Everything to see and do in Lowestoft
- Credit: Mick Howes
As Britain's most easterly town on the edge of The Broads, the historic town of Lowestoft has lots to see and do.
Once a bustling fishing port, the town has much to offer its visitors.
Where is Lowestoft and how do I get there?
The seaside town of Lowestoft on the North Sea coast is situated in East Suffolk.
Local and national bus services leave from the town's station, while direct train services run to Norwich and Ipswich along with ongoing connections to Cambridge and London.
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If travelling on the roads, follow the A146 from Norwich or the A12 from Ipswich.
How much is parking in Lowestoft?
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With pay and display car parks in the town centre and close to south Lowestoft beach, it costs £1.50 for a two-hour stay or £4 if staying more than four hours, with some locations also having a 30 minute convenience concession (FOC).
In Oulton Broad it is £1 for a two-hour stay and £4 for more than four hours.
What's there to see in Lowestoft?
Set on a backdrop of award winning beaches and The Broads National Park, the town is a favourite with families.
With the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve, Claremont Pier and the South Pier Family Entertainment Centre, Africa Alive! wildlife park, Pleasurewood Hills theme park, The Broads, popular parks and historic open spaces there is something on offer for everyone.
Lowestoft's landmark wind turbine, Gulliver, stands proud over the town.
For those wanting a glimpse of times gone by, you can visit the heritage vessels on South Pier, head to Ness Point - the most easterly location in the UK - and see the new Ness Park or the large compass, the Euroscope, or take in the historic Scores - a series of steep narrow lanes that connected the town to the seafront to aid people travelling between the historic High Street and the Beach Village.
As the gateway to the Broads National Park, Oulton Broad offers year-round watersports, cafes, riverside restaurants and bars and the popular Nicholas Everitt Park.
What shops are in Lowestoft?
A friendly welcome awaits shoppers with dozens of national retailers and numerous small independent shops, services, coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the town centre, while out of town retail parks boast supermarkets, The Range, Next, food and coffee shops.
Where is there to eat and drink in Lowestoft?
Lowestoft has a range of eateries - with numerous restaurants and cafes - as well as bars and pubs across the area.
With a Wetherspoons - The Joseph Conrad - on Station Square, there are pubs and venues aplenty.
From The Royal Falcon, Sgt Peppers and JOJO'S kitchen and bar on the historic High Street, the Triangle Tavern on St Peter's Street, The Volunteer in the town centre to the Harbour Inn, Iconic and Notley's on Royal Throughfare, Norman Warrior in Fir Lane as well a raft of pubs and restaurants in Pakefield - including the Jolly Sailors - and The Commodore, The Lady of the Lake, The Flying Dutchman, The Ole Frank and
The Wherry - among others - in Oulton Broad.
Where is there to stay in Lowestoft?
As well as there being numerous B&Bs and guest houses in Lowestoft, there is a Premier Inn Lowestoft hotel on Yarmouth Road, The Hog Hotel on London Road in Pakefield, the Hatfield Hotel on The Esplanade, the Ivy House Country Hotel on Ivy Lane, Lowestoft Travelodge on Leisure Way, The Hotel Victoria on Kirkley Cliff Road and the Wherry Hotel on Bridge Road, Oulton Broad.
Is there a museum in Lowestoft?
Museums aplenty include the popular East Anglian Transport Museum in Carlton Colville - the only place in Britain where visitors can not only view but also ride on all three principal forms of public transport from the earliest part of the 20th Century - and the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum on Whapload Road, near Sparrow's Nest, that is dedicated to local and national maritime history.
The Lowestoft War Memorial Museum and the Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum can also be found in Sparrow's Nest Park.
Lowestoft Museum, on Nicholas Everett Park in Oulton Broad, holds a collection of Lowestoft Porcelain and numerous artefacts.
The Mincarlo, the last surviving sidewinder trawler of the Lowestoft fishing fleet, can also be visited as a Floating Maritime Museum on Royal Plain at Lowestoft Harbour.
When is First Light Festival?
After a major seaside festival attracted more than 40,000 visitors for "a truly unique, 24-hour long multi-arts festival" in 2019, the event was cancelled last year and this year amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.
Organisers hope the festival - which celebrates the UK’s ‘First Light’ of day as it touches Britain on the seafront of its most easterly town - will return for "a bigger and better" First Light 2022.
What entertainment is there in Lowestoft?
Lowestoft has three theatres - The Marina Theatre close to the town centre, the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield and the Players Theatre in Lowestoft - which feature live bands, comedians, shows, performances, films and special screenings throughout the year.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has played regularly at the Marina Theatre since 2004.
The latest films are showcased at the East Coast Cinema on London Road South. Claremont Pier, South Pier Family Entertainment Centre, Richardson's Family Entertainment Centre and ten pin bowling alley, the Waterlane Leisure Centre and the Merkur bingo hall in Lowestoft are also very popular attractions.
What famous people come from Lowestoft?
The birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten, other famous people hailing from Lowestoft include former England football captain Terry Butcher, British DJ, television and radio presenter Tim Westwood while three founder members of The Darkness rock band - Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins and Ed Graham - were educated in the town.
Sir Samuel Morton Peto - who was influential in developing the town's railway links and harbour - hails from Lowestoft while Sir Christopher Cockerell, inventor of the hovercraft, lived at Oulton Broad, and tested craft in Somerleyton.