Eliran Assa

US woman, 50, flew 5,000 miles to Norfolk ‘on a whim’ after being inspired by the setting of Richard Curtis’ Yesterday – and is set to join the writer for tea after he heard her story

  • Dawn Walker, 50, from Seattle decided to travel to Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, after realising the seaside town was used in the hit film Yesterday
  • The film, directed by Danny Boyle, sees budding musician Jack (Himesh Patel) being the only person in the world to remember the Beatles ever existed
  • After taking the 5,000-mile journey alone on the eve of her 50th birthday, Walker set about exploring the classic English coastal town  
  • Another surprise was in store though – Emma Freud, partner of the film’s writer, Richard Curtis, spotted her adventure and asked her to join them for a cup of tea 
  • On Twitter, the married mother-of-two said it was the ‘best birthday of my life’ 

A US film fan says she’s having the time of her life, after deciding on a whim to celebrate her 50th birthday by flying to the UK seaside hotel that featured in the film Yesterday – and has now been invited to tea at the house of the film’s writer, Richard Curtis.   

Dawn Walker, 50, from Seattle, revealed on Twitter yesterday that she’d made the 5,000-mile trip on Saturday to the ‘cute’ Norfolk town of Gorleston after she fell in love with it while watching the Beatles-inspired romantic comedy with her husband last week. 

The mother-of-two, who works for Alaska Airlines, decided to mark her milestone birthday acting impulsively, and before she knew it found herself enjoying a classic English seaside break, after booking a stand-by flight to Heathrow and buying a £24 National Express bus ticket to get her to the East English coast. 

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Here I am! Seattle native Dawn Walker decided to celebrate her 50th birthday with a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Pier Hotel, in Gorleston on the Norfolk coast, after enjoying the recent box office hit Yesterday, which was written by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle

Himesh Patel plays Jack, a Beatles fan who is the only person to remember the band ever existed, in Yesterday, which was released earlier this year. Pictured: Patel at the Pier Hotel in Gorleston during filming

Himesh Patel plays Jack, a Beatles fan who is the only person to remember the band ever existed, in Yesterday, which was released earlier this year. Pictured: Patel at the Pier Hotel in Gorleston during filming 

Director Danny Boyle, pictured with the cast and crew at the hotel during filming last year; the property became the venue for a beach gig in the movie

Director Danny Boyle, pictured with the cast and crew at the hotel during filming last year; the property became the venue for a beach gig in the movie

Curtis’ rom-com’s plot, which is directed by Danny Boyle, sees Jack realising he’s the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles, and begins carving out a successful career by playing their back catalogue.

Walker told Femail about how her amazing trip began, saying: ‘I turned 50 on July 15th and I was writing code at work while listening to the Dixie Chicks. There’s a line about ‘buying a ticket to anywhere’ in the song Ready to Run and I just thought “where can I buy a ticket too?’ 

After chatting to staff at the Pier Hotel, and managing to buy a $300 employee air ticket to London, Walker says there was no stopping her – and her two daughters and husband told her to ‘go for it’. 

The Pier Hotel in the small coastal town, which is key to the film because it’s where central protagonist Jack (Himesh Patel) performs to adoring fans, is ‘100 times better’ than she imagines, she says.

Walker told her 167 followers after she arrived in Gorleston, south of Great Yarmouth: ‘I’m in the cutest seaside town and the local news wrote a story about my 50th birthday adventure! If you’re ever in East England this town is a treasure. Also, yes I did actually travel across the globe because of the @dixiechicks and the film @yesterdaymovie. #letsdo50together’. 

The married mother-of-two, who has never travelled alone before decided to do something impulsive and boarded a plane to the seaside hotel

The married mother-of-two, who has never travelled alone before decided to do something impulsive and boarded a plane to the seaside hotel

Some 6,000 extras from East Anglia were drafted in to create the movie's crowd scenes for the Beatles-inspired rom-com, which has proved a box office smash

Some 6,000 extras from East Anglia were drafted in to create the movie’s crowd scenes for the Beatles-inspired rom-com, which has proved a box office smash

Let's have a cup of English tea! Richard Curtis, who wrote Yesterday, is now destined to share a brew with Dawn after his partner Emma Freud, right, read about her adventures on Twitter

Let’s have a cup of English tea! Richard Curtis, who wrote Yesterday, is now destined to share a brew with Dawn after his partner Emma Freud, right, read about her adventures on Twitter

After the partner of the film’s writer Richard Curtis spotted the tweet, she penned yesterday: ‘Hi Dawn, are you around near Gorleston tomorrow afternoon? Fancy a cup of tea with the man who wrote ‘Yesterday’?’

After Walker replied in the affirmative, Freud followed up with: ‘Have invited her to tea, and she’s coming this week. what a world. Thank you @twitter (and thank you @GYMercury)”

Explaining her decision to fly to the UK, Walker said the Dixie Chicks’ stirring song Ready to Run inspired her to finally make a trip alone, after years of family holidays. 

Eliran Assa