Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach review

Our rating 
4.4 out of 5 star rating 4.4
User rating
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In a nutshell

A traditional seafront attraction providing great wholesome entertainment. You won’t find big-budget headline-grabbing rides here, but there’s plenty for families with young children to enjoy at a reasonable price, and without the queues
Fun for kids
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Fun for parents
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Facilities
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Family friendliness
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Pros: Traditional family-friendly fun, unpretentious, pleasant staff, well-priced, accessible, no queues for rides, close to beach
Cons: Short season, lacks shelter, few healthy food options

COVID-19 safety update

Some facilities and attractions may be closed or restricted this year, due to COVID-19 – and there may be extra safety rules, pre-booking requirements or one-way systems in place. Please check Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach’s website before travelling or booking.

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When we visited:

A hot Monday in July, just before the schools broke up for summer

What age is Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach best for:

Best for: Children aged 4+ years (most rides have a 100+cm height rule)

Still good fun for: Children aged 2-4 years

How much does it cost?

There are 2 ways to pay – by token (more expensive option unless you only want to try 1 or 2 rides) or by wristband (15% cheaper to buy online, instead of on the day). Prices vary based on the age of the visitor, whether or not it is peak season, or for all-day or evening-only

  • Gate wristband prices: Adults and children aged 7+ peak £21.50/off peak £18.50, children (4-6 years) peak £16.50/off peak £14.50
  • Online family ticket: 2 adults and 2 children (4-6 years) off-peak £66, peak £76
  • Adult and toddler (0-3): £24.50 (off peak), £26.50 (peak)
  • Tokens: from 75p each

Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach?

Check discount websites like Picniq for special offers. You can reduce the cost of wristbands using Tesco vouchers – turn every £0.50 in vouchers into £1.50 to spend.

Any extra charges once I’m there?

The good news is that costs on-site are both reasonable and limited

  • The only things to spend your money on really are sideshows, food and drink, and souvenir photos
  • There’s no hard sell and no glitzy gift shop to entice the little ones
  • A photo is £7 or £10 for 2, and that would cover your whole party

How long will we spend at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach?

We spent all day at the Pleasure Beach, joining a short queue for the gates to open, and we were one of the last families to leave. We went on all the age-appropriate rides at least twice, with little queueing. You can also break up your visit with time on the adjacent sandy beach, as your wristband allows re-entry.  We re-energised with a splash and paddle before enjoying the rides all over again (a maximum ride count of 25 per wristband is stated and although it wasn’t strictly enforced when we were there, it’s no doubt subject to fair usage).

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What does Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach offer for families?

Great Yarmouth Pleasure beach is a traditional British seaside resort attraction offering modern thrill rides as well as wholesome, old-fashioned fun. For us, it was a wonderful day out, providing summer family memories we’ll cherish for a long time.

What shouldn’t be missed?

Highlights for us were:

  • The number of rides – my son is 4 and exactly 100cm tall, and he was able to go on (when accompanied) about 70% of rides available.  Since it was just me and him on the day, I had to forgo the more white-knuckle rides to stay with him (ahem).  That said, I was surprised at the number of rides we could go on together
  • We loved the main retro rollercoaster, dodgems and whirlwind, a twisty-turny thrill ride slightly outside my own grown-up comfort zone
  • I loved that there were no queues, no difficulties and no weird rules to negotiate – it was just real, stress-free fun, running back and forth from ride to ride (and I have been asked 100 times since when we can go back)
  • The staff friendly and helpful throughout the park and it really made a difference to the overall experience – for example in the Fun Factory my 4 year old’s legs couldn’t get to grips with the moving floor and wobbly walls, and I was impressed how quickly the staff stopped that section and took time to coach him on how to negotiate other areas

What you need to know before you go to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach:

  • A visit to the official website www.pleasure-beach.co.uk is a must, to check opening times and save on door ticket prices. I’d recommend checking out the local tourist office as well
  • Measure your kids’ heights to manage expectations of getting on specific rides – the website clearly shows minimum heights for all rides
  • Mind your adult-to-child ratios as some rides require an accompanying adult
  • If your child is dead-set on a particular ride, it might be worth calling up on the morning of your visit to ensure all are in working order. On the day of our visit the Mulan ride was closed to the public
  • Check the weather forecast!
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What are the queues like?

We visited before the schools broke up for summer but it was a hot day in July. We didn’t wait more than 5 minutes for any ride, and we didn’t see any substantial queues for the log flume, rollercoaster, or high-octane rides either. This meant we got an amazing amount of time actually enjoying the attractions, which you just wouldn’t get at Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, etc. This was wonderful for us, although, by the time it came to late afternoon, it was almost too quiet in the last hour before closing.

How do the ‘win a prize’ stalls compare to those on the pier?

Most children will want to try to win a prize, and I noticed some prices per try here are much lower than similar stalls on the pier. So if you want the full sideshow/hook-a-duck experience, do it here.

If you can’t win the prize your child has their heart set on, never fear. There’s a shop on the main shopping drag that sneakily sells them all (such as a plush Poppy Troll doll, who I ‘won’ for the sum of £11.99)

Are there any exciting rides for mini thrill-seekers?

Yes, make sure youngsters try out the Big Apple Rollercoaster. With its little stomach flips and roaring tunnel, it is a perfect way to introduce kids to rollercoasters and its certainly worth ascertaining if they will tolerate this one before the more adventurous brave the huge Retro Rollercoaster, which is still wowing the crowds at over 80 years old.

Does it cater well to families with children of mixed ages?

There’s a reason traditional seaside entertainment has been around for 80-odd years, and that’s because it is great fun for everyone.

My little 4 year old was truly delighted and enjoyed every moment. At our local fun days in London, the kids’ roundabout rides are £3-4 for 5 minutes, and on a budget you often have to say no. Here, he couldn’t believe he was allowed on so many rides, he was so excited.

Of course, if your family are theme park aficionados, chasing down the latest thrill ride to open each year, then jaded teenagers might be harder to please. But for most, it will be seaside heaven.

Was it pushchair friendly?

I’d definitely recommend bringing a buggy for tired preschoolers if you intend to stay for a whole day, and the flat, wide walkways are great for pushchairs.

However, be aware that pushchairs will need to be left at the side of the attractions while you ride (and the park is not responsible for anything lost or stolen).

What to bring:

  • You might also want a change of clothes if you intend to ride on the log flume!
  • Sun cream and sunhats are a must in hot weather but don’t bring a brolly for summer showers  – a poncho is the only way to go (and even then, you won’t escape the rain)!
  • Pack swim gear and towels if you are going to make a day of it as the (in my opinion) best beach in Great Yarmouth is right by the entrance
  • There are lockers and an ATM in the ticket centre, but larger bags won’t be allowed on rides and should be kept to a minimum

What are the food and drink facilities like at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach:

Think of traditional Great British seaside fare – and you’ll know what is on offer here:

  • There are several food outlets selling basic hot food (including fish & chips) at prices on a par with the rest of Great Yarmouth
  • You won’t find much fancy stuff or health food (although there is a restaurant in the Pleasure Gardens offering a wider choice) but you won’t hear many complaints from kids who like burgers, chips, baked spuds etc
  • There are several outlets and a pub/restaurant for the grown-ups onsite
  • There are also plenty of ice cream and candy floss stalls dotted around

Can you take a picnic?

We brought a picnic and ate on the sand beach that runs adjacent to the Pleasure Beach – I’d recommend heading down there if you have brought your own food.

However, there are plenty of food outlets onsite with picnic-style tables in the open air and a few benches dotted around. It might be a little less pleasant in a downpour, however, as shelter is limited (even for those who have bought food onsite)!

What are the toilets like?

There are 3 sets of regular toilets on site, with 2 baby change areas and 2 disabled loos between them. The toilets we used were small but clean throughout the day.

How well does it cater for disabled visitors?

  • The floor is flat with wide walkways so the whole site is very accessible for wheelchairs
  • Most food outlets are stalls with open counters with separate seating a little further off, intended to be accessible to all
  • I noticed several adults with special needs using the gentler rides and staff appeared patient, approachable and helpful in providing accompanying carers with assistance
  • There are blue badge parking bays opposite the park
  • For more information see Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach’s accessibility guide

Opening dates and times:

Do check opening times as the Pleasure Beach is only open from March to October, and only at weekends in spring and autumn (except school holidays). See the online calendar for on-and-off peak opening hours.

Tips for getting to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach:

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is on the south end of Great Yarmouth’s golden mile, in Norfolk

  • Driving is certainly the easiest way to get around East Anglia – the Pleasure Beach’s postcode for your SatNav is NR30 3EH
  • If you travel by train you can change at Norwich for local services, but it’s a little bit of a faff as the station is set quite far back from the bustle of town – we’re talking around 1.5km from the touristy shops and about around 3km from the Pleasure Beach
  • It’s a half-hour walk from the town’s central Britannia Pier, but there’s a regular bus service on the promenade stopping at most tourist hotspots along the main strip

Do you have to pay for parking?

The Pleasure Beach Car Park is operated by Green Parking. It costs up to £8 to stay all day.

Worth a long car journey?

We visited the Pleasure Beach as part of a 3-night weekend trip to Great Yarmouth, and would certainly recommend making the most of the beautiful beaches and local attractions.

As well as out-of-town visitors enjoying holidays nearby, we’re sure it’s a favourite attraction for locals, but the town’s location (and Great Yarmouth’s lack of a direct train links) probably limits day trips from further afield than, say, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, and Peterborough perhaps.

Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach?

The seafront location means there are plenty of accommodation options nearby, including:

Nearby attractions for a longer day out:

Sea Life Great Yarmouth is an 8-minute walk along the beach, alongside the charming Merrivale Model Village. Further along is Joyland Children’s Fun Park.

MFM verdict:

This is an easygoing and relaxed day out, offering great traditional fun for all the family.  We’ll visit again if we’re in the area, and would certainly consider buying season tickets if we lived locally, as it is absolutely perfect for kids ages 4 -12. Use it or lose it, British Public, this attraction is great!

Visit the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach website

See more reviews of Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach on TripAdvisor

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Intro to you:

We enjoyed a mother and son day out at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach on a sunny Monday in July. My son, aged 4 (and not yet at school), is 100cm tall so we were able to experience most of the rides