Great Yarmouth, often known to locals as Yarmouth, is a seaside town in Norfolk, England. It is located at the mouth of the River Yare, approximately 20 miles (30 km) east of Norwich. It had an estimated population of 38,693 at the 2011 Census, making it the most third populous place in Norfolk.
The town has been a seaside resort since 1760, and was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century. It is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea. For hundreds of years it was a major fishing port, depending mainly on the herring fishery, but its fishing industry suffered a steep decline in the second half of the 20th century, and has now all but disappeared. The discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1960s led to a flourishing oil rig supply industry, and today it services offshore natural gas rigs. More recently, the development of renewable energy sources, especially offshore wind power, has created further opportunities for support services. A wind farm of 30 generators is within sight of the town on the Scroby Sands.
Great Yarmouth rose to prominence and as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in 1844 making it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Yarmouth, triggering an influx of settlers. Wellington Pier was built in 1854, and Britannia Pier opened in 1858. Throughout the 20th century, Yarmouth continued to be a booming resort, with a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. In addition to its beach, Yarmouth's major attractions and landmarks include Britannia Pier, the Pleasure Beach, the Sea Life Centre, the Hippodrome Circus and the Time and Tide Museum, as well as the UK's only surviving Victorian seaside cast iron and glass Winter Garden.
The town itself is on a 3.1-mile (5.0 km) spit sandwiched between the North Sea and River Yare. Its well-known features include the historic rows (narrow streets) and the main tourist sector on the seafront. The area is linked to Gorleston, Cobholm and Southtown by Haven Bridge and to the A47 and A149 by the Breydon Bridge.
The urban area that makes up the town of Great Yarmouth has an area of 8.3 sq mi (21 km2) and according to the Office for National Statistics in 2002 had a population of 47,288. It is the main town in the larger Borough of Great Yarmouth. The ONS identify a Great Yarmouth Urban Area, which has a population of 68,317, including the sub-areas of Caister-on-Sea (8,756) and Great Yarmouth (58,032). The wider borough of Great Yarmouth has a population of around 92,500, increasing to 97,277 at the 2011 census. Great Yarmouth was 92.8% White British, with the next biggest ethnic demographic being Other White, at 3.5%, which consists mainly of Eastern Europeans.