The Lowestoft, Southwold and North Suffolk area collectively calls itself the ‘Sunrise Coast’ and indeed this most easterly region of the British Isles enjoys one of the driest and mildest climates in the UK, with long days of sunshine and plenty of holiday attractions. Its combination of vast swathes of both resort and rural beaches, proximity to the Norfolk Broads, and lovely quiet, unspoilt inland countryside make the area a wise choice for a holiday cottage stay.
Lowestoft itself is built on a rich maritime tradition; fishing and seafaring are deeply rooted in the heart of the community. The town’s many museums chart its history, but Lowestoft is also famed for the production of porcelain, once in decline but having recently enjoyed a renaissance, which has seen production start up once again. A wander along the town’s Porcelain Trail takes in many historic buildings whilst unravelling the history of china production in the town. Another of the town’s designated walks is the Scores Trail, a labyrinth of ancient pathways linking the main part of town with the seafront; join one of the regular guided walks to make the most of these ginnels and alleyways and learn why this area of town is reputed to be the most haunted… back out in the bright sunshine, there are some lovely sandy beaches to be enjoyed, and a newly regenerated harbour and quayside area, together with delightful gardens and parks.
Bound by water on three sides, the charming port and market town that is Southwold is a peaceful place with a genteel air about it; a quintessentially English seaside resort town dominated by its famous lighthouse, which stands over one hundred feet high. The long stretch of sandy beach is dotted with colourful beach huts, whilst the pier and promenade offer refreshments, entertainments and a pleasant place to stroll and watch the world go by. Call in at the Lifeboat Museum, watch the hustle and bustle of the harbour or take one of the many available boat trips out to sea or inland on the river Blyth. Whilst water inevitably shaped the town, it was fire that almost destroyed it in the seventeenth century. Fortunately for today’s visitor, many historic buildings survive, including St Edmund’s church and the town’s museum, which is housed in a listed building built featuring the distinctive Dutch-style gable common to many period buildings in the region.
There are a host of attractions in and around the Lowestoft and Southwold area, whether you are looking for walking, cycling, art, heritage or family-friendly fun. For the latter, particularly for those with young children, head to Moo Play Farm at Brampton. Catering for toddlers to early teens, there is animal petting and grooming, soft play areas, an outdoor adventure park, tractor rides and much more. Africa Alive is a popular African-themed wildlife park just a few miles south of Lowestoft, with a host of exotic animals roaming freely in the ‘Plains of Africa’ recreation of natural savannah habitat, along with a somewhat tamer farmyard experience with animal feeding sessions for younger visitors. Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, offers a mixture of high-octane thrill rides and roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and colourful theatre and animal shows, featuring entertainment as diverse as sea lions, Mongolian strongmen and Ukrainian acrobats all in one visit.
For more sedate entertainment, the many market towns of the region such as Bungay, Halesworth and Beccles, make pleasant places to spend a day out whilst exploring the East Anglian countryside. A great way to do this is on two wheels, as the region has some excellent cycle routes, including in particular the seventy-five mile circular route of the Suffolk Coastal Path. There is also a Sustrans route passing through Halesworth and Beccles. Walkers too can enjoy unspoilt countryside and spectacular coastal views on many of the region’s way marked trails. Golfers will appreciate good courses throughout the region, including those at Eastpoint on the Esplanade, at Rookery Park in Lowestoft and at Southwold golf course.
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