Where to stay in Beccles 2021

If you can’t decide between a vacation in the Broads, on the coast or in the countryside, this charming and distinguished town in North Suffolk might be the place you are looking for.

Perched at the gateway to the Broads and close to the Suffolk Heritage Coast, yet set in the beautiful rural idyll of the Waveney Valley, Beccles has year-round, multi-generational appeal.

Whether you’re traveling with toddlers and teens looking for adventure, or looking for a romantic weekend getaway for two, the city makes a superb base. Let’s explore.

The view of St Michael the Archangel at Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Blyburgate in Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Blyburgate to Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

The view of St Michael the Archangel at Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

The view of St Michael the Archangel at Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Where to stay in Beccles

If it’s the allure of the river that brings you here, but you don’t feel like testing your sea legs on a cruiser, you can’t get closer to the water than the Waveney House Hotel.

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Built in the early 16th century and first owned by the Lord of the Manor of Beccles, the property has retained much of its original character and period features – from brickwork to impressive vaulted ceilings and exposed beams.

There are 12 comfortable individually designed bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, with TV, telephone, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and Gilchrist and Soanes toiletries.

A room at the Waveney House hotel in Beccles

A room at the Waveney House hotel in Beccles
– Credit: Shaheen Jahir

Rooms start at £ 100 for a double bed or £ 110 for a double bed for two, from the John Morse Room (overlooking St. Michael’s Church) to the Le Grys Suite, which has a queen-size bed. four poster, separate tub and shower, view of the river and even the hotel rock (edible of course).

Residents and non-residents alike can enjoy the spacious Riverside Restaurant and Bar, with a terrace overlooking the river – perfect in the warmer months and accepting dogs.

The restaurant menu includes everything from homemade duck ham with crispy poached duck egg and grilled asparagus, to prawns pil pil with lean fries, warm bread and salad. Learn more at waveneyhousehotel.co.uk

Twyfords Café on Smallgate in Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Café Twyfords on Smallgate in Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Where to eat in Beccles

Twyford – Relating to Harris & James – you’ve probably seen their homemade ice cream, coffee and chocolate all over Suffolk and Norfolk. A visit here is a true delight from the moment you step in and spot the huge range of homemade cakes! There is a heated outdoor area, but we love to sit by the window and watch the world go by. Everything is either homemade or purchased from trusted local suppliers – the bread, for example, is made at Penny Bun Bakehouse. Think coffee with a twist here. Along with great coffee, cakes and scones, you can sample everything from ciabatta filled with house smoked beef brisket, cheddar cheese, dill pickles and crispy onions, to grilled Tennessee salmon on a cedar plank with jalapeño coleslaw, salad and fries. Delivery is free within two miles if you spend more than £ 15 – and they’ve introduced boxes of desserts and cakes for £ 10.

Oak at Royal Oak – Currently voted the third best restaurant in Suffolk on Tripadvisor, and one of the only pizza restaurants in the area to have the coveted seal of approval from the accreditation body for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza – AVPN. In addition to classic entrees such as squid and focaccia, meatballs and homemade pasta, there is a menu of AVPN approved pizzas – made to strict rules (think marinara and margherita) and house specials. . The desserts are homemade. Don’t miss a slice of the decadent torte Caprese.

Grazing on a white horse – Refined, elegant and world-inspired cuisine, with a nod to the seasons and local producers. A recent menu offered tandoori scallops, steaks, their gourmet burgers, a pigeon breast with bacon, salsify, wild mushrooms, pressed potatoes and game juice, and banana bread with dulce de leche and hazelnut gelato. There’s a long list of cocktails that combine classics with a few twists – think pineapple mojito, white peach margarita, and Pink Chihuahua (tequila, orgeat, lime, lemon, grenadine, and egg white) .

Row of the market in Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Market row at Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Pavilion on Smallgate in Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Shopping in Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Where to shop in Beccles

The town has a few main street names, but is refreshingly dotted with many independents that make it stand out as an interesting shopping spot. Retailers range from butchers and delicatessens to antique shops, bookstores, gift and fashion shops – there’s even a boutique entirely dedicated to hats!

The jam tree – A treasure trove of beautiful things for your home and garden, with a dash of fashion. From quirky cogwheel clocks to mirrors and leather bags, there’s a lot to explore here.

Kitchen cooking – Put in a scone (they are excellent) a slice of cake or a gingerbread latte, and leave with … a salt and pepper shaker, oven mitts, melting soy wax and more. Half cafe, half shop.

Vintage mischief – Simon and Danielle have grown their store into a mini empire over 10 years, stocking thousands of pieces of Mid-Century, industrial and retro furniture and other items. If you are looking for a Danish desk or an interesting lamp this is the place to go. They also sell online.

Baileys Deli – A delicious charcuterie with a counter overflowing with homemade scones, cakes and savors, cheeses, pies, hams and more. The shelves are stocked with hand-selected pickles, preserves, crackers, cookies and wines. And you can also eat in the cafe (there is a very interesting menu for lunch), or have a sandwich to eat by the river.

Saint Michael the Archangel in Beccles.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Saint Michael the Archangel at Beccles
– Credit: Danielle Booden

What to do in Beccles

Head to the locks – The Locks Community Pub is a bit of an institution locally and no trip to Beccles is complete without a stroll here. The Big Dog Ferry operating from the lido has closed for the winter (reopening from Easter 2022 and costs £ 12.50 for an adult round trip or £ 7.50 for a child) but you can run a kayak or stand up paddle board on the river and cover the three mile trip on your own.

Kayaks are also available for hire in town from The Canoe Man, HE Hipperson, and Three Rivers.

Or follow the Angles Way or Norfolk River trail. The pub is open from 11:00 a.m. daily, serving food from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily and evenings Wednesday through Saturday. Regular events include candle light tales, live music, and traditional games.

To go swimming – Beccles Lido has three heated outdoor swimming pools, with good access for disabled people. It is usually heated to 28 ° C, but heaters will be closed from October 31, with the start of the winter swimming season. Book a lane for 45 minutes at £ 4.50 (peak hours) or £ 3.50 (off-peak hours). You must book in advance on beccleslido.com

Rent a boat – There is a day boat rental with HE Hipperson, Waveney Stardust, CC Marine and Waveney River Center. Boats will fit four to six people and cost between £ 100 and £ 110 for a full day, with half days available. An unforgettable way to discover this part of East Anglia.

Beccles farmer’s market – At the old Ellough airfield nearby on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is 20 years old, is free to access and is full of more than 30 traders, all of them sheltered. Shop for everything from local honey and bread to pickles, beef, chocolate, eggs and smoked products.

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Bungay is another charming market town worth exploring, with fantastic shops and restaurants. There are two trails to walk. See the remains of the castle (dating from 1165). Catch a show at the Fisher Theater. Take a wine tour at Flint Vineyard. Shop for award-winning cheese at Fen Farm’s pretty shed farm shop. Or stroll around iconic airplanes at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, which is free to enter.

See nature in action at the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve, open daily from dawn to dusk. Mostly man-built, it consists of a swamp, marshes, peat pools, meadows and scrubland – a superb habitat for the Marsh Harrier, and one of the best places to see grasshoppers. There is a visitor center, picnic area, restrooms, playground and trails.

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Head to Lowestoft for its sandy beaches (considered among the best in the world), manicured gardens and family attractions.

Highlights for visitors include South Pier with its entertainment complex and bowling alley, the cool Roller Skating Center at Claremont Pier, the Africa Alive Zoo, the Marina Theater (which hosts some great shows) and the East Transport Museum. Anglian nearby where you can ride a vintage tram. Jojo’s American-style restaurant comes highly recommended in the city, winner of our food and drink awards.

Locals say

Jenny Harrison: You have to visit the Common, the Avenue, the riverside, the church tower and the Lido. You can take buses to Norwich, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Southwold. Beccles has a large city center.

Victoria Price: Try canoeing, paddleboarding, rowing and boating just outside Beccles in Geldeston. There are plenty of good pubs. The Beccles market takes place on a Friday. And try equestrian hacking on the Sotterly estate.

Jean Ann Fisher: Don’t forget the museum. It’s not huge, but it’s very interesting.

Andy Gowers: There is a great selection of real ales at The Butcher’s Arms.

Clint Marcel Holmes: Walk from Beccles to Carlton Marshes. You can pick up the train.

Polly Church: The treble hook fishing trips operate from Beccles and are brilliant – both knowledgeable and entertaining.

Amy Moffitt: Go up to the steeple when it’s open.

Vicky Russ: You must have Cod House fish and chips, eaten at the Quay.

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