Living in Lowestoft
What is life like in LowestoftLowestoft is the most easterly point of the British Isles and is an attractive and relaxed coastal town that is home to about 60,000 people.
It is widely regarded as a popular holiday destination among people who wish to lap up the Suffolk sun and all the fun of a traditional seaside resort, while being within touching distance of the historic city of Norwich and the iconic Norfolk Broads. However, Lowestoft is also a wonderful place to live rather than just visit.
The town has a rich maritime heritage and people are able to explore this through its many museums and special heritage walks.
Visiting the seaside is a popular pastime in Lowestoft, as the town is home to several Blue Flag beaches, making it a clean and pleasant place. As well as taking a dip in the water, people are able to enjoy the Victorian seafront gardens, the Royal Plain Fountains and the two piers.
People have been living in the Lowestoft area for 700,000 years, making it one of the earliest known sites of human habitation in the UK. This was proved in 2005 when ancient flint tools were discovered in the cliffs at Pakefield in south Lowestoft.
At the time of the Domesday survey, Lowestoft was actually known as Lothuwistoft and had only around 16 households.
The Battle of Lowestoft took place in 1665 some 40 miles off the coast of the town and resulted in a significant victory for the English forces over their Dutch counterparts.
Sir Samuel Morton Peto's arrival in the 19th century was a key turning point for the town and resulted in a change of fortunes. The railway contractor built a new line between Lowestoft and Reedham, which led to further development of the fishing industry.
Lowestoft soon became a flourishing seaside holiday resort, with Britons from all over the country travelling to enjoy its golden sands, clean and pleasant surroundings and excellent facilities and attractions.
The composer Benjamin Britten is the most famous person to hail from Lowestoft, and the town's impressive seafront was thought to be the inspiration for much of his music. Lowestoft celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2013 with a series of events.
Entertainment, sport and days out
The Marina Theatre is the cultural hub of Lowestoft, with a comprehensive programme of performances taking place there throughout the year. It is the eastern region home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as hosting plenty of renowned actors, comedians and musicians.
Alternatively, people can use the town's leisure facilities, including a cinema and bowling complex. Sporty individuals will enjoy Waterlane Leisure Centre, which offers a swimming pool, gym, sports halls and a spa.
There truly is something for everyone in and around Lowestoft, as the presence of the Africa Alive Safari Park and Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park proves. Whether families are after an afternoon with the animals or a thrilling day on rollercoasters, it is all available in the area.
When it comes to arranging a day out, there are many great options available to people in Lowestoft. For starters, the Norfolk Broads is always a hugely popular chance and provides the ideal landscape for walking, running, boating, cycling and watersports.
The traditional market village of Bungay is another good choice, with this settlement built around the remains of a Norman castle. For an unspoilt and breathtaking seaside scene, many locals head to Southwold, which is around 12 miles south of Lowestoft.
Eating, drinking & shopping
Suffolk's Sunrise Coast – which includes Lowestoft – is known for being one of the culinary capitals of the country. It offers locals and visitors a broad range of high-quality produce, with specialities including smoked fish, Suffolk ham, cheese, honey, jams and strawberries.
The region is also strong in the brewing industry, so people can always enjoy a pint of locally brewed ale from Adnams of Southwold or Suffolk Gold from St Peter's Brewery near Bungay.
Lowestoft has a number of excellence cafes, coffee shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. It is therefore wise to sit back and let someone else do the work, allowing locals to dine in style.
The town centre is the focal point of Lowestoft for shoppers, with many national high street retailers running stores in this area. Special shopping areas have been designated, including The Historic High Street and the Triangle Market Place to the north of the town. There are also several retail parks to choose from.
Schools & healthcare
A number of high-performing schools are in operation in Lowestoft, with the best primary institutions including Carlton Colville, Poplars Community and Roman Hill. There are also plenty of good secondary schools, such as East Point Academy and the Benjamin Britten High School.
The largest local healthcare facility is the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, while there is also Lowestoft Hospital in the town centre and both provide plenty of peace of mind to local people. There are other surgeries based in the town for everyday requirements.
The town boasts good rail and road links, making it an ideal base even for those people who work elsewhere. Lowestoft's train station is found close to the town centre and the beach. It provides excellent access to the rest of East Anglia, with quick and efficient services to both Ipswich and Norwich. There is also an excellent bus service operating in the town that also serves nearby villages.
Drivers can take advantage of the town's proximity to the A12, which is the main route through the region. This offers a link with Great Yarmouth and Norwich, as well as to London.