Explore Beccles with the Fantastic Beccles Celebrity Tour
Beccles became a town by the Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1584, and has flourished ever since as a centre of culture and trade. In 1749 Catherine Suckling married the Reverend Edmund Nelson, and a few short years later gave birth to a son named Horatio, who shook the world with his naval prowess. The Suffolk poet George Crabbe was also married there. Nowadays, Beccles is linked to Lowestoft by rail, and is a great place to spend a day out enjoying the unique delights of Suffolk. Because of the town’s distinguished history, we’ve come up with the Beccles Celebrity Walk which lets you pay homage to some of the town’s celebrated citizens.
Beccles Celebrity Tour Route
Our walk begins at the train station (1), which sits at the very edge of the town, and which has welcomed visitors to the town since 1858. Cross next to the roundabout and take Station Road until you get to Smallgate. This is the entry point to Beccles’ famous gates, the network of quaint streets that has formed the heart of the town for four centuries.(2)
Once you reach Blyburghgate, you will see our first celebrity home: What is now the Marmalade Tree Furniture Shop was once home to the family of legendary actor Sir John Mills (3), star of stage and screen from the 1930s till his death in 2005. Here the star of Around the World in 80 Days, When the Wind Blows, and Hamlet lived with his parents while he attended Sir John Leman High School, where he also made his first performance in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Once you reach Blyburgate Hall, you may want to stop for a look around Beccles’ cultural centre, especially at the Works Gallery, which collects exhibits by some of Suffolk’s most celebrated artists.(4)
Our walk has come to an end, but don’t worry, there are many great Beccles pubs in the area, so if you fancy a pint of local ale and some tasty food, why not enjoy some of Suffolk’s famous hospitality.