The Area

The Borough of Great Yarmouth has something to appeal to visitors, whatever the time of year.

During the summer, our famous Golden Mile fizzes with fun, its attractions, restaurants, tea rooms and bars nestling alongside one of Britain’s broadest, sandiest beaches. To the north of Marine Parade dunes appear along a quieter stretch of beach that attracts sunbathers, walkers and bird watchers.

There are fabulous summer shows at the Britannia Pier, Gorleston Pavilion, St. George’s Theatre and Hippodrome Circus, the UK’s only surviving total circus building. You can immerse yourself in history at the award-winning Time and Tide Museum, the Nelson Museum, the Elizabethan House Museum, the Great Yarmouth Row Houses, Lydia Eva steam drifter, the Tolhouse Gaol, the Caister Car Collection, and the well-preserved Roman fort at Burgh Castle. Most of these are open throughout the year.

Great Yarmouth is one of the gateways to the world-famous Norfolk Broads, a series of interconnecting rivers and broads created from ancient peat diggings that flooded in the 14th century. Take a day boat and explore this amazing habitat.

For sports enthusiasts, there’s horse racing at Great Yarmouth Racecourse, golf courses at Caister, Gorleston and Fritton, and stock car racing and greyhound racing at Yarmouth Stadium.

Key events include the amazing Out There Festival of Circus Skills and Street Arts and the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, both taking place in September.

History

The 18th century journalist and novelist Daniel Defoe described Great Yarmouth as having “the finest key (quay) in England, if not Europe.” The author of Robinson Crusoe said:

“In this pleasant and agreeable range of houses are some very magnificent buildings, and among the rest, the custom-house and town-hall, and some merchants houses, which look like little palaces, rather than the dwelling-houses of private men.”
The fascinating story of the Star Hotel predates the current Grade II listed building, a flint-faced merchant’s house constructed in 1764. It sits next door to the site of the original Star, which was built as a house in the 1500s by wealthy merchant and town bailiff William Crowe, a member of the influential trading company, the Merchants Adventurers of England.

The house was owned by several merchants before it became the Star Tavern in the late 18th century.

Lord Nelson stayed at the Star a number of times, including on a visit to Great Yarmouth in 1800 after the Battle of the Nile when he received freedom of the town. Oak panelling from the room reserved for him can today be found in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From 1819, the Telegraph Coach and the New Royal Mail Coach left for London every day at 2pm from outside the Star Tavern. By 1845, the Birmingham Mail was leaving the Star at 4.40pm to travel to Leicester.

The Star Tavern had become the Star Hotel in 1930 and was subsequently sold to be demolished and make way for an extension to the telephone exchange. The licence was transferred to the adjoining property, the current Star Hotel.

When it was sold in 1949 it was described as “the best known licensed house in Great Yarmouth, associated with much of the public life of the town owing to its pleasant and central position.”