Beauty and deprivation
August 31, 2007, 10:35 am
Filed under: beach, england, society, travel

It was great to see another part of England. Great Yarmouth is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, despite (or perhaps caused by) having a vast beach and heavily developed foreshore, with gaming machines and fried food outlets galore. I thought Glenelg’s old Magic Mountain was hideous – that had nothing on the moulded foam monstrosities at Yarmouth.

Entrance to a club was included with our tournament pass, so we went clubbing on Saturday night – the place was huge despite the town’s small population – no doubt a relic from the time when Great Yarmouth was one of the UK’s posh beach destinations, before the advent of Ryanair made holidaying further afield accessible for the English masses.

Yarmouth has problems with crime, so when we left the club there were police everywhere, keeping an eye on the groups of youths waiting to get into places on the warm summer night. It was a contrast to Cambridge, where the biggest problems are bikes getting stolen and people trying to scale old buildings in ball gowns.

Despite Yarmouth’s problems, wandering away from the glittery promenade towards our camping ground there’s a spectacular, vacant beach flanked by sand dunes.

Though the beach is empty the ocean is not – about a dozen wind turbines spin in the sea. My main concern about wind farms is the noise, but offshore the swishing is muted by the lapping of the water on the sand. It was quite beautiful.


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