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Escape the lockdown with virtual heritage tours of seaside town

PUBLISHED: 12:05 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 May 2020

The history of the Fisherman's Hospital in Great Yarmouth is visited during a virtual heritage walk 

Picture: James Bass

The history of the Fisherman's Hospital in Great Yarmouth is visited during a virtual heritage walk Picture: James Bass

Walking around in groups is a definite no for now but you can still take guided tours of a history-steeped resort.

Yarmouth Market Place and its history is among tours being offered by GYBC and its guides online 

Picture: PERCY TRETT COLLECTIONYarmouth Market Place and its history is among tours being offered by GYBC and its guides online Picture: PERCY TRETT COLLECTION

Technology is allowing people to stroll around Great Yarmouth unlocking its past, without the leg work or struggle to hear above the roar of traffic or screech of gulls.

With virtual routes much shorter than real walking ones - about 20 minutes compared to more than an hour - the aim is to act as a teaser for the real walks, and help people to enjoy a time-warp adventure from their own homes during the coronavirus lockdown.

So far, there have been virtual walks uploaded spanning circus heritage, medieval buildings, the Market Place, and Gorleston quayside.

Using a mixture of maps and modern and archive photographs the digital trip can provide close-ups that would be more difficult in real life, while the voice-over gives further information about all the details that are worth a look.

Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in 1961.Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in 1961.

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The walks normally run between April and October but have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and are now being offered online instead - including a special one to mark VE Day on Friday (May 8)

Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “These walks are a fantastic way to continue to share and celebrate the rich cultural heritage Great Yarmouth has while people are having to stay indoors.

“The virtual walks have been well received, particularly from those that might not have been able to attend a normal walk, even without the present situation of lockdown.

“We hope that the walks will raise the profile of the guided heritage walks and the profile of the borough and its history as a result.”

Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in 1966. Heritage guides are offering online tours of Yarmouth's circus history Picture: Archant archiveGreat Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in 1966. Heritage guides are offering online tours of Yarmouth's circus history Picture: Archant archive

Gareth Davies, a heritage guide, said: “The heritage guides are meeting fortnightly online to plan future virtual walks with titles ranging from, The 1915 Zeppelin Raid of 1915 to A Belton Meander and Stories from Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile.”

“They are proving immensely popular, and we’ve had really nice feedback.

“I feel it’s doing the guides a lot of good and I’m hoping it will translate into real bookings once we start again.”

Videos can be accessed by visiting https://www.facebook.com/gyheritage/.


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