7 of the best Suffolk coastal walks

Coastal, Walking, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Ruth on 9th September 2020

For invigorating walks along the briny coast, there are few places better than Suffolk. Boasting 50 miles of Suffolk Coast Path and some utterly breathtaking scenery in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, coastal walks in this part of East Anglia are just the tonic for modern-day life.

As well as the astounding views, there is so much more to discover on Suffolk coastal walks, from the bleakly beautiful villages slowly crumbling into the sea to the vibrant towns alive with culture – and that’s without mentioning the fantastic pubs serving up restorative food and drink.

Whether you’re planning a family walk with plenty of activities or want a solo ramble with your faithful hound at your side, we’ve picked seven of our favourite Suffolk coastal walks to inspire your next adventure by the coast. And if you’re looking for a cosy cottage where you can put your feet up after a day of exploring, just click the button below.

Suffolk coastal cottages


Lowestoft

Oulton Broad to Ness Point

This linear walk begins at Oulton Broad South train station and takes you across Oulton Broad and along Lake Lothing and Lowestoft Seafront before arriving at Ness Point, the most easterly point in the UK. It’s a relatively flat walk so could be tackled with a pram or pushchair, although there are some flights of stairs. It’s also worth checking the weather before you leave as this route goes along the sea wall at Lowestoft and wouldn’t be too much fun in a storm! Once you’ve spent time at Ness Point, simply head to Lowestoft train station and catch the 6-minute train back to your start point.

Distance: 5.2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Public toilets in Nicholas Everitt Park and Lowestoft Station, lots of pubs and restaurants in both Oulton Broad and Lowestoft. 

Good to know: At Ness Point, look out for Gulliver, the wind turbine which previously held the record for being Britain’s tallest. 

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


Covehithe

Southwold to Covehithe

One of the best coastal walks in Suffolk, this route offers a spectacular contrast between the bright beach huts of Southwold and the beautifully bleak landscape of Covehithe – a village that is slowly succumbing to the sea. Begin in Southwold and follow the coast northwards, over Easton Broad towards Covehithe, where you’ll walk past huge trees submerged in the sand before seeing the grand church ruin come into view. Then head inland to circle back to Southwold – a refreshing pint of Adnams afterwards is a must!

Distance: 10.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking at Southwold and Covehithe; public toilets and places to eat in Southwold. 

Good to know: The cliffs at Covehithe are slowly but surely eroding, so don’t walk too close! 

Stay nearby: Little Hawthorn, Pakefield | sleeps 2 + 1 dog


Walberswick

Southwold to Walberswick

This Suffolk Coast Path walk also begins in Southwold but heads in the opposite direction, along the beach, across the marshes and over the River Blyth to Walberswick. It’s lovely any time of year but especially refreshing on a windy day. It’s also a great walk for kids as there is plenty to do in both Southwold and Walberswick; we’d recommend packing a bucket, some nets and some bait as Walberswick is one of the best crabbing spots in Suffolk! There’s also a great pub and some delicious fish and chips nearby if you fancy making a day of it.

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking, toilets and places to eat and drink in both Southwold and Walberswick. 

Good to know: If you’ve got little ones in tow and want to shave some distance off this walk, take the foot ferry across the River Blyth to Walberswick instead of the footbridge further up the river. 

Stay nearby: Paws and Reflect, Pakefield | sleeps 2 + 1 dog


Dunwich

Dunwich Heath

Meandering along the Suffolk Heritage Coast, walk through this beautiful heath which is teeming with wildlife and has spectacular views from every angle. Begin at the National Trust car park before walking parallel with the coastline, taking in the view over the placid water. Then turn inland to double back over the heath, which is alive with colour in the summer months. Keep an eye (or ear) out for nightjars, woodlarks and lizards on your way. This is a brilliant family walk, so pack a picnic to enjoy at the end.

Distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking (free to National Trust members), tearoom, picnic area, toilets and children’s play area at Dunwich Heath. 

Good to know: This is a dog-friendly walk and there are lots of little streams and ditches you might have a hard time keeping your inquisitive pup away from! 

Stay nearby: Dovecotes, Metfield | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Minsmere

RSPB Minsmere

RSPB Minsmere is home to a wide range of wildlife, including bitterns, avocets and otters; see how many you can spot on one of our favourite Suffolk coast circular walks. Begin at the visitor centre and head out to the North Bushes, where you might spot some migrant birds. The route then follows the reedbeds out to the coast and across the Minsmere levels. There are five hides en route too so pack your binoculars to spy gulls, terns, wading birds and ducks in their natural habitat.

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Facilities: Parking, toilets, café, picnic area and shop near the main visitor centre. 

Good to know: You could extend your walk to Eastbridge, around 1.5 miles away, where there is an excellent pub. 

Stay nearby: Friston’s Forge Cottage, Saxmundham | sleeps 3 + 2 dogs


Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh and Thorpeness

Arty Aldeburgh has an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in Suffolk and should definitely be on your list of places to visit. This lengthy walk takes you from the edge of the River Alde and along the Crag Path which runs parallel with the shore. Follow the route along the seafront and past The Haven Nature Reserve before heading inland along The Mere and back into Aldeburgh. Sights you should look out for include the House in the Clouds – a quirky water tower – and the iconic Scallop Sculpture.

Distance: 6.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking, public toilets and plenty of lovely places to eat and drink in Aldeburgh. 

Good to know: The Scallop was created in 2003, stands at 4 metres tall and has the words “I hear those voices that will not be drowned”, from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes cut into the rim of the shell – the sculpture is a tribute to the composer. 

Stay nearby: Friston’s Holly Cottage, Saxmundham | sleeps  4 + 2 dogs


Orford Ness

Orford Ness

Combining the darkness of 70 years of military history with the brightness of nature, Orford Ness is a place unlike any other – and not just because it can only be accessed by boat. This shingle spit was the site of military experiments including radar and atomic bombs but is now home to a diversity of nature – although remnants of its past still remain. After taking the Octavia ferry across, you can explore the area on a one-of-a-kind walk, taking care to stick to the paths. 

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Public toilets on Orford Ness but no other facilities; more facilities available at Orford Quay and in the village. 

Good to know: Ferry tickets are limited and sold on the day, so get there early. 

Stay nearby: Daisy’s By The Sea, Woodbridge | sleeps 2


Suffolk coastal walks on a map


Need more inspiration?

Find some more great ideas for your next holiday by the sea with our selection of guides – where will you discover next?


Stay with us in Suffolk

Explore Suffolk with glorious coastal walks from your front door; our collection of cottages ensures you are never too far from the prospect of a breathtaking ramble close to the sea. From cosy abodes perfect for two to large seaside homes for the whole family, find your dream beach house in our collection.

Suffolk coastal cottages



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.