You Unplugged

Shortlist symbol Add to shortlist button.

Suffolk coast beaches

Suffolk’s Top secret Beaches waiting to be discovered

The Suffolk coast has some of the most enviable and breath-taking beaches in the country. Spanning some 50 miles and ranging from manicured blue-flag hotspots to wild hidden stretches complete with sand dunes, grassy cliffs and a varied wildlife, the beautiful Suffolk coast is inviting any time of the year. So why not explore your perfect beach that many have yet to discover?
Covehithe Beach on the Suffolk coastCovehithe Beach on the Suffolk coast

Shingle Street

 Originally a home for fishermen, Shingle Street is a small coastal area situated near Orford Ness. Visiting the hamlet has been described as “truly stepping back in time” with most of the buildings and the iconic Martello Tower built in the early 19th century.

Shingle Street, ironically one of the only settlements in Suffolk without streets, can be found seven miles away from Woodbridge, across the marshes on the far side of Hollesley Bay. Its bungalows and (coastguard) cottages face out towards the North Sea as if to highlight the danger of the hamlet’s traditional past of fishing and river piloting for the River Ore.

Shingle Street is a beach that enjoys a wealth of wildlife, including birds and rare insects which thrive in the remote environment. Enjoy spotting many varieties while you take a swim in the sheltered, almost lagoon-like waters.
At risk of falling foul of the sea, Shingle Street could disappear within 20 years. So, if you want to discover this special gem for yourself, make sure Shingle Street is on your holiday bucket list!
Shingle Street on the Suffolk coast

Shingle Street on the Suffolk coast

Shotley Peninsula

The next one on our list is not strictly (or even loosely!) a beach. Shotley Peninsula is an awe-inspiring location situated south-east of Ipswich where the River Orwell meets the Stour and is part of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The two rivers meet at the point of Shotley Gate and merge to join with the North Sea. With the Felixstowe docks to the north and Harwich Harbour to the south bank, the views are both unique and spectacular.

A haven of mudflats and salt marshes, migrating birds find their way here, including sandpipers and the greenshank and, if you’re fortunate, you may even spot the Emperor Dragonfly, the largest in the UK.
There are any number of walks to choose from, all twisting and turning in most directions to suit any level of fitness, including Shotley Marina which leads to the  HMS Ganges Museum - well worth a visit as is Shotley church which dates back to 1400 and is home to the naval cemetery. Or take the National Trust paths (there are two), through woodlands and along the attractive coastal path. You may even spot a cargo ship or two before they embark on their journey to ports around the world!
The area is so stunning and picturesque you will find local expert and resident photographer, Anthony Cullen, onsite at The Sunshine Store Shop and Cafe at Pin Mill to take you through your photographic paces. Select either a half or full-day's session, but either way, you certainly won't leave empty handed, as your handy work will be proof enough of a lovely visit to an unforgettable part of Suffolk.


Pin Mill on the Shotley Peninsula Suffolk coast

Pin Mill on the Shotley Peninsula © Anthony Cullen Photography

Covehithe Beach

Covehithe beach has been described as “the beach at the end of the world.” One can’t help but feel the remoteness, which is accompanied by a natural and unspoiled timeless quality – it is difficult to resist its charm.

Accessible only by foot or bike via a footpath from the church, the wild beach at Covehithe is best visited at low tide due to the ever-receding coastline which has been forced back a staggering 500 metres since 1830.

Allow time to appreciate and enjoy the unique solitude and lack of human sound. The noises you do hear are both welcoming and relaxing; from the abundant wildlife, in particular, nesting birds, and the crashing waves which fight for space on the austere shore. You can also enjoy views across to Southwold with its historic pier, discover the remains of St Andrews church or explore the beach trees; once the remains of a clifftop copse, now pop-up like a series of sculptures, dotted along the beachfront and salt-blasted by the harsh sea.

If you are looking for seclusion, a chance to escape the crowds or just need a little peace and quiet in your life, Covehithe is the perfect beach for you.


Covehithe on the Suffolk coastCovehithe beach on the Suffolk coast

Bury St Edmunds Pop-up beach

You don't have to be on the Suffolk coast to experience an actual beach! If you're lucky enough to be staying in Bury St Edmunds, you're in for a treat. Have your very own “beside the seaside” experience without having to get in your car.

The Whitsun fayre, which takes place in the town between Sunday 27th and Monday 28th May, and the Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival, held between Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August, will both see the perennially popular pop-up beach return.

The Arc shopping centre is the place to catch all the fun of the seaside. Once there, you can sunbathe on a deckchair, build a sandcastle or even watch an authentic traditional Punch and Judy – all in the middle of a landlocked town!


Pop up beach in Bury St Edmunds in SuffolkPop-up beach in Bury St Edmunds

Looking for further inspiration? Visit our other fun-filled blogs and films