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Explore beaches in Suffolk

A GUIDE TO SUFFOLK BEACHES

Whether you prefer lonely walks along the shore or building sandcastles with one hand while ice cream drips all over the other, you’ll find a Suffolk beach that you love. Here’s a run-down of Suffolk’s best spots, from hidden gems to traditional seaside favourites, and spanning the breadth of the Suffolk coast, we give you all the inspiration to start planning your next coastal vacation.
Aldeburgh Beach and Maggi Hambling ScallopAldeburgh Beach and Maggi Hambling's infamous The Scallop

Secret beaches

shingle street

If you’re looking to beat the crowds this summer, we have just the beach for you. Just 10 miles east of Woodbridge, is the peaceful coastal hamlet of Shingle Street, on the Suffolk coast. Ironically, there are no street names of any kind, and it has one or two hidden secrets of its own; namely a rumour from the Second World War of an attempted invasion of 3,000 German soldiers, who were allegedly killed by in firefight on this very beach. If that doesn’t put you off, then you’re in for a big treat.

sizewell beach

Sizewell Beach isn’t your typical, traditional seaside spot, some might say, but it’s definitely up there with the most impactful. Magnificent structures make up its back-drop with its infamous white dome, now a redundant power station. And looking out to sea, off-shore rigs proudly stand, where nesting kittiwakes make it their home. Popular for bird-watchers and dog-lovers alike, you’ll never be alone ambling along the dunes and shingles of this much-preserved beach.

Sizewell beach on the Suffolk coastThe majestic views from Sizewell Beach

ORFORDNESS

Mysterious, wild, isolated… These are all words that could describe Orfordness. Instantly recognisable thanks to its abandoned lighthouse which will soon disappear into the hungry sea, Orfordness was once a secretive military base. Now a National Nature Reserve, many rumours still surround Orfordness’ strange past including tales of a covered-up Nazi landing, and an infamous UFO sighting. We recommend going to find out the truth for yourself on this most unusual of Suffolk beaches…

COVEHITHE BEACH

Voted one of Britain's best 40 beaches by The Telegraph, Covehithe is located just a few miles south of Lowestoft and is possibly the wildest and most beautiful of Suffolk beaches. Driftwood forms beautiful shapes protruding from the sand, while Covehithe’s unique church inside a church adds an element of the surreal to this Suffolk beach.
Covehithe on the Suffolk coastThe wonders of Covehithe

Family favourites

Lowestoft

Fun in the sun is the name of the game on Lowestoft’s Blue Flag beach. Wide golden sands, volleyball nets and a traditional pier full of arcade games, restaurants and even a roller skating rink make Lowestoft the place to be if you’ve got a young family in tow.
Lowestoft pier and promenadeFamily fun at Lowestoft

SOUTHWOLD BEACH

Charming Southwold is an eternal favourite with Suffolk visitors and residents alike. Lined with picture-perfect beach huts and the odd beach café selling bacon sarnies, tea and ice cream, and just a stones throw from some fantastic shops, pubs and restaurants, Southwold beach is an undisputed classic. Don’t miss out on a visit to Southwold Pier while you’re there.
Southwold Pier on the Suffolk coastQuirky Southwold Pier. Photo (c) Gill Moon Photography

FELIXSTOWE

Felixstowe is full of exciting activities for the kids, mum and dad, even grandma and granddad! Windsurfing, golf (crazy and sane!), open-air theatre performances, bird-ringing demonstrations, nature trails, historical re-enactments, arcade games on the pier and exploring a 16th century fort are just some of the things you can do in Felixstowe, and that’s before you even reach the beach! Once there, you’ll be ready as anything to settle down with an ice cream.

THORPENESS BEACH

The quirky village of Thorpeness already has a lot to offer as a day trip destination, including the Peter Pan-inspired boating mere, mock Tudor buildings, a house floating above the clouds and an acclaimed golf course. The lovely shingle beach simply adds to the magic. Look out for the futuristic Dune House, created by renowned Norwegian architects Jarmund/Vigsnæs and Living Architecture.

More than a beach

WALBERSWICK BEACH

The unofficial crabbing capital of the UK, Walberswick beach is the place to go to indulge in this quintessential summer sport (Walberswick held the Annual Crabbing Championships until 2010, when it had to be shut down because it was too popular). Walberswick is also a great starting point to explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Walberswick on the Suffolk coastThe distinctive black huts at Walberswick

DUNWICH BEACH

Dunwich beach and the surrounding heath and woodland are one of the most precious Suffolk beaches, home to a plethora of rare plants and wildlife. Dunwich is also a fascinating place historically – look out to sea from the beach and you’re staring at the watery resting place of what was once a city larger than London!
Dunwich heath (c) Malcolm FarrowDunwich Heath is a kalaedoscope of colour, offering great opporunities for beach to heath walks. Photo (c) Malcolm Farrow

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SUFFOLK BEACH?

If you have a favourite Suffolk beach, why not take a photo of it and send it to us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?