We heart GY
Published: Monday 10th Jun 2019
Written by: Georgia Dawson
Kim Lovick, our Senior Holidaymaker Team, has kindly written this blog entry about her family day out to Great Yarmouth on the east Norfolk coast...
Deciding on where to spend a ‘work free’ weekend in Norfolk is, for me, a little bit like standing in a cake shop. I am completely and utterly spoilt for choice, I love CAKE, all of it! And I love Norfolk… nearly as much.
When you are spoilt for choice, it is inevitable that certain things will drop by the wayside. In a cake shop it might be, for example, an egg custard. The egg custard is tasty, sweet, it does the job but it’s never going to be as tempting as say, a salted caramel and chocolate fudge layer cake. In relation to Norfolk’s abundance of places to visit, the egg custard would be Great Yarmouth. With all due respect, Great Yarmouth has everything that a seaside town needs, a stunning sandy beach, a promenade, wonderful fish and chips and tempting sweet treats. BUT it just doesn’t have the picturesque, enchanting quality of somewhere like Cley or Blakeney.
However, one hot summer’s day in the middle of July my fiancé mentioned that he was holding an event at Great Yarmouth library and asked if the children and I wanted to come along. After deliberating for a few moments, I thought ‘actually… why not!’. We could keep Simon company on the drive, get some chips (always a winner) and have a few hours on the beach. It’s always nice to do something a bit different and I love taking the children to places they haven’t seen before.
After a visit to the event at the library I started to walk my little people down to the beach. I glanced down at my children, to see what I can only describe as unadulterated glee on their faces. They were literally taking everything in at a mile a minute, I stood and watched the bright lights flashing in their gleaming eyes. They walked along the esplanade staring open mouthed at the rides, the amusement arcades, stall after stall of brightly coloured buckets and beach balls, candy floss and popcorn hanging haphazardly outside the shops, and suddenly I realized, to them, this was magical.
That day is forever etched in my mind, their faces, the excitement they felt, I could feel it exuding from them, it made me look at Great Yarmouth in a whole new light. We spent the whole day exploring, we had a trip on the road train, visited Joy Land (even I had to have a go on the infamous SNAILS!!!) spent far more than I would like to remember on the 2p machines, had fish and chips on the beach, paddled in the sea and ate ice cream. It really was a blissful day. By the time Simon finished work we were all exhausted, we piled into the car, wet from the beach, sticky from the ice cream, but overwhelmingly happy.
Later that night when the children were tucked up in bed I reflected on our day. I have lived in Norfolk all my life and was taken to Great Yarmouth as a child and I knew I enjoyed our time there. I tried to cast my mind back to remember at what point I started to see it as ‘tacky’ or ‘garish’ or whichever other derogatory adjectives are thrown at it. Unknowingly I had formed this opinion of it, perhaps influenced by other people’s views, possibly I had just grown up and decided I liked the finer things in life, but whatever the reason my fond childhood view of it had been forgotten. I am so grateful to my children for giving me the magic of being transported back to a forgotten childhood experience by looking at the world through their eyes for the day.
I have tried to make sure that I take my children back to Great Yarmouth every summer, to reignite that feeling and to carry on a new tradition. They are slightly older now so Joyland has been replaced by the Pleasure Beach, with its marginally higher-octane rides. The 2p slots have been upgraded to those annoying ticket spurting machines on which I spend £20 to win 3000 tickets which in turn can buy me a bouncy ball and a Chupa Chup lolly (it appears some of my cynicism remains!). Despite this, the fun and happiness that we have on our days out has not wavered. Our most recent trip included a new experience for us, donkey rides, which the children absolutely loved! But no, Lexie, we cannot take the donkey home (not even for 3000 tickets).