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Great Yarmouth Adventure
Watching beardy and waistcoated, upper class adult males, cradling their polished briefcases, whilst fake running for the train, which was nowhere near ready to go yet, began my journey.
2 counties later, I passed plenty of little windmills between Norwich and Yarmouth. Flat plains either side. Some had their heads chopped off. Not sure why they left the brick columns, but I guess windmills are quite traditional structures. In fact some were built as early as 1789.
Used to grind flour, how would my toast survive without them ? Great Yarmouth was the end of the line. An end of a line marked with several posters behind the ringleader banner, announcing “Welcome to Great Yarmouth”. It was quite a welcome too, complete with an Asda and an Aldi next to the station.
Who’d have expected that ?
Besides this, things were quite grubby. Estates with litter and graffiti far from lovingly sprayed. Fortunately, the central and coastal parts were much nicer.
After taking a well deserved breather on the wrong bridge crossing, I noticed a tyrannical vessel known as the Triton.
It seemed to take up half the river Bure, with it’s bulging chassis. In a former life it owned the seas, displaying landing sites for helicopters and helping the U.S coastguard. Whilst it stopped it’s athletics career in 2h015, it still seems extremely nosy. Operating as a hydrographic vessel, meaning it’s crew spies on all landforms and features in the seas and rivers. Helping with safe navigation.
After realising you have to pay to get in everywhere, I decided to focus on exploring the free outdoors world of Yarmouth. I passed the 4 main museums including Nelson, Elizabethan house, Tollhouse and Time and tide. After passing a very historic section of wall, nestled amongst tacky shops and housing estates, I overheard a couple moaning about the price of childcare. Perhaps they had spent all their money on museum admission.
The next part of the trip was different than expected. A rare friend of mine decided to meet me before my coastline approach … “the sunshine”. I was very happy to see him …
After passing a waddle of plastic penguins beside a primary school, like you do, one called me back with a loud squark, demanding I took a selfie of him holding my suitcase. I don’t have many rules in life but one of the most important is:
“Never argue with the ringleader of a penguin colony”.
I proceeded along a sandpaper gravel road, to investigate a spiky structure resembling the London eye. When I got there it was just a metal imposing structure, possibly part of a power station. Aggressively guarded by barbed wire.
That said, it did look rather impressive in the sunshine.
Further along having thoroughly exercised my now tiring legs to the point of icecream readiness, I found myself staring at a magnificent Nelson statue.
This wasn’t the first time I’d heard the name. With the Nelson museum there too, and an informative plaque at the row houses, it peeked my interest to do a little reading.
The reading ….
Like now really, everything was fine in the 1790’s. WiFi was stable, and flying cars were humming along the black and white streets. ( All is true except the last sentence).
Britain’s Baltic buddies were supplying the Navy nicely.
Unfortunately, Russia created an issue. Russia teamed up with Denmark forcing our Baltic buddies to follow suit, and thereby not supply Britain. Like most of Britain, Nelson got fed up with this, but did something about it by sailing a warship into the unknown. The government sent a more gimpy diplomatic friend called Hyde Parker, to try to tame Nelson.
The key here is they sailed from Great Yarmouth in 1801. After the government had requested defeat, Nelson squeezed into a gap in the enemy ship line. After this, he sent a letter requesting a truce which was accepted. After this battle, it was learnt the Russian tsar had earlier been assassinated anyway.
The point is that Nelson gained peace for Britain at a key time. The plaques at the statue and row houses mention this battle of Copenhagen.
After the reading …
Standing at the Nelson statue was quite odd. There were factory workers sitting on benches around the locked paddock, smoking. The statue was incredible but was facing inland. The idea of sailing to battle implies going out to sea surely ? With the industrial port factories surrounding the statue, it was the only thing at that end of the coast worth seeing.
I then clambered across a homeless tent site, before joining the end of the coastal path. The weather was fantastic, and I spent most of the afternoon taking photos along miles of sandy, grass tufty, and duney beach. I went up 2 piers, continued past crazy golf, casinos and the sea life centre. Anything that could possibly hoover up tourist money really before a delightful walled garden. By 5, I made it back to my £26 guesthouse room, which turned out to be an immaculate and comfortable double en suite room. It was brilliant and this morning my breakfast was very good indeed.
On route back, like all truly intrepid explorers, I watched a documentary featuring Simon Reeve in Africa on iPlayer.
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Tags: east Anglia, Norfolk, Great Yarmouth, beach pictures, seaside, sandy beaches, pier, Elizabethan museum, triton, rowhouses, ancient wall, sea life centre, benandthegang, reasonedandseasoned, Ben hattrell adventures,
admiral lord Nelson, Baltic, battle of Copenhagen 1801, Nelson statue, Reaseaorg, dene house,