Be the first to see the sunrise in the UK
Sitting proudly in the northernmost part of The Suffolk Coast is Lowestoft. Famous for being the most easterly town in England and the birthplace of Benjamin Britten, there is plenty to be found in this lively town.
There is archaeological evidence that Lowestoft was inhabited 700,000 years ago, making it one of the earliest known sites for human habitation in the country. A small fishing village for much of its time, the town grew rapidly in the middle ages, and then again when the railway reached it, establishing it as a major trade centre with the continent and a destination for the new seaside holiday craze. The twentieth century saw a decline in the former, but a growth in the latter, and now the town’s major industry is tourism, an industry it is well equipped to serve.
The major attraction for people is the coast. South Lowestoft has long, long stretches of sandy beaches, with two piers, cafés, fish and chip restaurants, crazy golf, amusements and everything you’d expect at a major resort. North of the bridge that divides the town the beaches are a little more stony, but ideal for sea-fishing and walking along the coast. This is where you’ll find Ness Point and can enjoy being the most easterly person in the UK.
Lowestoft has several great parks. Sparrow’s Nest is close to Ness Point and has great bowling facilities, plus an outdoor auditorium where free concerts are often held. It’s also the site of the Lowestoft War Museum, where you can spend an hour or two exploring the town’s past. Above Sparrow’s Nest is Belle Vue Park with pretty flowerbeds, as well as the town’s lighthouse and cannons dating back to the 18th century. Nicholas Everitt Park, a bit further inland, has a large children’s play area, as well as a boating lake, tennis courts, and expansive grounds to explore.
It’s also next to Oulton Broad, the only broad in Suffolk. This manmade lake links through to the rest of the Norfolk Broads along the River Waveney, and also the sea in the other direction, through Mutford Lock which keeps the fresh and salt water separate. It’s a hub for watersports, with fleets of yachts, canoes and other crafts on the water at all times of year. During the summer months it’s a venue for powerboat racing which takes place on most Thursday evenings.
Those looking for a retail experience won’t be disappointed, the town offers the largest selection of shops outside of Ipswich and Norwich. The main precinct is the pedestrianised London Road North which is full of big name stores, while further north is the old High Street where you’ll find more independent stores, plus the historic scores, narrow alleys that lead down to the site of the old beach village.
Lowestoft has two theatres, the Seagull is a venue in the south, that offers local performances, and great drama from touring companies. The Marina Theatre in the town centre plays host to major productions and tours, and is the summer home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. And if you want to have a day out then head south for the nearby Africa Alive. It covers 100 acres of countryside and is your chance to get up close to a wide range of animals including giraffes, lions, and meerkats. To the north of the town is Pleasurewood Hills, East Anglia’s premier theme park that has over fifty exciting rides plus dozens of shows and attractions.
WHERE TO STAY IN AND AROUND Lowestoft
Things to do in Lowestoft