by John | Aug 31, 2013 |

Beaches on the Suffolk Coast - South & Central Suffolk

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The Suffolk Coast is a diverse and breath-taking stretch of coastline, comprising sand and shingle beaches. It runs from the beach gardens of Felixstowe, through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that encompasses both wild and manicured beaches, sand dunes and beach huts, piers and promenades, to the Sunrise Coast of Lowestoft and Southwold. Further North you will find even more stretches of golden, blue-flag beaches, backed by grassy cliffs, all the way up to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

The English love of the beach dates back to the 19th century, when people began to seek the healthy benefits of sea air.

Nowadays, whether it be for crabbing, wind surfing, sun bathing, dog walking, or swimming, Suffolk’s coastline continues to attract innumerable visitors every year seeking the beautiful views and pretty seaside towns.


With award-winning fish and chips, clean water and traditional seaside amusements, towns such as Southwold and Aldeburgh make for a lovely day out, whilst the wild beaches of Orford and Covehithe, quiet gems on the Suffolk coast, are perfect for dog walking.

And the still crisp air in Winter means that the beach isn’t just a place to visit in the summer sun. There’s nothing more refreshing than a stroll along Dunwich’s shingle or Kessingland’s marshland, wrapped up in your winter woollies.

Here we give you a run-through of some of the wonderful beaches the Suffolk coast has to offer, near to Woodbridge.


There’s something for everyone!


South Suffolk

Felixstowe


The beach at Felixstowe, a former favourite of Edwardian society, is a sand and shingle beach, complete with beach huts, an old pier and traditional amusements. You will also find a series of beautiful sea front gardens lining the shores here.

 

 It received the top award in the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide in 2010 for its excellent standards of water quality.

The large, rock groynes that run down the north beach are a picturesque feature, juxtaposed with the distant views, to the right, of the cranes of Britain's largest container port.

The view out to sea over the boulders is particularly lovely as the setting sun hangs low in the sky in the evening.


Recommended: North Beach

Distance: 13.7 miles to Woodbridge







Things to do nearby: Landguard Fort - Originally built at the behest of Henry the Eighth, this fort in Felixstowe is the only fort in England to have repelled a full scale invasion attempt. At the mouth of the River Orwell, Landguard Fort was designed to guard the entrance to Harwich

How to get there:

For the North Beach:

IP11 2AQ
The beach is adjacent to the town; take the A12 / A14 to Felixstowe. Parking is alongside the promenade.

For more information on the north beach, see here.

For the South Beach:

IP11 2DF
The beach is adjacent to the town; take the A12 / A14 to Felixstowe and follow the brown signs. Parking is alongside the promenade.

For more information on the south beach, see here.


Orford Ness

The coastline at Orford comprises a shingle spit, and is backed by marshland. This wild beach runs along the coast from Aldeburgh to North Weir Point.

The marshland site is protected and managed by the National Trust and the RSPB, and is home to several species of bird, including the iconic Avocet.

The shingle of the spit, meanwhile, is home to several species of rare insects and beetles. Find out more about birdwatching on the Suffolk Coast here.

The red and white stripes of the Orford Ness lighthouse are a striking feature on this quiet piece of coast.


Interesting Facts:

 For most of the 20th century the military used the Island for top secret experiments on a vast range of weapons. Intensively used as a bombing and rocket range, dangerous debris, including bombs, still remains.

Read about 'The Great Shingle Bank’ here.


Distance: 11.6 Aldeburgh; 12.4 miles Woodbridge; 14.8 miles Framlingham

How to get there:

Access is only on the National Trust ferry from Orford Quay on open days. See here for more information.

If you're looking to stay in Orford, take a look at Daphne Cottage or Quay View. Alternatively, see here for a whole list of lovely, self-catered cottages in the area.


Central Suffolk

Aldeburgh

 

The beach at Aldeburgh runs from the Martello Tower northwards to the controversial scallop sculpture (by Maggie Hambling). The shingle beach is dotted with fishing boats, and lined with colourful sea front houses, giving the seaside town a delightful, shabby-chic aesthetic.

To see Aldeburgh at its most energetic, head to the annual carnival, which is held on the bank holiday weekend in August. It sees dozens of homemade floats take to the high street, followed by a lantern procession later in the evening and a firework display on the beach at night.

When the mist sets in through the quieter Autumnal and Winter months, Aldeburgh retains a ghostly charm. Dogs are allowed on the beach outside of the summer months; there is a mile of wonderful, dog-friendly beach just to the north of the town, which is well signposted.

There is a series of cafes and restaurants in Aldeburgh, as well as a boating pond, and famous fish and chip takeaways!


Distance: Orford 11.4 miles; Woodbridge 17.9; Framlingham 13.9

How to get there:

IP15 5BD

Aldeburgh is signposted down the A1094, off the A12 North of Norwich.
See here for more information.

Looking to stay in Aldeburgh? Sea Horse Cottage, and 5 Coastguard Cottages are just two of many lovely self-catered holiday properties available in the seaside town. See here for more!


Thorpeness

A little further north (about  1½ miles) up the coast from Aldeburgh is the steeply shelving shingle of Thorpeness beach.



Thorpeness is quieter than its popular neighbour, Aldeburgh, and the two are an easy cycle ride or seaside walk from one another.

If you keep heading north, you will find Sizewell beach, which has no restrictions on dogs all year round.

Things to do nearby: Head to the meare, take out a paddle boat or kayak, and go for a row on the calm waters.


Distance: 2.1 miles to Aldeburgh; 12 miles to Orford; 17 miles to Woodbridge

If you're keen to stay in the delightful village of Thorpeness, see The Boat House, a fantastic sleeps 6 family property right on the beach, or The Courthouse, a majestic, stylish, sleeps 8 property set within Ogilvie Hall!


For the full article, covering the whole Suffolk Coast, see here.

By Liz Ewing

Remember to keep up to date with all of our articles as we post them by following us on Twitter @VisitSuffolk, or by liking the Suffolk Cottage Holidays facebook page!



 


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