We love a day out at the Norfolk seaside and feel very lucky to live so close to so many places by the coast with their own unique character. I used to think Great Yarmouth was all about buckets and spades, massive holiday parks and arcades until I discovered the Time and Tide Museum. This museum explores life in Great Yarmouth from it’s days as a major fishing town to it’s development as a seaside holiday destination. With 6 weeks of summer holidays stretching ahead of us I’m always on the look out for somewhere the boys can roar around, burning off energy and have fun with hands on exhibits. If I can find an activity that’s a bit cultural and learn something totally new its a bonus. When Felix has to write about what he did in the holidays I live in hope he will share memories of good day out rather than when he watched Star Wars on a rainy afternoon!
Arriving at Time and Tide you begin by playing amongst boats in the courtyard before being transported back in time to the town’s once thriving herring fishing industry. The smell of the museum’s former use as a smokehouse has impregnated every wall – delicious if like me you enjoy smoked fish. Teddy was kept entertained with all the hands on areas giving me time to soak up stories of Yarmouth’s history.
One of the most powerful areas of Time and Tide is a recreation of the Great Yarmouth rows, these were Victorian alleys of houses and shops, it is so atmospheric but I think the boys find it a bit creepy.
A new exhibition has opened, Drawn To The Coast, featuring paintings and sketches by Turner, Constable and Cotman. Whilst the paintings are world class I was captured by the sketches by these great artists. These little glimpses into the artist’s progress made me feel closer to the scene they were originally observing. Teddy couldn’t be persuaded to join in at the selfie station (am I the only Mum who’s kids will never dress up?) He did enjoy creating a still life sketch of some Red Herrings and all the touch screens. We left Drawn To The Coast enjoying how important the fishing industry was to this much transformed seaside town.
Of course every museum has to have a good cafe. With Felix’s food allergies we normally avoid cafes (the cross contamination risk sends me into a bit of a panic.) I needn’t have worried, Time and Tide’s Silver Darlings cafe came up trumps. It didn’t phase them at all coming up with a dairy free option for brunch. Personally I couldn’t wait to try some kippers after smelling the lovely smokey walls of the building – I built up quite an appetite! If you eat later in the day smoked fish platters and jacket potatoes are on offer, these are perfect options for a milk or gluten free diet.
If you want to try a great way to eat Kippers have a look at my delicious gluten and dairy free Kipper Kedgeree recipe!
Whilst you are visiting Great Yarmouth there are a few other ‘must do’ activities:
- Ride The Snails at Joyland. They are a Norfolk childhood institution! I find Joyland (which is free to wander around) a bit sinister but the children LOVE the snails! I’d love to hear if anyone else finds it slightly scary…..
- Visit the other museums in the town including The Elizabethan House and The Tolhouse Gaol. Along with Time and Tide entry is included with the brilliant value Norfolk Museums pass. It costs £81.90 for me to have unlimited visits to all of the Norfolk Museums for 1 year (paid by direct debit). We ask for ours as a Christmas present. It’s the gift of never getting bored in the school holidays when funds are even tighter than normal.
- Eat allergy friendly chips on Yarmouth market. Like Norwich Market it is built as a permanent structure but most of the chips stalls only sell chips. This is ideal if you cannot eat wheat or gluten as you don’t have the worry of cross contamination in the oil.
- Let the children press all the buttons in the arcades and not spend a single penny. Does this make me a bit tight? Possibly. But when they are too small to know does this matter?
- Let the children be little with a bucket and spade on the beach. It is HUGE, once you are next to the sea you’d never even hear the busy promenade.
You can park right outside Time and Tide making it easy to find and perfect to toddlers who get tired easily. If you want to picnic there is a fun play area outside so you can enjoy a few minutes peace.
Drawn to the Coast is on display until 6th September 2018.
Many thanks to the Norfolk Museum Service for inviting us to enjoy their wonderful museum, we’ll be back again very soon!