Let off some steam with the Lowestoft Train Station Walk

Make sure you choo-choo-choose to wander along the historic Lowestoft Train Station Walk and its many exciting sights.

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Background

Lowestoft station stands in Station Square, quite centrally in the town and in a difficult position to reach the countryside. This walk is therefore a town trail exploring the old north part of the town as distinct from the later Victorian part to the south.

There are a number of leaflets about the town available at the Tourist Information Centre, a place visited on the first part of the walk. The Station was probably designed by John Thomas to resemble the original Norwich Thorpe station and erected in 1854. Today it forms the terminal junction for the East Suffolk Railway and the Wherry Line linking with Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Walk Route:

From the station turn right over Lowestoft Bridge (1), the third bridge to be built at this point. The first was opened in 1830 when a cut was made from Lake Lothing to the sea, the second was opened in 1897 and called Victoria Bridge and the present structure was opened in 1972. Follow London Road South as far as the first pedestrian crossing and turn left, using other pedestrian crossings to reach the East Point Pavilion (2), housing the Tourist Information Centre. The south side of the town was developed by Sir Samuel Morton Peto in the 19th century as a holiday resort to rival Brighton and a leaflet describing the Peto Trail is available inside.

Return back across the bridge, at the other side, on the corner of Waveney Road, stands the former Tuttles department store (3) with its ornate front. Walk through the centre of the town along London Road North, now partly pedestrianised, to The Prairie (4), a narrow arcade on the left next to WH Smiths. This is so called because it is thought to have once been part of a private estate where deer roamed and is now part of the Britten Centre. At the junction with Gordon Road stands St. Margaret’s Villa (5), built in the Italian style for the Rev. Charles Herbert, who was Rector of Lowestoft from 1860 to 1870. It later became the residence of Colonel Seppings JP, the first provisional Mayor of the town.

After passing the United Reform Church (6) built in 1852 we come to the Wheatsheaf pub (7) on the corner of Herring Fishery Score. The pub was once known as the Herring fishery and was owned by the Old Company of Beachmen. This section of the town is built on the cliffs and access to the shore was through the many Scores or alleyways that lead down the beach area. A leaflet describing the Lowestoft Score Trail is also available from the Tourist Information Centre.

Triangle Plain Market (8) was once the main shopping centre and marks the start of the High Street. The Old Blue Anchor Stores pub (9) stands on the corner of Dukes Head Street, formerly Blue Anchor Lane, and has the longest pub name in Lowestoft. On the right is Martin’s Score (10) where an information board is displayed describing the Armada Post, put down to mark the defeat of the Spanish Armada 100 years after the event.

The Town Hall (11) dates from 1860 and is built on the site of the old Chapel of Ease, a curfew bell tolls out every night at 8 o’clock on a bell made from brasses taken from the parish church in 1644. The Royal Falcon (12) is looking a little less royal these days but was formerly North Flint House, said to have been built about 1551. It was once the home of Sir Thomas Allin, the Lowestoft Admiral, who on retirement bought Somerleyton House.

Walk on to reach the lighthouse known as High Light (13), given this name to distinguish it from the Low Light, the light that was on the beach until 1925.

The lighthouse was opened in 1874 and became fully automatic in 1975. Coal was used to power the lights until 1788, then oil was used until 1938 when electricity was installed.

Cross Cart Score and enter Belle Vue Park (14), walking past the thatched lodge to the War Memorial (15). The park was the site of a battery of cannon, later becoming a communal drying ground until opening as a park 1874 when it was laid out as an arboretum. The war memorial was erected after World War II and stands on the site of a former band stand, the three cannons probably represent the three batteries that once protected the town.

Turn left at the war memorial and then right across the Ravine Bridge (16), erected in 1887 to Commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Turn right along North Parade to the corner and right down a set of steps to the Ravine at the junction with Cart Score. To the left is Denes Oval (17), the home of Lowestoft Cricket Club and once the town’s allotments.

Enter the Sparrow’s Nest Park, where there is the opportunity to stop for refreshments, and walk down past the Armada Beacon to the exit on Whapload Road. Turn right to the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum (18), housed in the bowling green cottage, formerly a house provided by the church for a church warden.

Continuing south, on the other side of the road are The Denes (19), an area marked with unique posts and rals used for hanging nets, ropes and fishing gear to dry. On the right are the old net stores and fish houses, now used for a variety of commercial purposes. Walk past the modern Birds Eye Walls frozen food factory (20), the modern way to deal with the products of the sea, and turn left along Wilde’s Street. At the junction of Newcombe Road you will find JT Cole (21), the last fish smoke house in the beach area.

Return to Whapload Road and turn left to Christ Church (22), built in 1869 for the beachmen and fishermen as a monument to the Rev. Francis Cunningham MA, a former vicar of Lowestoft.
Continue on to Hamilton Road and turn left to view the Hamilton Dock (23), the last dock to be built and opened by Lord Claude Hamilton in 1903. Return to the roundabout and turn left along Battery Green Road, the site of the South Battery (24) where, in 1782, about 300 men manned a fort with 13 pieces of cannon.

Walk on past the Bethel fisherman’s church (25) built in 1899 to Waveney Road with a good view of the Trawl Basin (26) through the railings. The Trawl basin was opened in 1865, to the north of it lies the Waveney Dock (27), opened in 1883 by Lord Waveney. At the junction with Station Square return to the start of the walk at the station.

How to find The Lowestoft Train Station Walk:

The Lowestoft Train Station Walk Address:

Lowestoft Train Station,
Station Square,
Lowestoft,
Suffolk,
UK

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