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Wonderous wall, quaint quayside and gory ghosts - uncover Great Yarmouth's rich history with a guided walk

Two new walks have been added to the large roster of guided heritage walks that are available for residents and visitors to enjoy from April through to October.

Gorleston's Quayside

Each walk is led by an official Great Yarmouth heritage guide, who will take people back through time to explore the history of this ancient seaside resort, fishing port and market town.

There are ten walks happening regularly:

  • Medieval Town Wall: This walk provides an opportunity for people to explore the Scheduled Ancient Monument that surrounds Great Yarmouth, which dates from the 14th century and is the second-best preserved medieval town wall in England, after York.
  • Quayside and Seaside at Gorleston-on-Sea: This walk explores the stories and local history of Gorleston's historic seafront, including the demise of the elegant, turreted Victorian hotel, how the pier came to be and where the lido was.
  • Sun, Sea, Stars and Circus:Roll up, roll up for this guided tour celebrating the 250th anniversary of the circus, focusing on the role the holiday and entertainment industry played in how Great Yarmouth seafront looks today.
  • Rows, Fishwives and Red Herrings:This tour tells the tale of Great Yarmouth's historic alleyways and the people who lived and worked in them. Taking in historic South Quay, the rise and fall of the herring industry and its importance in the town's growth.
  • Gravestones and Tombstones of Great Yarmouth Minster:Enjoy the chance to find out some fascinating stories about the characters laid to rest in the cemetery of this magnificent church, including sailors, merchants and circus owners.
  • Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk:Prepare to be shocked and appalled at the murders that took place in the Rows and the press gangs that would tour the town's brothels, as well as stories of the stocks and pillory, whippings and hangings.
  • 2000 Years of Caister-on-Sea: The village of Caister-on-Sea can be traced back more than 2000 years. Discover how Caister became a heroic lifeboat community from Roman beginnings and how the phrase "Caister men never turn back" came to be.
  • Yucky Yarns:This guided walk will teach you all about the horrendous history in Great Yarmouth while talking about gory stories, ghastly goings on with pirates, graveyard antics and secrets chests. Aimed at primary school aged children (6-11), with activity book included.

The new walks for 2023 include:

  • Forgotten Inns and Taverns of Great Yarmouth:In 1908 there were 295 licensed properties in Great Yarmouth, now there are fewer than 45! Discover the story of the landlady who was hanged because she would not reveal the true murderer, the tavern run by a Pilgrim Father, the inn where Dutch officers were kept as prisoners of war and where you would stay on holiday if you were teetotal.
  • Tales of the Old Cemetery:The quieter, older sister of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston has had many interesting residents over the centuries. Come and join us on this new walk to learn about heroes, clowns and a pioneering woman all within the surroundings of a quaint Victorian cemetery where these ordinary people with extraordinary lives are laid to rest.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "Our guides are really passionate about the history of the borough and have worked hard to come up with these guided heritage walks, including two completely new ones for the season."

Private walks for groups of a minimum of eight people are also available to local groups, clubs, schools and educational groups (teachers and accompanying adults go free). Private walks cost £3.50 per person.

Tickets are priced at £4.50 for adults, £2 for children (7-17 years old) and are free-of-charge for under sevens. Yucky Yarns is priced at £3 per person. Booking is essential at least 24 hours ahead of the walk.

More information can be found on the website.

Special FREE walks will be available as part of Heritage Open Days in September and will be announced shortly.

Last modified on 12 February 2024

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