’s Row Houses on Row 111*, just two of Great Yarmouth’s museums charting the life and times of the area and its inhabitants.

For retro heritage fun head to the seafront to play on the Old Penny Arcade* at Merrivale Model Village, where there are over forty beautifully preserved, fully functioning, absolutely ingenious old penny slot machines.


Great Yarmouth Minster

Fish, ships & snails in Great Yarmouth

In her day the Lydia Eva steam drifter was the last word in modernity, with electric light and a wireless on board. Now fully refurbished, you can go aboard between April and October.

One of five museums locally, this unique floating museum moored on South Quay is the perfect introduction to the port of Great Yarmouth, where you can also find St. Nicholas, the largest parish church in the country, now a Minster, and the second most complete Medieval town wall in England. Built to repel pirates and assaults by n’er-do-wells, the wall still has eleven of its original towers.

Great Yarmouth has architecture from almost every period, including Victorian and Edwardian architecture along the seafront, where retro seaside fun can still be enjoyed today aboard the Joyland snails (please note, no pre-booking required for Joyland but it is reduced capacity inside).


Scenic rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach

Authentic heritage with a scenic twist & smoky aroma

In Great Yarmouth you can explore heritage sites from almost every era. From Roman ruins and a beautifully preserved Elizabethan merchant house* on South Quay, to a Medieval town wall housing a former herring Smoke House, now packed with shipwrecked treasure but still smelling of wood smoke.

Meander down Victorian Rows and discover impressive Georgian and Edwardian architecture then enjoy some fabulous retro seaside heritage as you take your place on the oldest wooden rollercoaster in the country. One of only three in the world and dating from 1932, the Scenic Railway on the seafront with its ‘brakeman’ is the only place you can experience the heritage equivalent of time travel. Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach are currenly taking online bookings only with a 3 hour time slot.

*Please note these venues are currently closed due to social distancing restrictions