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Welcome to The waterways

The Waterways comprises of the Venetian Waterways, the Ornamental Gardens and Boating Lake. Located just north of Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile, the Waterways has been a popular visitor attraction for generations, enjoyed by local residents and tourists alike.

Explore the Present

On the Venetian Waterways side of the park you will find winding canals snaking their way through the site crossed by bridges, which allow you to leisurely wander around the interlinking walkways and islands. These areas are perfect for a leisurely afternoon taking in the views of the gardens and ornamental features, whilst enjoying a picnic.

If you’re up for something a bit more adventurous then the Boating lake is the place for you.

Situated on the North side of the park, the vast lake has a boats and pedals for hire. The boats are excellent for families or parties up to five people to take out on the water.

The onsite cafe offers the perfect location to relax, overlook the serenity of the boating lake and enjoy a spot of lunch or afternoon tea.

Explore the past

The Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake have been an integral part of Great Yarmouth’s seafront landscape since their construction in the 1920s. Situated at the northern end of Marine Parade, the Boating Lake was first opened in 1926, followed by the Venetian Waterways in 1928 – designed by S. P. Thompson and built as part of a relief work scheme for the local unemployed after the First World War. 

Proudly a part of Great Yarmouth

The park enjoyed continued success from its opening until the 1960s, when a national decline in coastal tourism led to dwindling visitor numbers and the park’s maintenance consequently suffered. The ornate gardens were laid to grass, and the site was closed to the public in 2011.

Thankfully, the story didn’t end there! in 2017, a major restoration project begun following a 1.7million national lottery grant awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus further support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Reopening in 2019, the Grade II historic park, gardens and boating lake once again welcome tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Want to learn more about
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Supporting the community

The seven-acre community asset is lovingly operated by Access Community Trust. The regional charity manages the café, boating lake, regular community events, and the daily stewardship of the attraction.

Any profits raised from the café help to maintain the upkeep of the site, alongside supporting the local homeless, vulnerable people, and individuals struggling with their mental health.

The unique green outdoor space also offer a range of volunteering opportunities for those wanting to meet others and give something back to the local community.