A local’s guide to the thrills and spills of East Anglia’s most popular seaside resort
As one of Britain’s most popular seaside holiday resorts, Great Yarmouth is packed
with places for people to stay. Accommodation choices include good, old-fashioned
bed and breakfasts, chalets and caravans on holiday parks, boutique hotels with the
personal touch and larger hotels that are often popular with coach parties, like
the Carlton Hotel and the New Beach Hotel. Many of these hotels are just a short
walk from the seafront, even if not actually on it, and if you’re really lucky, then
you might be able to pull open your bedroom curtains and treat yourself to the holidaymaker’s
ultimate dream - a nice view of the sea.
THE CARLTON HOTEL
The Carlton Hotel has to be the grandest looking place to stay here in Great Yarmouth;
and its location directly opposite Wellington Pier means it’s perfectly placed for
a stroll on the Prom and a paddle in the sea. Popular with coach parties, the hotel
has nearly 100 rooms - some with seaviews -and offers bed and breakfast, full board,
nightly entertainment, a comfortable lobby and fully licensed bars. It tends to attract
an older crowd who you’ll see struggling on and off the Shearings coaches with their
Zimmer frames and mobility aids, but if you can put up with being surrounded by wrinklies,
you’ve got stylish accommodation in an idea spot.
If you like the thought of following in the footsteps of one of Britain’s finest
writers, the celebrated Charles Dickens, then you need to plonk your suitcase down
in the lobby of the Royal Hotel, which faces the sea on Marine Parade. Built in 1840,
this Victorian grade II listed building played host to Dickens while he was writing
David Copperfield; and even dear old King Edward VII was known to stay there in the
late 1800s, using the hotel for illicit romps with his secret squeeze, musical hall
singer Lily Langtree.
Okay, it’s rare to see royalty knobbing actresses there these days - and few great
novels have been penned there since Charles Dickens checked out - but with its faded
grandeur and perfect seafront location, this is the Yarmouth hotel with the most
history behind it. Most of the modern-day guests have plenty of history behind them,
too. They all look 90 when I walk past.
Can’t bear the thought of leaving your little poodle or terrier with the neighbours
for the week? Then the dog-friendly bed and breakfast guest house, Seashells, could
be the perfect resting place for you and your pooch. Located just a short walk from
the seafront, this small but nicely decorated place has even featured on my favourite
trashy TV show Four in a Bed. A proper little traditional British seaside B&B where
both you and your pet will be made to feel at home.
Addicted to Steak Night and Curry Night at Wetherspoon’s? Like the idea of sleeping
right above the pub and having the shortest walk home possible after a lager-fuelled
night on the piss? Then you need the Troll Cart Hotel, located on Regent Road, a
new pub/hotel combination venture from the ever-expanding Wetherspoon’s chain. The
pub downstairs has been there for years - and like all Spoons, is perpetually rammed
- but a 2017 refurbishment saw the addition of what are a number of very slick modern
hotel rooms. Prices are competitive, too - every bit as much as the beer and food
prices. You don’t even have to leave the building if you like. Arrive, get drunk,
eat steak, go to bed, get up, have breakfast, get drunk, eat burger, go to room,
puke extensively, head back to bar, drink more, pass out, get carried to room by
staff, wake up next morning, look at breakfast, feel queasy, take Ibuprofen, check
out, leave Yarmouth. The perfect seaside holiday.
Fully refurbished in 2017, the New Beach Hotel has a fantastic location directly
opposite Britannia Pier. This is another hotel that week-after-week gets rammed to
the rafters with coach party wrinklies, but OAPs do tend to be fussy by nature, so
that’s nearly always the sign of a hotel that provides, a working lift, breakfast,
evening meals, a comfortable lobby and a relaxing bar area. Front-facing rooms have
a perfect seaview - and just step out the door and you’re right in the thick of things.
Either head to the beach for some sun, sea and sun, or head up Regent Road to buy
some trashy souvenirs.
Hidden down a side road, but less than a two-minute walk from Wellington Pier, the
St. George is the kind of family-friendly, low-cost, no frills accommodation that
is perfect for a one or two night stop by the sea. Rooms are clean and simple - and
come with tea and coffee facilities. A little bit old-fashioned, for sure, but in
a good way - and with a hint of charm!
Not everyone comes to Great Yarmouth for an ice cream and a walk along the pier,
and those who come for business rather than pleasure might want a slightly different
style of hotel - one that offers parking, easy check-in, good dining options and
a late evening bar to wind down in. The Burlington Palm Hotel ticks all those boxes
- and even has its own private pool for a quick morning freshen up before work. Rooms
are stylish and some have sea views. Seafront location.