The word 'attractions' covers a wide spectrum. To try and give you an idea of what may appeal to you, very brief summaries of local 'attractions', split into a number of different categories, are set out below.

Most images are gratefully acknowledged to be reproduced (with permission!) from originals by Ian Davey of Suffolk CAM.


The Broads, the Coast and the Countryside

Riverbus at Oulton BroadAlthough part of East Anglia and close to the Norfolk border, the area is not 'very flat' as once described by Noel Coward but is gently rolling with some wide flood plains leading to the coast and beaches, some with full holiday facilities and others much more wild and remote. Hydroplane racing at Oulton BroadThe Broads, a network of navigable lakes and rivers reaches to the Northern boundary of the area with one of the most attractive, Oulton Broad.

Large tithe barn at HerringfleetLocal agriculture is mixed with both arable and livestock and so as well as fields of sugar beet, vegetables, oil-seed rape, wheat and barley there are also the traditional sights of lambs in the Spring and cows grazing in the fields and this fine example of a tithe barn at Herringfleet is a good indication of a once prosperous rural community.

Herringfleet windpumpSome of the land is fairly low-lying and needs draining, the evidence of which is the number of 'windmills' dotted about the landscape, not really windmills but windpumps, and some areas of wetland have been preserved as a natural habitat and refuge for local and migratory wildlife.

Suffolk pink renderingFeatures peculiar to the area include 'Suffolk Pink', a colour open to a fairly wide interpretation from a light rosy-pink to pale brownish-red on the rendering of many of the older cottages. Also look out for 'pargetting', a decorative design impressed into the plaster rendering of some of them, more common in the south of the county but we have a number of examples.

Round tower to churchFlint was a commonly used local building material and many of the older buildings and walls will have flint facings. The round towers of many of our village churches is another East Anglian feature, with very few examples in the remainder of the British Isles.  

Maritime Heritage

Beccles from the River WaveneyThe economy was once mainly agricultural with some seasonal fishing and the local towns of Southwold, Halesworth, Bungay and Beccles still show this rural affluence with much Georgian and some Tudor architecture in evidence. The area was greatly Bungay Buttercrossinfluenced by the fishing industry of the 19th and early 20th centuries and with the coming of the railway, especially to Lowestoft, when access to new markets provided an economic boost. These markets have now declined but the movement of population to the town has remained, supported now mainly by light industry.

Southwold lighthouseThe maritime heritage of the area in considerable. Southwold has the traditional Cannon battery at Gun Hill, Southwoldlighthouse dominating the old town and a recently re-furbished pier, local longshore fishing boats still populate the Blyth estuary, the museum in the Sailors Reading Room records the historical past including the Battle of Sole Bay and a battery of cannon still faces out to sea from Gun Hill.

Lowestoft's lifeboat leaves harbourLowestoft had always had a fishing industry, boats being launched from the beach until the middle of the 19th century when the harbour was developed by Samuel Morton Peto. This was just in time for the boom in the industry with the demand for herring now able to be satisfied via the new distribution network of the railways, as well as the harbour opening up the potential for trade with the European continent.

World Wars 1914-18 and 1939-45

Lowestoft's maritime connections must have brought it to the attention of Germany in WW1. Although the old cannon battery had been buried underground it seems that Lowestoft was regarded as a legitimate military target and it was one of a number of East Coast towns that came under bombardment by the German High Seas Fleet in 1916.

The armed forces influence on the area during WW2 were far greater. As well as anti-invasion defences manned by units of the regular Army as well as the Home Guard, Lowestoft was host to five Naval bases. Later in the war the area surrounded by many new airfields including ones at Beccles (Ellough), Bungay (Flixton) and Halesworth (Holton) Ellough, as the US forces moved into East War memorial and RNPS Museums at Sparrow;s NestAnglia.

The headquarters of the Royal Naval Patrol Service, a branch of the Royal Navy consisting of 70,000 men and 6,000 ships during the war years was in HMS Europa at Sparrow's Nest Gardens. The town also has a port naval establishment (HMS Minos), a coastal forces base (HMS Mantis), a minesweeping base (HMS Martello) and a landing craft training establishment (HMS Myloden).

Lowestoft Museum in Broad House, Nicholas Everitt ParkBeing within the potential invasion area there were Royal Artillery manned coastal fortifications and later in the war, as armaments became more plentiful, several anti-aircraft posts. Much of this wartime heritage is recorded in the Royal Naval Patrol Service war Memorial Museums, both situated in Sparrow's Nest Gardens. The main Lowestoft Museum which covers these and many other aspects of the town's history is in Broad House, Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad.

Flixton Aviation MuseumThe Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton, near Bungay incorporates the 446th Bomb Group Museum, the Royal Observer Corps Museum and RAF Bomber Command Museum as well as having a collection of 25 historic aircraft.

Cultural and Industrial Heritage

The Lowestoft Museum (mentioned above) is the home to one of the highlights of Lowestoft's cultural heritage, the town's collection of Lowestoft Porcelain. For about 40 years at the end of the 18th century a factory at Lowestoft produced some of the finest blue and white, and later polychrome, porcelain which is much sought after today.

East Anglian Transport Museum, Carlton ColvilleAnother local industry, now also lost, is commemorated indirectly at the East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville which has a working collection of buses, trams and trolleybuses. Manned entirely by volunteers it includes some of the output of the town's Eastern Coach Works which produced bodies for buses that were sent all over the world.

Lowestoft lighthouse overlooks some older cottages and net drying posts at the foot of the cliffLowestoft's Maritime Heritage Museum in Sparrow's Nest gardens records the major industry of the area, that of fishing, boat building and all the support services such as net-making, barrel-making, etc. that went with this major industry.

The Plough Inn at BlundestonCultural heritage must also include some famous names from the arts. Charles Dickens 'David Copperfield' was born in the village of 'Blunderstone' (sic) and the present day Plough Inn is said to be from where David set out for London with 'Barkis the Carrier'. The authors George Borrow (Romany Rye, etc) and H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines, etc) were both local residents, the former at Oulton Broad and the latter at Ditchingham, near Bungay, and Edward FitzGerald, the translator of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam was a visitor to Lowestoft from his home at Woodbridge.

Benjamin Britten, the composer and one of the founders of the Aldeburgh Festival was born in Kirkley Cliff at Lowestoft. He attended the same school in Lowestoft as Edward Seago, the artist who received further artistic tuition at Walberswick, an attractive coastal village just beyond our Southern boundary, and whose work is now much sought after.

Houses and Historic remains

Somerleyton HallThe developer of Lowestoft harbour Samuel Morton Peto rebuilt our local stately home, Somerleyton Hall, on the site of an earlier Jacobean house in the mid 19th century. The house was bought by the Crossley family in 1863 and in 1916 Sir Savile Crossley was created Baron Somerleyton. The Somerleyton family have lived there since but parts of the house are open to the public, from Easter to late September each year, and also open are some 12 acres of gardens including a maze.

Bigod Castle remains, BungayParts of the Roman fort of Gariannonum at Burgh Castle are still standing as they still guard the estuary of the River Waveney. The remains of 12th century Bigod Castle are to be found in the centre of Bungay and at Herringfleet the undercroft and brick vaulted ceiling of the 14th century St. Olave's Priory are still visible.

Framlingham CastleThere are many other castles, houses and ancient monuments just outside our boundary, listed at the end of this description, including the Martello Tower at Aldeburgh, the 11th Century castle at Framlingham, Roman remains at Caister-on-Sea, etc.

Parks and Family Amusements

Riding on Pakefield BeachOne of the biggest visitor attractions of the region is Pleasurewood Hills Leisure Park at Corton, just north of Lowestoft where for the once only cost of entrance a variety of thrill rides and family attractions can be enjoyed.

In Lowestoft at the East Point Pavilion, the Mayhem Adventure Play Area should be able to exhaust most children and there is a 12 hole Mini Golf next door. At Kessingland is Africa Alive!, where you can experience the 'Plains of the Savannah' and the 'Kingdom of the Lion'. For those of a more nervous disposition there is Pets' Corner at Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad.

The Otter Trust at EarshamThe Otter Trust at Earsham, just outside Bungay, is a breeding centre for otters before they are released and returned to the wild and provides a chance to see otters at play in their large natural enclosures.


Steam engine at the September Henham rallyThe above is an attempt to give you a brief sample of the attractions for the visitor to North-East Suffolk. The attractions of an area, however, are not limited to those actually in that area but extend to those easily accessible but which may be outside the strict geographical boundary. Below is a list of many of the places mentioned above with some more just outside the boundary of Waveney District:


Activities and Watersports
Burgh St. Peter ~ Waveney River Centre, sailing
Oulton Broad ~ Sailing and Windsurfing
Oulton Broad ~ Self-drive Motor Boat Hire, by the hour or day
Pakefield ~ Carlton Road, Riding School

Castles and Historic Remains
Aldeburgh ~ Martello Tower
Bungay ~ Remains of Bigod Castle
Burgh Castle ~ Remains of Roman fort
Caister-on-Sea ~ Roman remains
Dunwich ~ Remains of Abbey
Framlingham ~ Castle, 11th Century walls remaining
Great Yarmouth ~ Remains of town wall
Leiston ~ Remains of Abbey
St. Olaves ~ Remains of Priory

Factory/Working Exhibitions/tours
Bruisyard ~ Vineyard
Bungay ~ Nursey's Sheepskin Coat factory, factory shop
Lowestoft ~ New Lowestoft Porcelain factory
Lowestoft ~ Birds Eye Food factory, tour and factory shop
Ringsfield ~ Winter Flora Ltd., Dried flowers
Sizewell ~ Nuclear Power Station, visitor centre
Wisset ~ Vineyard

Family Leisure
Corton ~ Pleasurewood Hills Leisure Park
Easton ~ Park Farm
Fritton ~ Fritton Lake Countryworld
Great Yarmouth ~ Pleasurebeach Funfair and Amusements
Kessingland ~ 'Africa Alive!' Wildlife and Adventure Park
Knodishall ~ Craft Centre
Lowestoft ~ East Point Pavilion, Mayhem Children's Adventure
Oulton Broad ~ Nicholas Everitt Park, Pets Corner
Reedham ~ Pettits Animal Adventure Park
Thrigby Hall ~ Wildlife Gardens

Houses, Historic Buildings and Gardens
Aldeburgh ~ Moot Hall
Blythburgh ~ Church (and occasional venue for Aldeburgh Festival events)
Hales ~ Hales Hall
Little Glemham ~ Little Glemham Hall
Raveningham ~ Gardens
Snape ~ Snape Maltings Concert Hall
Somerleyton ~ Somerleyton Hall and Gardens, with a maze
Sternfield ~ Sternfield Hall
Wingfield ~ Wingfield College

Museums and Galleries
Beccles ~ Clowes Printing Museum
Carlton Colville ~ East Angla Transport Museum, buses and trams
Flixton ~ Aviation Museum, aircraft incl. WW2
Leiston ~ Longshop Engineering Museum
Lowestoft ~ Maritime Heritage Museum
Lowestoft ~ Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum, WW2 Naval
Lowestoft ~ War Memorial Museum, Home Front WW2
Lowestoft ~ Suffolk Villa Gallery, local artists
Lowestoft ~ Yacht Basin Heritage Mooring, Mincarlo trawler
Oulton Broad ~ Lowestoft Museum, general collection and Lowestoft Porcelain
Southwold ~ RNLI Museum
Southwold ~ Reading room

Organised Trips and Tours
Lowestoft ~ Harbour and Fish Market guided tours
Lowestoft ~ Opposite East Point Pavilion, local coach tours
Oulton Broad ~ The Boulevard, Riverbus tours

Wildlife and Nature Reserves
Benacre ~ Suffolk Wildlife reserve
Dunwich ~ Clifftop nature reserve
Earsham ~ The Otter Trust, otter breeding centre
Minsmere ~ RSPB bird reserve
Oulton Broad ~ Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Carlton Marshes
Strumpshaw ~ RSPB Nature Reserve on next to River Yare
Walberswick ~ Heathland nature reserve
Westleton ~ Heathland nature reserve

Windmills, Windpumps and Other Landmarks
Burney Arms ~ Windmill
Herringfleet ~ Windpump
Holton ~ Postmill (attractive but closed to public)
Saxtead Green ~ Postmill (open to public)
Stracey Arms ~ Tower Mill
Thorpeness ~ Postmill (closed to public)
Thorpeness ~ House in Clouds

World Wars I & II
Carlton Colville ~ small USAAF aircrew memorial
County-wide ~ remains of gun emplacements, pillboxes, airfields, etc
Flixton ~ Aviation Museum, incl. 446th Bomb Group USAAF and Royal Obs. Corps
Fritton ~ small USAAF aircrew memorial
Henham ~ small USAAF aircrew memorial
Lowestoft ~ Sparrows Nest, Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum (WW2 Naval)
Lowestoft ~ Belle Vue Park, RNPS memorial
Lowestoft ~ Sparrows Nest, War Memorial Museum (Lowestoft during WW2)
Lowestoft ~ Kensington Gardens, seat dedicated to the aircrew RAF Tempsford Halifax
Oulton Broad ~ Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad - Coastal Forces Memorial
Parham, Framlingham ~ Airfield Control Tower Museum and Memorial, 390th Bomb Group
Seething ~ Airfield Control Tower Museum and Memorial, 448th Bomb Group
Theberton ~ Church, Zeppelin crew memorial (remains of Zeppelin in porch)


 to add a listing


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