The Suffolk Coast
  • The Waveney Valley - Oulton Broad

Exploring the Waveney Valley

Tucked away at the north of the Suffolk Coast is the Waveney Valley – a hidden gem.

The River Waveney rises on the Norfolk / Suffolk border near the village of Redgrave, winds its way towards Bungay, on to Beccles and Oulton Broad before reaching the sea at Lowestoft.

And the Waveney Valley has much to offer from delightful market towns, nature walks and country pubs through to river cruises, parks & gardens and a host of wildlife.

We’ll start our tour of the Waveney Valley in the market town of Bungay.

Bungay has been the focus of this part of the Suffolk countryside since the Anglo-Saxons called the area home. It’s a town that has so much to recommend: scenic walking, good shopping, historic buildings, and of course the River Waveney that has been the lifeblood of the town over the centuries.

Just a few miles away is Beccles - made up of small market squares and winding streets and nestled right by the River Waveney. Around every corner you’ll find quirky, independent shops, restaurants and cafes. Look out for a host of community events, festivals and entertainment held throughout the year.

The Waveney House Hotel is located right on the banks of the river. Its peaceful setting is perfect for relaxing and it is also close to the town centre making it an ideal base for river activities or discovering the delights of the area.

Head down to Beccles Lido and catch the Big Dog Ferry. Enjoy a leisurely 3-mile trip by open boat up to Geldeston Locks.  It’s a chance to enjoy the wildlife along the River Waveney before taking a break for a drink, meal or music at The Locks Inn.  

This year, Big Dog Ferry will be available for longer trips and pick-ups from destinations such as Beccles Quay.

As the Waveney nears the coast it enters Oulton Broad – the southernmost of The Broads.

Carlton & Oulton Marshes contains a myriad of flower-studded marshes, pools teeming with water life and the shimmer of dragonflies during summer. Suffolk Wildlife Trust has created a haven for wildlife that you can enjoy for yourself. It’s a wildlife haven right on the edge of Lowestoft.

Oulton Broad offers year-round water sports, cute cafes, riverside eateries, fishing spots and Nicholas Everitt Park - the ideal place to spend a day on The Suffolk Coast.

On the water you’ll see canoes, kayaks, yachts and even traditional wherries plus the hustle and bustle of holiday cruises and day boats.

If you fancy taking the helm, head to Oulton Dayboats and hire a boat for a few hours or the whole day. Take yourselves off and explore the secluded spots around the Broad and take in all the wildlife you’re sure to encounter.

Or take a tour on board the Waveney Princess with Waveney River Tours. The open top deck offers panoramic views of the stunning Broads landscape and gets you close to Reed Warblers, Marsh Harriers, swans and so much more.

Mutford Lock in Oulton Broad sees the Waveney on its last couple of miles to the sea at Lowestoft

Lowestoft Water Taxi is a great way to get from Oulton Broad into Lowestoft.

Running hourly along the inland waterway known as Lake Lothing the journey provides a new and interesting way to see the town from the water. Accommodating up to 12 passengers, the vessel can also be booked for groups. 

The service runs between the Heritage Pontoon, at the South Pier at Lowestoft Harbour and Freshwater Way in Oulton Broad – the footpath passing under the road bridge near the lock gates.

At each end of the journey you are just a short walk from the amenities of each locations; the beach, seafront attractions and town centre shopping of Lowestoft and the bars, restaurants, shops, park and museum in Oulton Broad.

So now we’ve uncovered the hidden gem of the Waveney Valley for you, come and enjoy it for yourself the next time you visit the Suffolk Coast.

Things to see and do


Suffolk Coast Greeters

Suffolk Coast Greeters

Suffolk Coast Greeters offer a friendly face in a new place. Whether you are moving into Suffolk, visiting for the first time, or want to experience the outstanding landscapes of the Suffolk Coast in a new way our growing network of volunteer Greeters could help. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Felixstowe

From tiny meadows to rolling heaths, the nature reserves extend all the way along the Suffolk Coast from Trimley Marshes at Felixstowe to Lound Lakes north of Lowestoft and are some of Suffolk's most inspiring wild places. 

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Visitor Information Point Bungay - Bungay Library

Visitor Information Point Bungay - Bungay Library

One of Bungay’s Visitor Information Points is located within the town’s library, which stocks a range of leaflets and guides containing useful information to help you during your visit.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Visitor Information Point Beccles - Beccles Books

Visitor Information Point Beccles - Beccles Books

One of the Visitor Information Points for Beccles is located within the independent bookshop Beccles Books, stocking a range of leaflets and guides containing useful information to help you during your visit.


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Visitor Information Point Bungay - The Art Trading Company

Visitor Information Point Bungay - The Art Trading Company

One of the Visitor Information Points for Bungay is located within the Art Trading Company retail outlet, in the heart of the town on Earsham Street.


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Beccles Lido & Big Dog Ferry

Beccles Lido & Big Dog Ferry

Beccles

Come down to Beccles in the Summer Holidays and enjoy the amazing views and facilities of the Lido. 

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East Anglia Transport Museum

East Anglia Transport Museum

Lowestoft

The only museum in East Anglia where you can ride on working trams, trolley buses and narrow gauge railway!

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Dog friendly


Cycle Breaks

Cycle Breaks

Ipswich

Supported, gentle cycling & walking holidays along the Suffolk Coast as well as in Constable Country & The Wool Towns and Norfolk and quality bike hire too!

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Suffolk Museums

Suffolk Museums

There are more than 50 museums in Suffolk. Each one is unique, and they are all packed with fascinating stories and objects. 

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Visitor Information Point Beccles - Station Cafe

Visitor Information Point Beccles - Station Cafe

One of the town’s Visitor Information Points is located within the café at the Railway Station, which stocks a range of leaflets and guides containing useful information to help you during your visit.

 

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Wheelchair Accessible


Visitor Information Point Beccles - Saxon Therapy

Visitor Information Point Beccles - Saxon Therapy

One of the Visitor Information Points in Beccles is located within Saxon Therapy, which stocks a range of leaflets and guides containing useful information to help you during your visit.

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Lowestoft Ferry

Lowestoft Ferry

The harbour launch "Terrier" provides regular daily trips between the attractions of Lowestoft and Oulton Broad.

Running hourly along the inland waterway known as Lake Lothing the journey provides a new and interesting way to see the town from the water. Accommodating up to 12 passengers, the vessel can be booked for groups. Why not give the traffic a miss, sit back and enjoy the view!


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Lowestoft Tourism

Lowestoft Tourism

Come to Lowestoft for a great day out, short break or family holiday. 

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Marina Theatre

Marina Theatre

It plays host to major West End productions, top comedy, orchestral concerts, touring drama and musical productions, opera, ballet, music, dance and celebrity concerts as well as operating a successful cinema operation - boasting the largest screen and cinema auditoria in the town. 

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Wheelchair Accessible


Oulton Dayboats

Oulton Dayboats

Self drive boat hire by the hour or day, spend time afloat in the newly created Broads National park here in Suffolk. 



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WHERE TO EAT


Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers

Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers

Bungay

Purveyors of high quality Fruit and Vegetables

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Free wifi

where to stay


Saltgate House B&B

Saltgate House B&B

Beccles

Saltgate House B&B is an elegant Georgian Townhouse built onto a former Tudor Merchants House situated in the heart of the beautiful market town of Beccles, just paces away from the centre of town and moments from the meandering River Waveney.

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Free wifi


Suffolk Coastal Cottages

Suffolk Coastal Cottages

Southwold

Self-catering cottages with a personal touch, owned and managed by Trish Gower, offering delightful self-catering cottages in attractive unspoilt villages at or close to The Suffolk Coast. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly


Suffolk Secrets

Suffolk Secrets

Southwold

Suffolk Secrets is proud to offer the best choice of self-catering holiday cottages on The Suffolk Coast.

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Dog friendly


Suffolk Cottage Holidays

Suffolk Cottage Holidays

Woodbridge

Suffolk Cottage Holidays aims to bring you the best choice of quality cottages and homes across the finest locations of East Anglia.

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Dog friendly