Beccles guide

A charming market town, as peaceful as it is popular

Check out our handy ‘know before you go’ guide to make your visit a huge success! 

Beccles town is made up of small market squares and winding streets nestled 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.

Did you know?

Beccles is a market town with a rich and varied history and has been home to many people of note through the years. Mary Grimstone, a novelist and poet was born in Beccles in 1796 and travelled as far afield and Hamburg and Australia in her lifetime. She was a prolific campaigner for women’s rights and her writing was compared to Jane Austen.

Another famous figure hailing from Beccles is Sir John Leman, a tradesman born in 1544 who became Mayor of London in 1616. He never forgot his birthplace and provided in his will a free school for the education of children from Beccles and the surrounding area.

Wander through the town and you cannot miss the imposing detached sixteenth century bell tower of St Michael's church. The 97 feet tall tower is perpendicular gothic in style and dominates the skyline. Inside there is a 13th Century font and the tower contains a peel of 10 bells which are rung each week. 

Just outside of Beccles, Roos Hall is renowned for being one of Suffolk’s most haunted houses and legend says that at Christmas a ghostly carriage driven by a headless man careers down the driveway towards the house.  


things to do in beccles Places to stay in beccles Places to eat in beccles


Location


Beccles Highlights

1. The River Waveney

TTDA - Hippersons Boatyard - Boat hire

There are plenty of opportunities to take to the river when you visit Beccles. Hire a canoe, kayak, or day boat from Hippersons Boatyard and explore on your own or climb aboard a skippered boat and take a guided tour of these placid waterways. Here you can also spend a night or two enjoying the sounds of the river with a stay in a houseboat or floating glamping pod!


2. Enjoy a dip at Beccles Lido

TTDA - Beccles Lido - person swimming

Beccles Lido is one of those 'must see and do' experiences for the spring/summer, this traditional outdoor heated swimming pool sits right alongside the river, with plenty of paved and grassy places to sunbathe! Heated to 27 degrees, 27°, the large 30 x 15 metre pool has a deep end of 3.5 metres and features a 1 metre springboard, there is a slide at the shallow end and the separate toddler and paddling pools are also heated. The pool also has a cafe serving hot and cold meals, snacks, ice creams and drinks and there's also a play area for little ones to enjoy.


3. Riverside Walks

Towns & Villages - Beccles - Riverside walks (c) Emily Fae Photography

If you’d prefer to stay on dry ground, there are plenty of walks to take you through the lush Waveney Valley. Follow the river as it meanders through the pretty Suffolk countryside, or head northwards and explore the Beccles Marshes.


4. Shopping and eating in Beccles

Towns & Villages - Beccles Food & Drink

A unique retail experience Beccles town is home to some fabulous independent shops from designer fashions, and delicatessens to exclusive gifts and ‘nik naks’. You can break up that retail therapy by enjoying morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and delicious dinners at the many cafes and restaurants in the town. Don't miss out on the most authentic pizza from Oak Fired at The Royal Oak this side of the Mediterranean while you are in town!


5. Catch a show or concert at Beccles Public Hall

TTDA - Beccles Public Hall - exterior

Enjoy a night at the theatre at Beccles Public Hall with everything from rock concerts and plays to musicals and pantomime, there's a great programme of live entertainment on offer. The Hall also hosts an annual beer festival, plus quiz nights and film screenings. 


6. Beccles Antiques Street Market

TTDE - Beccles Antiques Street Market - at quay

Held twice a year in May and August, the Antiques Street Market is a must-visit for anyone looking for vintage, collectibles and antiques.Over 100 stalls set up at the Quay, along with a selection of the region's top food and drink producers. 


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.


Public Toilets and Baby Changing Facilities in Beccles

Blyburgate Car Park, NR34 9TB - Disabled toilets

Hungate Car Park, NR34 9TT - Disabled toilets and baby changing facilities

Old Market, NR34 9AP

Beccles Quay, NR34 9BH - Disabled toilets


Visitor Information Points (VIPs) are located at:

Beccles Books, 1 Exchange House, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9HH

Beccles Library, Blyburgate, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9TB

Station Cafe, Beccles Train Station, Station Road, Beccles NR34 9QJ

You can also find lots more information on the Visit Beccles website here; visitbeccles.co.uk/business-directory/


How to Get to Beccles - 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 bus services leave from Beccles Bus Station, to Lowestoft, Waveney and Norwich.

Timetables and further information can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com

By Train:

The town's rail station is located on Station Road, Beccles, NR34 9QW

Direct train services by Greater Anglia travel to Lowestoft and Ipswich with on-going connections to London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.

Greater Anglia operates frequent train services. There are many great value fares available such as Advance tickets which start from Just £9 one way (available on certain routes), and Groupsave where 3 to 9 adults save 1/3 off the Off-Peak Return train fare.  Anglia Plus day rover tickets are also available where you can have unlimited travel within certain zones.  Perfect for exploring the beautiful Suffolk coast.

All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website or the app.

 

Car Parks in Beccles

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.

Car Parks in Beccles 

Hungate – 66 spaces, NR34 9HG – Pay and Display

Blyburgate – 255 spaces – NR34 9TQ – Pay and Display

Newgate – 75 spaces – NR34 9QA – Pay and Display 

Quay South – NR34 9BT – First half hour free

Quay North – 270 spaces - NR34 9BH – Free

Kilbrack – 3 spaces – NR34 9SHFree

Waveney Meadow – 6 spaces – NR34 9PWFree


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.


Covid-19 testing in Suffolk

You can find useful information on Covid-19 testing on the Government website here;

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/

Local information on how and where to get a PCR test if you have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-testing-in-suffolk/

Local information on how and where to get a rapid lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-asymptomatic-testing/


WHERE TO STAY IN AND AROUND Beccles

Things to do in Beccles