Kessingland - November 2006

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By Michael Anderton

The sea once provided Kessingland with its main livelihood of fishing. At one time the village paid a rent of 22,000 live herrings to their Lords which at that time made it more important than Lowestoft. Today Kessingland is a holiday centre, the population is about 4000 but during the summer months this nearly doubles with the influx of holidaymakers. A famous past resident was Sir Henry Rider Haggard who had a holiday home on the cliffs where his friend Rudyard Kipling often came to stay. The property was developed into Catchpole's Holiday Camp in the late 1920s and the Denes was begun just before the Second World War.

This is a walk all around the village, it is a circular walk with many opportunities to short cut back to the start if required. From Beach Car Park on Church Road take the footpath along the rear behind the trees that commences on Church Road as a private drive. It then continues as a track known as Marsh Lane between the rear of the houses and a field. Keep straight on along the track, passing the sewage works on the right and the parish councilís common land on the left.

About 30 metres after passing a gate with a 'Private Keep Out' notice turn right through a gap in the hedge up the side of a field, marked with a waymark arrow on a post in the hedge. As you walk up the right side of the field there is eventually a good view of the 98 feet high tower of Kessingland's St. Edmund's Church on the right. At a dead tree keep to the path to the right, although an alternative has become established through the field to the left if preferred. This is Pedlarís Lane, cross a track called New Road and on to a cross-roads of tracks where the lane soon becomes Tarmac and is called Coopers Lane. Follow this lane out to the junction of Whites Lane and Church Road. Cross over to walk along the roadside footway of Church Road to reach High Street, the former route of the A12, now bypassed by the new dual carriageway.

Turn right past the shops and a petrol filling station and then Field Lane where the High Street becomes London Road. Walk on past the end of the houses on the right and then the hedge alongside an open field. Turn right through a gap in the hedge opposite the last house on the left (No. 109), walking on the well worn permissive path along the field edge.

Turn left and then right at the end to join a grassy track with trees and ditch on the left. At the end of the track continue on along the field edge path with hedge and ditch on the left to the end of the field and then up between the trees ahead. This is along part of the Suffolk Coast path that runs for 50 miles between Lowestoft and Felixstowe.

The recorded route of the path straight ahead has become overgrown and a new route has been established by bearing right through the trees and following the well worn path that eventually meets a track along the cliff top. Turn right along this stoney track where you will find opportunities to turn left to the cliff and beach if required.

The track eventually becomes Tarmac and, where the road turns right, continues straight along as Green Lane. Walk along this stoney track, passing an information board on the right about Kessingland and its path network. After passing the Kessingland Cottages complex turn left on a path between fence and hedge towards the beach and a steep set of steps down to the soft sand below. Turn right and walk through the sand dunes at the base of the cliff and eventually meeting up with the concrete promenade.

Walking on the soft sand can be avoided if necessary by continuing further along Green Lane and taking the next turning left that leads down to a concrete ramp connected to the end of the promenade and easier walking.

Continue along the promenade to reach the end of Church Road and then right up past the Sailors Home pub, numerous fishermens cottages and the Bethel Sailors and Fishermens chapel to return to the start of the walk at the car park.


Location: Kessingland is 50 miles north east of Ipswich and 5 miles south of Lowestoft
Start: Beach Car park on Church Road - Ordnance Survey map reference TM 533861
Length: 3 miles
Conditions: Mainly good tracks road and field edges, no stiles.
How to get there: -
Public Transport:
For details telephone Suffolk County Council's Public Transport Information TraveLine 08706 082608
Road Route: From Ipswich A12 north or from Lowestoft A12 to roundabouts at either end of Kessingland by-pass. Follow signs for the beach down Whites Lane and Church Lane
Car Park: Beach Car Park on Church Road, free, 2.1 metre height barrier
Refreshments: Pubs, shops and cafes available at Church Road and the High Street
Public Toilets: At the beach end of Church Road
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer sheet 231 sheet Southwold and Bungay
Internet: -
Suffolk Country Walks:

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