Lowestoft to Sarfend - 200 miles approx.

The central disc of the plaque

Suffolk really starts at the port of Lowestoft. A lovely town when approaching from the North but rapidly deteriorates into a sort of run-down industrial zone as the town centre is approached.

It is in this run-down zone, tucked behind the Birds-eye fish finger factory, that a plaque is situated. It looks rather sad, forlorn and lonely, surrounded as it is by industrial wasteland yet it is one of the cardinal points of Great Britain. The plaque marks the most Eastern part of Mainland UK.

Lowestoft Ness and the plaque marking the most Eastern point of Britain.

It might have none of the beauty of St Davids, The wildness of Ardnamurchan, the isolation of Dunnet head or the ruggedness of Lizard point but at least it's marked and recognised, even if hidden by a fish finger factory.

THe next 20 miles of the Suffolk coastline is flat and uninteresting until the lovely little town of Southwold when a glorious stretch of sand and Shingle stretches for 10 miles to the beautiful and ancient town of Aldeburgh.

Sadly two nuclear power stations, one built and old, one unbuilt and controversial, Sizewell 1 and B, blot the landscape but hey-ho, the landscape is big enough to cope.

Aldeburgh beach looking North towards Thorpeness. The white Dome, distant left, is Sizewell nuclear power station

Benjamin Britten was born and lived for much of his life in Aldeburgh. In 2003 a sculpture on the Beach North of the town was commissioned, "the Scallop". The words pierced through the steel are "I hear those voices that will not be drowned" from the Benjamin Britten opera "Peter Grimes".

Terraces of beach huts

Wandering down the coast for a time it felt like I was in the North West of Scotland again with having to go inland for miles to cross inlets and rivers before reaching coast again.

The final bit of coast in Suffolk, before heading inland to Ipswich to return back to the Essex coast, is Felixstowe.

Anyone born after the 1970's would know that Felixstowe is Britains largest container port, built and enlarged when the advent of Containerised shipping dealt the death knell for London Docks. Old biddies like me however remember it when it was a seaside holiday resort, and today it still is.


Felixstowe beach

North of the Docks is Felixstowe beach and it is like a time warp from the '50's,  terraces of brightly painted beach huts lining a promenade and a sand/gravel beach.  Pleasant but not inspiring.  Time to go inland again,


Inland is to Ipswich, then out to Harwich.  


Harwich is a port, a nice old town, a Sandy beach called Dovercourt bay, but best to keep going South to the quiet and surprisingly serene Walton on the Naze.

Walton on the Naze

Walton has a beautiful sandy beach, a pier, some beach huts, a nice town centre and that's about it.  Quieter, calmer and more genteel than its southern neighbours of Frinton and Clacton. Lovely little place.


 Contunuing South from Walton next is Frinton on sea, lovely if you like holiday homes, then Clacton, a lovely resort with it's pier, candyfloss and statutory golden nugget saloon. For those that like quieter places further south again is the charming Brightlingsea.

Well, I found Brighlingsea pleasant .... looking across to Mersea Island

This part of the coast made me feel as though I was back in the North west of Scotland.

Well, in one sense it did, although the absence of icebergs gave me a reality check.

This coast is a maze of inlets, rivers and marshes and to get anywhere it is necessary to go miles inland and back out again. 

So after enduring the horrors of Colchester traffic systems and the maze of road works at New Maldon I eventually ended up at the boating marina of Burnham on Crounch.

Very nice it is too, a nice street, a nice row of shops, some nice pubs, a nice cafe, a good place to take photographs across the estuary to Foullness Island, then back inland again before escaping seawards towards that haven of East end refinement, Southend,

Burnham on Crouch ..

So Albert, Onwards for the retreat of my youth awaits!



Shoe buryness looking towards Southend

Shoeburyness likes to think it's the posh end of Southend.  It was for most of the year except for the times that I used to go camping there.

No nostalgia though.  I used to hate the place. It was a dump.  A bit better now though.

Just down the road is journeys end for this Section. THe Eastenders resort, Southend. There is more further into the Thames estuary but it's much the same, and ahead of me is the dreaded Dartford crossing to get to the South side of the River Thames and Kent.

Southend with it's pier in the background .... at 1.34 miles long the longest pleasure pier in the world.

and that, as they say is that.  Ahead the crossing of the Thames and into Kent.

Onwards Albert, oh Man of Kent!


Next section:  Kent and East Sussex