50 ways to enjoy the Suffolk Coast
PUBLISHED: 09:59 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:26 25 September 2018
The Suffolk coast is a fantastic place to explore, whatever the season. So, whether you love sinking your toes into sandy beaches, cycling quiet country lanes, going off the beaten walking track, watching wildlife, soaking up some local history, or simply wandering around charming coastal towns, there's plenty to keep everyone happy.
Grab your bucket and spade...
Golden sandy beach, a favourite for holiday makers. Numerous activities and events along the beach and nearby Royal Green, including water sports, volleyball and a traditional summer fair.
A mile down the coast from Lowestoft, sandy beaches and windswept dunes. Excellent for birdwatching and fishing.
A popular spot for families all year round, brightly coloured beach huts and pier, traditional seaside fun.
Just across the River Blyth from Southwold, wild and wonderful, popular with surfers and kite surfers, and for crabbing in the estuary.
Shingle beach stretching from the Martello tower in the south, to Maggie Hambling’s Scallop sculpture at the northern end. Take a stroll along the beach to Thorpeness.
Wild, unspoilt, a great place to picnic, fly a kite. A favourite with dog walkers.
The complete traditional seaside experience with every beach option, from wild and wonderful at Landguard, buckets and spades and amusements, a brand new pier head, and lovely seafront gardens.
Activity and entertainment including traditional fruit machines and video games, roller skating, live music, great fish and chips and brasserie dining.
10) Southwold Pier
Originally a landing stage for steamships, restored between 1999 and 2001. Cafés and restaurants, independent shops, innovative water clock designed by Tim Hunkin, who also created the whacky, unmissable Under the Pier Show.
Cream teas, tasty breakfasts, lunches and homemade snacks set among lakes, reeds, andd marshland overlooking the river.
Traditional seaside fun at the newly rebuilt pier pavilion and Boardwalk Cafe. The Spa Pavilion offers shows and tribute bands, numerous events throughout the year.
Here’s a few more places to visit:
GET ON YOUR BIKE
13) Cycle Breaks
Cycle Breaks organises supported, gentle cycling and walking holidays along the Suffolk Coast with accommodation, luggage transportation, quality bike hire (or you can ride your own), and mechanical assistance on call, should you need it.
HAVE A WILD TIME
14) RSPB Minsmere
One of the RSPB’s flagship reserves and home to some of the UK’s most rare and well-loved birds including the avocet, bearded tit, bittern, marsh harrier and nightingale.
15) Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Southernmost point of Felixstowe, 33 hectares, incorporating the Landguard Nature Reserve and Landguard Fort.
17) Blyth Valley
Runs inland from the coast at Southwold to Laxfield via Halesworth and Huntingfield, superb for walking, cycling and wildlife-watching.
Stretches from the Stour estuary in the south, to Kessingland in the north, taking in shingle beaches, cliffs, marshes, estuaries, heathland forests and farm land.
The team at Wild Adventures Under Suffolk Skies are guides and photography tutors who will help you to explore the more remote locations on the Suffolk coast including Snape Warren and RSPB Havergate Island.
Wildlife conservation and research holidays on The Suffolk coast, helping at some of its most beautiful spots including RSPB Minsmere, National Trust Dunwich Heath, RSPB Havergate Island and Orford Ness.
21) Market towns
The historic coastal towns of Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Framlingham. In Beccles, you can walk along the River Waveney and out across the marshes. At Framlingham visit the castle and the Mere, a haven for wildlife.
Suffolk has a magnificent heritage of parish churches, which offer a wealth of history, architecture and wildlife and an insight to the area’s history and its people through the centuries.
23) National Trust
The National Trust has three outstanding sites along Suffolk’s coastal area which are all fascinating. Orford Ness, a wild and remote shingle spit, home to Britain’s secret military history and an abundance of rare species and plants. Dunwich Heath and Beach is a peaceful haven to relax whatever the time of year, and Sutton Hoo is the awe-inspiring royal burial site of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king.
24) Suffolk Museums
There are more than 50 museums in Suffolk and the coast has an incredibly rich story to tell of national and international importance – prehistoric finds, Saxon burials, fishing and farming in the age of steam, the drowning of Medieval Dunwich and the development of radar.
Some places to eat and drink in Suffolk:
Framlingham castle was once a fearsome fortress, famous as the site of Mary Tudor’s proclamation as Queen of England. Orford Castle is one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps, built by Henry II.
GO FOR A WALK
As an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Suffolk coast is an area rich in coastal and countryside walks, and walking is undoubtedly the best way to fully appreciate the beauty of every season. Some care is needed when walking along the coast and estuaries. The low-lying coast is subject to changeable conditions, and coastal erosion may result in footpath diversions.
26) Beach walks
Enjoy deserted expanses of award winning beaches from Lowestoft in the north to Felixstowe in the south. Dogs are welcome on most beaches in the out of season months (October to April) but check beforehand.
27) Pub Walks
RSPB Minsmere runs regular guided walks and the AONB also has walking guides to help you explore the area’s heritage. It’s also worked with Adnams to develop a series of leisurely pub walks.
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB has launched four new guides for walking routes on The Suffolk Coast, themed around the Outstanding Landscapes on the Suffolk Coast. These are designed to allow you to see some of the best areas in the AONB.
The AONB and Cicerone Press have created a handy, pocket-sized guide to the three long-distance walks in Suffolk – the Suffolk Coast Path (Lowestoft to Felixstowe), the Stour and Orwell Walk (Felixstowe to Cattawade) and the Sandlings Walk (Ipswich to Southwold).
See Suffolk’s native breed of working horse which helped shape the rural landscape. Learn all about and meet some of these gentle giants.
31) Africa Alive
A walking safari set in 100 acres and home to more than 80 species of animals from around Africa.
Three days of music, song and dance over eight performance stages in the lovely Glemham Hall Grounds from August 17-19. A family event, with activities aimed at all age groups.
33) Latitude Festival | July 12-15 | Henham Park, Southwold
Eclectic mix of music, dance, comedy and music, with Harry Hill, Bridget Christie and Sadler’s Wells all taking to the stage.
34) Felixstowe Carnival | July 27-28
Each year this popular community carnival has a different theme and for 2018 the theme is pantomime so expect lots of over-the-top attire!
35) The 76th Aldeburgh Carnival | August 18-20
The carnival is thought to have been going for around 170 years and will feature fireworks displays, processions, swimming races and other water-based activities.
36) Thorpeness Regatta & Fireworks | Friday August 24
Taking place on the mere, lots of different vessels head on to the water while the event concludes with a grand firework display.
More places to explore:
37) Maverick Festival | July 6 - 8
Americana event showcasing the best roots music from both sides of the Atlantic, at Easton Farm Park.
38) Beccles Carnival | August 18 - 19
Activities will include a fun dog show, the Beccles baby competition, arena displays and much more.
39) Snape Proms | August 1 - 30
Folk, jazz, world music, classical, comedy, poetry and lots more in the beautiful surroundings of Snape Maltings.
40) Ferry Fest Felixstowe | August 24 - 27
A new festival at the lovely hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry. A celebration of the arts and the community, with music, dance, a ceilidh, photography competition and walk, drama, and family day.
FEED YOUR CURIOSITY
Suffolk has a growing reputation for the high quality of its locally grown and produced food and drink, with lots of welcoming places where you can try, buy and enjoy everything county has to offer. So why not go on a taste exploration? The Suffolk Coast organisation can help you create your own food trail around the coastal area, with featured food trails that link into local themes and attractions, ideas for eating out, accommodation and more .
42) Adnams Brewery tour, Southwold
One of the most modern breweries in the UK, with a distillery too. Explore behind the scenes and discover how Adnams creates award-winning beers and spirits, or get creative and make your very own gin.
43) Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival | September 29 - 30
Celebrating local producers, chefs and eating establishments, a two-day food festival followed by two weeks of fringe events. Saturday and Sunday at Snape Maltings, next to the River Alde.
How much do you know about Suffolk?
VISIT A LIGHTHOUSE
Southwold Lighthouse stands in the middle of the historic resort of Southwold, and provides a waymark for vessels navigating the east coast and guides vessels making for Southwold Harbour.
Lowestoft Lighthouse doesn’t have a visitor centre but there’s a good walk to Ness Point, the most easterly point of England, and then a short distance to Sparrows Nest to see the magnificent lighthouse built by Trinity House in 1874.
TAKE TO THE WATER
46) Coastal Voyager
If it’s adrenaline, fun and excitement off Southwold you’re looking for then this is the boat trip for you.
47) Lady Florence
For a more sedate experience, the Lady Florence is an historic Second World War boat catering for 12 passengers, offering brunch, lunch, dinner and sunset supper cruises on the Rivers Alde and Ore from Orford, regardless of weather and tides.
48) Fish and Chips
Using fish freshly caught from the North Sea, Suffolk has some of the countries best chippies and some equally incredible views to go with them.
If you’re not in the mood to have your seafood cooked in delicious batter then we have many magnificent restaurants that do great oysters, lobsters, scallops and more.
If there’s one thing that’s better than eating out on the Suffolk coast then it’s eating out on the Suffolk coast outside under bright blue skies and belting sun.