Unmissable beaches on the coast of Suffolk

Beaches, Coastal, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 19th May 2022

Ness Point at sunrise

Thinking about a beach holiday in wonderful Suffolk? This sleepy county is secretly a tourist trap with lots to boast about, including some gorgeous Suffolk beaches. 

Despite its unassuming atmosphere, this peaceful part of the UK can be associated with the likes of George Orwell, Harry Potter and Ed Sheeran. The Shakespearean actor, Ralph Fiennes, was born here and Charles Dickens used it as a setting for his novel: The Pickwick Papers.

Suffolk is home to some of the best award-winning, blue flag beaches in the UK and contains spectacular landscapes of the Suffolk Heritage Coast. Read on to find your favourite seaside spot or start browsing our coastal cottages in Suffolk to find a wonderful holiday escape. 

Suffolk retreats by the sea

Lowestoft Beach

Lowestoft Beach

Sun, sea and sand. A classic British beach reminiscent of old black and white films perfect for discovering the delights of the seaside; Lowestoft boasts one of the best Suffolk beaches. 

Stroll down the promenade and breathe in the salty sea air. Bury your toes in the soft sand or run and play in the meadows that extend behind the beach.

A wide stretch of sand is ideal for building sandcastles or digging up a moat down to the lapping waves. The flatness of the landscape extends into the ocean meaning the waters are shallow, an exemplary space for paddling in the cool water or floating on top while the ocean current gently carries you up and down.

Scoff a picnic on the golden sands or sit down at one of the cafes or restaurants for a lazy lunch.

From here, you could visit Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park or head to the furthest point east in the UK: Ness Point.

Dogs: Restrictions in place from 1 May to 30 September.

Lifeguards: On South Beach between May and September.

Local info: Public car parks at the top of the promenade; toilets and refreshments available in season.

Stay nearby: Golden Rise Cottage, Lowestoft | sleeps 6 + 3 dogs

Lowestoft cottages

Southwold Pier Beach

Southwold Pier Beach

The Southwold Pier has become an iconic landmark of the region and is an essential stop on your tour of great Suffolk beaches. On the tip of the pier, you’ll find a cheeky water clock built back in 1998 by a man looking to put a little childhood fun back into a trip to the Suffolk coast beaches. Watch this video to see it in action or visit it yourself.

Glistening sand stretches for miles and miles, so ensure you bring a bucket and spade so you can get creative with sand sculptures. Perhaps build a boat from the sand for the little ones so they can let their imagination take them sailing on the open ocean, riding giant waves and discovering treasure islands.

Traditional beach huts line the shore in a variety of fantastic colours acting as a wonderful backdrop. Spot the bright white lighthouse that towers up behind the beach. Enjoy a traditional day out at one of the best sandy beaches in Suffolk. 

Dogs: Restrictions between 1 April and 30 September, but the area of beach south of the pier, past Gun Hill, is dog-friendly all year. Dogs are also allowed on the pier all year round on a lead.

Lifeguards: Between July and September.

Local info: Pay and display parking and public toilets by the pier (parking is free after 6 pm); food and drink available on the pier. More facilities in Southwold town, around 1 mile away.

Stay nearby: Hightide, Southwold | sleeps 9

Southwold cottages

Walberswick Beach

Walberswick Beach

Across a skinny estuary from Southwold, find the stunning stretch of sand belonging to Walberswick.

Benefitting from the same gorgeous location and scenery, it has one thing that Southwold is missing: a bit of peace and quiet. As there are so many exciting attractions on Southwold, fewer people venture along to this sandy shoreline ensuring the atmosphere remains relatively serene.

Gather around a BBQ to savour a batch of toasted marshmallows while watching the sun sink below the horizon. The sea is shallow, the beach is dog-friendly and it’s also one of the best beaches in Suffolk to go crabbing with little ones – a perfect place for the whole family.

Dogs: Welcome all year round; there’s a great dog-friendly pub nearby too.

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: Pay and display parking by the beach or in the village. Pubs, cafes, toilets and shops in the village.

Stay nearby: 1 Millstones | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Walberswick cottages

Aldeburgh Beach

Aldeburgh Beach

One of the most iconic Suffolk coast beaches, heritage is embedded in this cultural town and that influence extends onto the shingle shore. Scattered along the seafront you’ll stumble upon intricate architecture from design periods lost in history including the 400-year-old Moot Hall, a Martello tower and a Norman church.

Famous composer, Benjamin Britten, once made his home here and Aldeburgh now runs an annual festival for classical music dedicated to this master. The region is also known for its Poetry Festival and regular food festivals where you can taste Aldeburgh’s award-winning fish and chips.

A prodigious sculpture called The Scallop has become emblematic of Suffolk’s cultural heritage and can be found down at this beach in Suffolk as a monument to Benjamin Britten’s great work.

Dogs: Restrictions between 1 May and 30 September.

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: Public parking, public toilets, plenty of places to eat and drink.

Stay nearby: Shoreline | sleeps 2

Aldeburgh cottages

Great British Coast

Felixstowe North and South Beaches

Felixstowe North and South Beaches

Did you know George Orwell was in fact named Eric Arthur Blair? An understated name for such a prolific writer.

It’s no surprise that the 1984 author took his pen name from the sparkling river running through this incredible region. The mouth of the River Orwell comes out below South Felixstowe Beach where docking containers journey in and out.

A traditional Edwardian resort with ancient architecture and fabulous attractions, explore the ever-popular Felixstowe Pier to bowl a few rounds or lose some money in the penny arcades. Search for spectacular shells on the 4-mile stretch of sand or go splashing through the lapping waves that roll in off the sea at these beaches in Suffolk.

Dogs: Restrictions between 1 May and 30 September.

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: Parking, seafront toilets, kiosks offering refreshments closer to South Beach. An all-terrain beach wheelchair can be hired from the Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

Stay nearby: Daisy’s By the Sea, Woodbridge | sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Felixstowe cottages


Covehithe Beach

If you're looking for secluded beaches in Suffolk, they don't get much more private than this. One of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets, this idyllic cove has a wide sandy beach and shallow sea for a gentle morning bathing in the ocean and picnicking on buttered croissants.

The beauty of its seclusion lies in the knowledge that it can only be accessed via foot or bike and this has allowed its popularity to grow among dog-walkers who can stroll the slender path that winds from the nearby hamlet and along the coast.

Within the hamlet of Covehithe is a unique historical site. A small church that still serves the local parish has been built inside the ruins of the ancient and far more grandiose church of St Andrew.

This wonderful coastline is slowly being washed away by the Atlantic Ocean and the pretty cove will soon be no more, so take a trip to one of the best beaches in Suffolk before this gorgeous spot disappears altogether.

Dogs: Welcome all year round.

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: Limited roadside parking by the church – beach is accessed via a path over fields which can be muddy underfoot. No other facilities.

Stay nearby: The Muse | sleeps 5 + 1 dog

Wrentham cottages

Dunwich Heath and Beach

Dunwich Heath and Beach

Birdwatchers and wildlife-seekers will find this great expanse of National Trust land, with one of the quietest beaches in Suffolk, a delight to investigate.

Meander along the trails that criss-cross the heath and lead around the boundary of the estate or follow the coastal path to reach RSPB Minsmere, where there are several hides. Birds that have been spotted in the area include the Stone Curlew, Tree Pipit and Dartford Warbler.

Try your hand at geocaching or stroll along the sand and see the coastal birds swoop overhead and alight on the water. When you wish to press pause on your travels and take a seat, drop into the National Trust tearoom for a sandwich and refreshing drink before heading back out to see what else you can spot in the surrounding landscape.

Dogs: No restrictions but do keep dogs under control when walking over the heath due to nesting birds.

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: National Trust parking, café and toilets.

Stay nearby: The Cabin at Little Common, Beccles | sleeps 2

Dunwich cottages

Orford Ness Lighthouse

Orford Ness

A fascinating military history awaits you at this unusual site. Another National Trust gem, the advantageous strategic position of this region has led to a history stretching back over 400 years.

This is the place to spark your imagination or intellectual curiosity. Gaze across the spectacular landscape and let scenes of the past run through your mind. Collect intriguing shells on the shingle beach, wander the wetlands and walk the halls of Orford Castle.

Dogs: Banned all year round due to the fragile habitat of the nature reserve (assistance dogs are allowed)

Lifeguards: No.

Local info: Pay and display car park. The beach is only accessed via ferry; tickets need to be booked in advance. No facilities on the island itself but plenty in the village.

Stay nearby: Monterey, Woodbridge | sleeps 10

Orford cottages

Suffolk's best beaches on a map

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Beach holidays in Suffolk

Which beaches take your fancy? There are plenty of excellent places along the coast for digging moats and lounging on a stretch of sand or for adventuring and spotting the incredible local wildlife, so take your pick.

Suffolk is brimming with gorgeous locations for a beach holiday. Browse through our range of coastal retreats below.

Suffolk retreats by the sea

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.