Lowestoft guide

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 and the first place to see the sunrise in the UK, it's also the birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten.

The town is a favourite with families, and there's plenty to see and do; with two piers, a wildlife park, an award-winning theme park, museums and a busy theatre which is home to the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra.

Did you know?

Lowestoft is home to Ness Point, the UK’s most easterly point and is one of the leading areas in the UK for renewable energy. Historically, Lowestoft was a thriving port at the centre of the fishing industry with 400 million herring landed every season at the height of the industry.

Lowestoft is the birthplace of English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten, and you can still see, and even stay in the house on Kirkley Cliff Road where he was born and spent his childhood. At the other end of the spectrum of musical genres, rock band The Darkness formed in Lowestoft when it’s members met at Kirkley High school. There is even a shout out to the school’s extra curricular activities in the song ‘Friday Night’.

Polish author Joseph Conrad disembarked at Lowestoft in 1878, unable to speak a word of English, he learned the language from Lowestoft sailors whose boat he worked on, describing them as 'ruddy faced, hardy men'. It was Conrad’s novella The Heart of Darkness that inspired the 1979 thriller Apocalypse Now, starring Marlon Brando. 

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Lowestoft Highlights

1. Kirkley

Lowestoft beaches

Kirkley is one of Lowestoft's bustling hubs and is the ideal place to enjoy a family day out. It's where the beautiful sandy beach, complete with two piers, Kensington Gardens and Wellington Esplanade, and a whole load of family attractions meet independent shops, cafes, restaurants, B&B's and hotels.

It is famously the birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten and the impressive buildings facing the sea along Marine Parade were commissioned by national treasure and entrepreneur Sir Samuel Morton Peto.

It has a real sense of history and identity which is brilliantly portrayed in this great video poem 'Spread a Little Kirkleyness!'

2. Enjoy an early morning horse ride along the beach

TTDA - Pakefield Riding School

For those outdoor and active types why not book a horse ride along the beach with Pakefield Riding School! One of the oldest and best-known horse riding centres and stables in East Anglia.

Situated close to the countryside and Pakefield beach, in Lowestoft, the Riding School offers a wide range of activities to novices, experienced and advanced equestrian enthusiasts, including lessons for all abilities and any age from two years upwards, hacks and beach rides.

3. Oulton Broad

Towns & Villages - Oulton Broad - boats

The gateway to the Broads National Park, Oulton Broad offers year-round water sports, cute cafes, riverside restaurants and bars and an Edwardian Park; Nicholas Everitt Park.

Explore the river yourself by taking out a self drive boat from Oulton Dayboats.

4. Historic Scores

Towns & Villages - Lowestoft - historic scores

A unique feature of the town, The Scores are a series of narrow lanes created over the years by people forming paths in the cliff as they travelled between the historic High Street and the Beach Village. Spend an hour or two walking The Scores trail to understand Lowestoft's history and it's long relationship with the sea. Every year in September, hoards of runners assemble in the historic high street for the annual Scores Race. The 4.75 mile race runs up and down the historic scores, with a total of 401 steps and passageways!

Whilst here, you can also enjoy a walk through the Sparrows Nest Gardens and check out the Lowestoft Maritime Museum to learn about the town's long history with the sea.

5. Nature and Wildlife 

Towns & Villages - Lowestoft - Carlton Marshes

With some of the UK's rarest birds being spotted on Pakefield beach, and Oulton Broad the start of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, Lowestoft and the surrounding area is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors.

In the neighbouring village of Carlton Colville, you will also find Carlton and Oulton Marshes; a Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve. Here you can spot Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tits and Snipes.

Lowestoft Beach Guide

TTDA - Lowestoft beach - lifeguard hut

The award-winning Blue Flag beach is a favourite amongst families and is said to have been the inspiration for Benjamin Britten's first masterpiece. With wide golden sands, beach huts, a pier and toilet and shower facilities its perfect for swimming and paddling, building sandcastles and enjoying a walk along the prom.

With two wide, sandy stretches either side of the Claremont Pier, this beach is ideal for families, sea swimmers, paddle boarders and windsurfers.

To find out more and plan your visit to Lowestoft Beach, check out our Lowestoft Beach Guide.

Useful Information

Check out the Find My Nearest website for helpful information on parking, public toilets, leisure centres, libraries, train stations, cinemas, theatres and museums.

Free WiFi is available within the town's WiFi zone which covers the seafront to the town centre, including Kirkley High Street and the Triangle at the North of the High Street, making it easy for visitors to get online during your visit.

Visit Lowestoft Tourism's website for further useful information about the area.

Have a look at this neat little pocket guide to the Lowestoft to help plan your trip.

Visitor Information Points (VIPs) are located at:

Lowestoft Library, Clapham Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 1DR

Lowestoft Railway Station, Denmark Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 2EG

How to get to Lowestoft - By Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 

By Bus:

Local and national bus services leave from the town's station.

Address: Gordon Road, Lowestoft, NR32 1LR.

By Train:

With direct train services running to Norwich and Ipswich, and on-going connections to Cambridge and London Liverpool Street. For timetables, visit the Greater Anglia website.

Address: Lowestoft Rail Station, Denmark Road, Lowestoft NR32 2EG

Car Parks in Lowestoft

The most convenient ways to find parking places in East Suffolk are either via Find My Nearest, and where parking fees apply the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page.

Town Centre:

Clapham Road Car Park, Rishton Road, NR32 1RR - Pay and Display 

Britten Centre Car Park, Surrey Street, Lowestoft NR32 1LJ - Pay and Display

Old Nelson Street, Lowestoft, NR32 1EQ - Pay and Display

Lowestoft Beach:

Kirkley Cliff Road Car Park, NR33 0BZ - Pay and Display

Claremont Pier Car Park, NR33 0BS - Pay and Display

Royal Green, The Esplanade, Lowestoft NR33 0AY - Pay and Display

Pakefield Road, Lowestoft NR33 0HS - Pay and Display

Oulton Broad: 

Bridge Road, Oulton Broad NR32 3LN 

Parking for Larger Vehicles and Campervans

Belvedere Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0PH (in designated coach bays)

Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad, NR33 9JT (in designated coach bays)

For further details visit Larger vehicles and campervans » East Suffolk Council

Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times of Eastern Daily Press websites.

Things to do in Lowestoft