Here are some amazing places around the Suffolk coastal area that we recommend a visit to. Please click on the place name to find out more information.
Aldeburgh is a wonderfully traditional seaside town on the Suffolk Coast with pastel-coloured 19th century villas lining the promenade and local fishermen selling their produce from their fishing huts on the pebble-strewn beach to the east.
The busy high street has an excellent range of independent and well-known high street boutique clothes shops, art galleries, antique stores and bookshops as well as an independent cinema. Home to reputably the best fish and chip shop in the country, there is also an excellent choice of restaurants, pubs and cafes for visitors wishing to dine out; as well an award winning delicatessen and a variety of independent shops selling local produce and many take-aways for those preferring to eat in the comfort of the holiday home.
Home and birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten, Aldeburgh has a wonderful classical music festival- founded by the composer- at nearby Snape Maltings, with fringe events taking place in locations throughout the town. Annual Literary and poetry festivals, a colourful and exciting carnival as well as Maggi Hambling’s Scallop on the beach and historic buildings such as the 400 year old Moot Hall, the Norman Church and Martello tower (which have survived the changes time) are all wonderful to see and provide an interesting aspect to this seaside town.
Aldeburgh caters for all ages, from boutique shopping, ice cream on the sea front, to sailing toy boasts on the boating lake, there is truly something for everyone.
DUNWICH is an area as steeped in history, known as the lost city of England, this tiny village certainly has a story to tell.
Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, Dunwich once stood proud as the capital of the Kingdom of the Eastern Angles, at its mightiest matching 14th century London for size. It was a seat of power for the Anglo-Saxon bishops for centuries, an international port, and the Domesday book of 1086 puts the population at over 3000.
Dunwich Museum is the perfect history experience for all the family. It tells the amazing story of a city lost to the sea through the narrative of its collection and the knowledge of its welcoming staff. The Dunwich story spans the first millennium to the present day. A detailed model shows you what Dunwich was like at the height of its powers in the 13th Century, and the many exhibits cover Roman, Saxon, Medieval, Elizabethan, Jacobean Georgian and Victorian periods.
Dunwich is part of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you love nothing more than a long walk beside the sea, a brisk stroll before lunch, cycling along quiet lanes, sailing iconic estuaries, or spending hours quietly watching some of the UK’s rarest wildlife, the beautiful landscape of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB has it all.
The Ship at Dunwich offers views across the marshes and sea, whilst you enjoy a delicious meal of local Suffolk produce and ales. It’s dog-friendly too so after a long walk with your pooch you can both enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation.
Just a short drive from Dunwich you will find RSPB Minsmere. Here you can spend a day spotting some the UKs rarest birds and wildlife including the Avocet, Bittern, Otter and Red Deer.
Framlingham is and ancient market town nestled in the Suffolk countryside and is a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike. So much so that it was voted ‘the best place to live in the country’ by Country Life magazine in 2006!
Framlingham is the perfect town for a stroll, shop and glimpse of history – there’s even a Town Trail marking all the primary sites of historic interest. Market Hill is the Town’s centre and still hosts markets on Saturday and Tuesday offering great local produce together with trinkets and collectibles. There are excellent shops too, for gifts, food, fashions and antiques and mouth-watering selection of cafés, tea shops, pubs and restaurants.
You can’t visit Framlingham without taking in its magnificent late 12th-century castle. It is surrounded by parkland and estates and was once at the centre of a vast network of power and influence. The castle is a great place for young and old to explore – a historic treat not to be missed.
Surrounding the Castle is The Mere, a natural haven full of wildlife and popular with walkers, where dogs are allowed. The Mere is property of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and contains nearly 300 species of plants and 80 species of birds. It lives up to its name, though – Mere means ‘lake’ – so remember your wellies if you’re going to walk its banks during winter months.
Orford is one of the prettiest villages on the Suffolk Coast and a true historical gem. From its castle, pretty cottages and welcoming pubs to the picturesque quay offering river cruises and the home of Pinney’s delicious smoked fish and the Pump Street bakery, it’s an ideal place to while away a happy day or two.
Orford Castle soars over the town, with views over Orford Ness, and home to the village museum is the Castle. Built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II to consolidate Royal power in the region, the well-preserved keep stands amongst the earth-covered works of the outer fortification.
Orford Ness Nature Reserve is a ten mile long shingle spit, with marsh, lagoons and waterways, Orford Ness Nature Reserve was the haunt of smugglers in the 1800’s, and later became a Ministry of Defence Atomic Weapons Research Centre. Orford Ness has a long history of experimental work much of which is still top secret today. Britain’s first atomic weapon, Blue Danube, was developed and tested in the ‘pagodas’ which dominate the coastline. The skeletal remains of other buildings used during the two world wars and the Cold War are still scattered across the shingle.
Orford Church is a Grade I Listed St Bartholomews Church, built in the 14th century, with 12th century remains attached, has been voted one of the best churches in the UK and has stunning acoustics.
Snape has a history that spans back over 2,000 years. In this time it’s been a Roman settlement, an Anglo-Saxon burial site, a priory, a Victorian maltings, and from 1937 -1947 the favourite home place of Benjamin Britten, one of the most celebrated British composers in history.
Snape Maltings is home to the Aldeburgh Festival founded by composer Benjamin Britten in 1948. Aside from the well-known June festival, this venue also plays host to many concerts, workshops and performances of dance and literature throughout the year. Aldeburgh music has become established as a centre for talented young musicians from all over the world and remains a world-renowned cultural mecca.
The Snape Maltings complex houses art galleries, restaurants, cafés, shops and stunning holiday cottages inside an intricate network of beautiful brick buildings. Unsurprisingly, it’s a favourite place for visitors and locals alike.
The River Alde at the Maltings is a haven for birdlife with its expansive estuary. Being tidal it’s a place of glistening mud and shallow open water, filled twice a day by the incoming tide and rich in wildlife during migrating months.
Southwold offers a wonderful environment for holidays and weekends away, as well as a thriving market town atmosphere and its sandy beach and beach hut-lined promenade,
Situated just off the A12 between Aldeburgh and Lowestoft, Southwold is the perfect destination for young and old, families and couples. Whether it’s relaxation or exhilaration you’re after from your break away, this picturesque seaside town is the perfect year-round destination. Food and drink are an integral part of the Southwold experience.
Southwold is home to the Adnams Brewery, winner of The Good Pub Guide 2011’s ‘Brewery of the Year’. The brewery itself is very much the focal point of the town with its brewing rooms set just behind the High Street and adjacent to the town’s lighthouse. Brewery tours are on offer throughout the year, and there is no shortage of pubs and restaurants at which to sample the variety of Adnams beers on offer. More recently they have added a distillery, which as well as the wine shop, guarantees your favourite ‘tipple’ will be available.
Yet another focal point of the town’s landscape, Southwold Pier was refurbished in 2005, the pretty pier offers a range of shops, eating places and amusements, from traditional two penny pushers to Tim Hunkin’s eccentric inventions. Don’t miss out on the famous Water Clock which causes a snigger every 30 minutes!
The lighthouse at Southwold has been an important landmark for years, a coastal mark for passing shipping that guides vessels info Southwold Harbour. The tour lasts 20 minutes. Opening subject to weather conditions and Trinity House’s operational requirements.
Thorpeness is a small village dominated by the Mere, which is popular all year round and bears witness to the village’s fantastical past. In 1910 Stuart Ogilvie bought the hamlet and set to transform it into a private fantasy holiday village. Today the village is just how Ogilvie envisaged it with pretty mock Tudor houses and the fairy-tale ‘House in the Clouds’
The Meare is an artificially created boating lake with landings marked with names on a Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands contain locations found in J M Barrie’s novel including ‘The Pirate’s Lair’ and ‘Wendy’s Island’. The lake is open for row boat hire from Spring through to the end of Summer.
Regarded as one of the finest golf courses in Suffolk, Thorpeness Golf Club has a classic 18 hole, par 70 golf course which is just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
Situated in the heart of Thorpeness, The Emporium is a vintage antiques and collectibles market of stalls, tables and cabinets. Showcased here is everything from jewellery to homewares and furniture to pictures, clothes, glassware and so much more.
As well as having unique man-made features, Thorpeness is surrounded by glorious countryside which is a mixture of heathland, and forest. There is an abundance of wildlife to admire and landscapes to explore; excellent for walking, cycling and birdwatching.
Walberswick is quieter than the neighbouring town of Southwold, this pretty seaside village is the perfect place for a bucket and spade holiday, followed by a hearty pub lunch or cream tea or a quiet, romantic break during the winter months.
The village also has a long sand and shingle beach backed by grassy dunes and surrounded by marsh and heathland. The nature reserve, which follows the River Blyth estuary, covers over 1,000 acres, combining mudflats, meadows and marsh. It is home to otters, deer and a wide range of bird species. Considering its size, the village has long attracted celebrities. Philip Wilson Steer and his circle of English Impressionists fell in love with the landscape, as did Charles Rennie Mackintosh and many resident artists today.
Walberswick is the self-appointed capital of crabbing: the World Open Championships are held here every August, when the village is packed full of hopefuls bearing crab lines dangling bacon. Alternatively, you can just take along a bucket and a net for fun and spend a lazy day waiting for a bite (or in this case a nip!)
The Nature Reserve, which follows the River Blyth estuary, covers over 1,000 acres, combining mudflats, meadows and marsh. It is home to otters, deer and a wide range of bird species.
You can see neighbouring Southwold over the river, and reach it by walking along the riverbank and across the Bailey Bridge. Alternatively, hop aboard the foot ferry that operates during the summer months.
Woodbridge combines excellent shops with superb pubs and restaurants and numerous activities both indoors and out. On the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Woodbridge is the perfect base from which to explore the Suffolk Coast and its many tourist attractions.
The River Walk and Tide Mill was voted the most loved element of Woodbridge by its residents. Many love to enjoy a coffee on the Quayside, stroll along the riverside paths admiring the iconic working Tide Mill.
Covering every type of item from DIY and craft supplies to wool shops, outdoor clothing, boutiques, deli’s cook shops, tailors, and even a violin shop (almost as iconic as Tide Mill). You are spoilt for choice when it comes to great food in Woodbridge.
Frequent markets are held on the Market Hill in the shadow of the beautiful Shire Hall. Seasonal food markets, (look out for locally grown asparagus) vintage markets, craft markets and many more supplement the local shopping scene throughout the year and give the local producers an opportunity to meet customers and show off their wares.
National Trust Sutton Hoo is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Walk around the ancient burial mounds and discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions. Come face to face with your ancestors and explore the award-winning exhibition, the full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber, stunning replica treasures and original finds from one of the mounds, including a prince’s sword.