Without a doubt, the best thing about Great Yarmouth is the Seafront. Look no further for a trip down memory lane with its immense history in the buildings and features but also modern attractions like an enormous swimming pool, Sealife Centre and mini Theme Parks. (but even they are getting old!) So many things for tourists to do here its hard to choose what to do first.
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My personal favourite shop is a little place down one of the old town ‘Rows’ called Avenue Fabrics. They sell some gorgeous fabrics and I’m in there every other day. They know me and always ask what it is I’m making this time and I feel comfortable showing them pictures on my phone of my latest creations. Ever helpful and always full of suggestions.
Other than that, another shop I love is called Craftmania on the main high street that runs through the centre of town. They sell absolutely anything and everything to do with crafts… ribbons, decoupage, felt, buttons, embroidery thread etc and if they don’t have it in or they don’t have the colour you need, they go out of their way to order it in for you. Its run by a really friendly team and in recent years they have opened up a second in the nearby town of Lowestoft. There are also numerous stalls on our large market (Wednesday and Saturday) that sell balls of wool and thread etc.
I do sell my handmade things, but not really in Yarmouth. I sell them online… bigger market. My things are pretty specialised and most go to USA. But, if you have little bits and bobs you’ve made and fancy selling them there are places for that. Round the corner from my house is St Mary's Church that has weekly Craft Fayres where u can book a table or 2 and many of the holiday parks have regular fayres themselves but the tables there are more expensive. (I’ve done a few with my handmade purses, bags and hair things) But don’t expect anything big to come out of it. Market stalls are pretty cheap and you can get a gazebo too. People there do pretty well and have been there for as long as I can remember.
Just down the road from my house is a beautiful, recently renovated park called St George's Park. It has a play area for kids and some spectacular trees and flowers that are well maintained. We have a War Memorial Pillar in the centre where we hold Remembrance day every year with the local scouting groups. I like going here when the weather is nice and reading a book (usually Game of Thrones) or dreaming up some new ideas for dresses or handbags. Great Yarmouth has many many attractions, its hard to choose. We have a rich history intertwined in the fishing heritage and so a lot of them are based on that. The Time & Tide Museum (and old herring smoke house) displays the history best in my opinion. Mainly because the smoky smell still lingers there and the racks the fish were hung on. Its highly interactive with lots of things to do and they have even built there own old English street, complete with old shops and houses that you can explore.
If you’re looking for something… less… old… you could always try the Seafront with its many many arcades and beckoning flashing lights. Between 2 piers that put on live comedy shows and bowling alleys and bars etc…miles of beach enclose the horse and cart rides and mini theme park Joyland at one end, and at the other another mini them park The Pleasure Beach, which boasts the oldest known roller coaster in Britain. Also down that way, is Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre which now houses Penguins! In olden days Trams used to go up and down the Seafront regularly but, today, there is no evidence of them on the road.
I can't not mention the Hippodrome Circus. Which is more than a hundred years old and is capable of pumping its ring full of water for a final ‘Water Spectacular‘ show at the end of the performance. A hundred years ago this was made possible by the use of an old diesel engine. It still stages circus shows twice daily throughout the holidays. When I was a little girl my dad used to take me up the Oasis Tower in the middle of the Seafront. It's now called the Atlantis Tower and there is a little café at the top where you can sip on a Latte and enjoy the views.
Eat & Drink
If you are REALLY hungry, try Fatsos on King street. American diner style restaurant (big burgers and steaks etc) with huge portions and always tasty. They have a loyalty card scheme too lol. If not so much, then I’d try one of the market stalls for some of Great Yarmouth’s famous Market chips. They really are amazing.
We have one of those old fashioned sweet shops down Victoria Arcade called Sweet Dreams. I used to own a shop round the corner from there, so he knows me and what I like. You can always find Fudge bars and sherbet pips and fizzy cola bottles or any flavour bon bons you can think of. My favourite are blueberry.
I have worked in several of the bars around town and my favourite bar closed down a few years ago. It was called Rasputin's and it sold every kind of Russian vodka. Polish vodka… ain all kinds of wonderful flavours. We made amazing (Russian themed) cocktails and it was the place I met my boyfriend. A lot of the bars are closing around us now, but some are still going. I like the ones with pool tables. I like to play. Oakwoods behind Palmers, The Albion near me and The Prince Regent, also near me are just 3 cozy pubs with pool tables. They have nice atmosphere and always have live music or karaoke at the weekend.
I rarely go outside to do my crafting and sewing, I've got a house with a study for a reason. But if I ever felt the need, I would probably go to the park or the massive graveyard. It's wonderfully atmospheric, but it closes its gates at sun-down.
Craftmania run a lot of crafty clubs and sessions where u can learn new skills or take part in a ‘craft-off’, but they are based in the Lowestoft branch as its bigger there. Its not really that far away if you can drive or get the bus though. You can make a ton of crafty friends here and have a lot of fun. Other than that, I am unaware of any other clubs in the area… maybe I will start one myself.
See Something Special
There is a little place on the seafront called the Windmill. Built over a hundred years ago, It is one of the only purpose built cinemas in the country. Originally called the Gem Theatre it showed Electric Picture Shows and men and women used to have to sit on opposite sides of the auditorium. Now though, it's an indoor adventure golf place and the cinema and all its seats and grade II listed décor is hidden away behind false walls and doors. If you go in, play a bit of mini golf and have a look round. Some of the old memorabilia is still intact and photos from actors who onced starred there adorn the walls. A great place.
Take Home A Souvenir
Obviously, for a seaside town, the only souvenir you need to take home with you is a stick of rock from our famous Docras Rock Factory, which claims to be the biggest in the world. You can even take a tour and see your rock being made with whatever you want written inside.
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