The famous seaside town which a suspected Russian spy made his home

Great Yarmouth seafront captured in drone footage

Great Yarmouth, a resort town on the east coast of England, recently hit the front page due to its unwelcomed links to a suspected spy for Russia.

Bulgarian Orlin Roussev, who has lived in the UK since 2009, is among the five people arrested in February – and still in custody – in relation to an Official Secrets Act investigation.

Charged with possessing identity documents with “improper intention”, the 45-year-old is due to answer police bail in September.

It was alleged the man was one of the suspected spies working for Russia’s security services.

Mr Roussev’s most recent address was listed as a seaside guesthouse in Great Yarmouth, in an area known to welcome holidaymakers heading to the town for a break.

READ MORE: Russian spies caught in UK ‘taught classes on being British’

Despite the unpleasant connection, Great Yarmouth hasn’t been dented by reports regarding Mr Roussev.

Speaking on behalf of Visit Great Yarmouth’s CEO, the organisation’s PR representative Liz Blakeborough told “The arrest of a Bulgarian national living in Great Yarmouth in relation to the Official Secrets Act has not had any effect on tourism in the destination.

“In fact, visitor figures are strong and predicted to be slightly up on pre-pandemic numbers this summer.”

Great Yarmouth’s attraction for tourists may be explained also by the fact it has recently been placed fourth in a top 10 list ranking the UK’s most affordable seaside locations.

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Created by the AA, this analysis says an average price for a five-night stay at an AirBnB in Great Yarmouth will come at £792, while an average meal out will cost just £9.

The Norfolk town has so much to offer to locals and tourists alike it will likely soon shake off the connection with the suspected spy, with Ms Blakeborough naming just a few of the main attractions awaiting people in the town.

She said: “The town has plenty to offer both residents and holidaymakers with its 15 miles of sandy beaches and its Golden Mile that’s packed with traditional coastal fun.

“Attractions include the legendary Hippodrome fixed circus with its amazing trapeze aerialists, daring stunts and rink that sinks and floods to become a swimming pool.

“All the fun of the fair can be enjoyed at the Pleasure Beach offering over 20 rides with everything from the wooden Roller Coaster, Dodgems and Cups and Saucers to a classic Haunted House.”

Another major pull for tourists is the Merrivale Model village, she noted, as is the Time and Tide Museum, where curious visitors can travel from the ice age to present day by learning more about the town’s history.

While in Great Yarmouth, history buffs can also visit one of the best preserved and complete Medieval walls in England as well as Elizabethan House, where the domestic life of a 16th-century merchant has been recreated.

Moreover, the town may soon receive some international attention, as the 1930s fishing vessel the Lydia Eva, normally moored on South Quay in Great Yarmouth, will appear star in the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s prequel “Wonka”.

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