Oulton Broad (10 mins train)
Lowestoft is the most easterly point of the U.K. The settlement's name is derived from the Viking name Hlothver, and toft, Viking for 'homestead'. The town's name has been spelled: Lothnwistoft, Lestoffe, Laistoe, Loystoft and Laystoft. After the discovery of flint tools in the cliffs at Pakefield in 2005, Human habitation of the area can be traced back 700,000 years. This establishes it as one of the earliest known sites in Britain.
The area was settled during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages and the Roman and Saxon periods, with a Saxon cemetery producing a number of finds at Bloodmoor Hill.
At the Domesday survey the village of Lothuwistoft was relatively small with a population of around 16 households.The manor formed part of the king's holding within the Hundred of Lothingland and was worth about four geld in tax. Roger Bigod was the tenant in chief of the village.
In the Middle Ages Lowestoft became an increasingly important fishing town. The town grew to challenge Great Yarmouth particularly fishing for herring.
In June 1665 the Battle of Lowestoft, the first battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, took place 40 miles (64 km) off the town's coast. The battle resulted in a significant victory for the English fleet.
In the 19th century, Railway contractor Sir Samuel Morton Peto was contracted by the Lowestoft Railway & Harbour Company to build a railway line between Lowestoft and Reedham. This stimulated the further development of the fishing industry and Lowestoft in general. Peto's railway not only enabled the fishing industry to get its product to market, but assisted the development of other industries and helped to establish Lowestoft as a flourishing seaside holiday resort.
During World War I, Lowestoft was bombarded by the German Navy on 24th April 1916. The port was a significant naval base during the war, including armed trawlers such as Ethel & Millie and Nelson which were used to combat German U-boat actions in the North Sea. In World War II, the town was heavily targeted for bombing by the Luftwaffe due to its engineering industry and role as a naval base.The Royal Naval Patrol Service, formed primarily from trawlermen and fishermen from the Royal Naval Reserve, was mobilised at Lowestoft in August 1939. The service had its central depot HMS Europa, also known as Sparrow's Nest, in the town.
Lowestoft High Lighthouse, located to the north of the town centre, was built at its present location on the cliffs above the Denes in 1676, although two candlelit lights were first established in the town in 1609. The present structure was built in 1874 and stands 16 metres tall, 37 metres above sea level. The light, which has a range of 23 nautical miles (43 km), was electrified in 1936 and automated in 1975.
It is a port town which developed due to the fishing industry and a traditional seaside resort. It has wide, sandy beaches, two piers and a number of other attractions. Whilst its fisheries have declined, the development of oil and gas exploitation in the southern North Sea in the 1960s led to the development of the town, along with Great Yarmouth, as a base for the industry. This role has since declined and the town has begun to develop as a centre of the renewable energy industry within the East of England.