Staycation kids will love it – with shows in the UK’s oldest circus, terrifying rollercoasters and long sandy beaches

I’ve lost count of how many times my two young daughters have watched The Greatest Showman.

Since its release in 2017, the movie has been playing on repeat in our house and the girls are still singing the songs obsessively.

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‘Lifeguards’ on patrol to promote fun and safety in Great YarmouthCredit: Shutterstock
There are also donkey rides on the beach

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There are also donkey rides on the beachCredit: Getty
Daredevil acrobats at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus... like stepping back in time

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Daredevil acrobats at Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus… like stepping back in timeCredit: hippodromegy/instagram

Now, as we entered Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus, it felt like we were traveling back in time to watch the real thing.

Built in 1903, the racecourse is a historic gem – the only surviving circus building in Britain, with a floor that sinks as it turns into a swimming pool.

While the Hollywood film may have ringmaster Hugh Jackman at the helm, we were treated to hilarious hosts Johnny Mac and Jack Jay, who had adults and children in giggles. Bring an umbrella if you’re in the front row!

With laughs from start to finish, the mesmerizing highlight was a troupe of acrobats from South America, who entertained us with a death-defying springboard act, culminating in a blindfolded leap through a hoop inflamed.

The exhilarating circus show is just part of what gives this Norfolk coast seaside resort its traditional beach charm.

We were at Richardson Holiday Park near Hemsby which is just as ready for a day out as the main town itself.

The park’s Quarterdeck room offers cabaret acts and there’s a bowling alley, rock climbing wall and pool on site, as well as a fish and chip shop, Posh Plie.

However, if you are looking for a good value dinner, you might want to visit the main street.

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The Ocean Cafe has an outdoor terrace and serves steaks, pizzas and children’s dishes.

And for a tea break, there’s the award-winning Sara’s Tea Rooms, which has been open since 1999 and serves hearty lunches and homemade scones – be sure to try the coffee cake too. It’s worth using the hop-on hop-off bus (£7 for the whole section and £4 for the waterfront) if you’re heading out to explore.

But when we weren’t lounging in the hot tub at our two-bed lodge, the days were spent at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, a short walk away, where there’s a strip of game rooms with ice cream and stalls. fast food. .

Caress the starfish

My two daughters, Savannah, 11, and Scarlett, eight, couldn’t wait to get on the rides, including the thrill-seeking new Pendulum, which has side-to-side swinging riders before making a full loop.

But us adults were more drawn to the family-friendly Lightning 360, where you can enjoy unobstructed views of sandy beaches for miles – or the log flume, which will leave you well and truly soaked .

Vacationers never wait too long for one of the rides either, as numbers are limited in each three-hour session – so be sure to have as much fun as possible.

Those who are not adrenaline seekers should visit Sea Life, where you won’t just see the fish, you can also interact with them.

We came face to face with sharks and jellyfish, dipped our hands in the pools to pet starfish, and laughed as a colony of penguins were fed before our eyes.

If you’re willing to head a little further up the coast to Winterton on Sea, you can spot sea creatures in their natural habitat.

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We hadn’t counted on the company of two nosy seals passing by after taking a paddle, but they kept us entertained for an exciting 30 minutes as we watched them plummet from afar.

While the circus certainly had its thrills and laughs, it was these gray seals that really put on the biggest show.

The ring master puts on the biggest show

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The ringmaster puts on the biggest showCredit: hippodromegy/instagram

GO: GREAT YARMOUTH

STAYING THERE: A three-night self-catering stay at Richardson’s Holiday Park starts from £815 in October, based on a family of four sharing a Platinum Plus Lodge. See richardsonholidayparks.co.uk.

OUTSIDE & SURROUNDINGS: Tickets for Hippodrome Circus cost from £22 per adult and £13 per child, see hippodromecircus.co.uk.

For tourist information, see visitgreatyarmouth.co.uk.

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