a surprisingly cultured seaside gem
Great Yarmouth may well be synonymous with saucy postcards and amusement arcades, but its cultural roots run deep.
Charles Dickens set key scenes of David Copperfield in Yarmouth and stayed at the Royal Hotel while writing the novel; describing the town as “the finest place in the universe.” While Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe, simply remarked that Yarmouth was “infinitely superior to Norwich.”
More recently, Yarmouth counted amongst its now 100,000-strong population, Hollywood action hero Jason Statham and Succession and Quiz star Matthew Macfadyen.
Culturally, Yarmouth is home to the nation’s only full-time circus in the shape of The Hippodrome, which is one of only three circus buildings in the world in which the floor transforms into a swimming pool in front of the audience’s eyes.
The town is also home to SeaChange Arts: an independent charity that delivers opportunities for artists and communities through circus and street arts. Seachange also put on the Out There street arts festival (pictured), which takes over the town’s streets, parks and venues every September.
Theatre buffs need look no further than St George’s, a former chapel and one of only 10 remaining Grade I listed theatres in the UK. While those with an interest history will be drawn to no less than three museums in the town: Time and Tide, the Tolhouse and the Elizabethan House.
Add in the endless sandy beaches and the wide choice of hotels and eateries, and you’ll have everything and more for the perfect minibreak or longer stay. We’ll then leave it up to you to decide whether Mr Defoe had a point.