Suffolk Coast

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 Southwold, on the Suffolk Coast  ( Philip Ellard/ Shutterstock)

Southwold, on the Suffolk Coast (Philip Ellard/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To The Suffolk Coast?

Suffolk's coastline rocks! OK, it's mainly shingle and a bit of sand, but why let detail get in the way of a really average gag? Just some of things you can do on the Suffolk coast that you can't do anywhere else...

  • Catch a sunrise at Britain's most easterly point, Lowestoft Ness
  • Enjoy vast skies, flat, endless beaches and a fully coastal AONB within easy reach of London
  • Swim in one of Suffolk's many meandering rivers
  • Twitch to your heart's content in some of Britain's finest coastal nature reserves
  • Walk the length of the Suffolk Coast Path, another of Britain's great journeys

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.


Tell Me More

The county named for the 'south folk' has a fantastic coastline. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is 155 square miles of unspoilt wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, and fine, mostly shingle beaches like Walberswick, Aldeburgh and a few sandy ones like Southwold. Other top spots include the wilds of Orford Ness, Minsmere and Dunwich (once a busy port, most of which is now under the sea, including its several medieval churches). Holy mackerel.

 
 

The essential journey in these parts is the Suffolk Coast Path, if you're on foot. There are two other long-distance walks, the Sandlings Walk, between Ipswich and Southwold, and the Stour and Orwell Walk, between those two estuaries. With no fewer than five rivers flowing to the sea along the Suffolk coast (the above two plus the Deben, the Alde and the Blyth) a boat adventure has to be near the top of the list - the Discover Suffolk site has some good suggestions. Unlike drivers, cyclists and walkers can take advantage of the passenger ferries crossing some of these estuaries, the one crossing the Blyth being a rowing boat.

A bit of timelapse showing off some glorious Suffolkness.

Getting To The Suffolk Coast, Maps & Guides

Getting there: About 2 hours by car or train from London.

Travel times from where you are: See the Sufolk Coast on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: The Rough Guide to Norfolk & Suffolk, the Footprint equivalent or the Bradt Slow Guide to Suffolk.

Walking route guidance: The Suffolk Coast site has a pretty comprehensive selection of routes and maps.

Tourist board: Visit Suffolk.


More Suffolk Coast Adventure Inspiration

 The Scallop at Aldeburgh beach  (Richard Bowden/Shutterstock)

The Scallop at Aldeburgh beach (Richard Bowden/Shutterstock)

For keen road cyclists, the Dunwich Dynamo is a semi-organised annual bike ride around 120 miles from Hackney, London to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB site has some good additional cycling routes and tips.

Suffolk's rivers are great for a dip - the Waveney, Stour and Little Ouse frequently feature in lists of Britain's top wild swimming spots. Find the best places on this wild swimming map.

Like almost everywhere, Suffolk has some very secret beaches, which the local tourist board would like you to know about.

Although not solely focused on Suffolk, books by the late Roger Deakin, noted environmentalist, wild swimmer and Suffolk resident all feature his home county: Wildwood, Waterlog and Notes From Walnut Tree Farm. His favourite place for a swim? The Waveney, of course.

It probably won't surprise you that there aren't many adrenalin-fuelled adventure films featuring Suffolk. It's not really that sort of place. The local tourist board's current catchphrase is "You. Unplugged." The best we've found are these rather cheesy videos, but we hope you'll agree they have a certain charm... and some enjoyably dubious dubbing.

Official tourist board video, part 1 of 4. Check out the dubbing!

Part 2 of 4: “capturing 'a sequence of moments in time', each moment showing places, history, culture, food and landscape found only in Suffolk.” Uh huh.

Part 3: Autumn!

Finally - thank God! - part 4 of 4.

Suffolk's coastline is fighting a losing battle with the sea. This BBC article on Dunwich, aka "Britain's Atlantis", sheds some light. Also from the Beeb, the Ramblings podcast includes one episode with The Times' music critic Richard Morrison discussing Benjamin Britten's Suffolk and another with writer Geoff Nicholson.

 
 
 Westleton Heath at sunrise  (Richard Bowden/Shutterstock)

Westleton Heath at sunrise (Richard Bowden/Shutterstock)

 

A post shared by Rory McDaid (@rory_mcdaid) on

 
It is no surprise that many visitors often feel disappointed when they come to see Ness Point
— Ness-Point.co.uk, the official Ness Point Website

What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.


Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).