Great Yarmouth is the place to visit over the festive season

A T-rex at Jurassic Journey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A T-rex at Jurassic Journey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Come to Great Yarmouth and have a great festive time exploring its attractions, shops, restaurants and shows - that is the message from a tourism chief.

After a solid year, bolstered by good weather, new investment and a timetable of popular events, the winter season is set to bring in extra revenue to the town and borough with a record number of businesses, shops, hotels and restaurants open.

Among the ‘all-year-round’ attractions is Jurassic Journey, Great Yarmouth seafront’s new interactive dinosaur experience, which opened in the summer.

The major investment by Ben Jones has seen part of the Tower Complex transformed for visitors to enjoy the opportunity of seeing static and animatronic beasts up close.

It also boasts a children’s soft play area and a chance to meet Prof Possilfossil and dig for bones and fossils.

MORE; dinosaurs roar into townA special discovery hunt entitled The Dinosaurs who Stole Christmas opens on December 20 and runs until January 3.

The Possilfossil family needs your help in saving their Christmas celebrations by finding the food for the Christmas dinner stolen by the dinosaurs.

Mr Jones said: “We have had a truly magnificent first six months and we fully expect to have a very busy winter season.

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“It seemed like the perfect place to open an attraction like ours. We have wonderful surroundings, a rich heritage, and events planned throughout the year. The summer may be over, but Great Yarmouth is still very much open.”

The Sea Life Centre, Merrivale Model Village, Jump Warehouse and the Time and Tide Museum are just a few of the attractions available over the winter months in Great Yarmouth, as well as all the amusement arcades.

MORE; new owners for model villageIn the wider borough, Thrigby Hall, Fritton Owl Sanctuary, the Waterside at Rollesby, Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Caldecott, Caister Roman Fort and the Burgh Castle Roman site are also open for visitors.

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Christmas shows and pantomimes can be seen at the Hippodrome, Gorleston Pavilion and St. George’s Theatre.

Skate Yarmouth, the ice rink in the town’s Market Place is open daily until January 2.

Barry Coleman, vice chairman of the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area, said: “During Twixmas, which is the period between Christmas and the New Year, December 27 to 30, a lot of people go away.

“Now is the time to book a break to Great Yarmouth, many seaside attractions are still open alongside lots of the businesses and many of them will be hosting seasonal events.”

In 2016 the borough’s total tourism value was £599.7m, with the total number of trips taken standing at 6,782,700, incorporating both day trippers and people staying.

Visitor numbers to the borough are set to continue to rise into 2018, with the news that a new air show will grace the skies of the town, bringing in up to 300,000 people on June 16 and 17.