AREA GUIDE

Great Yarmouth

Famous for its associations with Lord Nelson and Charles Dickens, a rich maritime history, award winning museums, invariably sunny weather, what’s not to like about Great Yarmouth?

13th century town walls, the largest parish church in England, historic alleyways called The Rows, and blue plaques on every corner make Yarmouth a living history book. The promenade and beach is delightful – there’s so much to see and do for residents and visitors alike. Two theme parks sit near the beach, a cinema, the largest indoor circus in Britain, a Sea Life centre, amusement arcades, a model village and leisure centre, means plenty to do.

Train and bus links are excellent and house prices are surprisingly affordable for Norfolk: £50,000 up to £1 million or more.

Read more about it below – and if you’ve any questions about the area or property, please do get in touch with me.

‘When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me), and smelt the fish, and pitch, and oakum, and tar, and saw the sailors walking about, and the carts jangling up and down over the stones, I felt I had done so busy a place an injustice; and said as much to Peggotty, who heard my expressions of delight with great complacency, and told me it was well known (I suppose to those who had the good fortune to be born Bloaters) that Yarmouth was, upon the whole, the finest place in the universe.’

Charles Dickens

 

Town Centre

Great Yarmouth town centre is much bigger than its neighbour, Gorleston. Three supermarkets, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are there, as well as a fine independent department store Palmers, in front of the mini mall, Market Gates.

Regent Road is the tourist trap for bucket and spade, and seaside shops. Completely pedestrianised, from the beach to Market Gates, it’s an odd place. At one end is the marvellous Dining Room, connected to Merrivale Model Village tearooms, at the other Costa and McDonalds, with every type of quirky shop sandwiched between. A waxworks on there has only recently closed.

Market Gates, with its steep inclined entrance (test those buggy brakes) is an L shaped mall with Starbucks, Debenhams and Burger King in there as well as phone shops and music shops. Perfectly pleasant and away from the marauding market gulls. There’s a beautiful arcade called Victoria Arcade, King Street and Northgate Street to complete the retail picture.

Perhaps its biggest draw (well for me at least) is the market place and those chips.  The market has a charter dating back to King John and I must admit the chips are a real favourite of mine.

Housing stock varies in price around the town centre. Property overlooking St George’s Park, and the old Municipal Art School is more expensive with prices around £200k. Cheaper property from £70k can be found around the town.

Transport links are excellent – the A12, A47, which can get bottlenecked in summer and rush hours, whisk you out, as do buses and trains.

A Premier Inn was built recently on the outskirts near Vauxhall and the Gapton Retail Park, 2 miles from the town, is developing and having a makeover – M and S Food, The Grayling public house, and Frankie and Benny’s. A new hotel is opening near the Pleasure Beach too

A characterful town centre

  • Wide range of shops and eateries
  • History on every corner
  • Market chips!

Beach & Prom

Great Yarmouth beach is lovely. It’s more commercialised than Gorleston with its Golden Mile of arcades and attractions but to my eyes it’s great.

The seafront stretches from a waterway, due for redevelopment at the north end, to the Pleasure Beach at the south end. It’s an underrated and often unfairly maligned town. There’s an Edwardian cinema, there are lots of chain and independent eateries, a horse hackney service, a summer tourist train, cycling tracks, a redeveloped Marina Centre. Joyland, with its famous Snails, is renowned locally and nationally. There’s two piers with attractions, a Quasar, Sea Life Centre, and the historic Pleasure Beach with the oldest wooden rollercoaster in Britain.

A casino, hotels and arcades sit along the front and there’s a beautiful Royal Naval Hospital at the end. Quadrangled and gated, with residents living in this listed Georgian marvel.

Blue plaques abound in Yarmouth and there’s another surprise, near the south end,  is Trafalgar Column; Britannia facing inwards towards her kingdom.

  • Golden beaches
  • Plenty to see and do
  • Royal Naval Hospital is a gem

Areas

Great Yarmouth has many distinct areas, as you’d expect of the third largest town in Norfolk.

Opposite the Pleasure Beach at the south end is the Barrack Estate, named as the navy and army had camps there. Southtown is across the Yare, over Haven Bridge; Cobholm is near Gapton Retail Park. All are inexpensive.

The most expensive property in Yarmouth is to the north – Lawn Avenue, Caister Road and North Drive. New developments are popping up around the town. Redevelopment opportunities are plentiful too from the town hall along South Quay which has museums and magnificent period buildings, some in disrepair, ripe for rejuvenation. Newtown has lovely terraced areas like Salisbury Road and Hamilton Road, a stone’s throw from the beach dunes.

It’s a vibrant town with lots of potential.

Great summer weather, affordable housing and staycation means it’s a superb place to buy or invest.

  • Housing in Yarmouth is very affordable
  • Superb amenities
  • Transport links

History

Great Yarmouth is a veritable history book.  I’m not sure where to start!

It has town walls, many still standing, from the 13th century; the largest parish church in England, St Nicholas, and architecture that is stunning. I’ve yet to live in an area quite like it – it is awash with blue plaques and the oldest football grandstand in England, home of The Bloaters.

It has the oldest rollercoaster in Britain, a listed theme park, the oldest indoor circus in the country, the magnificent Hippodrome.  It has literary connections with Anna Sewell, of Black Beauty fame and Charles Dickens who lived here and set “David Copperfield” and its famous beach chase scene on Marine Parade. It has museums in abundance – Time and Tide, Nelson, the old Tolhouse Gaol (13th century), Elizabethan House and a beautiful town hall.  These museums are all excellent.

It was extensively bombed in both World Wars, with a Zeppelin killing two people in 1915. There are historic alleyways called “Rows”, many of which still survive, old toll ruins along the river Bure and extensive maritime associations with Nelson.The market place has a beautiful Fishermen’s hospital, which would attract queues if it was in Brugge, say, but here, it’s largely ignored. I think having an outsider’s perspective really brings home what charm Yarmouth has – and it’s not heralded at all, which is a shame.

  • A living museum
  • Splendid architecture
  • Superb museums