You know, if it hadn't been for my family holidays at Caister-on-Sea, staying at the Haven Holiday Park, I doubt I would have ever visited this part of the Norfolk coast.
What a loss that would have been.
Great Yarmouth is a destination I visit a number of times each year. In truth, as it was for my Dad, on our family holiday, which coincided with the Eastern Festival in September, we go for gambling.
But there's so much more...
From my experience of being in Nelson country, I've worked out the best places to go, and if you give me a day off, for a change, here's exactly what I would do to enjoy the perfect 24-hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth.
Here's the itinerary:
Travel by train from my Fenland home via Ely, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth.
I love the Bittern Line, Acle Straight, for the wildlife and open landscape dotted with redundant waterpumps. For years I thought they were windmills, which in ways they are, but used to pump water rather than milling grain.
From the railway station, we get a taxi to our hotel.
Now, you may be wondering which hotel I favour. I've stayed at many including The Marine Lodge, Star Hotel, The Haven, The Prom Hotel, Nelson Hotel, Embassy Hotel, The Comfort Hotel & Palm Court Hotel.
A decent number.
The hotel of choice, irrespective of cost, is Andover House Hotel, Camperdown. The road leads to the front and is one of many Victoria houses. It is one of the best parts of the town and walking distance to everywhere you need to go.
Andover House Hotel is a well kept and you can guarantee a quiet stay - exceptional service. It may cost a little more than most but you definitely get what you pay for and I've had too many nights elsewhere suffering from sleepless nights with less than amiable clientele.
If you go for one of the suites or attic room you will be pleased with the decision. In addition, they have an excellent restaurant called the Copper Kitchen.
It's very much a family business and I love the place.
Now, where would we be without the gambling part?
To be fair, I'm not a crazy gambler and been known to go to Great Yarmouth horse racing and not have a bet all day. In fact, it happens more than not.
It doesn't stop me having fun and there is always a crown of us. Often we are there for the Eastern Festival which covers three beautiful days of racing in the middle of September including Ladies' Day. I've been lucky enough to be there with my gorgeous partner, Marlene, who lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I reside for much of the year. She has been one of the top ten finalists of The Best Dressed Ladies' Competition in the last two years and it really has made everything so special.
She is such an amazing, special and beautiful lady.
After the horse racing, we get a taxi back to the hotel. We always book Albie's Taxis as they are so reliable.
A little rest and freshen up back at the hotel before an evening out.
So where to go for dinner?
I can imagine you are saying your recommendations.
Guess where we are going?
I know many will have enjoyed this amazing restaurant.
It's literally around the corner from Andover House. You will need to book up. It looks nothing special from the exterior and you could walk past without realising its a restaurant. If you haven't been there before, you have missed out because it is very special.
You won't be disappointed.
The place has a touch of bling, very good food and service is as professional as it gets.
It isn't expensive and you really will be delighted you paid about £10 extra because I haven't been to any other restaurants in Great Yarmouth which compares.
At about 10pm we walk about one-hundred metres to the Grosvenor Casino on Marine Parade.
The casino is a listed building and it offers a touch of class. The staff is exceptional, the costs of food, drinks and anything you wish minimal.
In fact, if you take your racing badge you get a free alcoholic drink and match bets.
It's like being paid £10 simply walking through the door.
The gaming room features all the casino classic such slots, roulette, three-card poker, blackjack, and some Chinese game I don't understand.
After a couple of hours at the casino (depending on the winning or losing), it's time to walk the short distance back to the Andover House Hotel.
I like to book the hotel for a couple of days so I don't have to worry about getting out of bed early.
Then it's time to get Albie's taxi to the train station, perhaps stop for an hour or two at Norwich, and back home via Ely to the windswept Fens.
Truly money well spent.
Thank you Great Yarmouth for all the beautiful memories and so many more to come.
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