We spent the day in Great Yarmouth again yesterday, it’s not my most favourite part of Norfolk it has to be said and I usually try to avoid it. It’s basically the East coast’s answer to Benidorm without the sunshine and I find it very depressing. Perhaps I’m snobby but personally I prefer the more delicate touches of Cromer and North Norfolk, it’s much more me.
Still, yesterday the sun was shining and you simply cannot deny the beach is stunning. A great long sandy stretch with masses of space before the sea meaning even on a busy day it feels not so. If you can forget the bright lights and buzz behind you then you could have a fairly quiet day on the sand and when the children can be stopped no longer, take advantage of all the fair ground rides, horse and carriages and even, if you have to, slot machines.
But we weren’t in Great Yarmouth yesterday to lie on the beach avoiding the hubub. We were there to visit an attraction that I had previously not heard of. Yes, the words ‘attraction’ and ‘Great Yarmouth’ – shudders! I have (in my youth) spent bank holiday Monday afternoons in Long Bar and danced the night away in Tiffany’s and Bourbon Street, I KNOW what Great Yarmouth does well and it is not what I would, these days, be tuned into but Yesterday’s World is really quite something else. Who knew Yarmouth had a secret this good?
I’m being a little mean about Yarko, for sure, there are places worth a visit, the Marina and (expensive) Sea Life Centre are both good and the Hippodrome Circus has been recommend to me too but I can’t quite see any competing with the delighful Yesterday’s World now that we’ve been there. A step back in time through shop door ways of the past with artefacts from eras gone by and interesting stories all the way around. The children were more than catered for and took great delight in filling out their activity sheet given on clip boards (at no extra cost) at the start while enjoying the hands on nature of the exhibits such as a silent cinema, hop scotch on the floor and slot machines that for the cost of a few pence will tell your fortune or let you race cars! After World War 2 exhibits and an insight into life for King Henry the 8th and Queen Victoria, the Pièce de résistance is the Victorian carousel which everybody gets to ride on for FREE!
I loved seeing things like this camera which is exactly the same as one my Dad had and gave to me!
So the children loved it, aside from a little moment of ‘scared’ in the Royal rooms due to the realistic life size models of characters but we loved it too. I enjoyed seeing an old suspension pram of the syle which I would LOVE to push now given half a chance and remembering toys that I played with as a child including, of course (this is me with my ever present pram obsession remember) a dolls pram. My Mum could have spent hours reading hand written letters, looking at old photographs and remembering things from her own child hood and indeed she will be back to do just that I’m sure. She could quite literally spend all day in there pouring over everything and without Grandchildren hanging off her legs she could actually take it all in – JUST up her street!
When we had finished looking in the museum we went down to the Victorian tea room to be served by waiters dressed in keeping with the style and era. We waited a while hovering over a dirty table and the staff were slow to come over and clean it despite it not being busy but once that had been done we were pleased to note they were all cheery and polite. Personally I’d rather that to quick service. we enjoyed a traditional cream tea served in bone china pretty cups and saucers and ate a HUGE scone which was delicious. In Victorian times of course children would not have been in a tea room but here they are welcomed with open arms and while Florence chose to have a cup of tea like us, Jimmy was brought a fruit shoot and slice of chocolate cake which he was very keen on.
A delicious cream tea!
So my Mum will be back to read more about local and British history and we will be back too. In fact we will be returning on Saturday night which takes my Great Yarmouth trips up to 3 in 7 days which is something I thought I’d never say but for Yesterday’s World I’m sure it will be worth it. They are holding a Murder Mystery night which run every Wednesday and Saturday and we thought it sounded lots of fun – I will report back.
I recommend Yesterday’s World with gusto for the whole family no matter what age. It’s worth noting that a full price ticket is just under £7 but for £8.40 you can enjoy cream tea included (thoroughly recommend that too) and in case you didn’t know there is another Yesterday’s World in Battle. I loved Battle when we visited earlier in the summer, it’s about as far a cry from Great Yarmouth as you could possibly get in terms of places but Yesterday’s World most certainly brings up the area in Yarmouth and if it’s good enough for Battle!
We had a fab time at Yesterday’s World, look!
We spent the rest of the day on the beach in the sunshine (and yes, we stopped ever so briefly at the arcade – when in Rome) which was lovely but you could visit Great Yarmouth in any weather to see Yesterday’s World, it is inviting and just the ticket for a cold winter’s day!
Fun on the beach and in the arcade after Yesterday’s World!
We were given complimentary tickets in return for an honest review.