As a sea-bathing place Yarmouth presents powerful attractions, and furnishes every accommodation far the amusement and comfort of its visitors.


Yarmouth, distant about 124 miles from London, and twenty-two from Norwich, stands on a peninsula, at the eastern extremity of the county of Norfolk, encompassed on the south and east by the sea, on the north by the main land, and on the west by the Yare, over which is a handsome draw-bridge, connecting it with Suffolk. The town extends rather more than a mile in length, and nearly haifa mile in breadth, containing four principal streets, running from north to south, and 160 narrow lanes, or rows, intersecting them in the opposite direction. It was formerly surrounded by a wall, with ten gates and sixteen towers, on the east, north, and south sides; and according to a late parliamentary enumeration, it posseses a population of 17,977 inhabitants.

The markets, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, are plentifully supplied. Among the polite amusements of the place, may be reckoned the Theatre, the Assembly room, and Concerts, during the bathing season. A considerable fishery is carried on here, particularly for herrings, which, with its foreign trade, throws a constant animation over the shore; and such as are fond of aquatic excursions, fishing, shooting, bowling, and other manly diversions, may find ample opportunity of gratifying their inclinations at Yarmouth.

Among the peculiarities of this place is the general use of a low narrow cart, well adapted to the confined rows, or lanes, through which it must pass. It is drawn by a single horse, and is much employed in conveying goods to and from the shipping. Others, more elegantly made, which go by the name of Yarmouth coaches, aro let for airings to the fort, along the downs or to other places in the environs.


The entire length of this noble mole is upwards of a mile and a furlong, and, in some places, it is iSo yards wide. From the bridge to the south gate it is decorated with a fine range of buildings, among which the assembly. house makes a conspicuous figure. The quay affords a thionable and delightful promenade, and is maintained at a great expense.


This edifice, which was erected in 1778, occupies the site of a chapel formerly belonging to the Dutch congregation. The Norwich company of comedians perform here a certain number of weeks in winter, and part of the summer


This building, which was erected in 1759, cost nearly £1000. It stands on the beach, about three furlongs distance from St. George’s chapel. The vestibule is a neat, well-proportioned room, with windows fronting the town andthe sea. On the right of the entrance are four closets, having each a door into the bath-room. This bath is fifteen feet by eight, and is appropriated for gentlemen. A similar one is assigned for the use of the ladies.

The marine fluid is raised every tide, by a horse-mill, into a reservoir, at the distance of fifty yards from the baths, into which it is conveyed by separate pipes. In short, the accommodations here are perfectly adapted either to the bather for health, or for pleasure: the attendance is good, and the charges are reasonable.

Adjoining to the north end of the Bath-house, a large and pleasant public room was built in 1788, where company are accommodated with tea and coffee, morning and afternoon; a public breakfast on Tuesdays and Fridays, and occasional concerts, during the season. There is also a coffee-room on the quay, and a subscription reading room at Alexander’s library, in King-street.

The jetty, close to the Bath-house, is 456 feet long,and 24n feet broad at the head. This forms an agreeable walk after bathing; and the lively scene of ships, perpetually sailing in various directions, tends to dissipate that ennui which is apt to creep on those who have been accustomed to active employments.


The Angel and Wrestlers, together with the Bear and Star, are excellent houses of entertainment, and lodgings may be hired in most parts of the town. The mail arrives every day from London; and there is no want of conveyances between this place and the metropolis, as well as the neighbouring towns. A barge sails to Norwich twice a week, and steam-packets daily, in which there are good accommodations for passengers.

Map: Section from Norfolk (1812) by John Cary

Text: A Guide to All the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places etc (1803) by John Feltham

Jane Austen References

The Letters

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 7th January 1807