Feature Walk: Dunwich And Walberswick Beach
This 11km/6.8 mile walk in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB takes you through the historic village of Dunwich, and along a stretch of Walberswick’s rugged beach.
Allow three-four hours for the walk, and any extra time to spend in Dunwich, where there are plenty of places to get refreshments.
Start on Walberswick village green facing the road and turn right. Walk towards the village hall and follow the road as it turns right, then take the footpath left before you reach the Anchor pub.
As you leave the village there are a number of footpath options. Take the right fork, then the left, then turn left again. Don’t worry if this section seems a little confusing. Your aim is to end up on the Suffolk Coast Path with the narrow Dunwich River immediately on your left (look out for the blue and yellow Suffolk Coast Path way-markers.
Once on the Suffolk Coast Path, the route is straightforward. Follow the Suffolk Coast Path across the marshes, passing the derelict Walberswick windpump, which provides a useful landmark in this low-lying landscape. Continue following the Suffolk Coast Path for approximately 1.5km into the edge of Dunwich Forest, then follow the broad track with the forest on your right and Dingle Marshes on your left. When the road is reached at Bridge Farm on the outskirts of Dunwich, turn left. This will take you into Dunwich village.
From Dunwich, you have the option of either retracing your route, or walking back along the beach to Walberswick. The beach walk is shorter (approximately 5km), but mainly on shingle, and can be tiring. The top of the shingle bank provides the best views, but keep close to the sea where it is often sandier at low tide for an easier walk. In recent winters, the sea has sometimes broken through the shingle bank making the beach route impassable.
Walk and image courtesy of Suffolk Coast and Heaths, image by Malcolm Farrow