Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is a firm favourite for many Brits, with them growing up with memories of the rides, eating candy floss and maybe even a seagull stealing a chip. Not to be confused with the similarly named amusement park in Blackpool, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is a budget-friendly park with thrills for all ages.
With the Great Yarmouth Wheel, Pleasure Beach and North Beach, a visit to Great Yarmouth is a perfect place for families, couples and friends to visit for a guaranteed day like no other.
On entrance to the park, you'll have unlimited access to all the rides within the time slot you've picked. At the moment, all entrance tickets must be pre-purchased online for selected date and time sessions due to restrictions in place following Covid-19.
Here is our guide on all you need to know about visiting the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.
Great Yarmouth first became a popular seaside resort between 1800 and 1860. In 1909, when permission for an amusement centre had been given, C.B. Cochran posed a Pleasure Beach concept consisting of a scenic railway. However, later in 1911, another attraction arrived, The Joywheel, with the park attracting large crowds until 1914 when it, unfortunately, had to close for the war years.
After the war, a devastating fire in 1919 ripped through the amusement park, devastating the scenic railway. It did manage to re-open, repairing the scenic railway, before it began being extended and restored. When 1923 arrived, the restrictions on seafront developments were lifted, allowing Pleasure Beach to add a large water chute and a new scenic Railway from Paris.
When the Colonial Exhibition was held in Paris, Pleasure Beach managed to purchase the extensive Scenic Railway, which was built especially for the exhibition by Herr Erich Heidrich, a famous German expert in the field. Eventually, the ride was dismantled and shipped to Great Yarmouth for the park.
Botton Brothers arrived at Pleasure Beach in 1954 with their fairground background, expanding the Pleasure Beach over several years, adding more and more to it, with Albert Botton and his wife Lottie continuing to add newer rides and better facilities each year. Most famously, asphalting the whole site, which had previously been duckboards, lay directly onto the sands.
The park was later taken over by Jimmy Jones, who had married into the Botton family, where it continued to grow. Later in October 1992, a new company was formed, Pleasure & Leisure Corporation PLC, to which all the business was transferred. Since then, the company has continued to grow.
In more recent years, the park is currently hoping to build a new casino as well as an entertainment complex to the south and remains one of the leading visitor attractions in the country.
If you're gone all that way for rides, you may as well take a moment to walk along the beach. With your wristband allowing you re-entry into the Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach, you can visit the beach, adjacent to the theme park, for a few hours or even for dinner.
Just a short walk from Pleasure Beach Amusement Park is the Pleasure Beach Gardens. With large amounts of grass, perfect for picnics, and the chance to go for a pleasant stroll after high-thrilled rides. There are also various amusements such as 12 hole adventure golf, shoot out football and water fun games.
Just a short walk from Pleasure Beach, you can get the chance to see sharks, penguins, jellyfish, turtles and even crocodiles. It's perfect for the little ocean explorers as well as the rest of the family.
Just a short walk down from the amusement park is the Pirates Cove Adventure Golf. Having been stood for over fifteen years, it has an 18 hole Adventure Golf Course where the story and history of famous pirates come to life. Pirates Cove Adventure Golf is designed for all ages and abilities to have a fun-filled time with challenges such as caves and waterfalls to work around.
If you've ever wanted to feel like a giant, then visiting Merrivale Model Village will tick this off your bucket list. With accurate models depicting the English countryside, with even a busy town centre. It also has a travelling fair, sports stadium, zoo, castle and even cottages, all set against a scenic background (note that due to the current pandemic, they've put certain restrictions in place, such as a one-way system to keep you and other guests safe).
Although the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach has had many facelifts over the years, some popular favourites have stood the test of the time. For the most popular attractions and rides, see our list below.
A traditional wooden roller coaster opened in 1932, the Rollercoaster at Pleasure Beach brings tourists every year. Originally having been built in France, it carries up to 30 people and if children are under 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult.
The Big Apple Coaster ride promises high-speed fun for children and is the perfect first roller coaster for any child. Originally found at Alton Towers, it moved to the Pleasure Beach in 1998.
A firm favourite for many is the Cups and Saucers ride that sticks in many adults' hearts to this day. It first arrived at Pleasure Beach in 1993. It's a perfect ride for the little ones, with even having the choice of spinning the cups yourselves.
The Disko ride has riders sitting outwards-facing on a circular platform as it spins and slides on a half-pipe track. Not only that, but as the ride spins guests up into the air, you can look out over the Pleasure Beach park and the beach.
A notorious favourite is the dodgems, a ride which will never go out of style. You'll sit in a 2-seater car with the aim is to race around the closed-arena, crashing into other cars at high speed. The Dodgems are as popular today as they were when they came to Pleasure Beach in 1968.
Perfect for younger children, this free-fall drop tower which also rotates riders simultaneously. Having arrived in 2005, it has been a thrilling experience for many since.
Previously known as the Fun House, it has been recently refurbished in 2018 to be named the Fun Factory. You'll begin wandering through a series of unusual areas, including a moving walkway and even moving floors.
A classic for many amusement parks, The Haunted House at the Pleasure Beach consists of two passengers riding in a car along a track in an enclosed themed haunted hotel. The Haunted Hotel was renovated in 2019, all the original favourites remain, such as flashing lights, jump-scares and creepy music. This classic "ghost train" ride will add some spookiness to your day.
With big splashes and stomach curling plunges, the Log Flume is one of Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach's biggest rides. Sitting inside 5-seater boats, you float around a watery circuit before reaching the final 11-metre drop. It opened in 1989, and has remained in the hearts of many and has been just as popular since. It's also perfect for those warmer days to help cool off.
Another firm favourite, the Pirate Ship. It's where a classic swinging ship rocks from one side to the other as riders sit together in rows. The rows at the far edges of either side of the ship are the most thrilling, and a gentler experience can be had if sitting in the central rows.
Holding 24 passengers in a circle facing outwards, Reverse Time spins and lifts into the air with a maximum of 20 revolutions a minute. To riders' surprise, it will mid-cycle change direction, keeping you on your toes. It arrived in 2017 and has been a favourite since then.
Consisting of 10 individually named horses, The Bonanza ride nods up and down while moving along a single-rail steel track. Having arrived in 1989, you must be at least a metre to ride without being accompanied.
A famous ride which arrived in 1999, The Twister, is made up of 3 arms with four cars on each arm. Spinning anti-clockwise, the vehicle you're sat in goes in one direction while the entire ride rotates in the other.
In 2015, the Whirlwind ride is a small roller coaster with spinning cars, which races around a figure-of-eight circuit. The ride can accommodate up to four people at a time and rotate independently of the others on the track. Perfect for families, this ride brings thrills and dips.
If you want the wind in your air while gaining stunning views, the Yo-Yo Ride is perfect for you. Sitting in a chair, you're lifted into the air, swinging outwards as the ride rotates. Children must be a minimum of a metre to ride unaccompanied.
A new addition for 2020, the 4-D Cinema brings both imagery and special effects of lighting, with moving seats, water sprays, air blasts, leg ticklers, and even invoking the power of scent.
Due to COVID-19, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach has currently amended some of the ways it operates. When sitting on the rides, people of the same household must share the cars, horses or benches.
As well as this, they have decided to opt for a closed gate system, with timed sessions and a limited capacity just to keep everyone safe. Because of this, it's worth being aware of certain things, such as:
It's essential to check the opening times at Pleasure Beach before setting off because of the current restrictions. On their website, they currently have an up-to-date calendar that shows the sessions and opening days.
Previously, the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach was open from March to October and open at weekends during Spring and Autumn (except the school holidays). However, all current time slots may be subject to change due to government restrictions and extreme weather conditions.
If there's a four-pawed member of your family, you'll be pleased to know that dogs are allowed on site. However, they must be kept under control and on a lead at all times.
After the pandemic, Pleasure Beach opens in April with varied hour session slots for visiting. Due to limiting numbers and keeping people safe. There are two options currently: (but this may be subject to change, and it is always best to check out the website for more up to date information):
When entering Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, it is a requirement for even non-riders to purchase an entry ticket. With under-12s needing to be accompanied by a responsible adult with under-3's being free, but still require a ticket.
Current prices are £13.50 each, for both riders and non-riders.
There are several eateries on-site ranging from sweets to snacks and even a fully licensed bar.
The Food Court is located close to the Dumbo ride, offering both a full meal or even light snacks without leaving the park. The Food Court does everything from burgers to hot dogs, chips and even children's meals, all served fresh each day.
For comfort and pub grub, The Pleasure Beach Inn is located just to the left of the Pirate Ship. It also has a fully licensed bar and even offers coffees, snacks, and freshly prepared baguettes.
Have you even visited the seaside if you haven't had fish and chips? Well, Hooked Fish and Chips is a firm favourite food outlet with battered cod, haddock and sausages all on offer. Hooked also offers a takeaway service so you can sit at the beach and tuck in.
Gracie's Rock Shop is perfect for a sweet treat before or after the big rides. It has a large selection of candy floss, sweets, rock and even donuts. They even offer fresh bean to cup coffee, and tea.
If you or the family are desperate for ice cream, Leo's Ice Cream Parlour offers soft scoop ice cream and even Mr Whippy's Ice Cream. It also has a wide range of other options such as milkshakes and sundaes.
For something small, such as donuts or tea and coffee, The Hungry Hut can be found at the south end of the park. It's perfect for a post-ride snack or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Compared to many other amusement parks, the queues here move quickly, with many visitors applauding the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach for how many rides can be ridden in a visit. In warmer weather and even high season, this is still the case. Due to the currently implemented sessions, means these are slicker with even fewer waiting times.
As many of the rides require an adult to accompany children on select rides, it may be worth making sure the parents' ratio to child matches. As many of the rides have a different height requirement, there are benefits to measuring the children in your party to assess which rides they can get on.
Due to COVID-19, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is currently operating with a closed gate system, timed sessions and a limited capacity. We've listed some tips below on how to prepare for your visit to maximise your fun.
Before travelling to the Pleasure Beach, check the weather. British weather is unpredictable at best, and with much of Pleasure Beach without shelter, you don't want to get caught out in the rain.
For wheelchair users, the Pleasure Beach is wheelchair friendly, with the floor around the park being flat, offering large and wide walkways. There are also accessible toilets located next to the Pleasure Beach Inn (behind the Haunted Hotel), where a radar key can be borrowed with a £5 deposit. Many of the eateries also offer easy access.
Although not avoidable, there are very few extra costs on top of ticket prices. Most of these are for food and drink and the good news being that costs on-site are both reasonable and limited souvenir photos. A photo is £7 or £10 for 2, and that would cover your whole party.
Great Yarmouth is both accessible by car and public transport, making it even easier to visit.
If you're coming by car, the Pleasure Beach is approximately 140 miles from central London with a journey time of approx 3 to 4 hours. If you're using a SatNav, the postcode to use to arrive directly at the amusement park is NR30 3EH.
If you're arriving by train from Norwich, there are several trains to Great Yarmouth railway station, which is approximately a 10-minute taxi ride to the park.
If you want to arrive by bus, there are regular coach services from London Victoria to Great Yarmouth. The journey time is approximately a 3 hours 50 minutes ride.
When it comes to parking, if you've driven to the amusement park, the Pleasure Beach Car Park can be paid for either hourly or an all-day price.
The current summer tariff, which is applied from 1st March to 31st October, is as below:
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach Park is firm favourite from the young to the old. With rides for thrill-seekers, family-friendly fun, and even a taste of history with Pleasure Beaches' rollercoaster. Even with all that it faced last year, they've managed to incorporate many ways to keep its guests safe, making it not only a fun-filled day but a safe one at that. Whenever you visit, you will be guaranteed a great time, no matter if you're with a friend, a loved one or your wider family.