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Oulton Broad to Ness Point

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Oulton Broad to Ness Point
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 09 Feb 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Suffolk, Lowestoft
Walk Type: Coastal
Oulton Broad to Ness Point
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 5 mile linear walk from Oulton Broad to Ness Point in Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Britain. The route runs between two rail stations, meaning the return leg can be completed by a simple 6 minute train journey. The walk takes in the waterside park at Oulton Broad, the shipyards alongside Lake Lothing, a long stretch of a former railway line and then the parks and sea wall in Lowestoft.

The walk is relatively flat for the most part, with just a few slopes as you approach the coast. Almost all of the route follows tarmac paths and pavements, with just a short stretch across the grass within Nicholas Everitt Park near the start. There are no stiles or kissing gates on route, but you will need to negotiate several flights of steps and a few staggered barriers. The stretch along the sea wall at the end of the route is very exposed so do not attempt the walk in adverse weather. There are public toilets in Nicholas Everitt Park (near the start) and at Lowestoft Station (at the end). There are plenty of places to eat within Lowestoft and Oulton Broad. Allow 2.5 hours.

The walk starts at Oulton Broad South rail station and ends at Lowestoft rail station (situated on the Lowestoft to Ipswich line). An hourly train service runs between the stations and the journey takes just 6 minutes. If you are coming by car, there is a large car park at Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad (close to South Station), accessed opposite the St Mark’s Church on the A1117. Approximate post code NR33 9JX.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lifting Bridge
Start to Lifting Bridge

Start point: 52.4698 lat, 1.7077 long
End point: 52.4749 lat, 1.7107 long

From the platform at Oulton Broad South rail station, cross the railway via the bridge and go down the steps at the far side. You will emerge to a junction with a quiet lane, Marsh Lane, with Sunnyside Cottage directly opposite. Turn left and follow the lane as it swings immediately right, passing the entrance drive for Broadlands Holiday Park on your left. Follow the lane past a few properties on your right and, just before the lane swings hard right, turn right through a gap in the fence. This stone path leads you into a grass clearing within Nicholas Everitt Park.

Keep directly ahead through this clearing and, at the top, turn right to join the stone path leading you through the parkland (following the line of the hedgerow on your left). At a junction with a tarmac path, turn left over the footbridge and keep ahead following the tarmac as it swings right, with the water of Oulton Broad on your left.

At the T-junction, turn right (towards the rowing club), then turn left alongside the slipway and turn left again, once again following the tarmac path closest to the water on your left. Continue over a footbridge across a pond and keep straight ahead, passing the yacht club on your left. Stay with this path which leads you out through the park gates, past the public toilets on your right and on to reach a T-junction with the road. Turn left along the pavement and, a few paces later, bear left to join the shared footpath and cycleway which leads you to the lifting bridge at the lock.

This makes a great point to pause and enjoy the busy boat life. Oulton Broad, thought to be the remnant of medieval peat cutting, is the most southern of the Norfolk Broads. It is a popular tourist and sporting centre and you are likely to see everything from powerboat racing, to sailing, rowing and canoeing.

Lifting Bridge to Railway Bridge
Lifting Bridge to Railway Bridge

Start point: 52.4749 lat, 1.7107 long
End point: 52.4779 lat, 1.7214 long

Cross the lifting bridge and, at the fork, take the right-hand branch which leads you through a subway beneath the road. As you emerge at the far side, stay ahead along the right-hand pavement of the road. Just before the first property on the right, turn right to join the signed footpath running between tall fences.

The path leads you under an arched railway tunnel and then on into the boatyards. NOTE: This stretch follows the waterside public footpath through working boatyards. Please follow any safety advice notices, beware of working machinery and be careful not to slip or trip when crossing the rails on the slipways. Simply keep ahead on the main stone path, signed with footpath signs, passing a number of industrial units.

The water to the right is Lake Lothing, a flooded valley formed in the last Ice Age. The water was still open to the sea in the Middle Ages but eventually the entrance was silted up to form a lake. In 1831 Lowestoft Harbour was created by reconnecting Lake Lothing to the sea. For the first half of the 1900s this was the leading timber shipbuilding harbour in England. Today, both industry and wildlife thrive here. Look out for cormorant, redshank and oystercatcher.

Beyond the shipyards, keep straight ahead on the stone beach-like path with the water still immediately on your right. At the end of this stretch, you are forced to swing left away from the water. Go ahead, up the steps to cross the railway via the bridge.

Railway Bridge to Old Rail Path
Railway Bridge to Old Rail Path

Start point: 52.4779 lat, 1.7214 long
End point: 52.4799 lat, 1.7331 long

A few metres later, fork left through the staggered barrier to join the shared cycle and footway signed to the Town Centre. Pass through the next barrier and continue on the tarmac path which leads you through the edge of a park. Across to the right you will have a view of another waterway, Leathes Ham. As you reach the parking area, there are boardwalks into the wetland reeds area surrounding Leathes Ham on your right, should you wish to explore further.

Keep directly ahead through the parking area and fork left just before the square brick building. Follow the path leading you to the pedestrian crossing at the road. Cross over and walk ahead to continue on the shared cycle and footway. The path soon leads you past sports fields on your right. Soon afterwards, you will come to a sculptural metal signpost (a Sustrans signpost). Turn left here, signed to Gunton, to join the tarmac footpath and cycleway, an old rail path.

Old Rail Path to Jubilee Bridge
Old Rail Path to Jubilee Bridge

Start point: 52.4799 lat, 1.7331 long
End point: 52.489 lat, 1.7547 long

In the 1950s an express train called The Easterling brought holidaymakers from London to Beccles non-stop, where it divided to Yarmouth and Lowestoft. This part of the line, like many, was closed in the 1960s and today is a linear park following the old rail line. It is a popular route with locals as well as a haven for wildlife.

Keep ahead under the first road bridge, go straight on at the crossroad and the path then leads you gently uphill and then levels off to pass under a second road bridge. The path leads you past a college on your right. At the fork, keep left to pass under a third road bridge and then a fourth road bridge soon afterwards. You will come to another fork, just before you reach the road. Take the right-hand branch which leads you to a pedestrian crossing.

Cross over, turn right along the pavement and take the first left into Station Road. As the name suggests, this was the location of the former Lowestoft North rail station. Continue to the end, cross over, turn right along the pavement and take the first left into Lyndhurst Road. At the end, cross with care and turn right along the pavement, taking time to enjoy the sea views to your left. Follow the pavement as it swings right and then, opposite house number 9, turn left to cross the ornate bridge, Jubilee Bridge. This was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1887.

Jubilee Bridge to Ness Point
Jubilee Bridge to Ness Point

Start point: 52.489 lat, 1.7547 long
End point: 52.4812 lat, 1.7628 long

At the far side of the bridge you will reach Belle Vue Park. Turn left and follow this path as it swings right, passing the Royal Naval Patrol Memorial on your left. Continue on the main level park path which leads you past the thatched Park Lodge on your left and out to a junction with the road. Turn left to cross the side road, Cart Score, and just beyond this turn left through the gates into Sparrows Nest Gardens.

On your right you will see the white building of Lowestoft High Lighthouse. Built in 1874, the light has a range of 23 nautical miles or about 43km. Follow the main path as it leads you downhill via several flights of steps. At the bottom you will reach a T-junction with a fire beacon ahead. Turn right and follow the path as it swings left, passing the bowling green and the Maritime Museum on your right. Just after the cafe bar, turn right to leave the park through the gate. Turn right along the pavement, passing back alongside the museum.

About 60 metres later, just before you reach a large yellow and black buoy, cross over the road with care to join the surfaced footpath signed to Ness Point. Follow this path ahead, passing a collection of anchors and through an area traditionally associated with the repair of fishing nets. Go up the slope to reach the top of the sea wall and turn right along this. Further along, the sea wall leads you left down a slope and then continues at a lower level. Within this lower wall you will come to a giant raised compass marking Ness Point, the most easterly point in Britain.

Ness Point to End
Ness Point to End

Start point: 52.4812 lat, 1.7628 long
End point: 52.4743 lat, 1.7497 long

From this point, all that remains is the walk to Lowestoft rail station. Continue along the sea wall, all the way to its end. Turn right up the steps, go down the slope and walk directly ahead along Hamilton Road. Across to the left is the water of Hamilton Dock.

At the roundabout, keep left along the pavement and shortly, use the designated crossing point to cross over the road. At the far side, keep ahead along the tarmac path which swings left into Gordon Road. Follow the road as it swings right to reach a mini roundabout. Go straight ahead and then take the first left into London Road North. Follow this pedestrian shopping precinct all the way to its end. You will find Lowestoft rail station just to your right, from where you can return to Oulton Broad South or make your onward journey.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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