By Genevieve Rudd
W&BA Chair, Programme Coordinator and Gt Yarmouth Representative
Great Yarmouth sits at the north of our W&BA micro-region as part of the River Waveney in Norfolk. In this part of the region, the river flows through Burgh Castle into Breydon Water, which in turn flows into the town of Great Yarmouth.
In this series of blog articles, Spotlight On… takes a closer look at the 8 towns which make up the W&BA micro-region from the perspectives of our local area coordinators within our management committee. In this article we hear from W&BA Chair and Great Yarmouth native, Genevieve Rudd, about her recommendations for visiting Great Yarmouth…
Great Yarmouth is a place of contrast from the dazzling lights of the seafront amusements to the peaceful Roman ruins of Burgh Castle. Great Yarmouth is home to some record-breaking architecture, such as the Hippodrome Circus which is Britain’s only surviving total circus building with a sunken water pool, the Great Yarmouth Minster which is the largest parish church in the country, and the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) National Award winning St Georges’ Theatre.
To take in the best of the beach and dunes in Great Yarmouth, my personal favourite café is The Beach Hut along the sea front. The café has fun décor inside and overlooks the sea, so you’ll be sheltered if you’re visiting on a rare rainy day to the seaside(!). The Beach Hut café is located along North Beach, which is also part of the Norfolk Coast Path. You can walk further north to the quieter dunes towards Caister, or head south towards Britannia Pier and the amusements. From this stretch you can see Scroby Sands turbines turning on breezy days. The Beach Hut café menu includes their famous clam chowder and salt beef bagels, which would make a hearty end to coastal walk. The café is located on the edge of the newly refurbished Venetian Waterways, which has it’s own on-site café too and pedalo hire.
If you’re an artist looking for a place to host an exhibition in town, I’d recommend Skippings Gallery on King Street. It is managed by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust who hire the venue out for £100 a week to artists, without taking additional commission, plus reduced concession rates. Another recommended space for hosting arts exhibitions is Great Yarmouth Library. Their upstairs space has hosted international artists and school projects alike, and benefits from a broad audience including those who wouldn’t usually visit art spaces.
England’s second most complete Medieval wall (pictured above) surrounds Great Yarmouth and leads to the Time & Tide Museum, which has an ever-changing programme of exhibitions alongside permanent displays about the town’s heritage, all of which is housed in a Victorian herring curing works. Fish is still on the menu at the on-site Silver Darlings café, alongside delicious Portuguese-inspired lunch and cakes. The Portuguese community has lots of local delicious eateries around town including Quayside Plaza (very near to the Elizabethan Museum and the Library) and Central Cafe/Nicola Cafes which is simple but locally rated for great coffee and pastel de nata!
Read our Spotlight on Halesworth, and look out for features on our other towns coming soon.