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Great Yarmouth Things to Do – 10 Attractions for Families
Every town and city has its own stunning sights and attractions. Great Yarmouth history and its plethora of attractions make it a stand-out travel destination. Here is a list of top attractions for fun-filled family adventures.
1. Great Yarmouth Joyland
Address: The Round House Works, Main Cross Road, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3NZ
Joyland is a historic amusement park located in Great Yarmouth on the coast of East Anglia. Opened in 1949, the park sits on the site of the former Anchor Gardens. The main attraction was Noah’s Ark located at the top of a great orange coloured mountain. It had 50’s style racing cars thrashing around.
A space shuttle style attraction called Space Base replaced it. The 50’s racing cars got replaced by rocket styled jet cars. Over the years, the park has been replacing old attractions with modern ones. Today, Joyland is home to the unique Tyrolean Tubs and the world-famous Snail.
You also have Toytown Mountain, where children can climb and ride the spook express. They can also captain Major Orbit and speed through Neptune’s Kingdom while on the back of a seahorse. There is a Pirate Ship that swings up and down entertaining adults and children plus a Junior Ferris Wheel. This is an enclosed ride that spins riders in the air. It does so by imitating a skydiver.
Besides the plethora of rides, there is the American Diner. Located next to the park in the Anchor Garden, it serves burgers, breakfast, hot dogs, nachos and more. For every £15 you spend in the American Diner, you get 1 free ride pass.
Admission to Joyland is by tokens. Spend £15 and get 12 tokens or spend £30 and get 25 tokens.
2. Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Address: South Beach Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 3EH
Explore the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach and experience a mix of white knuckle but child-friendly rides. Located in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, it was first established as a seaside holiday resort in the 1800s. But in 1909, C.B Cochran persuaded the local council to grant a lease for the seafront amusement park.
Today, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is home to 27 attractions, including 4 roller coasters and 1 water ride. The Log Flume is a large water ride where riders travel around a watercourse. The largest drop is 11 meters in height.
Disk’O is a ride where 24 riders sit facing each other on a large disk. It then rotates and moves along a curved track. YoYo is a small children’s swing ride. Opened in 2000, the ride has seats suspended from arms that rotate around a central point.
One of the latest rides is the Lightning 360. This is a custom-built ride sitting on a tower with eight arms. Opened in 2020, these arms support a two-seater plane that can turn 360 degrees. Another recent attraction is Waltzers. Opened in 2021, it’s a fairground classic with nine cars. Each car can sit five people.
There are On-Ride photo kiosks for the Snails, Big Apple and Scenic Railway rides. The Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is open for the 2021 season, and tickets are going for £13.50. It’s free for under 3’s.
3. Time and Tide Museum
Address: Blackfriars’ Rd, Great Yarmouth NR30 3BX
Another attraction located in Great Yarmouth is the Time and Tide Museum. As one of Norfolk’s third-largest museums, it’s set in one of the best-preserved Victorian herring curing works. Centred on Great Yarmouth’s rich fishing and maritime heritage, the museum focuses on the history of Yarmouth. It also offers a history of herring curing works.
It features several exhibitions. You can wander through a Victorian Row and experience the inside of a fisherman’s home. The Row is a type of narrow street from 1913. Take the wheel of a coastal Drifter and listen to gripping tales of rescue and wrecks.
You can also follow Great Yarmouth’s transformation from a sandbank through times of boom and bust. After hours of wandering through the galleries, relax in the spacious courtyard beneath a canopy of sails.
After relaxing, check out the:
- Lively hands-on displays
- Film shows
- Free audio guides
- Children activities
All these activities will enable you to experience Great Yarmouth vividly. Admission prices to the Time and Tide Museum are as follows:
- Adult: £6.70
- Child (age 4 – 18): £6.20
- Concession: £6.40
For Museum Pass Holders, Art Fund members and under 4’s, it’s free admission all year round.
4. Great Yarmouth Sea life
Address: Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth NR30 3AH
Discover the underwater world at the Sea life Centre. One of the major attractions at Sea life Centre is the Tropical Ocean display. The 250,000-litre display and tunnel is where you can see an array of sea creatures as they roam around the Lost City of Atlantis themed display.
The display allows you to get closer to sea creatures such as sharks. At the Under the Ray-dar tank, you’ll spot the Triggerfish. It has powerful beak-like jaws that they use to prey on shellfish and small crabs. The tank is also home to endangered Undulate Rays, Native Rays and others.
Next is the Jelly Invaders, a fascinating world of jellyfish. Here, you can learn and watch enchanting jellyfish as they dance around. The attraction has multi-coloured lights that emphasize the beauty of the jellyfish.
The latest attraction at the Sea life Centre is the Rock Pool Explorer. It’s home to incredible creatures such as the beautiful Anemones that flow with the tides and the camouflaging octopus.
Other sea creatures, you can find at Sea life Centre include:
- Coral reef inhabitants
- Seahorses and others
Book your standard ticket online from £15.10 per adult and £18.95 during peak or get the Anytime Entry Ticket online – £23.95 per adult.
5. Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus
Address: St. Georges Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
The Hippodrome Circus is Britain’s last remaining circus building. Built-in 1903 by showman George Gilbert, it’s one of the only two purpose-built circuses still in operation. Located in Great Yarmouth, this permanent circus is one of the only three globally with a circus floor that sinks into a pool.
Each summer, the Hippodrome Circus hosts the legendary Summer Spectacular Circus and Water Show. As Great Britain’s longest-running season, it features the world’s greatest circus acts. This is alongside hilarious hosts Johnny Mac and Jack Jay.
The show will also feature the Water Spectacular, where the entire circus ring sinks revealing a huge swimming pool. This is an original 1903 feature not found in any other circus globally.
In 2022, the circus will host a brand new show – the Swashbuckling Pirate Water show. It will feature a cast of acrobats, actors and aerialists. There will be much laughter thanks to the family blockbuster of a show created for the Hippodrome water spectacle.
There will be a massive 40 ft galleon made by 3D creations which is the centrepiece of the show. Besides acrobats and aerialists, the circus will feature fire eaters, pirates and even mermaids. Don’t miss it for the laughter and hearties!
Book your tickets through the box office or online. Tickets go for £21 – £26 (adults) and £13 – £16 (Children under 14 years).
6. Great Yarmouth Model Village
Address: Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 3JG
The Merrivale Model Village is a must-visit attraction in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Opened in early 1961, it was the creation of the Dobbins family. This was the second of three model villages that the family created.
The first model village was the Land of the Little People in Lancashire. Next was the Merrivale village and finally the famous Babbacombe model village in Torquay. The Dobbins family ran the Merrivale village until the early 1980s. They sold it to a local amusement family who later sold it to Frank and Frances Newsome.
Merrivale Model Village is a typical reflection of the English countryside. Located on an acre of land, the model village has its own:
- Village inn
- Busy town centre
- Sports stadium
- Zoo, country club
- Holiday park
The Famous Garden Railway is a hit with garden railway enthusiasts at the Model Village. It boasts 350 meters of 45 mm gauge track running around the garden. There are 28 different types of locomotives, novelty vehicles, trams and rolling stock with carriages.
Next is the 9 Hole Crazy Golf set on raised ground. It offers spectacular views over the model village towards the Wellington Pier. After a tour of the village, take a break at Merrivale Tea Rooms. They serve afternoon teas, delicious lunches and coffee. Established in 1903, they are beautifully decorated.
An All-Day Pass is £9.99 while Season Tickets are £35 for all ages.
7. Tolhouse Museum
Address: Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2SH
The Tolhouse Museum is one of the oldest gaols in the UK. It dates back to the 12 century. Inside the museum, you can see the original cells where smugglers, witches, pirates and murderers were confined. Listen to the free audio guide, and learn the fate and experiences of the prisoners.
Built around 1150 by merchants, it’s one of the oldest buildings in the town. Made of ashlar and flint with a tiled roof, it measures 45 by 27 feet. From the 13 century, the Tolhouse was a toll house for herring catches. In 1261, King Henry III permitted the building to be a gaol or jail.
The building has lots of steps and uneven floor surfaces, but access to the building for people with mobility issues is possible. For those with wheelchairs, book in advance. This ensures that an extra member of staff is present to operate the lift.
Entry for museum Pass holders and under 4’s is free, but adults pay £4.20 and children, £3.60.
8. Pirates Cove Adventure Golf
Address: Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2ER
Spend your day having great family fun at the Pirates Cove Adventure Golf. The Pirate’s Cove is a 36 hole golf course. There are two 18 hole themed golf courses. Suitable for all ages, it has been entertaining visitors for more than 25 years. How you may ask. By providing an unrivalled miniature golf experience.
At the pirate-themed golf course, you can putt your way under cascading waterfalls, over footbridges and through caves. As a fun-filled place, visitors can climb aboard Captain Jim’s pirate ship as well as an adventure through the smuggler’s caves. Legend says that Captain Jim hid his treasure in caves.
Impress the Captain by taking on the 18 hole challenge. You can putt on a giant pirate ship, on tropical landscapes and other unique landscapes. At each hole, experience different scenery and keep a lookout for obstacles.
Capture photo memories along the pirate-themed golf course and meet the friendly staff who keep the course clean. The Pirates Cove Adventure Golf is pushchair and wheelchair friendly. As such, you can navigate where planks and steps are present. However, the golf course terrain varies, so take extra care to avoid injury.
Open 7 days a week, admission prices are:
- Pirates (13 years and over) – £8
- Buccaneers (12 years and under) – £7
- Crew Pass (2 Pirates and 2 Buccaneers) – £28
An admission fee is payable for spectators and players. Only those who’ve paid can get admission to the golf course.
9. Windmill Adventure Golf
Address:9-10 Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. NR30 3AD
Experience indoor golf at the Windmill Adventure Golf. It has incredible themed settings packed with theatre memorabilia and cinema history. Open to the young and old, you can find so much heritage in this unique building.
The Windmill Adventure Golf building started life as the Gem Theatre. Intended to be a menagerie, locals swayed it to become an electric picture house. Opened in July 1908, it’s now one of the UK’s earliest surviving Cine Variety buildings.
Inside, you’ll find a magnificent display of electric bulbs. That is how the building got the nickname “Palace of a Thousand Lights. As the largest indoor golf venue in the UK, it’s fun for all the family despite the weather.
Per adult, ticket prices are £6 and £5 for children aged 13 and under.
10. Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
Address: Filby Rd, Thrigby, Great Yarmouth NR29 3DR
Meet a collection of rare animals at the Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. Opened in 1979 by Ken Sims, the former poisonous snake farmer got his inspiration to open the park from the early writing of Gerald Durrell. His travels in South East Asia gave him first-hand insight and experience of running a wildlife park.
At the Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, you can find animals, such as the Sumatran Tiger
- Red Panda
- Snow Leopards
- Amur Leopard
- Clouded Leopard
- Golden Cat
- Birds and other reptiles
You can view all these animals and more from Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens wooden walkways.
The park is open every day from 10am and tickets are free to members and children under 3 years old. The standard rate is as follows:
- Adult – £15.50
- Child (4-14 years) – £11.50
- Senior Citizen – £14.50
Season ticket holders will receive a 10% discount on food and drinks at the café.