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Excellent East Anglian beach resort with loads to do

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Ness Point
Oulton Broad
Air Festival
After Ipswich, Lowestoft is Suffolk county's second-biggest town. Its coastal location made it one of the most-bombed places in World War II, but fortunately, soon after the war ended, Lowestoft picked itself up and carried on. It continued to be what it always was: a busy tourist town, with beautiful beaches, and lots to do.

Lowestoft Harbour
Up until a few decades ago, the town also used to be known as an important part of the east coast's fishing industry. This is no longer true, but Lowestoft still enjoys plenty of traffic on its waters. In fact, there's a lake right in the centre of town, dividing the place in two. This is Lake Lothing, which is linked to the sea at its eastern end. A few kilometres to the west, it also joins up with Oulton Broad, which is Lowestoft's gateway to the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. Visitors can hop aboard one of the boat trips, or rent a craft for themselves. It's also worth watching out for the regular powerboat races which take place here. Keen observers will be glad to hear that they are free to have a go for themselves.

The view over Oulton Broad
The town's most famous landmark is Ness Point, which is the most easterly place in Great Britain. Set into the ground here is a marker called the Euroscope, which displays the directions and distances of various European cities. Also nearby is a huge wind turbine, nicknamed "Gulliver". From tip to toe it measures 126 metres, making it the tallest in the UK. It stands next to the new Orbis Energy Centre, which houses a number of renewable energy businesses. With these facilities, as well as further plans to increase the amount of nearby wind turbines, Lowestoft is looking to become England's renewable energy capital.

Sunrise over Ness Point
Photo Andrew Easton

Gulliver and the Orbis Energy Centre
Meanwhile, the town is still mostly visited for its beaches. The sands here are particularly fine, making them popular with families. Traditional seaside attractions, like amusement arcades and ice cream stalls, can be found at either of the two piers. The most obvious of these is Claremont Pier, sticking out from the centre of the Esplanade. Unfortunately, due to years of neglect, half of the structure is closed to the public. However, the landward side still features plenty of fun things, including a brand new roller-skating rink. A similar array of attractions can be found at the South Pier, which is confusingly located to the north. The name comes from the fact that it is situated on the harbour's southern side!

Claremont Pier

South Pier
Just a few kilometres out of Lowestoft, you can find some of Suffolk's biggest and best tourist destinations. To the north is a theme park called Pleasurewood Hills, which was created in 1982 and has continued to expand since then. Today, it has 30 rides and attractions, including several roller coasters, a log flume, and a sea lion show. In the opposite direction out of town, to the south, you can find Africa Alive, which contains over 100 acres of exotic animals, from giraffes, to cheetahs.

Africa Alive!
Photo Martin Pettitt
Visitor Information
Lowestoft Tourist Information Centre, East Point Pavilion, Royal Plain, Lowestoft, NR33 0AP. Tel: 01502 533600
Pleasurewood Hills is open daily during school holidays and weekends from April to September from 10am to 5pm (6pm in summer, closed in winter). Entry costs around £17 for adults, £15 for children under 12. Leisure Way, Corton, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 5DZ. Tel: 01502 586 000
Africa Alive is open daily from 10am to 4pm (extended hours in summer). Entry costs around £11 for adults, £8 for children. White's Lane, Kessingland, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 7TF. Tel: 01502 740 291

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