Breathe in the fresh sea air of the tranquil Suffolk coast, walk on unspoiled sand where the kids can build sandcastles, play cricket, have a picnic, walk the dog, look for bird life and paddle in the shallow surf. You’ll find expanses of honeyed beaches backed by marram and dunes. Or lay back and relax and watch the scanty clouds skipping across the big blue sky. Pass the suncream!
Southwold Pier Beach
You might think Southwold was set in aspic in 1953; it’s like going back to a quieter, slower pace of life in an unspoilt traditional seaside town. If you tire of paddling or frolicking in the briny (as if!), take a walk along the 250m long pier and play the quirky amusements at The Under The Pier Show.
Southwold Denes Beach
Backed by low dunes and marshland, find this sandy beach at the River Blyth harbour’s mouth. There’s a large car park by the lifeboat station and a smaller one by the Gun Hill beach cafe. If you have time, peruse the fish shacks (the Sole Bay Fish Co is excellent) and cafes on the riverside. Or take the foot ferry over to Walberswick.
Previously the home of the world crabbing championships, you’ll still see families on the bridges over the Dunwich River trying their arm with a bucket, net and line. Dunes that are perfect for shelter and picnics protect the sandy beach and there’s a large car park. The village itself is charming with two excellent pubs, The Bell and Anchor, and you can stretch your legs with a walk through the marshy nature reserve.
Lowestoft South Beach
Otherwise known as Victoria Beach, this is the most easterly point in the country so, of course, this is the Sunrise Coast with its own free Summer festival. There’s amusements at South Pier and Claremont Pier plus lots of cafes and kiosks.
Suffolk’s secret beach, reached down a single lane where there’s a little parking by St Andrew’s Church – as you’ll see it’s a church within a church! Driftwood forms beautiful shapes protruding from the sand near the lagoon. Take a little walk north and enjoy Benacre National Nature Reserve and Broad.
Felixstowe South Beach
There’s lots to do here, south of the pier, besides the sandy beach, including crazy golf, amusements, café, ice cream kiosks, the 16th century Landguard Fort, children’s playground, and promenade.
The beach north of the pier is mostly pebble and shingle but there’s a beach hut, lovely Seafront Gardens and the swimming here is excellent.
Pebbled and rustic, strewn with patches of marram grass and the ideal place for a dog walk or a spot of kite flying on a windy day. You might even spot a seal on the shore. The pretty beach huts which line the promenade are privately owned, but some are available to hire, should you wish to enjoy a taste of Suffolk seaside life!
Long, wide, unspoilt and never busy, this beach was saved by writer Henry Rider Haggard, author of King Solomon’s Mines and other Africa-based books, who planted marram grass to protect it. Appropriately, Kessingland is also home to wildlife park Africa Alive!
Not so sandy, but two more not to miss…
Buy an ice cream, take a walk along the prom and peruse the fish shacks and the wares of the fishermen whose boats have been hauled up on to the shingle. If you fancy a walk head north to Maggi Hambling’s Scallop.
Sit on the shingle and just imagine that a few hundred years ago in front of you would have been one of the largest medieval ports in all of England. Wow! Two disastrous storms took it to the bottom of the sea, and all that’s now left is the remains of Greyfriars Priory. You can see a diorama of how it was in Dunwich Museum on St James Street. Then head to The Ship Inn for a tipple.