Lowestoft to Southwold Beach Walk
Trip Start Oct 01, 2009
11Trip End Oct 27, 2009
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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
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 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..
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.