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Lowestoft

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Lowestoft is a coastal town in Suffolk, UK.

Understand

Once a bustling fishing port, Lowestoft is now a small quiet town on the east coast of Britain. It houses not much but is a big tourist destination due to its huge beach which runs all the way down to Pakefield. Lowestoft also had a famous composer, Benjamin Britten, who died in the Red House in Aldeburgh in 1976.

Get in

By road

If coming from the south, the A12 London-Great Yarmouth road passes right through the town. Past Ipswich much of the road is single-carriageway and can become congested during summer holidays and weekends so allow 3–4 hours driving time from London. A- and B-roads link Lowestoft to most other locations in Suffolk and Norfolk.

By train

  • 1 Railway Station, Denmark Rd, Lowestoft, NR32 2EG. The UK's most easterly railway station is in the centre of town, just north of the river. It is the terminus of 2 lines. Services from Norwich run every hour (M-Sa) and take around 30–45 minutes. The service is every two hours on Su. There is also an hourly service from Ipswich] (M-Sa). It takes around 90 minutes to arrive from Ipswich.

By bus

All buses terminate at the town centre bus station. There's no direct service from Ipswich and the most useful bus is the hourly express coach from Peterborough via Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Getting to Great Yarmouth by train is very indirect and requires a change at Norwich so it's much quicker to take the bus.

  • National Express. Twice daily service from London Victoria Coach Station (4hr 20min - 4hr 55min, from £25).

By bicycle

  • National Cycle Route 1. runs between Great Yarmouth to the N and the town.
  • Regional Cycle Route 30 runs from the town to the W to BecclesBungayHarleston and on to Thetford and beyond.

On foot

  • Suffolk Coast Path. (50 miles) runs S from the town, along the coast to Felixstowe 

Get around

Lowestoft is a compact and pleasant town to walk around, boasting award winning Blue Flag beaches. Biking can be a fast way to get around Lowestoft, or you could walk and soak up those memories of a new town. There are also a lot of taxi companies in Lowestoft, and can be used for a short trip to town from your hotel. Just call the number on the taxi HQ and you get a taxi within minutes.

See

  • 1 Gulliver. 126-metre-high wind turbine
  • 2 Ness point. The most easterly point in Britain, and a signpost noting distances to various major British and international cities.
  • 3 East Anglia Transport Museum, Chapel Road, Carlton Colville, NR33 8BL, ☏ +44 1502 518459, ✉ admin@eatransportmuseum.co.uk.
  • 4 Lowestoft Maritime Museum, Sparrows Nest Gardens, Whapload Rd, NR32 1XG, ☏ +44 1502 561963, ✉ admin@lowestoftmaritimemuseum.co.uk. A private museum. £2 adults, £0.50 children, £1 seniors.

Do

Lowestoft has one of the finest sandy beaches in the East of England and is a regular winner of the 'Blue Flag' award. The annual air show brings in visitors from all over the region and the town has a festive atmosphere for the two days of the show. Entry to the beach (where the flying takes place and the stalls are set up) is free but a donation to keep the festival running is appreciated.

As well as being a gateway to the Norfolk Broads (via Nicholas Everitt's park in Oulton Broad) Lowestoft also has several well-kept areas of park land catering for all needs, Sparrows Nest for relaxing, Everitt's park for boating (including powerboat racing) and walking, Normanston Park is very good for football and tennis and Kensington Gardens has tennis courts, a boating lake and a bowls green.

  • 1 Pleasurewood Hills, Leisure Way, Corton Lowestoft, NR32 5DZ, ☏ +44 1502 586000, ✉ info@pleasurewoodhills.com. A small family-friendly theme park.
  • 2 Africa Alive (Zoological Society of East Anglia (formerly Suffolk Wildlife Park)), White’s Lane, Kessingland, NR33 7TF (6 miles S of town), ☏ +44 1502 740291. an impressive zoo for its size
  • 3 Somerleyton Hall, Lovingland, NR32 5QQ, ☏ +44 871 222 4244. Has a maze.
  • Fritton Lakes (Outdoor Centre), Church Lane, Fritton, NR31 9HA, ☏ +44 333 456 0777, ✉ info@frittonlakeoc.co.uk.

Buy

Lowestoft town centre has been renovated with some shops closing, but at the same time new ones have opened to take their place. You will find the usual shops such as Marks & Spencer, Argos, Boots, WH Smith, Game, New Look, Wilkinsons, Peacocks, Greenwoods etc., as well as its fair share of mobile phone shops. There are also two department stores and a quality electrical retailer.

  • 1 Beales (Department Store), 141 London Rd North, Lowestoft, NR32 1ND, ☏ +44 1502 512444. M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
  • 2 Palmers (Department Store), 66/77 London Rd North, Lowestoft, NR32 1ES, ☏ +44 1502 572391, ✉ lowestoft@palmerstores.com. M-Sa 9AM-5:15PM.
  • 3 Hughes (Electrical Retailer), 62 London Rd North, Lowestoft, NR32 1ET, ☏ +44 1502 569133, ✉ lowestoft@hughes.co.uk. M 10AM-4PM, Tu 9AM-4:30PM, W-Sa 9AM-5:30PM.

There are a number of small shops in a small shopping precinct 4 The Britten Centre, which is adjacent to the bus station, and is situated on the west side of London Road North alongside the WH Smith shop. This also houses a small market which is open 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday), and an Iceland food store. The main Post Office is at the southern end of the pedestrianised London Road North - the main shopping thoroughfare on the north side of the river which splits the town in half - and about 75 m north of the railway station. At the north end of London Road North is the High Street which has many small independent shops.

  • 5 North Quay Retail Park, Peto Way, Lowestoft, NR32 2ED (About a mile west of the railway station). M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Has a number of outlets including B&Q, AHF (Co-op furnishers), Dreams (Bedrooms), Morrisons (Supermarket), Curry's, Argos Extra, Halfords, Brantano, Pets at Home, Carpet Right, Carphone Warehouse, and Next. Free Wi-Fi. ATMs.

South of the river - over the Bascule Bridge - is London Road South which comprises mostly smaller independent 'local' shops which serve the Kirkley area of the town. This part of town was also renovated within the past ten years to make it more pedestrian-friendly although it is not a pedestrianised area. Also south of the river and alongside the quay, about 400 metres from the Bascule Bridge, is an ASDA supermarket.

Eat

Lowestoft lacks notable restaurants. The town centre provides the expected fast food chains including McDonald's, KFC and Subway, but no Burger King. There are also numerous Kebab and Asian cuisine outlets, which range in quality.

  • 1 The Spice Den, 89-90 High Street, ☏ +44 1502 514499, ✉ info@spicedenlowestoft.co.uk. M-Th noon-2PM & 5:30-11:30PM, F 5:30-11:30PM, Sa Su noon-2PM & 5:30-11:30PM. Indian restaurant is very good

Pub food is also readily available but again varies in quality.

  • 2 The Wherry Hotel, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, NR32 3LN, ☏ +44 1502 516845. Restaurant and accommodation
  • 3 The Waveney, 132-134 Bridge Rd, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, NR33 9JT (Opposite Nicholas Everett Park.), ☏ +44 1502 569135, ✉ contact@thewaveney.co.uk.
  • 4 Joseph Conrad, 18-32 Station Sq, Lowestoft, NR32 1BA, ☏ +44 1502 533270. M-Th 8AM-midnight, F Sa 8AM-1AM, Su 8AM-midnight. free house with a large outside seating area. You'll most likely find it packed to the brim though. Wi-Fi.
  • 5 The Swan Inn, Swan Lane, Barnby (nr Beccles), ☏ +44 1502 476646. Being by the coast it’s no surprise that fresh fish is a popular choice for diners. A restaurant for fishermen at reasonable prices

Drink

The Lowestoft town centre is fairly run down and that includes the pubs and bars. Your best bet is to head down to Oulton Broad which is a five-minute taxi ride away or catch the train there. Oulton Broad has really become the main place for bars and pubs in Lowestoft with many modern bars such as Winelodge, Broadview and Bridges open, the place is usually heaving during the weekend and can be busy in the week. There is also a new nightclub called Escape by Winelodge.

If you do choose to stay in Lowestoft your best bet is the pubs by the bridge with The Harbour, Notley, Iconic and Winelodge all close to each other although these tend to be very quiet during the week and only tend to get busy on Fridays and Saturdays and even then they can be quiet.

  • 1 Coffee Heart, 179 London Rd North Lowestoft NR32 1HG, ☏ +44 1502 217250, ✉ info@coffeeheart.co.uk. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Free Wi-Fi. Dogs welcome.

Sleep

The seafront areas of Lowestoft are packed with BnB's and contains two large hotels. Booking is recommended during the school holidays especially during the air festival and the prices tend to range from £25-£90 per night. The surrounding area contains plenty of campsites with varying levels of facilities.

  • 1 Premier Inn, 249 Yarmouth Rd (head North on the A12 towards Great Yarmouth), ☏ +44 871 527 8688.
  • 2 Travelodge, Leisure Way (head North on the A12 towards Great Yarmouth), ☏ +44 871 984 6408.
  • 3 The Hotel Victoria, Kirkley Cliff Rd, ☏ +44 1502 574433.

Stay healthy

  • 1 Nearest Accident & Emergency: James Paget University Hospital (Casualty or the Emergency Room), Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, NR31 6LA (7 miles N of town centre). 24/7.
  • 2 Alexandra Road Surgery (GP or Primary Healthcare), Alexandra Rd, Lowestoft, NR32 1PL, ☏ +44 1502 526062. M-F 8AM-6:30PM, Sa 8:45-11:15AM.
  • 3 John G Plummer (Dentist), 1 Corton Rd, Lowestoft, NR32 4PH, ☏ +44 1502 567519, ✉ lowestoft@plummers.co.uk. M-F 8:30AM-5PM.
  • 4 Hayden Chemists (Pharmacy), High St, Lowestoft, NR32 1JE, ☏ +44 1502 580002. M-F 8AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM.

Go next

  • Great Yarmouth within a simple bus journey from the town.
  • Norwich
  • Ipswich
  • Beccles and Bungay
  • Southwold the quintessential town with its award winning pier



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