England-Suffolk Flag

Beccles >  Google™ Map Sep 2019+  Beccles Sign

bǣce (a) beach + lǣs Old English pasture. Population - 10,123.

England-Suffolk Flag UK > England > Suffolk

Sep 2019+

Beccles Sign

Heading in from the south, accidental parking can be found next to Roys, you know, Roys? The third-generation-family-run chain of department stores that are world famous, in East Anglia, and this one happens to be very handy.

Very handy for this pleasant market town in North East Suffolk that sits right on the River Waveney but there's plenty of time for all of that nonsense.

No, there's an immediate need to feed and after turning right onto Blyburgate, the very popular and family-run Twyfords Café makes a timely appearance.

Beccles - Twyfords Café

There's an outdoors area out back for when the sun's out and it looks like your best bet for a bite in these parts with a large collection of cakes alongside the savoury.

Their take on the hot dog... Suffolk pork sausage smacked of the Cumberland, house mustard ketchup, fried crispy onions.

This really was rather good but no had to be said to a pud.

The placename promises a beach, you see, and a couple of pairs of cossies need sourcing. It's hoped there'll also be time for a ninety-nine but none of that Monkey's Blood, awful stuff. Crushed nuts?

No, it's just the way I talk. © The early '70s.

The local Wetherspoon™s is unimaginatively called the King's Head Hotel but rather more imaginatively comes with its own fruit and veg stall.

Beccles - The King's Head

Apples, Hazelnuts, Bananas, Raisins, Coconuts, Sultanas.

Fosters™, Kronenbourg™ and Strongbow™, John Smiths™, Hooch™ and Pinot Grigio.

This looks to be the new market square but more on the old one in a minute. The sun's just come out, there's bound to be a pound shop for a cheap bucket and spade and a disposable football? Really looking forward to that beach now.

  The Kings Head Hotel (New Market) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Kings Head Hotel because it was formerly, well, you figure.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale and the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming was clearly on holiday or couldn't be bothered to get out of bed that day. Whoever deputised on that decision is getting an immediate (0/5) and they might as well have stayed in bed themselves that morning.

Looking at St. Michael's Church bell tower here from the King's Head Hotel. Interesting church-fact time, the tower is sited east of the nave, I know! I know!

Beccles Bell Tower

As you know, they're customarily sited to the west but a 30-foot drop to the River Waveney scuttled that particular planning application.

You can arrange an escort to the roof where there's, not unreasonably, a reasonable view. Not that this was known at the time so that's for another day confident that the wobblies won't be a problem and yes, that'll be the old vertigo.

Shame that. You're bound to be able to see that beach from up there, right?

There's an impressive medieval porch to St. Michael's and Lord Nelson's folks, no less, were hitched here, like you didn't know already?

Beccles - St. Michael's Church

The Rev Edmund was a former curate so they were presumably able to squeeze him in cheaply one Sunday. It was a quick service and the couple left town in a hurry to get to the reception in Norfolk.

It's believed they named their son from the cries of the well-wishers at the church. Hoo-ray! Chee-rio! Hoo-ray! Chee-rio! Hoo-ray! Chee-rio!

Oh! You're off already then?

Along Market Street, it's realised the Public Hall & Theatre is old enough to have put on pantomimes for King George III, madness!

Beccles - Public Hall & Theatre

Reverting to its original function following stints as a school and a wartime 'British Restaurant', it's back to spotting Dick Whittington rather than spotted dick in a tin, eh?

It's also noticed that Beccles seems to be the centre of a cartel for family-run department stores, Suffolk region.

Beccles - Smallgate

Not that Beales is particularly local, there are 28 stores nationwide but it's a new one on SlyBob. The clearance event isn't a good sign, however, and administration would be administered in early 2020 with you-know-what not helping.

Smallgate leads in turn to the bottom of Old Market whose main function, these days, looks to be as a bus shelter provider.

Beccles - Old Market
Beccles - River Waveney from St. Michael's

There was a brief glimpse of the river from the back of the church but people's back gardens look to say, somewhat selfishly, access denied.

There was also a sign to a marina, or something, and Northgate heads roughly in that direction and surely that stretch of sand?

Beccles - Oswald House

There's a minor distraction, architecture-wise, in the form of a flemish gable, no less. That clearly says late 17th century, obviously, and hints at the wealthy merchants who inhabited this once-thriving port, of sorts.

At last, the sight of some water and Beccles Quay was at its peak in Saxon times. That was when the shipping arrangements were somewhat different and the sea not so far away, it seems.

Beccles Quay
Beccles Quay

It's inevitably given over to the leisurely, these days, and they should change that sign to say marina because it definitely is. What there definitely isn't is a beach so there's still no immediate need for the factor 50.

It's also the southernmost navigable point of the Norfolk Broads and, get this, it's all to be found in Suffolk, I know! I know!

Back along Northgate, there's a diversion down Puddingmoor and, wouldn't you know it, the river and Beccles Lido.

Beccles Lido

It's just out of season so things are shuttered up so there's no need for the towels and the Speedo™s won't be getting a showing. That's a shame since they're already on underneath, you see, and they've really started to chaff.

One option is a river trip on the marvellously named Big Dog Ferry. Even better, take it one way to Geldeston and walk back over the Norfolk border via part of the Angles Way, just not today, eh? Have you seen the time?

While we're here, is it lee-doh or lie-doh? SlyBob's never quite sure but, either way, just call it an outdoor pool man!

Meanwhile, back up in the centre, here's an erm, aerial shot of Beccles.

Beccles - From The Air

Of course there's no beach, this is seven miles inland, and the bǣce in question is just the Olde-English word for a generic landform next to water.

It's possible it might even be from the Welsh for small but you try padding that out.

Where's Where