Great Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom
Its strategic location on a spit between the North Sea and the River Yare on the Norfolk coast has linked this place to the sea since it was a Roman camp. The herring fishery has faded now, but its wharves still serve the offshore gas platforms. On the Scoreby Sands nearby, 30 spinning windmills whisper of a future tied to renewable energy. Nonetheless, Yarmouth’s reputation has long been attached to seaside entertainment and holiday-making. Visitors feel obliged, no doubt, to survey the venerable, 12th-century St. Nicholas Church, England’s largest parish church, and the impressive former 1811 Royal Naval Hospital. They are inevitably drawn to the spacious market square and The Rows, the ancient alleyways radiating from there. Near the square is the 17th century house where Anna Sewell, the author of Black Beauty, was born. The 1313 Toll House is reputed to be the oldest civic building in the country and at 133 feet in height, the Britannia Monument to Lord Nelson is hard to miss. But it is to the waterfront Marine Parade and the “Golden Mile” that a visitor’s attention turns. The two piers, the Britannia with its splendid theater, and the Wellington flanked by the glass Winter Gardens, are iconic in English leisure life. It is a span of real estate dedicated to froth and fun, precursor of Disney’s Happiest Place on Earth by more than a century. Feel free to wander among the shamelessly attractive alternatives, nurturing your Inner Child.