Beccles on the River Waveney
This story happened on: 01/06/2019
We seemed not to have gone away in the new motorhome as much as we hoped. Our previous trip was cut short because I was unwell. On top of that we recently had a new central heating boiler which was moved from its original location which required a fair bit of redecoration! When we had a window to go away we discovered it was the school Whitsun holidays and we took a sharp intake of breath when looking at the regular Club site prices. This got us thinking about using a CL. We are not regular CL users as being in the middle of nowhere, despite no doubt lovely views, is not our thing. We much prefer, especially with the motorhome, to be somewhere with accessibility to somewhere to walk to within reasonable distance and access to public transport. A big ask for a CL but not impossible. We discovered a CL at Hippersons Boatyard at Beccles which looked as if it would be ideal and it was duly booked.
On the last day of May we set off for Suffolk. The sat nav suggested a route via the Norwich bypass which to me seemed to go out of the way so in my wisdom (?) I decided on a route via Bury St Edmunds using the A143. Whilst it was a reasonable route it did go through lots of villages en route and on the way home we opted for the Norwich route which was much faster. We found the CL without difficult and it had good access into the boatyard. Simon the owner showed us where we could pitch. Whilst the grass seemed pretty firm there was no objection to me placing my drive wheels on the hard-core surface of the car park. We were soon settled in and decided to have a wander around. There is a path right the way round the mooring to the main River Waveney which is part of the Norfolk Broads system of waterways. Whilst the boatyard no longer offers “overnight boats” for hire it does still hire out day boats by the hour or day. It also has a few houseboats for hire which might be useful for meeting up with non-caravanning friends.
Saturday 1st June was our first full day on site so we set off to explore locally. It seems only a few yards before you are crossing the river bridge. Our first stop was to go and have a look at the Yacht Station which provides short moorings for both private and hire boats. We sit for a while watching the activities before heading up into the town. You immediately notice an interesting mix of architecture, some of which has a Dutch influence as is common in the part of England. Previously working buildings have been converted to accommodation which means there is not much evidence of “modern” which is a bonus. The church bell tower dominates the town and can be seen from a distance. It’s not until you get up to it that you realise that it is detached from the church. There seemed to be a good selection of shops, restaurants and pubs. We managed to find a rather nice coffee shop which had previously been a gents tailors and outfitters going by the internal decoration!
Sunday was very hot and muggy so we didn’t stray far from the van although we did walk back round to the Yacht Station to do a bit of boat and river watching. Interesting to note that quite a few of the boat hirers were our age and many seemed to have mobility issues getting on and off their boats. I did wonder if to be safer you needed to be more agile!
Monday, another nice day but somewhat cooler. We took the bus into Lowestoft today. I was amused to see that seagulls were nesting on some window ledges. Not funny or strange in itself but they had used the spikes designed to keep them off the window ledges as anchors for their nests!!! Fortified with a coffee we set off in search of the beach, by far the better part of Lowestoft. Once over the Bascule Bridge it seemed a different town. The beach is lovely but has lost its Blue Flag status, I know not why. It still looks pretty good to me. There is a lovely long promenade which incorporates a cycle way. When not being used by cycles it seems to be taken over by mobility scooters. Some seeming driven by frustrated F1 drivers, do they have no speed regulators on these things!!! We came across a rather nice looking restaurant with views out to sea so where better to have a meal and a glass of wine!
Monday and our four night stay was over and we headed home. The CL had worked out pretty well and at £15 a night including electrics was excellent value. Perhaps not all the conveniences of a Club site but you can always work round that. We must be getting the bug as we have booked another CL at the start of our next trip.