We list the best things to do on the Suffolk Coast
With the weather warming up our thoughts are turning to seaside escapades. One of the best things about our region’s fine stretch of coastline is that it doesn’t have to be scorching hot to be enjoyed.
We live in England after all, so day dreams of long lazy days baking in the sunshine with the sea lapping at our toes, have to be somewhat managed. Thankfully, the Suffolk Coast, which spans 50 miles and is named as an area of natural outstanding beauty, has plenty to offer even if the sunshine doesn’t quite break through the clouds.
If you’re planning a visit, read our top picks of things to see and do:
Things to do in Southwold
The sandy shores of Southwold are great for a family day out. Famed for its beach-hut lined promenade, pier, thriving town and the Adnams Brewery, there’s plenty to do throughout the day. Once the kids tire of sandcastle building, head to the pier for traditional amusement games or stop for a bite to eat with sea views. Southwold’s landmark lighthouse is available for tours and from May to September the Southwold Summer Theatre runs a series of shows. COVID restrictions may apply so please call ahead before visiting.
For a more sophisticated approach to seaside fun, visit Aldeburgh. The town is famous for its connection to with Benjamin Britten, the founder of the Aldeburgh Festival. The festival takes place in June, however due to COVID this year see’s a scaled back version with special events as part of the summer programme that is recognisably connected to the ethos of the Aldeburgh Festival, with a focus on Britten’s music, new work and commissions.
Music and history are iconic of Aldeburgh with plenty of opportunities to learn about the town’s past. Visit Snape Maltings; set on the river it houses a music venue, gallery, antiques, small boutiques and River View Cafe. Stroll through the high street and shop independent boutiques housed in beautiful historic buildings, learn more about the life of Benjamin Britten at The Red House, visit the Martello Tower or watch a film at the Aldeburgh cinema, which has been screening movies since 1919! Much of the auditorium retains original features, including a number of beautiful art deco lights.
A visit to Aldeburgh wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Scallop. Wander north along the pebbly beach and you’ll discover the steel shaped shell designed by celebrated Suffolk-born Maggi Hambling.
When hunger calls stop by the renowned Aldeburgh fish and chip shop, or tuck into local produce which has been given a French twist at the Brasserie Bleue Restaurant at the White Lion Hotel. For an overnight stay and some of the best fish dishes around, check-in to the Brudenell Hotel.
Walks in Dunwich
Known for its eerie past and windswept dunes, Dunwich is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle. Lose yourself in its mystical wilderness and walk for miles along the beach taking in the landscape or learn about the history of a city that was lost to the sea at the Museum. It’s a great location for walking the dog, finished with lunch at the dog-friendly, The Ship at Dunwich.
Boat trips on the Suffolk Coast
What better way to see the region than from the water? Dotted along the coast you’ll find a number of boat trips and tours. Waveney River Tours along the River Alde; taking in Snape Maltings and the Oulton Broad. A trip to Beccles also provides the opportunity to cool off at the Lido or if you’d rather take things into your hands, hire a canoe, kayak or day boat and enjoy an adventure on the calm waters.
From April to October, Orwell Lady cruises up and down the River Orwell. It’s a fantastic chance to take in the stunning sights while indulging in a spot of afternoon tea.
Wilderness and walking in Suffolk
With its marshes, sand dunes and coastal paths, the Suffolk coast features hundreds of footpaths. Some are ideal for dog walks, other best for bird watching and cycling. Your hardest decision will be choosing which route to take. However, help is at hand with the Suffolk Walking Festival, which takes place May to June.
Where to stay in Suffolk
The Suffolk Coast goes above and beyond when it comes to accommodation. There’s something to suit all requirements and budgets from B&Bs and hotels to camping and caravans.
Self catering accommodation in Suffolk
If you prefer to take a weekend break at your own pace and enjoy self-catering accommodation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Among our favourites are the cosy cottages available for hire at Suffolk Secrets to much more extravagant sleek and minimalist homes for rental such as Reydon Grove Farm in Southwold. The swanky, Scandinavian chic three-bedroom home, is just a mile from the beach but nods to Copenhagen everywhere, from its panoramic glass floor-to-ceiling windows, to quirky, light filled interiors. Situated on a working farm surrounded by marshes, it’s great for a family holiday.
Luxury breaks in Suffolk
For an escape like no other, where you’ll feel as though you’re the only person in the world, book a break at The Found; a luxury self-catering Martello tower set on the shores, a short distance from Woodbridge. This indulgent accommodation is a hidden gem. Featuring three double bedrooms, a circular snug area, fire place, spiral staircase, floor to ceiling windows providing 360 degree views and roof terrace complete with fire pit and Moroccan style seating so you can kick back and watch the star’s twinkle – it really is like a little piece of heaven has landed in Suffolk! You can even book an in-house chef. To live like royalty in a tower prices start from £1,800 for three nights and can be booked at Unique Home Stays.