Two words: ‘Pleasure’ and ‘Beach’ – I mean what exactly is not to like? Let’s start with a quote. “On the log flume, the first hill was quite scary as we didn’t know what to expect, the second we got splashed but it wasn’t as bad but the last one was really scary going up because it was the biggest and slowly built up tension but suddenly there was a steep downwards drop then we were absolutely soaked on the way down. But we still went on it a second time!”
Here, Pippa, 12 and her friend Ella, 11 (okay three days before her twelfth birthday), describe what remains for them the highlight of a great day out with traditional amusement park rides at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.
You can’t argue that for kids this age – and indeed the whole family equipped with a number of good value ‘wristband’ or multiple token options – Pleasure Beach has what it takes to make a school half term holiday or summer holiday or weekend visit. Explore the site and choose your favourite looking rides to get you up, down, flying around and soaking wet (well, pretty wet anyway) – there is so much fun to be had at this famous eastern attraction.
All right admittedly Great Yarmouth’s celebrated rides extravaganza is a little set back from the beach, but it is as on the beach as you can get with good views of the North Sea and beach, north and south, from the Big Apple Coaster and other higher-elevation rides. And the centre has a proud history, going back to Great Yarmouth’s establishment as a holiday resort in the 19th century although it was 1909 when the site got its lease to operate as a seafront amusement centre and a series of world famous scenic railways were installed to run alongside the famous Joywheel.
In the 1950s the Botton family took control of the site with their proper show background in funfairs, suddenly the future was bright and Pleasure Beach has been drawing crowds ever since. Today you can go on Disko, Dodgems (of course), Fun Factory, Twister, Haunted Hotel and Sky Drop. There’s also Family Star a great rollercoaster and a favourite for younger riders, Mulan Caterpillar, Freefall and Pirate Ship and the Big Apple Coaster.
But back to the fabulous log flume because that’s where the excitement started: “I know I would have regretted it if I never went on the log flume so I just ran into the air so I couldn’t change my mind and I’m glad I did because it was the greatest ride I’ve been on!” said Pippa.
“Some of the rides spun so fast I held on tight and hoped my glasses didn’t fly off,” Ella added.
“We spent the whole morning going on rides and I could’ve gone all day if I was allowed too,” said Pippa.
“Pleasure beach is an amazing day out for the family, from dodgems to rollercoasters to log flumes, they cover all ages,” Pippa added.
The facilities are good with sensibly priced parking and a very decent fish and chips restaurant close by the dodgems.
And my top tip? Rides first, fish and chips afterwards if you’re one of the older ones. The younger ones? They’ll do what the blazes they want and they’ll love every minute of it and still gobble up their chips because it’s hungry work having fun!