Great Yarmouth & Pleasure Beach

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ROYJESS
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Great Yarmouth has two piers and a small central jetty. None of the piers seem to reach into the sea. This wasn't always the case. Back in the Victorian times, the tide use to come in past the piers and going back a good few thousands of years, the whole of Great Yarmouth used to be under the sea. Either the sea levels have gone down over the years or just simply there has been more and more sand is being washed up upon the beaches.

The North pier is Britannia Pier. The pier has some food and sweets kiosks, games stalls (the odds of you winning are very slim, hence why I never play them), there are a couple are bars, arcades, a theatre and also some amusement rides at the bottom of the pier where you pay for some tokens to ride them

Some big names and tribute acts have all performed in the theatre over the years. I have seen performed and met the Crankies, Russ Abbots and Joe Pasquale there. I've even went to see my old work Dave Benson Phillips mate perform there a good few years ago, I used to be a professional entertainer myself for many years.

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The South Pier is the Wellington Pier. There is an arcade and Ten Pin bowling alley on there. At the front of the pier just to the left, there is an ice cream parlour. I know that I not supposed to endorse this, but their prices are very reasonable and the have the cheapest Fresh Hot Ring Donuts that I can find along Great Yarmouth seafront.

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ROYJESS
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For those that like dinosaurs, Jurassic Journey can be found along the sea front near the KFC/Yarmouth Tower.

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Jess and I visited there a few years ago, so much might have change since then. It was a small attraction, but a pleasant one. We both enjoyed it, but it did appear a bit on the small side for your money.

Inside there are animatronic dinosaurs. Here are just a few photos, but there were more to be dinosaurs to be seen inside

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At the end, there is a large sandpit for you to excavate some bones and also you can pan for some fossils

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It was nice and quiet when we visited, just as we like it. Just wished that the attraction was a lot larger inside.
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ROYJESS
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On the theme of dinosaurs, the Pleasure Beach Gardens have a dinosaur adventure ride for kids,

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These photos and videos were taken a few years ago back in 2018 when it first opened, so the prices might have change since plus the animatronic T-rex may not be animated

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The T-Rex is an animatronic one

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ROYJESS
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Behind the pedestrianised street is St Georges Park

You can find it by going up Regent street which is the pedestrianised street that runs from Britannia Pier to the town. The pedestrianised road is full of souvenir shops and a few food restaurant . When you reach the top of Regent Street, you will see the KFC/McDonalds across the road ahead of you. Don't cross the road, take a left and you will come across the park.

There is nothing special about the park. It is a another quiet space where you can get away from all the hustle and bustle of the town. We often take our Takeaways to eat there.

There is plenty of grass area where you will often see people playing football. There is a children's play area, which is currently closed and undergoing a refurbishment. In the centre there is a food kiosk for refreshments. The park also have an area with a war memorial.

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The main reason why Jess and I visit the park, is to go and see our friends, the birds. These are not tame and won't go to anyone. It's taken a few years for us to build up trust with these birds to a point where they will fly on us regardless if we have food or not

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We have rescue birds at home and we will share with you some tips on gaining trust with the wildlife weather its a squirrel or the birds. The following might seem like common sense, but we often see people get it wrong. Remember no matter how much food you have, animals won't come near you if they don't feel safe, no matter how hungry they are

1. Respect any wildlife. These are wild animals and are free. Always put their needs and best interest before yours at all times

2. Don't chase them, let them come to you.

3. Keep noise and movement to a minimum. I've often see people trying to entice the animals with food, but they have dogs or kids running around chasing them making a noise. Please keep your kids and dogs in control around any wildlife

4. Don't stroke the animals however tempting it may be. They won't like it and they might bite you. Animals also have a protective oil on their fur/feathers which protect them against the rain, stroking them will remove this protective oils, rending them with no protection against the rain

5. Don't give them food that are for human consumption. Especially process food, this can be harmful or even fatal to them. Even the tiniest piece of our junk food will contain high levels of calories for a small animal. Research the types of food that you can give them. Bread is bad for birds and ducks, it swells up inside their crops and can be fatal. Bread do not have any nutritious value for bird

6. We use hand gel and wipes for after we have come in contact with any wildlife, be mindful that the chemicals in the wipes and hand gel are harmful to some wildlife, so use after you come in contact with the animals and not before

7. Our biggest secret is that you must avoid direct eye contact with the wild life. We have eyes on the front of our face. Predators have forward facing eyes to hunt prey. Prey have their eyes on the side of their heads to get a 360 degree view to look out for predators. If you stare or make direct eye contact with the wildlife, they will see this as threatening. They will think that you are eyeing them up to pounce on them to eat them.

8. Do not try and capture or restrain any of the wild life. They are free, and let them be free.

With regards to Seals around the coast, if you stumble a beach that has seals, as tempting as it may be, do not approach them, keep a safe distance and keep your dogs on a lead. Seals contain a deadly bacteria to humans if bitten. Getting close to them or disturbing them can cause them distress and be fatal to them or their pups.

Enjoy the wildlife responsibly.
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ROYJESS
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Not far from the Pleasure Beach, you can see the Britannia Monument.

The Nelson's Monument is a commemorative column/tower built in memorial to Admiral Horatio Nelson, It's a grade I listed building and stands around 144ft tall.

Inside are steps that you used to be able to climb right to the top for a small fee and prior arrangement on certain Sunday's. However, you are no longer able to do this, partly because of Covid, but also due to the risk of being defaced in the wake of BLM. Lord Nelson is one of those problematic historic figures despite the fact that he never had any involvement directly or indirectly with the slave trade. The issue seems to lie with one letter that he wrote which loosely suggest that didn't support the abolishment of slavery. I personally don't wish to get into a deep debate about this, I'm just merely posting what Great Yarmouth has to offer, but at the same time, I also am aware that this may be a sensitive subject for some reading this post.

Lord Nelson was born near Great Yarmouth and had a lot of connections with Yarmouth. You will sometime see a few named places with reference to Lord Nelson in and around Yarmouth.

Walking around the Column, there are information boards and plaques which are getting old and have seen better days.

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Today I going to share with you some of our money saving tips for visiting Great Yarmouth. Jess and I visit Yarmouth on a budget and hardly spend a fortune there.

Parking - In all the years that I've been visiting Great Yarmouth, I've never paid a penny to park our car. The information that I'm providing are correct at the time of posting and are liable to change, so always check and double check the parking restrictions and that you have parked legally, unless you want to receive a parking ticket, as the parking wardens are very hot on dishing out fines.

Blue Badge holders are usually free to park all day on the pay and display bays on the main seafront road. However if you park off road in one of the councils pay and display car parks, you will have to pay like everyone else.

For non Blue Badge holders, if you don't mind walking, you can usually find free car parking spaces either end of the beach (Pleasure Beach end or the Waterways end) by parking down one of the side roads. Do double check that you haven't parked in a permit holder area.

In the next photo, you will see a view looking out from the Sealife centre. On the main road, it's pay and display, but take a closer look and you will see just across the green where the cars are parked, that is a public road, it's not part of the hotel or casino and it's free to park there all day. So for the sake of walking an extra few extra feet, you get all day free parking. The spaces are a little bit on the small side. these spaces get full quiet quickly, so get there early especially on a peak day.

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Ice Cream and Donuts - You can't visit the beach without having a ice-cream or fresh hot ring donuts. There are plenty ice cream and donuts outlets along the sea front. Most of the ice cream parlours are reasonable price. As for hot fresh donuts, they most tend to start from £2.50 upwards for 4. The cheapest place that I can get donuts from, and I've already mentioned them in an earlier post, is the Wellington Pier Ice cream Parlour which is situated just to the right of the main pier entrance. They currently charging £1.50 for 4 (or £1 for 2). I also get my ice creams from there.

Fish and Chips - Again you can't visit the beach without having some fish and chips. Again some of the outlets can be expensive, especially along the sea front. If like me, you a bit savvy with money, then I can recommend the following places in no particular order; The town have some chip catering vans on the market, or you can try Fish'o'licious on the top of Regent street/Alexandra road. For the sea front, I usually use the Lion and Herring which is situated at the sea front end of Trafalgar Road. There is also a Harry Ramsden's can be found next to the Windmill indoor crazy golf course. I'm recommending these based on price. There are plenty of other fish and chip places, but you may find they will cost more, however you may prefer paying more because of the location or you like the look of them. Jess and I usually take our fish n' chips away and eat them on the sea front, whether you are eating in the town or along the sea front, do watch out for those seagulls waiting to steal your food. Saying that Jess and I've never had any problems with them, but we do hear stories of others that do.

Soft Drinks - Jess and I usually bring our own, however just by walking up to the town, you can purchase these from some of the discount shops (Pound stretcher, Pounland) or Sainsburys if you want to be savvy

As you can see with my previous post, there are plenty to do and there are a few things that cost next to nothing to do. A day at the beach doesn't need to break the bank.
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ROYJESS
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The Hippodrome Circus puts on a really amazing show. With a combination of death defying skilled circus acts and slapstick comedy from the compare and clowns.

The second half of the show finishes off with the flown lowering and flooding with water to form an indoor pool. A combination synchronise swimmers and aerial acts makes for a spectacular second half, along with a few pyrotechnics for the finale bow.

The circus in one of two surviving purpose build circuses that fill with water in England, the other I believe is the one in Blackpool Tower.

The circus can be found behind the Circus Circus arcade. You will often see the Circus car running up and down the sea front advertising the circus.

The circus is currently owned and run by Peter Jay and his family.

It's been over a decade since I last visited the Circus, the main reason is due to my wife disability and the setting is unsuitable for her rare medical condition even though the venue is wheelchair friendly.

The last time that I saw the show (over a decade ago) it was fronted by farther and son duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams. Clive Webb became a household name back in the 80's when he made a regular appearance on ITV TISWAS Saturday morning kids show.

The show is now compared and fronted by Jack Jay (Peters Jay's Son)

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St Georges Theatre is situated in the town on Kings Street. The theatre is inside an old church. They put on plays and musical events throughout the year.

Inside it looks more like a town hall.

Before covid hit, the Gathering (Great Yarmouth Magic society) put on a family magic event there for a couple of days over the summer holidays. The likes of ITV Britain's Got Talent Steve Hewlett (Ventriloquist) Stevie Pink (Magician) Jeffrey Drayton and his infamous puppet Chantel ("I don't want to go into the cannon") made an appearance there. There were magicians performing and stalls outside in the square next to the theatre and an evening performance of magicians. I can't say if this event will ever return, but the theatre puts on other types of performances and events through out the year.

Next to the church theatre building, there is a more modern smaller building where you purchase your tickets as well as a Cafeteria for refreshments.

The following photos were taken back in 2018 and 2019

Inside the theatre waiting for the evening show

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BGT Steve Hewlett

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BGT Jeffery Drayton and his puppet Chantel

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BGT Jeffery Drayton performing on the stage performing his Chantel into the cannon act "I don't want to go into the cannon"

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ROYJESS
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One of the biggest attractions at Great Yarmouth is the Pleasure Beach.

I've not reported on this sooner as I've not had any photos to post.

The Pleasure Beach as been around for many years. I remember visiting it around 50 years ago when I was very young. Some of the old rides have long gone, but also some of the old favourites like the snails and rollercoaster are still in operational today.

You used to pay by ride tokens or wrist bands. You also used to be able to walk around the park without having to pay to enter. Covid has now change that, and now all the guest, including non riders have to pay to enter the park. It cost around £13.50 for a three hour session. There are several timed sessions available through out the day. The Pleasure Beach is also open for late nights riding on certain dates.

Here are some recent photos that I've taken during the Halloween event.

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Family Star, a spinning mouse type ride

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Haunted Hotel Ghost train

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Fun Factory with moving floors

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I remember riding the snails when I was a small toddler. You can also see the wooden Rollercoaster behind it in Blue

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The Snails is a dark ride that takes you through and beneath the rollercoaster

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The Pleasure Beach also have some old traditional favourite flats

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Lightning 360 is a new ride which replaces the old Mulan ride which we used to call it the caterpillar ride. Lightning 360 is very similar to the Top Gun ride that use to be at Flamingo land back in the 1990's. You control the planes to spin around upside-down using the joystick

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There is also a 4D cimema

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There is also a log flume which you can ride on there late night riding dates. Waterproofs are essential as you will get soaked on these

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The main attraction is the wooden rollercoaster. I don't have any close up photos of the rollercoaster, but this video which is not mine or has nothing to do with me has recently been uploaded to YouTube, it is an interesting watch and insight to the rollercoaster.

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Chris
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Lovely report!

I have added this topic to our park index as a nice overview of the Pleasure Beach and what else Great Yarmouth has to offer.
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Thank you Chris.

Yarmouth as more to offer. I will need to raid my old photos to post as well as attractions that I've never visited, so I'm hoping to post more in due course.

For those that missed it, I did a review on the Pleasure Beach Fairground frights for Halloween event which was a great event and can be found here

viewtopic.php?f=4&p=895993#p895993

I have an update to those restored boat heads that used to be attached to the old boats on the Waterways. Four out of Five heads have been restored and are now on display at the Waterways gardens

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Also on the waterways, there is a boat decorated to look a parrot which is a nod to the original style of boats. I don't know if this parrot boat will be a permanent feature or just part of the Fire on the Water experience event.

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At the start of the season, the Sealife had scaffolding upon its roof and work was being done to restore it. I was surprised to see that they were still working on it 7 months later. I been told that the work will be finished within the next couple of weeks. You might think that it would be quicker and cheaper to replace the whole roof. Replacing the whole roof would involve closing the Sealife down to the public and relocating all the sealife creatures until the roof had been replaced, that would have been a lot more costly and a huge logistic task.

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Despite being sold out a few months ago, Jess and I manage to get hold of some last minute tickets to visit the Fire on the Water experience

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We visited it on Wednesday 3rd Oct which was a reduced capacity event for those with special needs. The event took place on the Waterways Gardens

The price was £6 for a ticket which allows for up to a family of 6 people on the single ticket. This was originally done this way due to the covid restrictions earlier on this season.

I taken some photos, but my camera is pretty much useless taking photos in the dark and don't do the event much justice.

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A combination of sculptures, lighting, fire and projection was used

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The first section takes you over the bridge amongst the fire which was breath-taking. You can feel the heat and smell the fire

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You walk under a few fire arches

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There are also some animated projection and shadow effects

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Many sculptures lit by fire lined the route

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Some of the fire effects also produce sound effects







There wasn't much going on the outer paths. At the end, there is a couple of tents, the first one you go in to light a candle or make a wish donate some money to the event as it is a non profitable event. There is a couple of distorting fair ground mirrors inside along side some art work paintings

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The final tent is for you to fill out a questionnaire and receive a toasted marshmallow to eat.

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I can also confirm that the parrot boat is just there for the Fire on the water event. The head is made out of paper Mache and the wings are from ply wood.

This year is their first Fire on the water event and providing that the council grants them permission again, they are hoping for the event to return again next year.

It was a good value event considering that they only charge £6 for up to six people, so the more people that you have in your group, the cheaper it works out per head (£1 per person). I felt that they could have easily charge more per person. You could quiet easily have seen most of it from outside the gardens without paying to enter the gardens, but you would have missed out the experience of walking along the centre islands where you really got up close to the fire. As we are fairly local, it was worth doing, but I certainly wouldn't travel from long afar to do it though.

Hopefully we will do this again next year.
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One thing that tourist visiting Great Yarmouth may not realise, is that is was surrounded by a town wall

It's a medieval wall which is 2200 yards long and 23 feet high. The wall was built from flint and stones taken from the beach.

Some of wall still stands there today despite some of it has been demolished. Unless you know it's there, you could quiet easily miss it. So last Wednesday, I decided to take a walk along the wall

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We started at the North West Tower (Location A149 N Quay/Rampart Road)

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We then went down Rampart Road Town Wall Road

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We then turned down Ferrier Road, there is a kids play park. You can see in the wall where there was once an arch

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There is an information board

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Kings Henry Tower

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Next we entered the cemetery, this is where we go to feed the squirrels as posted in an earlier post

We cross the cemetery and exit next to Sainsbury supermarket. We followed the wall on our right

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Looking across the main road, you can see where a building has been built using the old wall as one of it sides

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We next crossed the main road (Priory Plain/Temple Road) and we went down Temple Road

You can tell where the wall starts/end, there are metal plates attached to them

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We turned right into Market gates

This part runs underneath the Market Gate shopping centre

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The other side of the wall is currently fenced off

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We headed to Market Place/Theatre Plain

An information board is found attached to the Market Gate Shopping centre

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We entered the service area and viewed the wall that goes underneath the Market Gate Shopping centre from the other end

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We followed the service area out through the other Pedestrian area end which leads you out onto Regent Street

Looking across the road, with pound stretcher to the right and McDonalds and KFC off the next photo to the left, you can see the end of the Town wall in the middle of the next photos

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We go down Alexandra Road which is opposite St Georges Park, the Wall is on our right

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We next turn right and then left into Dene Side. This is where we lose the Town wall is it is un accessible for a little while as the wall is actually peoples back garden wall. Down Dene Side you will see St Georges Building on your right. It's know as Great Yarmouth Leaning Tower of Pisa as when you look at if from Dene Side, you will notice that it's leaning forwards

You will eventually pick up the wall down Dene Side

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We then walked between the gap in the wall (I think this was at Alma Road) This is looking back on the wall in the direction that we came from

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Take a look at the end of the wall and you will see an upside down cross

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Facing forwards again to the direction that we are traveling in, you will see an Arch and a gate

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To the right would be the inside of the wall and the right was the outside. So what's behind the gate?

It's a cemetery, which is on the out side of the wall, and its where those living on the outside of the wall would have been buried.

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We next headed up Blackfriars Road

Here is where you will find the old Potteries building

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We followed the wall around

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At some point, we followed a foot path that took us to the other side of the wall, this path leads you undeath a tower

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Here are some photos taken from inside the tower, not much to write home about

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We then followed the road to the right down Mariners ' Road

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This is the end of the wall tour. Back in the Town Centre, behind the Victoria Arcade, there is a car park (Kings Street Car Park) , along Howard Street S, to the right of the Lighthouse Medical Centre there is a row of houses with a small wall at the base of there front raised path with a hole in it. If you take a look inside the hole and you will need a torch to see as it is very dark, you will see the old cellars

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ROYJESS
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Pirate Cove Adventure Golf Course is a pirate themed crazy golf attraction. It's quiet a large course to get around and well themed

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I've taken the above photos from outside the attraction, but I have done the course many moons ago.
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There are a couple of rock making shops in Great Yarmouth, these can be found along Regent Road.

The main one is Docwras Rock Factory. It a large shop containing all sorts of rock and confectionary.

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On certain days and times, you may be lucky enough to see the rock being made. We have seen them making letters from large blocks of sugar rock, which is rolled into rock and squeezed down to size using a rolling machine. They even gave my wife Jess a piece of the left over lettering (This was a few years ago). Now the rock making takes place behind a viewing glass

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On our last visit last week, we saw them packing some breakfast shape rock on a paper plate

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At the start of this thread, I reported about the Banksy Street Art in Great Yarmouth.

You can also see some street work by the urban artist Emo Raphiel Astoria

This one can be seen where Standard Place meets St Peter's Road. You will need to look up on the side of the building to see

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I am on the understanding that Emo has more street artwork that can be seen around Yarmouth. I've not seen the other ones for myself, but I will try and find them on one of my later trips to Yarmouth
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If you are taking a walk down the Pleasure Beach end and have ventured across the road to see the Banksy artwork or the Britannia Column. If you take a walk down Barkis Road or down Peggoty Road, both different locations, you will come across some Penguin Bollards

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On our last visit to Great Yarmouth (3rd Nov), we saw that the big wheel that was situated next to the Sealife was being dismantled and removed. I can't say if the removal of the wheel was being removed just for the winter or was going for good. Hopefully it will return next season

The first photo was taken back in the summer, the rest were taken over a week ago

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Apparently they had been working on dismantling it for three days and they were still removing it after dark

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The next photo was taken moments later using a flash

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