A weekend at Gorleston
PUBLISHED: 06:26 29 September 2014 | UPDATED: 07:01 29 September 2014
We’ve heard it time and again while walking along the promenade or the cliff-tops at Gorleston – “That beach is amazing; it’s better than so many places abroad”.
With the vast expanse of lightest golden sands, it is easy to see what they mean. The beach stretches for miles and is lapped by shallow waves where children paddle, swimmers exercise, body-board and windsurf, and sometimes even horses canter. In late summer the beach is still popular with young families playing on the beach, but visit any time of the year to stroll with the sand beneath your toes and the wind in your face – wonderful!
A circular yacht pond, a children’s paddling pool, a wide prom ideal for cycles, prams and kiddies’ scooters makes for a pleasant walk to the ideally positioned Jay Jay’s at the Beach Cafe, always busy and friendly whether you’ve dropped in for a warming hot chocolate and a chat with friends or for a lunchtime or evening meal – take a look at the seafood extravaganza platter.
Along the cliffs, walk beside tennis courts, pretty gardens, bowling greens, children’s play areas and the Mia-Lucy Rose trim trail, and imagine which of the fabulous Marine Parade properties you would choose if your lottery numbers came up.
Gorleston pier juts into the sea at the harbour’s mouth, making for interesting views as ships and smaller craft make their way in and out of the tight bend of the channel. The Pier Hotel is a popular meeting place, with its Pub on The Pier, while climb the steps in the cliff-side opposite to reach The Cliff Hotel, which thanks to its new terrace is the perfect place to enjoy the views across the seaside with a drink, morning coffee or a freshly prepared meal. The Cliff has almost 40 rooms and offers several special entertainment evenings each month – look out for its murder mystery specials in November and December.
Nestling between cliffs and pier is the charming Pavilion Theatre, where the audience sits around tables to enjoy the extremely varied programmme. Shows continue through the winter, so if you are planning an end of the year jaunt to Gorleston, why not book up for the seasonal panto or Winter Wonderland show to get into the festive spirit in this fascinating Edwardian theatre.
Gorleston is perfect for walkers, with plenty of space to wander along the coast towards Hopton, or along the riverside to watch the boats and industry. Riverside Road has some interesting properties to see too, with recent conversions and developments (a couple of which have featured in our Interiors articles by Tony Hall in recent issues) making the most of this busy view across the River Yare to Great Yarmouth.
A wander along the High Street is another must for any visitors to the town. Find something special and a little bit individual in the many independent shops here, as well as some of the familiar High Street names. Bells Road, another traditional shopping area of the town, has the recently opened Margo’s Lounge, 1970s-themed restaurant, which has already become a popular eaterie.
Of course, as a large community, Gorleston has plenty of amenities – supermarkets, pubs, churches, schools and the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, consistently in the top leagues in the UK, and the James Paget University Hospital. And, just down the road is Great Yarmouth with all that this seaside town has to offer.