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Take a virtual Guided Heritage Walk to explore Great Yarmouth’s history from home during Coronavirus

Great Yarmouth’s official heritage guides are harnessing 21st century technology to continue to celebrate the borough’s rich history during lockdown – by sharing their own “virtual” heritage walks and talks for the public on their Facebook page.

Every year, between April and October, Great Yarmouth Borough Council runs a programme of fascinating Guided Heritage Walks, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to uncover various aspects of the borough’s history. Each led by an official Great Yarmouth heritage guide.

A full schedule of guided walks was planned for 2020 which unfortunately has been suspended due to the present pandemic and rules regarding travel and social distancing. Due to these restrictions put in place by the Government, these Guided Heritage Walks are now being offered online as a virtual experience. Watch the videos on their Facebook page.

So far, there have been virtual walks uploaded for: Great Yarmouth's Circus Heritage, Great Yarmouth's Medieval Buildings, Great Yarmouth: A Market Place Meander, and Gorleston Quayside. A typical virtual walk is around 20 minutes long compared to the physical walks, which take between an hour to an hour and 45 minutes.

To commemorate VE Day 75th anniversary, the volunteers had planned a guided walk about Great Yarmouth as a town during World War 2. As this new walk cannot go ahead as planned, there will be an online "teaser" talk on VE day to introduce people to the walk instead.

Councillor Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “These walks are a fantastic way to continue to share and celebrate the rich cultural heritage Great Yarmouth has whilst people are having to stay indoors.

“The virtual walks have been well received, particularly from those that might not have been able to attend a normal walk, even without the present situation of lockdown.

“We hope that the walks will raise the profile of the guided heritage walks and profile of the borough and its history as a result.”

Gareth Davies, a Heritage Guide, said: “The Heritage Guides are meeting fortnightly online to plan future virtual walks with titles ranging from, The 1915 Zeppelin Raid of 1915 to A Belton Meander and Stories from Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile.”

“They are proving immensely popular, and we've had really nice feedback. I feel it's doing the guides a lot of good and I'm hoping will translate into real bookings once we start again.”