Large Town with the usual facilities
High St Banks
Town center shops
Beccles Marina (pay for)
Pubs (in town)
The White Horse
The Bear & Bells
The Butcher's Arms
The Caxton Arms
The Swan House
The Royal Oak
The Wine Vaults bar & Restaurant
The Quay at Beccles is a busy mooring area for pleasure boats and yachts, and today. Beccles is a popular base for touring the local broadland countryside and for walking, cycling and boating. Beccles offers a shopping experience to suit everyone, with popular high street shops to private craft shops, restaurants and public houses Early closing on a Wednesday. But an impressive market held on a Friday. On the first weekend in August the river carnival is well worth a visit.
The town has its own museum on Ballygate with free admission between Easter and October. The museum was originally the Sir John Leman School, John Leman(d.1632) was a former Beccles trader who became successor to Dick Whittington as Mayor of London. Leman House, a Grade I listed building has a collection of agricultural, industrial and domestic items, including collections of tools, boat building, printing, costumes and natural history.
There is an outdoor heated swimming pool open from late May to early September.
The yacht station houses a Harbour Masters complex and tourist information office. Moorings are available all year round although the shower, bath, toilet and laundry facilities offer a limited service from October to March. Beccles Yacht Station is very busy during July and August and therefore advanced booking is strongly recommended during this period. "Liana" is an elegant Edwardian style electric boat offering trips for up to 10 people along the River Waveney from Beccles to Geldeston or Aldeby depending on the tides.
The name Beccles is thought to be derived from Becc-Liss (Brittonic "Small-court"). However, also possible is Bece-laes (Old English "Meadow by Stream")
Once a seaport before the land was reclaimed from the sea, Beccles is thought to date back well beyond 960, when its name was first mentioned in the granting of its manor to St Edmundsbury monastery by King Eadwig. Mentioned in the Domesday book as having a church and 24 acres of land with the tenant as the Abbot of Edmundsbury Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and a guild took over the grant for a price of £120 paid to the crown. This guild proved unsuccessful with many quarrels and was returned to the crown in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1584 the queen granted a charter and it was run by a steward. This system was kept until 1835.
The townscape is dominated by the detached sixteenth-century bell tower (known as the Beccles bell tower) of St Michael's church. Like the main body of the church, the tower is Perpendicular Gothic in style and is 97 ft tall. The interior of the church was badly damaged by fire in 1586. It has a 13th-century font. The tower is not attached to the church and at the wrong end of the church as the correct end would be too close to a large cliff. It was at this church in 1749 that the mother of Horatio Nelson, Catherine Suckling, married the Reverend Edmund Nelson (a former curate of Beccles). The Suffolk poet George Crabbe married Sarah Elmy at Beccles church in the 18th century.
The 16th century Roos Hall, is a very distinguished manor house, which is said to be one of the most haunted houses in England. Beccles is said to be home to several ghosts, some of which live within the grounds of the 16th-century Roos Hall. A phantom coach and four horses, driven by a headless man, is said to clatter through the gardens at Roos on Christmas Eve.
There is an oak tree there that stands on the site of a gibbet where many local criminals were once hanged. Not only is the spot haunted by these victims, but it is said that if anyone is brave enough to walk round the tree six times, the Devil himself will appear. There are marks on one of the walls inside Roos Hall which are always referred to as the Devil's footprints.