Visit Great Yarmouth and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Yarmouth owes its unique plan to its position where the three rivers, the Bure, the Waveney and the Yare converge to find their way into the North Sea. It lies on a spit of land which has the sea on the east side and the river on the west and this water-surrounded environment gives it a character which is very much reminiscent of some of the Dutch and Flemish cities. As a busy harbour, whose magnificent herring fleet is regrettably dwindling, a market town and a popular seaside resort it has a great deal to offer both the casual visitor and the long-term holidaymaker.
It was a town of some importance in Norman times and was granted its charter by King John in 1208. There are still remains of the walls of the medieval town which established a plan which has been rightly compared to a miniature Manhattan. Within its walls the various orders, Benedictines, Carmelites, Dominicans and Franciscans set up houses, and a complex pattern of narrow streets, The Rows, was created, which was preserved almost to this day. The 18th century saw the rise of Yarmouth as a seaside resort and the 19th saw its full development, which has made Yarmouth into one of the most popular resorts on the English caast, with 5 miles of sea front and every possible holiday amenity.
The River Yare divides Yarmouth from its neighbour, Gorleston, which may be reached by passenger ferry. Cars and other vehicles have to cross the river by the bridge at the north end of the town. From this bridge just to the south of Breydon Water, the two main quays extend north and south. Just before South Quay is Hall Quay, with the Town Hall (1882) and the Duke's Head Hotel (dating from 1609).
Its continuation, on the other side of Regent Street, is South Quay, which has been called the finest quay in England and provides a visual experience which may be compared with such famous Continental cities as Ghent. Here were the homes of the wealthy merchants of the town. The Elizabethan House (National Trust) is 16th century. with a façade dating from the early 19th. Inside is some splendid panelling and a remarkable plaster ceiling. Further along is the Customs House which was built about 1720 as the home of John Andrews, said to be the greatest herring merchant in Europe.
Behind the South Quay were The Rows. At one time there were 145 of these narrow alleys which were numbered as an aid to recognition. In some of the Rows lived the fisher-folk and other humble people of the town and in others lived some of those merchants who were not quite able to own properties fronting the Quay. The Old Merchant's House, now a museum, is a good example.
Returning to the bridge you reach North Quay which contains the north-west tower of the old walls of the town. It leads to Bure Bridge and the road to Norwich.
The market place in the centre of the town is large and open and from it King Street, one of the main shopping centres of the town, leads down to the river. At the north-east corner of the market place is Church Plain with the Fishermen's Hospital, founded in 1702, one of the most attractive buildings in the town. Next to the hospital is Sewell House (1646), the birthplace in 1820 of Anna Sewell whose novel Black Beaun' has remained a favourite. Close by is the vicarage which dates from 1718, with alterations made in 1781. The Church of St Nicholas, which was completely refashioned with a neo-Gothic interior. after its war-time destruction in 1942, is generally held to be the largest parish church in England. The original Norman church was successively enlarged so that at the present time the enormously wide aisles are broader than the nave which they enclose.
At the opposite end of St George's Plain is the Church of St George with its probably unique design by John Price. Built in 1714-16, it features a west tower enclosed within the body of thechurch by two quadrant bays on either side, with a lantern of two stages topping the tower.
Along the peninsula which separates the River Yare from the sea is the great Nelson Column designed by William Wilkins, and built in 1817. At 144 ft high it is just 1 ft less than that in Trafalgar Square and was built, of course, much earlier. Though when it was erected it was in a lonely isolated position it is now surrounded by factories. It is particularly interesting that the figure of Britannia turns inland to the west and not seawards to the east, a fact which shows that even at that date Yarmouth still centred Itself on the river rather than on the North Sea.
As a seaside resort Yarmouth naturally turns towards its magnificent beaches. At the north end of the town the North Denes are the site of the famous race-course. Along the promenade which runs the full length of the town towards the south, there are many attractions for tourists: bowling greens, tennis courts, a boating lake, a swimming-pool and theatre, all of which at night during the holiday season are brilliantly illuminated to provide a fantastic spectacle. Britannia Pier with its theatre and Wellington Pier with its pavilion originally date from the 1850s, though with much rebuilding right up to recent times.
Nearby cities: Norwich
Nearby towns: Acle Damgate, Bungay, Caister-on-Sea, Harleston, Lowestoft
Nearby villages: Belton, Blundeston, Hemsby, Martham, Ormesby St Margaret, Winterton-on-Sea
Have you decided to visit Great Yarmouth or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Great Yarmouth bed and breakfast (a Great Yarmouth B&B or Great Yarmouth b and b)
- a Great Yarmouth guesthouse
- a Great Yarmouth hotel (or motel)
- a Great Yarmouth self-catering establishment, or
- other Great Yarmouth accommodation