• Waveney Valley - Billingford Mill
  • Waveney Valley - Bungay
  • Waveney Valley - Beccles from the sky

Waveney Valley guide

An unspoilt haven with idyllic villages and unique market towns

Running along the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, the Waveney Valley is an unspoiled haven with idyllic villages and unique market towns. Escape the frantic pace of everyday life with tranquil surroundings and warm hospitality. 


There is something for everyone in the Waveney Valley. From shopping and entertainment to history-filled family days out exploring the Waveney Valley’s rich heritage. For walkers there are miles of tracks through stunning countryside, you can enjoy the freedom of cycling through beautiful villages and quiet country lanes, or get out on the water and explore the picturesque river by boat or canoe.


Things to do in the Waveney Valley


1. Get on the River

Miles of beautiful river under the big East Anglian sky provides spectacular scenery through which to enjoy the water. Much of the gentle River Waveney is accessible for boats and canoes. If you prefer a more leisurely trip on the water, then why not take a relaxing tour by boat. Waveney River Tours offer conducted river tours and boat hire, and Hipperson's Boatyard provide day boats for hire. For a unique and truly magical experience, try a week of swimming and sailing in some of England’s cleanest waters.

2. Arts and Culture

Arts and culture in the Waveney Valley are as vibrant as they are varied. Waveney & Blyth Arts connects creative people and places along the Norfolk/Suffolk border and promotes the distinct cultural identity of this beautiful area through exciting arts events and activities. Theatre and cinema lovers will delight at the wide choice of entertainment on offer at an array of stunning historic venues from a 16th century barn, regency assembly room and Victorian water mill. The Fisher Theatre in Bungay, New Cut in Halesworth, Corn Hall Diss and Beccles Public Hall offer lively programmes of high quality entertainment, from comedy, theatre, film and music. There is also a wide selection of galleries providing a range of exhibitions. 

3. History and Heritage

There are Norman castles, ancient churches, intriguing local museums and rich wartime heritage hidden in the Waveney Valley. Explore Bungay’s Norman history at Bungay Castle dating from 1165, or take a stroll to the top of Eye Castle.  For a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who have lived and worked here, why not visit one of the district museums. Or, learn about the Waveney Valley’s intriguing wartime heritage. World War II saw American servicemen arrive in East Anglia in large numbers in what would become known as the ‘friendly invasion’. 

Bungay Castle - Jon Gibbs

4. Walking

With miles of tracks through scenic nature reserves, picturesque market towns, and stunning waterways, walking in the Waveney Valley is a joy. Tackle one of long distance routes; the Boudicca Way runs for 36 miles from Diss to Norwich or from Great Yarmouth to Thetford, the Angles Way passes round tower churches, wind and water mills and picturesque villages along its 93 mile route. Click here for downloadable maps of the Waveney Valley!

5. Food & Drink

The Waveney Valleys is home to some of Suffolk's top food and drink producers. Just outside the town of Bungay you will find Fen Farm Dairy; the home of Baron Bigod Cheese and a delicious range of raw dairy products, including raw cream, buttermilk, free range eggs and raw cultured butter.

Inside the town, there's a selection of cafes, pubs and delis including Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers; selling a range of fresh and locally grown fruit and vegetables or travel a few miles to Earsham to Flint Vineyard; enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and state-of-the-art winery and stay for their 15 Mile Lunch, paring the finest local produce with our award-winning wines.

Useful Information

Visitor Information Points (VIP’s), Public Conveniences & Car Parking

The market towns dotted along the Waveney Valley - Eye, Diss, Harleston, Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth and Loddon - all provide car parking and public conveniences, with many hosting Visitor Information Points where you can pick up further information.

For more information on the Waveney Valley, visit www.visitwaveneyvalley.co.uk and The Blyth Valley Experience blythvalleyexperience.com

How to get to the Waveney Valley – By Public Transport

By Bus:

A number of bus operators provide services to the local area, please visit www.suffolkonboard.comfor the latest travel information and timetables or contact Traveline on 0870 608 2608 or www.traveline.org.uk

National Express operate a daily coach service from London Victoria and most major UK cities, taking you directly through to Lowestoft. For further information visit www.nationalexpress.com or call 08705 80 80 80

By Rail:

Getting to the Waveney Valley by train is easy and convenient. Diss Station sits on the Great Eastern Main Line, with regular trains between Norwich and London. Greater Anglia operates an hourly service between Lowestoft and Ipswich, which is known as the East Suffolk Line includes stops at Darsham, Halesworth, Beccles and Oulton Broad. The Wherry Line connects Lowestoft to Norwich stopping at Haddiscoe, Somerleyton and Oulton Broad. Both these services have good onward connections to London and the Midlands.

By Air:

Norwich International Airport is a 45-minute drive from most of the Waveney Valley, offering direct UK flights to and from Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Direct and connecting flights also link East Anglia to over 650 worldwide destinations.

For further information visit www.norwichairport.co.uk or call 01603 411923 

By Sea:

Harbours:

Beccles Harbour Master: 01502 712225

Lowestoft Harbour Master: 01502 574986

Oulton Broad Yacht Station: 01502 574946

How to get to the Waveney Valley – By Car

The area is easily accessible by road from all parts of the UK. The A143 runs the length of the Waveney Valley and links the market towns with the east of the region

The A12 links Halesworth and Lowestoft with Ipswich, London and the South East

The A14, A143 and A146 links Diss, Harleston, Beccles and Bungay with Cambridge and the M11.

The A146 and A47 links the Waveney Valley to Norwich and the Midlands. 



WHERE TO STAY IN AND AROUND Waveney Valley

Things to do in Waveney Valley