The Suffolk Coast stretching from the Stour estuary in the far south to Kessingland in the north is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one of England’s heritage coasts. The coastal landscape is a spectacular mix of heathland, estuaries, award-winning beaches and in the far south the UK’s most famous shingle spit Orford Ness, a National Nature Reserve.
Classic coastal resorts include beautiful Southwold with its award-winning beach and pier and Aldeburgh, an ideal base from which to explore the Orford Ness Nature Reserve to the south. The famous Snape Maltings concert hall sits just 5 miles inland from Aldeburgh, host venue since 1967 to the celebrated annual Aldeburgh Music Festival established by British composer Benjamin Britten.
Largest seaside resort Lowestoft in the north is popular with families, featuring a stunning marina, long promenade and two bustling piers. Fans of real ale, arts festivals, heathland nature reserves and coastal walking will find much to please along the Suffolk heritage coast. Magical ruined castles like Framlingham with its unique castle walls walk sit just inland, and close to Woodbridge in the south you’ll find the site for Britain’s most precious Saxon treasure find at Sutton Hoo.
Lowestoft & The Sunrise Coast
The Suffolk Coast offers something for all. On the Sunrise Coast in the north sits the popular family resort of Lowestoft, a great family beach holiday base, with the Suffolk Broads right on your doorstep. There’s maritime history here too in Lowestoft, the birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten and the UK’s most easterly town. Find out more in the superb little Lowestoft Museum near the town’s bright white lighthouse. One of the Suffolk Broads’ most beautiful broads – Oulton Broad – sits just inland and great family attractions like Pleasurewood Hills theme park and Africa Alive – an African Animal park adventure – also sit close to Lowestoft.
Southwold & The Suffolk Coasts & Heaths AONB
Peaceful coastal bases feature south of bustling Lowestoft like Kessingland with its choice of caravan parks affording magnificent coastal views. Explore the coastline either side of Southwold where you’ll find some of the heritage coast’s most beautiful nature reserves and heathland including the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath and Beach and RSPB Minsmere with its wonderful wetlands, coastal scenery and woodland.
Award-winning Suffolk Coast resort Southwold makes a great base from which to explore the heritage coast’s nature reserves and offers a host of seaside attractions including the bustling pier with cafe, gift shop and ample alfresco seating areas. Suffolk’s own Adnams Sole Bay Brewery is also based in this picture-postcard seaside resort which has a superb sandy beach flanked by colourful beach huts.
The Aldenburgh Music Festival
Aldeburgh is another of the Suffolk coast’s popular bases featuring a pretty pebble beach, a beautiful promenade with museum and a high street lined with fine old inns, quirky gift shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. Just 5 miles inland sits Snape Maltings with its famous converted Victorian maltings – host venue to the annual Aldeburgh Music Festival.
Orford Ness, Woodbridge & the Southern Estuaries
Take boat trips around Orford Ness, Europe’s largest vegetated shingle spit and a National Nature Reserve home to migrating and breeding birds and a spectacular landscape of saltmarsh, vegetated shingle, mudflats and brackish lagoons. One of the best views of Orford Ness is from the top of Orford Ness Castle. The southern stretch of the Suffolk Coast features the spectacular river estuaries of the Deben and Orwell, with popular holiday bases including pretty riverside Woodbridge with its fine selection of real ale inns.
If you are on the lookout for a great budget family holiday base on the Suffolk Coast, Felixstowe with its award-winning beach, bustling pier and wide choice of family friendly holiday parks and caravan sites is perfect. You can also pick up boat trips across the Orwell and Stour estuary here and explore the Martello Tower trail starting at Landguard Fort. Eight martello towers were built on the Felixstowe shoreline from 1804 to 1812 to repel any potential Napoleonic invasion.
Gateway transport routes into the region include ferry services to Harwich just across the water from Felixstowe. Harwich ferries run regularly to and from Holland. Stansted Airport situated just off the M11, Junction 8/8a also serves the area, and is within an easy drive of the Suffolk Coast via the A120 and the A12.
The Greater Anglia rail network is extensive in the region. Railway stations on the coast are at Lowestoft and Felixstowe, and just inland at Woodbridge, festival centre Halesworth and Suffolk Broad stations at Beccles and Oulton Broad South.
Where to stay
Choose from hundreds of beautiful holiday cottages along the Suffolk Coast, many with luxurious interiors. Individual character accommodation is plentiful along this heritage coast, featuring everything from beach house retreats to family friendly budget holiday parks right on the beach.
Stay in a converted coach house cottage or a boutique Victorian terrace. Around beautiful Aldeburgh and Southwold you’ll find an excellent choice of cottages with cosy woodburners and original features. Find your perfect base on the Suffolk Coast and book online or direct.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.