Lowestoft to Southwold Beach Walk

Trip Start Oct 01, 2009
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Trip End Oct 27, 2009


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, October 1, 2009

As part of my Peru training I have decided to do a bit of beach walking along the Suffolk coast.... Today I am walking from Lowestoft to Southwold... Initially I thought this would just be a good way to train however after seeing the amazing beauty of this area I can now say that I have fallen in love with this stretch of the UK. 

At around 4pm myself and Dee (my travel partner) set off from work to take on the 12 mile trek to Southwold. The first part of our walk took us along the Lowestoft sea front, a typical UK beach resort with golden sand and beach front B & B's.Moving from here we headed down to Pakefield, this was more interesting and for me more visually pleasing, first off the beach changed from sand to shingle, a little tougher we found on our legs but hey we are in training so the harder the better. The B&B's disappeared and were replaced with sandy cliffs, more attractive and certainly more thought provoking. Scattered across the shingle we could see old boats and the remains of a few fishing sheds. The sky was blue, the sea was calm and we both knew this was going to be a fantastic mini journey. 

We walked further along and after approximately 1/2 mile we found ourselves alone, not a soul in site, the beach was clear and the view seemed to stretch for miles. We could see Kessingland in the distance, this was to be our marker, we hoped to reach the village of Kessingland after an hour, this would mark our first 4 miles. 

We walked for around 55 minutes and we reached Kessingland, a small village situated on the coast, we wanted to stop for a coffee at the waterfront restaraunt but time was against us and darkness was only a couple of hours away, with 8 miles to go we followed our logic and kept walking, we used the tempting thoughts of reaching Southwold and finding a pub where we could rest our feet and drink back a couple of pints. 

As we walked along the beach at Kessingland we passed a few beach front houses, then a large holiday park and a couple of dog walkers. The beach again was shingle and as with Pakefield was scattered with some remains of old fishing boats. We took a couple of pictures here that I will load on to the site. After 1/2 a mile or so we reached a large area of beach that was covered in short grass along with some dunes. A few different species of sea birds flew around us and wandered in between the long grasses. We both took time to take in the scenery, we both felt alive, our legs had warmed up and we were really enjoying the walk. 

We reached the end of the Kessingland beach after 1 hour and 15 mins. We came to a river crossing that took us over to Benacre, one of the most amazing, and best kept secrets on the east coast. Why I have not spent more time in this fantasy land escapes me but I will not be making the same mistake in the future. 

The change in landscape was dramatic, we had left the standard beaches behind and within a few short minutes we were in a land of lakes, blue sky, green plants, swans, sea birds and glorious sunshine. We followed a concrete path through some shrubs, breathing in the dramatic surroundings, we had the sea to our left and lakes to our right, in the distance behind us we could see a stretch of fields leading to the tall tower of St Edmunds church in Kessingland, the sun shone down on us and the air was fresh, its at a moment like this that you feel lucky to be alive, the world is a fantastic place and you just need to get out there to enjoy it

We continued on and left the path behind us, returning to the tougher terrain of pebbles and sand. We walked for what must have been another mile when we came across a petrified woodland, no it wasn't scared but instead preserved by the harsh north sea. This place was mystical in every sense, the trees had been bleached by the salt water and looked as if they had been placed there by the most talented of artists. We could not help but be impressed with the visual delights, I would highly recommend this area to anyone. 

We moved on further to find more and more interesting sights, more bleached trees and a massive expanse of inland water, thousands of birds, including the heron flew around us and waded across the still water and of course the crashing waves of the sea. It was here we came across the most bizzare tree I have ever seen, it appeared to be growing out of the sea, although it was dead and bleached, it looked so magical and some what spiritual, in fact this whole area was spiritual, we were the only 2 people there and to be honest I think that this added to the moment, we could have spent hours just taking in the energy from this place, but as I said earlier, time was against us and the suns rays were turning orange and throwing longer shadows... We moved on after a very short stop. 

After Benacre we climbed up on to the cliff tops and followed a narrow path through some woodland, again there was so much character, a real unexpected delight. Following the path along we came to a road that had fallen in to the sea, looking inland we could see the ruins of a large church along with an expanse of farmland. We continued along the cliff top until we found a point to travel back down to the beach, we came across more inland lakes, more bleached trees and more wildlife... Both of us were so buzzed. 

The remainder of the walk to Southwold was hard on our legs but so easy on our motivation, we were driven by the scenery, the energy of the sea and the sight of Southwold in the distance. At times it looked like the lighthouse was only a few minutes away but unfortunately it remained that way for what felt like hours, in reality about 40 minutes. 

After 3 hours and 5 minutes we did it, we made it Southwold, we had walked over 14 miles, seen some amazing sights and gained a new appreciation for the surroundings we all too often take for granted. 

We found a little pub, sorry I cant remember the name, celebrated our journey and set our sights on our next training adventure. 

This was a brilliant day and one I shall repeat again very soon.
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Comments

smelly1
smelly1 on

Great pictures
Hi Mate

I just wanted to say that I think the pictures on your blog are amazing. I have never been to that part of the UK but will def take a trip there some day. I love the way you described the place and look forward to hearing how you get on in Peru.

All the best and take care

jamjam
jamjam on

Re: Great pictures
Thank you for the comments, I really appreciate it. This part of the suffolk coastline is amazing and I would highly recommend a visit.

Take care
James

Stuart on

Enjoyed your blog, Suffolk coast is a lovely place. 14 miles is good going, well done

Mark on

Thanks for the intersting blog and pix. I recognise the tree as I've captured it a few times - see http://www.unreelcity.co.uk/seascape/index.htm

I'm intending to go back this year to see if it's still there or if the sea has claimed it yet. I didn't know about the additional trees and lakes the other side of the church so will check that too.

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