Guided Heriatge Walks uncover Great Yarmouth's history
Every year, Great Yarmouth Borough Council runs a programme of fascinating Guided Heritage Walks to beautiful historic buildings and other places of interest, led by fully-trained volunteer heritage guides.
And this year, it is hoped that even more local residents and visitors will come along to uncover, first-hand, various aspects of the borough’s past through five distinct guided walks, taking place from April through to October.
Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the council’s economic development committee, said: “Guided heritage walks this year include old favourites exploring the town's Medieval Wall and hearing local gory stories as well as new walks at Gorleston-on-Sea and at Belton. There are also walks exploring the Rows, the quayside or the graveyard and special holiday walks as well as a brand new ghost walk.
“These carefully-curated walks support the council’s commitment to work with partners to conserve, enhance and gain national recognition for the borough’s extensive cultural heritage, furthering efforts to broaden the tourism offer, support the local economy and create jobs.
“There are an even wider range of walks this year, so there should be something for all tastes and interests. And the fully-trained heritage guides are great volunteers who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for the borough’s special history.”
There are six walks running regularly:
• Glorious memories of the Golden Mile, set between the two piers, focuses on the fascinating story of life in the famous seaside resort Great Yarmouth over the past 250 years, encompassing famous visitors and residents, as well as historic buildings.
• Quayside and Seaside at Gorleston-on-Sea starts at the beautiful promenade and explores the stories and local history of Gorleston’s historic seafront, including the demise of the elegant, turreted Victorian hotel, how the pier came to be and where the lido was.
• Medieval Town Wall provides the opportunity for people to explore this Scheduled Ancient Monument, which dates from the 14th century and is the second best preserved medieval town wall in England, after York.
• Rows, Fishwives and Red Herrings tells the tale of in Great Yarmouth’s historic alleyways, and the people who lived and worked in them, in addition to taking in historic South Quay, the rise and fall of the herring industry and its importance in the town’s growth.
• Spectacular Spectres is a spectral walk in and around the town centre, where you will hear ghastly tales of monks and mummies, learn all about the notorious black shuck and find out which public houses have spirits other than Rum and Whisky on offer.
• Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk focuses on the murders that took place in the Rows and the press gangs that would tour the town’s brothels, as well as stories of the stocks and pillory, whippings and hangings.
Tickets are priced at £4 for adults and £1.50 for children. There is no need to book and tickets are available on the day from the guide.
There are also Holiday Walks and Holiday Special Walks taking place on special dates:
• Circus, Clowns and Catastrophe (Holiday Walk) is about the suspension bridge disaster of 1845 and is a chance to find out more about what happened, who the personalities and victims were, how the residents of Great Yarmouth and citizens of England reacted and the legacy it left behind.
• Roman Revelations at a Fascinating Fort (Holiday Walk), set at the Roman fort of Burgh Castle, is a great walk for all the family, with interactive games and sketches to really bring history to life.
• The Last Train from Belton (Holiday Special Walk) is a chance to explore the impact the railway had on the village during the Victorian period, when the mainline train from London used to stop here. Walk finishes with refreshments at the Wild Duck Holiday Park and an insight into local wildlife with the park warden.
• Gravestones and Tombstones of Great Yarmouth Minster (Holiday Special Walk) is an opportunity to tour the graveyard at the Minster, England’s largest parish church, for some fascinating stories about the characters laid to rest next to the Medieval Town Wall. Walk finishes with refreshments at the Minster.
• Dastardly Deeds and Ghostly Goings-on (Holiday Special Walk) is a light-hearted but factual guided walk with tales of Great Yarmouth’s more famous and infamous historical characters, including bodysnatchers, smugglers and pirates, witches and their demise at the hands of the Witchfinder General.
Tickets for the Holiday Walks and Holiday Special Walks must be pre-booked by calling 01493 846346 or visiting the Tourist Information Centre, at 25 Marine Parade. The Dastardly Deeds walk is not suitable for children.