Circular Walks in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (UK)
Great Yarmouth is a highly individual place, not just in Norfolk but in England. It evolved one of the most remarkable town plans in medieval Europe and its very site was an unusual gift of nature. A vast estuary once stretched from Acle to the coast discharging freshwater from three rivers into the sea. As the structure and position of the estuary changed over time so a settlement rapidly developed at the mouth of the River Yare becoming a prosperous medieval fishing, boat building and trading town which hugged the river side of the sand bank. Long main streets connected by rows of narrow lanes and alleys made for a distinguished medieval town layout.
When bathing in sea water became fashionable, Yarmouth began to develop as a seaside resort and as it became accessible by railway in the 19th century so the town changed almost overnight becoming a popular destination for tourists and day-trippers.
Away from the urban neighbourhood, the countryside is a stunning combination of wide open skies, flat lands and windmills, rivers, sand dunes and beaches. Much of the area is under national and international protection and the land north of Great Yarmouth is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walking in and around areas like this is extremely valuable to mental wellbeing. Scenes of blue sky, green vegetation and sunlight bouncing of a winding river or open sea are highly pleasurable views helping people to feel happier, more relaxed and peaceful. This was a particular focus when promoting the walks in the Great Yarmouth area. Working closely with mental health professionals, the books were used for group walks with patients stimulating discussions around physical activity and health and encouraging engagement with the surrounding environment.