The Flamingo, Great Yarmouth
When you've been in a relationship with someone for 5 years, you start to think you know everything about them but when Simon told me that he'd never been to Great Yarmouth, my chin hit the deck.
"How have you lived in Norwich for just shy of 10 years and never been to Pleasure Beach, strolled down Regent Road or sampled Market Chips?”
Obviously after recovering from this shocking revelation I was straight on the Greater Anglia website booking our train tickets for that very weekend.
Now at this point I will say, don't let the train journey put you off, it's only a 30-minute journey from Norwich and although the Wherry line is not gifted with the most up to date trains, the views on the way are pretty nice, just be prepared to fight for a seat at peak times!
Glitter Heart Pin by Claireabellemakes
If you are a fan of kitsch, colour and a bit of good old fashioned fun then Great Yarmouth has plenty to offer. Souvenir shopping, a classic pier, the "Golden Mile" and of course Fish and Chips.
We hadn’t really planned our day and were happy to go with the flow. One thing that was not optional in Simon’s mind was getting to eat some fresh fish and chips. (One day this man will resemble a battered haddock). In Yarmouth, you have unlimited options when it comes to Britain’s favourite seaside cuisine and eventually we plumped for “Fish, Chips & More” and it didn’t disappoint. You can tell how good it was, I didn’t even take a photo!
One of my favourite buildings in Great Yarmouth is The Flamingo. It’s pink and covered in neon flamingos, what’s not to love? We popped in for a few tries on the 2p machines. There is something magic about the sound of an amusement arcade, the clinking of coins, the laughter and the beeps, buzzes, clangs and clacks of the machines.
My memories of Great Yarmouth stretch back many years. I think I might have been 11 the first time I joined a coach of seniors from the local sport & social club for a day out at the seaside. My friend Claire and I would jump off the coach and head straight for the Pleasure Beach ticket office to buy our unlimited wristbands so we could ride the Waltzers 14 times in a row – or at least until our stomachs started to turn!
One attraction that I had failed to visit on my many trips to Yarmouth was Merrivale, the Model Village. so this time we had to make time to take a wonder round. I was amazed at how much you get for your money, for an entry fee of only £7.99 (Save 50p with this voucher) you get to explore the village, play mini golf, have access to loads of amazing retro games machines and there is a fantastic tea room. Simon was in his element, he loves a miniature train and I got to feed the Coy Carp, a highlight for me.
We played our round of golf and I was clearly going to win so I had to throw the last hole so I wouldn’t have to sit opposite a sore loser on our train home.
Merrivale Model Village, tiny protestors at the Merri1 launch site
So many awsome succulents dotted about the Merrivale Village
Simon had a great time, honest!
Good old fashioned (quite litteally) fun at Merrivale!
It's an unwritten rule that anyone that who pays a visit to Pleasure Beach, must ride the 85-year-old Roller Coaster. Built in 1932 the Roller Coaster is Grade II listed and one of only 8 remaining rides of its kind in the world. If you ever find yourself watching Madness' video for House of Fun you might spot the band riding "The Scenic", as it's otherwise known towards the end.
Before we made our way slowly back to the train station we had to have a ride on the Carousel. My mother was not impressed when I sent her a photo of the mare I was about to board, her namesake “Claire”. I may be approaching my 30s but in my mind, you are never too old for a ride on a carousel.
Now, Norfolk’s very own Las Vegas has had its ups and downs over the years and compared to the highs of the resort in the late 19th century, Yarmouth has seen better days but nevertheless a day trip to Yarmouth is one full of laughs, kitsch and curiosity.
Unfortunatly the Yarmouth House of Wax closed a few years ago but it's still a gloriously creepy building.