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Explore The Suffolk Coast, Naturally

Walking and cycling are great ways to explore The Suffolk Coast, its seaside towns, and unspoilt inland villages and market towns. As a designated National Landscape, it’s abundant with nature reserves, amazing wildlife, estuaries and rivers and is the gateway to the Broads National Park.

Seaside Southwold has a Victorian Pier and iconic lighthouse.

The River Blyth and estuary empty to the sea at Southwold, one of the best-loved, unspoilt seaside towns in the country with its iconic brewery and lighthouse.

There’s two good beaches and a Victorian Pier with the quirkiest amusement arcade you’ll come along, but don’t miss Blackshore Harbour where you’ll find great fish shacks and eateries.

Walberswick Beach

Explore the marram grass and wetlands around Walberswick.

From here you could take the bridge over the Blyth or the rowing boat ferry to Walberswick, with its own sandy beach and excellent crabbing in the Dunwich River, and then head across the marsh boardwalks to Dunwich itself, a tiny village now but once one of the biggest medieval ports in England – discover the story in the small museum. You’re now in the Suffolk and Essex Coast and Heaths National Landscape with its premier league nature reserve RSPB Minsmere.

The large sandy beach at Lowestoft has lots of restaurants, eateries, attractions and amusements.

At the northern point of the 50 miles of coast you will find Lowestoft; boasting a wide, sandy beach, it’s perfect for families looking to enjoy a stay by the sea, with the wilder beaches of Pakefield and Kessingland offering a more rustic experience. Lowestoft is also home to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Sir David Attenborough-endorsed Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve which had a £4m investment in the 1000 acres of wildness allowing nature to take over again.

Hire a boat and float through Beccles on the River Waveney.

Travelling inland slightly, the Waveney Valley runs through the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Waveney Valley. Meandering around the picturesque streets, you will find each of the Waveney Valley’s unique market towns, including Beccles, Halesworth and Bungay; brimming with individual shops, intriguing heritage, culture and award-winning food and drinks producers.

Take a rowing boat out on the Mere at Thorpeness, a quirky mock-Tudor Edwardian resort village, have a picnic on one of the Peter Pan-inspired islands and stare up at the House in the Clouds.

Aldeburgh is renowned for its fish, seafood – and fish and chips.

From here you’re in Aldeburgh, with a High Street of eclectic shops, pubs and restaurants and excellent fish and chip shops. Stroll along the prom by the shingle beach where fishermen have hauled up their boats.

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings has a range of shops and eateries, and hosts the famous Aldeburgh Music Festival.

Nearby Snape Maltings is home to the renowned Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts, the region’s best food and drink festival in September, and boutique shops and eateries. A few miles away, Framlingham has a classic castle of high crenelated walls. You might know it from Ed Sheeran’s hit ‘Castle on the Hill’.

Walk in Ed Sheeran’s footsteps in Suffolk

Orford Castle

Orford Castle is one of the many highlights of the village.

Orford on the river Alde is a small fishing village that has a small 12th century castle and an unexpected bounty of fish and shellfish delights. Across the river Alde is the National Trust-owned nature reserve Orford Ness, the largest shingle spit in Europe.

Enjoying the fresh seaside air on Felixstowe seafront.

A little south across the river Deben is Felixstowe, whose promenade, seafront gardens and 16th century Landguard Fort make it a favourite for families. Inland the Deben takes you to the lovely waterside town of Woodbridge. Voted one of the top foodie destinations in the UK by Country Living it also has lots of independent shops, good pubs and the landmark Tide Mill.

Sutton Hoo replica King's helmet and shoulder clasps, Sutton Hoo

A replica of the Anglo Saxon king’s helmet at Sutton Hoo.

Nearby is the National Trust Sutton Hoo, the burial site of Raedwald, 7th century Anglo Saxon ruler of East Anglia, and focus of the Ralph Fiennes’ Netflix movie The Dig.

The story behind the filming of The Dig

First Light Festival at Lowestoft.

There’s also wide range of festivals taking place on the coast throughout the year, including arts, photography, walking, sport, music, food and drink.

The East Suffolk Lines with connecting public transport services make it easy to get around and reaches the coast at Lowestoft and Felixstowe train from Ipswich. Lowestoft can also be reached by train from Norwich. Bookable bus service Katch connects the East Suffolk Line at Wickham Market with Framlingham, Parham, Hacheston and Wickham Market, Tunstall and Snape. The service runs Monday to Saturday and Bank Holidays.

See the wider Greater Anglia route map here.

The Suffolk Coast – the holiday guide to the Suffolk Coast