Our guide to the best activities in Great Yarmouth covers all the highlights including the best beaches, the irresistible lure of The Broads, amazing sea life centres and more.
Activities in Great Yarmouth
The Broads are right on your doorstep from our Great Yarmouth hotel, allowing you to discover over 125-miles of waterways via narrow boats, yachts, bikes or on foot. A criss-crossing network of lakes, rivers and canals, a lazy day in The Broads will uncover some stunning English countryside, time-forgotten country villages and some amazing nature-watching opportunities. Plus, the national park has plenty of water sports on offer, including canoeing, boat cruises and even navigating your own narrowboat through the waters.
Sea Life Great Yarmouth
Located on Marine Parade at the heart of the town’s beachfront, Sea Life Great Yarmouth is an interactive aquarium featuring an array of sea creatures including crabs, sharks, ultra-rare fish, penguins and dozens of other creatures of the deep. The sea life centre is split into various habitats including tropical rock pools and rocky coastline, with plenty of talks and chances to get involved and feed the animals yourself. There’s also a great café and restaurant with brilliant deals for kids, a soft play area, playground and a shop packed with fishy presents.
Time and Tide
Located in the middle of the peninsula between the coastline and the River Yare, Time and Tide is a fascinating maritime museum. Housed in a converted Victorian warehouse previously used for curing herring, the museum tells the story of the seaside town from the ice age to the present day, including a 1950’s wharf scene and reconstructed Victorian housing. With plenty of interactive exhibits, archive film footage and recreated scenes, plus regularly changing exhibits, the museum makes for a fascinating visit. And the smell of cured herring doesn’t linger, we promise!
If you’re in Great Yarmouth for some family fun, the kids will love, love, love Joyland, a mini theme park packed with dozens of rides for toddlers to teenagers located near the pier on Great Yarmouth Beach. Once they’ve finished exploring the toy town mountain, pirate ship, underwater sea and jet cars, there’s a traditional American diner on hand to refuel before you head back out and tick off the rest of the rides. Largely outdoor, the park is open from mid-March to the end of September, and then during weekends and half term in October.
Yarmouth Stadium & Races
Greyhound racing three times a week, annual racing festivals, hot rod and banger racing – Yarmouth Stadium is the place to be for speed-freaks, whether that be on four legs or four wheels. You can catch all the action at the stadium in Caister-on-Sea just to the north of Great Yarmouth from the Raceview restaurant or even book yourself an executive box for the evening. There are events happening most nights, but look ahead at the events calendar to find out the exact dates and timings.
Merrivale Model Village
Stroll along South Beach Parade past Sea Life Great Yarmouth and look down – there you’ll find the wonderfully miniature Merrivale Model Village, a tiny theme park packed with model buildings, gardens, a mini railway, mini golf course and penny arcades. Like a lot of the outdoor seafront activities along the Golden Mile (the local name for the busy and bustling seafront attractions), the park is closed during the winter, opening daily from the end of March until the end of December each year.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxed beach-side hide-out away from the crowds or to be in the middle of amusement arcades and fun fairs, we’ll help find the right stretch of sandy real estate for you
Running for over a mile along the main seafront, Great Yarmouth Central Beach is packed with attractions, activities, cafés and bars. From bouncy castles to donkey rides, amusement arcades to sunny day ice creams, the beach has it all. Lifeguards operate from April to September daily, while you can head down in the summer on a Wednesday night to catch their impressive firework display that lights up the seafront.
South of Great Yarmouth on the other side of the River Yare, Gorleston Beach is another action-packed beach, home to pitch & putt, bowling greens, tennis and basketball courts as well as playgrounds, a children’s splash pad and bouncy castles. Slightly quieter than the Central Beach, Gorleston has plenty of seating areas where you can admire the grassy cliffs and arcing bay, with lots of shops and cafés a short walk away. Handily, our Lowestoft hotel is just a few miles down the coast.
Just north of Great Yarmouth near the Greyhound Stadium, Caister-on-Sea beach is one of the quietest beaches in the region, perfect for time away from the crowds. A mix of sand and pebbles, the beach looks out to the impressive 30-strong Scroby Sands Wind Farm, while if you walk inland to Caister-on-Sea, you’ll find plenty of shops and cafés and several excellent fish’n’chip outlets.
Heading north of Great Yarmouth, Hemsby Beach is a wide expanse of golden beach with grassy sand dunes, perfect for lazy days away from the crowds. There are plenty of attractions and entertainment nearby as well, giving the best of both worlds, including an arcade, toilets, deckchair hire, a car park and cafés a short walk away.