The great thing about visiting the Great Yarmouth area is that, while you can enjoy the fun and frivolity of the seaside, you can also immerse yourself in the culture of the local area. Not only is it a traditional seaside town, Great Yarmouth was also an important historic port in the East of England, which means there is plenty of heritage to enjoy. If you want to explore some of the area’s culture, but don’t know where to start, here are some places you should consider visiting:
The Roman fort at Caister-On-Sea is an English Heritage site, and was occupied by Roman soldiers until the end of the 4th Century, when the Romans were withdrawn from Britain. Situated on the north estuary where the rivers Ant, Bure, Yare and Waveney entered the sea, the fort was occupied by 500 to 1000 men. Between 1951 and 1955, the ruins were discovered in archaeological excavations and now stands for visitors to walk around and explore for themselves. Dogs on leads are welcome here, and the site is open (with free entry) during any reasonable daylight hours.
The Elizabethan House Museum is a National Trust property and offers visitors plenty to learn and do – from trying on clothes to sampling some fine art – with some collections dating back to the 1500s. Step back in time and experience the difference between Victorian upstairs and downstairs life. There are also a number of special events throughout the year, covering a wide range of history about the area. The museum is great for children, too, with the activity-filled toy room, and pushchair accessible layout, and is open Sunday to Friday 10am until 4pm.
This annual festival takes place each September and celebrates the rich maritime history of Great Yarmouth. The free two day event gives visitors the opportunity to climb aboard historic ships, dance to live shanty music and enjoy some great street theatre. Visitors can also try their hand at traditional maritime skills and buy some local maritime craft. The Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival offers fun for all the family, regardless of age or interest!
Caister Lifeboat Station is home the UK’s only two lifeboats that are independent of the RNLI. At the Caister Lifeboat Experience, visitors can dress in waterproof lifeboat crew equipment and climb aboard a real lifeboat, the Shirley Jean Adye, which served the area from 1969 to 1991. Visitors can also learn about some interesting lifeboat stories from old crew members in the interactive displays. The experience is free, and is open Sundays and Wednesdays from Good Friday until the last Sunday in October. Caister Lifeboat Station is also open every Bank Holiday during the season, and every Thursday during the school summer holidays.
Whether you are looking to fill a day with Great Yarmouth and Caister cultural attractions, or just an afternoon, there is something for you here.
[Photo Credit: snigl3t]