A historic market town on the southern Broads

An Introduction to Beccles in Suffolk

Liana Boat
Beccles Cottages
Beccles River Waveney
Parish Lantern Shop
Beccles Church
Beccles is a small, but thriving historic market town, situated beside the River Waveney at the southern end of the Broads on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Records show that the monks of Bury St Edmunds owned Beccles, however when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1500's, it caused great unrest. William Rede, a prominent merchant, gained a grant of the fen from the King. But Rede's reputation suffered as claims of fraud followed the deal and much falling out ensued. To restore order, Beccles surrendered its rights to Queen Elizabeth I, who in 1584 granted the town a charter and this story is depicted on the town sign. The Waveney estuary at that time, was a wide expanse of water stretching back from Great Yarmouth to Beccles and must have been dense with fish. Eventually it all silted up and the herring trade dried up, leading to the area being drained and turned into marshland. These days, Beccles is a good place to explore the surrounding area, and a great place to moor if arriving by boat. It contains plenty of facilities, including shops, restaurants, cafe's, take aways, a museum and even a lido!
A good dog walk is from Beccles Quay, heading north towards Beccles Fen and Marsh.
There is a children's play area at Beccles Quay. Beccles also has an outdoor swimming pool (situated on Puddingmoor).

Beccles Street Map

Beccles Map

Beccles Guided Picture Tour

We start our tour of Beccles down by the River Waveney. The river is part of the southern Broads and connects the town by river with Oulton Broad, Norwich and Great Yarmouth (for the northern Broads). Arriving in Beccles by boat from the north, means that you will arrive at Beccles Quay, where you will find free 24 hour mooring and other boating facilities. Beccles Fen borders the town, and is a mix of marsh, wildlife, farmland, a common, and golf-course. The area lends itself to walking and cycling, and the Beccles Marsh Trail (established by Suffolk Wildlife Trust) provides varied routes to explore the countryside.
Beccles River Waveney
The River Waveney running through Beccles
Beccles Quay
Stern on 24 hour free moorings at Beccles Quay
Liana Boat
'The Liana' a Broads Authority boat, offering river trips from the Quay
Beccles Quay Park
Picnic tables and kids play area at Beccles Quay
Beccles Fen
The River Waveney leading north into Beccles Fen

The town itself has a wide range of interesting architectural styles, with 18th Century buildings especially prominent and a sign of the towns prosperous history. One such building is the Grade II listed octagonal Town Hall built in 1765 on the site of the original medieval market cross. Years gone by the building was a Shire Hall and a Court House before becoming the venue for Beccles Town Council. Beccles is full of interesting, indepedent and small shops, it makes a great few hours exploring. You will also find cafés, inns and restuarants, plus a supermarket.
Beccles Town Hall
Beccles Town Hall
Beccles Cottages
Pretty cottages in Station Road
The Score
The junction of The Score with Northgate
Beccles Riverside House
A Riverside House
Riverside Gardens
Houses backing onto the River Waveney
Beccles Shops
The lower part of Beccles main shopping street
Beccles New Market
New Market Street
Beccles Town Centre
Beccles Town Centre, as seen from the Church
Parish Lantern Shop
Parish Lantern Shop
Wine Vaults Bar Restaurant
Wine Vaults, Bar and Restaurant
Lady Marmalade
Lady Marmalade Shop

The large gothic Church of St Michael's, dates back to 1369 and dominates the town with its 97 foot bell tower, which is not attached to the main church building, in order to keep it well away from the cliff. Horatio Nelson's parents were married in this church during May 1749. The steps of the detached tower can be climbed and offers panoramic views over the beautiful surrounding countryside. One amusing point about the tower is that it only has clocks on 3 sides - the side facing Norfolk has no clock, as the residents of Beccles (in Suffolk) did not wish to offer the time to their neighbours in Norfolk!
Beccles Church
The Church of St Michael in Beccles
Beccles Church Yard
The Churchyard
Beccles Church Roof
The view of the church from the roof
Beccles View South
The view from the church, looking south towards the lido
Beccles View North
The view from the church, looking north towards Beccles Fen



Beccles Town Sign



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