Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake

The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council to restore and conserve the historic Garde II-listed Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake.

The project has secured £45,000 of development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will support the production of a detailed application for the full £1,020,800 earmarked for the project.

The Boating Lake was first opened in 1926 followed by the Waterways in 1928 which formed a council initiative to provide relief work for the unemployed during the winter of 1927-1928. The final design for the Venetian Waterways was put together by the Borough Engineer, Mr S P Thompson, whose scheme contained winding rivers with gondolas, paths through rock gardens leading to bridges over the water as well as thatched shelters.  Over the following years the Waterways developed to include illuminations, the replacement of salt water with fresh water to facilitate skating in the winter, as well as amplified music and the reconstruction of a model of HMS Nelson in the central pool. 

The HLF funded project will see  volunteers work alongside experienced professionals to faithfully reinstate the original flower beds and planting, as well as help to repair the rusticated thatched shelters and bridges, which contribute much to the special character of the attraction.

We are asking for people to share their memories and / or photographs of the Waterways and Boating Lake with us to help support the funding bid to HLF and to revive a much-loved asset on Great Yarmouth's seafront. 

Please send contributions to or

Public Consultation Event 

Due to strong winds on the Waterways on 2nd June and thus a reduced turn out, we will be holding another Public Consultation on 11th June when the weather will have hopefully improved. The event will take place between 10am and 4pm on the Venetian Waterways and at the Waterways Cafe. 

Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust would like to invite all those interested in the future of the Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake to comment on design proposals for the restoration of the historic park.

This will provide members of the public the opportunity to find out more about the project, comment on designs as well as fill out questionnaires. Additionally, we will be looking to collect more photos and memories of the much loved site to use in the future development and delivery of the project. There will be a chance to leave contact details for those who are interested in being involved in the future also. 

For anyone unable to attend on the day, questionnaires will be available online at between June 1 and July 1 2016. Design proposals and questionnaires will also be available in each of the four cafes along the seafront by the Waterways and Boating Lake (The Beach Hut, The Waterways Cafe, Te Coffee Shack and Munchies).