Norfolk Broads

Jo’s Monday walk : more Yarmouth!

Anyone remember these?

Anyone remember these?

If you saw my Six word Saturday this week you’ll know that I was recently in Great Yarmouth.  For me it was a trip way back down Memory Lane, to the days when I had very little money and holidays were spent in caravans.  This time I used Yarmouth as a base from which to visit family, but for old times sake I had to take a bit of a walk around. Perhaps you’d like to join me.

But first, did that photo trigger any memories?  It stopped me dead in my tracks!  It carried me right back to the amusement arcades of my youth.  The simple joy of pounding those firemen with water and trying to knock them all down!  I don’t think I ever fully succeeded, but how I enjoyed trying.  In this age of technology I could hardly believe my eyes.  If only the attendant had been there, I could have tried my luck again.

While I’m wallowing in nostalgia I might as well take you to the model village on the sea front. It’s as good a place as any to start but, as it’s closed, we’ll have to look in through the fence.

I might have spent a little while there but, deprived of the opportunity, I decided to check out the beach.  I’m probably a little spoilt when it comes to beaches.  This one did not score too highly.

I didn't mind the little bit of dunes

I didn’t mind the little bit of dune (and Winter Gardens in the background)

Click on any photo in the group to open the galleries

Wellington Pier's an interesting shape (note the benches)

Modern Wellington Pier has an exotic shape

For all of its seaside bluster, Great Yarmouth is a town with a rich history.  The Wikipedia entry, from which I am quoting, is surprisingly big.  It has been a seaside resort since 1760 and lies on a thin spit of land sandwiched between the North Sea and the River Yare.  The gateway to the Norfolk Broads, and just 20 miles from the city of Norwich, I was interested to note that Daniel Defoe compared the town favourably with that city in his travel journals :

‘Yarmouth is an antient town, much older than Norwich; and at present, tho’ not standing on so much ground, yet better built; much more compleat; for number of inhabitants, not much inferior; and for wealth, trade, and advantage of its situation, infinitely superior to Norwich.’

He goes on to say that its quay is the finest in England, and not even inferior to Marseilles!  Of course, I had to go and see the quay for myself.  But not before I took a look at the Winter Gardens and Britannia Pier, both of which are Grade II listed.

The beach huts on the front have seen a recent coat of paint

The beach huts on the front have seen a recent coat of paint

It’s a shame that, in its prime location alongside the Wellington Pier, the stately Winter Gardens have fallen into disrepair.  The cast iron framed glass structure was shipped by barge all the way from Torquay, on the south coast, in 1903.

Continuing along the front it’s almost impossible to avoid a pirate or two.  No need to worry. They’re mostly harmless and intent on spying on the mini golf.

Ahoy there!

Ahoy there!

Turning your back on the seafront, follow Regent Road through the town and out to South Quay, to step into a different world.  Victoria Arcade is a shopping mall in the old style, and it’s easy to spot the traditional Norfolk flint-faced buildings.

Remember Defoe and his liking for the quay?  He also refers to ‘merchants houses, which look like little palaces, rather than the dwelling-houses of private men’.  Charles Dickens stayed at the Royal Hotel on Marine Drive while writing ‘David Copperfield’, and used Yarmouth as a key location for the book.  He was much taken with the place.

In the early 18th century, Yarmouth was a thriving herring port and this lasted for a couple of hundred years.  When the fishing industry declined in the second half of the 20th century, Yarmouth was saved by the discovery of oil in the North Sea.  Today it services offshore natural gas rigs, and the town has been keen to develop renewable energy in the form of a wind farm. 30 generators stand tall on Scroby Sands- a different kind of windmill for the Broads.

A canon from the Napoleonic Wars alongside an elderly fishing smack

A canon from the Napoleonic Wars alongside an elderly herring boat

The Lydia Eva is the last surviving steam drifter of the herring fleet and is being preserved as a floating museum.  But she is dwarfed by her new neighbours.

New kids on the block

New kids on the block

With a little more time I would like to have gone on board Lydia Eva, and to have visited the Elizabethan House and Great Yarmouth Row Houses.  Perhaps even the museum dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson. (‘I am a Norfolk man and I glory in being so’).  I did just manage to catch a glimpse of Nelson’s Monument, tucked away at the end of the promenade.

Just a hint of Nelson's Monument, behind the dunes

A hint of Nelson’s Monument, behind the sand dunes and Arek

National Trust have designed a Yarmouth Heritage Trail  complete with map- a good idea if you’re in the area.  I think next week I should take you to Norwich to make a comparison.

walking logo

So there’s another week gone by!  Hope you enjoyed the walk, and many thanks to all my contributors.  If you’d like to join in my Jo’s Monday walk, click on the logo above for details.  I’d be delighted to have you along.  Let’s put the kettle on now and settle in for a good read.


We’re starting in Berlin this week, with Debbie :

Walking the East Side Gallery

Pretty, winding streets always make me smile.  Thanks, Drake!

Just around the corner

Don’t you love this wonderful world of friends we’ve created?

Wild orchids for Meg, meeting Marathon Man, then Elderflower sorbet to finish

Violet Sky has the perfect bench shot!  Have you seen it, Jude?


I rather fancy a walk beside Lake Ontario.  You too?

Monday Walks

At the Grand Canyon, Amy suggests we can see

Mules, Bikers, Hikers, Elk…

Geoff sounds suicidal, but I know he doesn’t mean it!

Ending it all: the Thames Path and reaching the source

Jude is always good company.  She would soon cheer him up!

Boscastle Harbour Walk

I have two authors keeping me company this week.  What a privileged lady I am!  Please welcome Dianne Gray.  I hope many of you know her :

Back in action

Rare birds or pirates?  I’m going for pirates, of course!  Please welcome newcomer Denzil to my walks :

Meldert: A mystery bird and a family of pirates

And I’m ending with a wonderful Summery Swedish walk with Viveka.  Don’t miss it!

Detour to the post office

Fantastic contributions again this week.  Aren’t you spoilt?  I also want to give a ‘shout out’ to another Monday feature, Monday Escapes  .  I never seem to have the time to join in but there’s some great stuff in there.

Have a wonderful week ahead and I hope to see you next Monday (when you might get to meet the Norfolk family).


Six word Saturday


Great Yarmouth in the ‘Off Season’

No-one to play on the games

No-one to play on the games

Click on a photo to open the gallery

Rescued by a fair maiden?

Rescued by a fair maiden?

He's my hero!

He’s my hero!

It’s almost 40 years since I was last in Great Yarmouth.  It’s a family resort, and nice and flat for ‘the oldies’ too.  I was amazed to find how quiet it was in early June.  The roller coaster and many of the rides were still under wraps.  The beach… well, see for yourself!

It triggered some wonderful memories though.  There’s a model village right on the seafront (closed, of course) and, in my early evening stroll about, I paused to text to my daughter ‘do you remember…?’  Just a small girl at the time, she did!  And asked ‘is the snail ride still there?’ Sadly, it wasn’t.  Some things DO change.

But not the habit of visiting Cate at Show My Face, to share your six words.  You might have guessed, it’s also my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge.  Have a great weekend, won’t you?


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season.”

Tilting at Windmills

A life of ease

A life of ease

Well, if I’d just called it ‘a lot of boats on the Norfolk Broads’ you wouldn’t have read it, would you?  Admit it!  At least I’m giving you something else to look out for.

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

And this is our boat

And this is our boat

It’s moored at Stalham, on the River Ant, in Richardson’s marina.  A peaceful setting, away from the hurley-burley of Wroxham.  We glide gently across Barton Broad, and Jarek points out the shallow water where, almost daily in peak season, boats run aground.  When we pause to admire the scenery, a swan raps smartly on the hull.  I’m not sure if this signifies ‘get a move on’ or ‘where’s the bread?’  Short on bread, we move on!

The naughty swans

A naughty swan

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

What a location!

What a location!

And the neighbour's none too shabby, either! (and there's a bench for Jude)

The neighbour’s none too shabby, either! (and there’s a bench for Jude)

But here's our first excitement- a windmill!

But here’s our first excitement- a windmill!

There are a seemingly endless supply of them, strewn across the Broads.  Many have been restored and stand there, gracefully pointing the way with their sails.

Here's another, wonderfully elegant example

Here’s another, wonderfully elegant example

It's quite a long way up!

It’s quite a long way up!

We sail on a little way and then execute a fine turn to seek out a mooring place.  Time for hungry sailors to eat, and then stretch their legs.  We are moored alongside How Hill House, and a treat is in store.  Tiny Toad Hole Cottage was an eel-catcher’s home.

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Click on any photo to see the gallery

How Hill Trust provides an environmental study centre for the Broads.  The preservation of the incredibly beautiful house is no small part of this, but there are landscaped gardens too and a sweeping lawn for picnics, rolling down to the river.  There’s even a restored grain mill, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay.

The detail around the windows is exquisite

Smell the roses and admire the detail around the windows

And how about this for a view? (can you spot the windmill?)

How about this for a view! (can you spot the windmill?)

And look at the wisteria!

And look at the wisteria!

We’d better get back on board.  Too much playing ‘lady of the manor’ isn’t good for me!  And there’s a coffee stop to make, with homemade Polish rhubarb cake.

We putter along the waterways, using the sail sometimes, or the small motor.  The water lilies drifting at the water’s edge and the dazzling yellow ‘water buttercups’ captivate me, but I’m unable to take a decent shot.  I’ll just have to go back another day!  Maybe you’ll come with me?