Beccles lies in North West Suffolk on the banks of the Waveney river on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. To the one side it is bounded by open countryside, with the River Waveney providing the boundry on the other side. Consequently Beccles has preserved its historic centre and market square.
Beccles means ‘meadow by the stream’, still makes sense today, with the town backing onto the southern edge of The Broads. Beccles originated as a Saxon river port, it continues to be a popular and bustling boating centre.
The pretty riverfront and quay make Beccles a popular stop for pleasure craft, and the river offers a splendid view of the Georgian gardens sloping down to the water’s edge.
The Bell Tower next to St Michael’s church dominates the skyline and climbing its hundred or so steps offers the reward of some commanding views. The church has a rich history–the front dates from the 13th century, while the interor was damaged by fire in 1586. The church played a central role in several important marriages–Norfolk Hero Horatio Nelson’s mother married the Reverend Edmund Nelson here, and Suffolk poet George Crabbe married Sarah Elmy at the church in the 18th century.
The octagonal Town Hall dates from the 18th century, and nearby Roos Hall is said to be the most haunted house in England. Beccles narrow streets are home to an eclectic mix of boutiques and antiques shops.
Tours of Roos Hall can be arranged through Invitation to View.
Nothing beats swimming outdoors so why not visit Beccles Lido? This is a heated, open-air pool with slide, springboard, giant inflatable aquarun, grassy areas, sunloungers, tables and chairs to relax on. The main 30mx15m pool and separate toddler pool and paddle pool are all heated to 27C and there are hot showers and disabled facilities (please call first with your requirements). By the River Waveney, the café serves hot and cold snacks, delicious Fairtrade teas and coffees, cold drinks and ices. With lane swimming until 10am and most evenings, Beccles Lido is the perfect place for a swim or a family day out.
Call 01502 713297 for opening times and prices
Beccles Lido also operates Big Dog Ferry between Beccles Lido and the Locks Inn, Geldeston – a relaxing 40 minute boat journey along the River Waveney with the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife en-route. Enjoy a meal and a drink at the Locks Inn, or stay on board for a round trip. 5 return trips daily and charters available. Please visit Big Dog’s website for timetable and fares.
www.bigdogferry.co.uk or call 07532 072761