• Articles - 8 Reasons to Visit The Suffolk Coast this Winter - (c) Gill Moon

8 Reasons to Visit in Winter

An all-seasons destination, there’s no doubt that The Suffolk Coast is a popular choice for a summer holiday, but head here during the colder months and you get a completely different experience, we’ve picked just a few reasons you should visit during the winter…

1. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deserted beaches

Covehithe aerial

During Summer, many of The Suffolk Coast’s beaches are a popular destination for holiday-makers, but in the winter, they take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.

For family-friendly stretches, head to the award-winning beaches at Lowestoft, Southwold and Felixstowe, where you're never very far away from a coastal cafe to warm up in with a mug of hot chocolate. For those 'get away from it all' winter walks, visit Shingle Street, Kessingland and Covehithe, or for dog walks head to Walberswick and Pakefield

2.You can grab a bargain!

WTS - Best of Suffolk - Fire

Not only can you take advantage of some great last-minute and winter offers, you can make the most of lower ‘out of season’ prices on self-catering cottages, apartments and houses as well as bed and breakfasts and hotels.

This winter, there are plenty of bargain getaways to be had, with 2-4-1, money off and package breaks being offered by hotels, self-catering properties and bed & breakfasts. Take a look at our 'Special Offers' page and start planning your winter break on The Suffolk Coast. 

Or for more places to stay inspiration, check out our ‘Where To Stay’ guide!

 

3. Explore the Outstanding Landscape

TTDA - Carlton Marshes - (c) Gill Moon Photography

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of places to head out into the great outdoors for an invigorating walk. Whilst you’re out, you can spot some of the UK's rarest birds, so remember to pack the binoculars!

If you fancy some company or someone to point out top wildlife spots, then join one of the guided walks at RSPB Minsmere. This winter choose from the Magic of Minsmere Weekend Walk, Otter Tracks and Signs, Birdwatching for Beginners, and Minsmere Reedlings; a wonderful outdoor adventure for 2-5 year olds! 

The Suffolk Coast is also home to a number of nature reserves including National Trust Orford Ness, National Trust Dunwich Heath, Carlton & Oulton Marshes, Captain's Wood near Woodbridge, Framlingham Mere, Gunton Warren, Hen Reedbeds Snape Marshes and Sutton & Hollesley Common. Managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, there are plenty of ways to explore these stunning reserves and lots of ways for nature enthusiasts of all ages to discover Suffolk's wildlife and plantlife.

For downloadable maps and guides, check out our ‘Walking Guide’. 

4. Enjoy seasonal food at a local pub

FD - The Westleton Crown - Fire

You can experience something a bit different at a Suffolk Coast pub this winter...

After a walk along the windswept beach at Dunwich, find a table next to the fire at The Ship, or travel a couple of  miles inland and enjoy a course or two at The Westleton Crown.

Just a short drive from the riverside town of Woodbridge, The Ufford Crown is a great option for a family meal or Sunday lunch, or book a table at The Unruly Pig; with cosy wood burners and original beams it's the ideal place to tuck into some of Suffolk's finest fayre after a winter walk, in fact it was featured in The Financial Times ‘5 of the Best: Pubs with Walks.' 

Spend a day birdwatching and walking in the Deben Peninsula followed by a meal at The Sorrel Horse or head down the coast to Walberswick and snuggle up and enjoy a pint and dinner at The Bell or The Anchor. 

For more pubs, restaurants and places to eat inspiration on The Suffolk Coast, head to our 'Food & Drink' guide.

5. Dogs have free reign!

Beanie walking the plank

The Suffolk Coast is a dog-friendly destination year-round, but during the summer months, there are restrictions on some of the beaches. Not the case in winter! Your 4-legged friend can enjoy a paddle in the North Sea, a roll around in the sand and a game of fetch right along the coast. Not forgetting spots such as Rendlesham Forest, Beccles Common, Halesworth Millenium Green and the riverside walk in Woodbridge, should you prefer to stay away from those bracing sea winds!

There's plenty of dog friendly’ accommodation available too, so your dog can join you for a quiet drink in front of a roaring fire at the end of the day. 

For downloadable maps and walking routes, head to our Walking Guide for inspiration!

6. Great Golf all year! 

TTDA - Thorpeness Golf Club - Course

Experience winter golf at its best at Thorpeness Golf Club; a heathland course designed in 1922 by architect James Braid. It's open 365 days a year, is 6,421 yards long and plays to a par of 70.

Tee off by the sea at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club; the 5th oldest club in England and the only true links course in Suffolk or for golfers of all skill levels, book a round at Woodbridge Golf Club which has two courses; an 18-hole heathland course and a 9-hole forest course.

If you want to make a weekend of it, the course at Ufford Park has been voted top winter golf course by Today’s Golfer magazine.  You can buy a 5 or 7 day membership for your stay, and when staying at the hotel you can also take advantage of the gym and spa facilities and enjoy a meal in the restaurant.

7. It’s oyster season!

FD - Pinneys of Orford - Boat

Although served all year round, Oysters are at their best during the winter months. During your visit, be sure to pay a trip to Pinneys of Orford where you can enjoy a delicious bowl of freshly caught Pinney’s Oysters or Oyster soup, as well as a delicious selection of seasonal fish including smoked trout, smoked mackerel, griddled prawns, skate wings and fish pie to name but a few.

Home to many award-winning food & drinks producers, if you're looking to take a taste of The Suffolk Coast home with you, then pay a visit to one (or a few) of the many delis and producers. Take a look at our Food & Drink Guide to plan your shopping list! 

8. You can learn something new

TTDA - High Lodge - Shooting

From stargazing at Haw Wood Farm, landscape photography days with Gill Moon Photography, wildlife photography weekends at Bawdsey Hall and demijohn terranium workshops at Urban Jungle Cafe, to cooking workshops at The Food Hub Cookery School at Kenton Hall, boat building at the International Boatbuilding Training College and clay pigeon shooting at High Lodge – a trip to The Suffolk Coast in winter is the perfect opportunity to learn something new. 

For full event listings, visit our ‘What’s On’ guide.




Things to see and do

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums incorporates three historical venues in Ipswich; Ipswich Museum - a fascinating Victorian museum; Christchurch Mansion - a magnificent Tudor building; and Ipswich Art Gallery - a unique contemporary gallery.

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Wheelchair Accessible

Pakefield Riding School

Pakefield Riding School

One of the oldest and best-known horse riding centres and stables in East Anglia.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Suffolk Museums

Suffolk Museums

There are more than 50 museums in Suffolk. Each one is unique, and they are all packed with fascinating stories and objects. If you want to know more about the past and how it has affected the present, just come and take a closer look.

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Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels and Pinnacles helps you discover Suffolk’s magnificent medieval churches, among the finest in Europe.

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Suffolk Food Hall and Cookhouse Restaurant

Suffolk Food Hall and Cookhouse Restaurant

Ipswich

Suffolk Food Hall has everything you’d expect from a large farm shop and more. It is the 10 year Champion of Champions for Local Food (Countryside Alliance rural oscars) and it’s also an ideal location to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is a restaurant (booking advisable) which has been judged to be the Best On Farm Restaurant in Britain and separate café with a children’s playarea.


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Free wifi Dog friendly

High Lodge Leisure

High Lodge Leisure

If you are looking for a place to try out a diverse range of activities then look no further than High Lodge which is home to an array of first-class sporting activities. Suitable for individuals, groups or businesses for corporate activities.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Briarbank Bar & Brewery

The Briarbank Bar & Brewery

When in Ipswich, why not take a tour of the Briarbank's microbrewery and learn all about how and where their beer is made.

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Free wifi

Ferini Art Gallery

Ferini Art Gallery

The Ferini Art Gallery is set before the beautiful and ever-changing skies an seascapes of Pakefield. It's art mirrors the light and vibrance of the coastline, fishing beach and sandy cliffs.

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International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) 

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC)

IBTC in Lowestoft offers a variety of boatbuilding/maintenance and woodworking courses suitable for those looking for a career in the maritime industry as well as individuals wanting to develop existing or new interests and skills.


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Free wifi Dog friendly

Halesworth and the Blyth Valley

Halesworth and the Blyth Valley

The Blyth Valley runs 17 miles inland from the coast at Southwold to Laxfield via Halesworth and Huntingfield and is a superb destination for walking, cycling & wildlife-watching as well as being known for its welcoming pubs and local produce!

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Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold

So much more than glorious cream teas and freshly baked cakes and pastries, tasty breakfasts, lunches and homemade snacks - Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom is one of the gems of Southwold.

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Dog friendly

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh

2019 is a momentous year for Aldeburgh Cinema, as August 9th is the Centenary of the Cinema's opening.  

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Free wifi

Wonderful Beast Theatre Company

Wonderful Beast Theatre Company

Wonderful Beast is the touring theatre company of myths, legends, folk tales and stories for all ages.

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Electric Picture Palace

Electric Picture Palace

The Electric Picture Palace is a small but perfectly formed, 70 seat cinema in Southwold on The Suffolk coast.

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Wheelchair Accessible

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings

Snape

Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty and one of the world’s leading centres of music, founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

Check the website for times of Milling Demonstrations and Wheel-Turnings. The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years.

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Gill Moon Pet Photography

Gill Moon Pet Photography

Gill Moon Pet Photography offers fine art pet portraiture for Suffolk and the surrounding area. 

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Dog friendly

Marina Theatre

Marina Theatre

The Marina Theatre is proud to be Lowestoft’s not-for-profit professional theatre. Their charity number is 1149133. 

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Wheelchair Accessible

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Fancy doing something a little bit different? Situated in the heart of Southwold is the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, where Adnams have been brewing since 1872.

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Wheelchair Accessible

Visit Felixstowe

Visit Felixstowe

Everybody loves a great day by the sea, and Felixstowe has great days for everyone.

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Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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Sailing Barge Victor 

Sailing Barge Victor

Sailing Barge Victor is a perfect marriage of a majestic and traditionally rigged 19th century sailing vessel with comfortable, modern facilities for guests.

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Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


Read more >

Orwell Lady River Cruises

Orwell Lady River Cruises

Ipswich

From April to October each year, Orwell Lady cruises up and down the beautiful and historic River Orwell, offering passengers a choice of trips and experiences whilst taking in the beautiful wooded stretches of the river, local wildlife and points of local and historical interest.

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Gill Moon Photography

Gill Moon Photography

Gill is a professional freelance photographer specialising in local landscapes, waterscapes and sailing photography.

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Ufford Park Golf Club

Ufford Park Golf Club

The complete golfing experience; An award-winning 18 hole, par 71 golf course - perfect for all intermediate and experienced players.

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Suffolk Escape Room

Suffolk Escape Room

Suffolk Escape Room is situated in the unique location of an original war time Nissen Hut on the edge of an American style Trailer Park immersing 2-8 players into an Area 51 themed experience.

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Ipswich Town and Waterfront

Ipswich Town and Waterfront

Championing Ipswich as a great place to visit and stay. Promoting local events, places of interests, arts, theatre and culture of the historic town.

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The Cut - Halesworth

The Cut - Halesworth

Halesworth

The Cut Arts Centre offers Halesworth and the surrounding countryside an extensive range of arts, music, theatre, dance, comedy, cinema, workshops and art exhibitions. 

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National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

National Trust Sutton Hoo will be gradually revealing the new Sutton Hoo experience this year as they complete a multi-million pound project.


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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Felixstowe

From tiny meadows to rolling heaths, the nature reserves extend all the way along the Suffolk Coast from Trimley Marshes at Felixstowe to Lound Lakes north of Lowestoft and are some of Suffolk's most inspiring wild places. 

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Red Rose Chain

Red Rose Chain

Award-winning Independent theatre company based in Suffolk with community at the heart of all they do. Creators of Theatre In The Forest, East Anglia's largest outdoor theatre event, and home to Suffolk's newest creative venue The Avenue Theatre.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Arts Centre

Southwold Arts Centre

The premier entertainment venue in the popular Suffolk coastal town of Southwold; presenting a year-round programme of events including music, theatre, film, comedy, craft and antique fairs, art exhibitions, workshops, community events and outdoor events. Southwold Arts Centre also offers a number of spaces for hire; suitable for live events, meetings, family celebrations and exhibition space.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café

Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café

The newest member of the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café Group offering indoor and outdoor exotics, gifts and beautiful things for the home. 

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Free wifi

Hippersons Boatyard 

Hippersons Boatyard

One of the best ways to see and experience the river! Day boats available to hire on the southern reach of the Norfolk Broads in Beccles, with day hire from 9.30am till 4.45pm, costing £100 for the day, part days are available on request. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

MTP Presents Theatre on the Coast

MTP Presents Theatre on the Coast

Presenting theatre, music and events in Southwold and Aldeburgh, mtp is an award-winning professional theatre company established in 1999 and based in Suffolk since 2010. 

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Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Southwold

Southwold is a popular destination for the many visitors to the East Coast and its most prominent attraction, the pier, hosts a wide range of things to see and do.

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National Trust Orford Ness

National Trust Orford Ness

Wild, remote and exposed, Orford Ness contains the ruined remnants of a disturbing past. Ranked among the most important shingle features in the world, rare and fragile wildlife thrives where weapons, including atomic bombs, were once tested and perfected.

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The Lettering Arts Centre 

The Lettering Arts Centre

The Lettering Arts Centre is the home of the Lettering Arts Trust, an independent charity which champions Britain's rich heritage in the lettering arts. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Visit Deben Peninsula

Visit Deben Peninsula

The Deben Peninsula is located in Suffolk between the Deben River to the South and the Alde & Ore Estuary the North.

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The Red House, Aldeburgh 

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh

Benjamin Britten was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. He wrote a vast amount of incredible music and wanted everyone to enjoy it – professional and amateur musicians, music enthusiasts, children and families.


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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre

Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre

A glorious seafront theatre and restaurant complex, with stunning views, an art deco auditorium for up to 900 people and a fabulous British Seaside and Mediterranean-style fish, meat, pizza, pasta & grill menu. 


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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Eastern Angles

Eastern Angles

Eastern Angles Theatre Company combines heritage with theatre to make regional stories and hidden histories come to life on stage. The company are based at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich but tour across the county to villages, towns and quirky outdoor locations.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Bawdsey Hall Wildlife Watching, Photography Workshops and Hide Hire

Bawdsey Hall Wildlife Watching, Photography Workshops and Hide Hire

Join Bawdsey Hall Wildlife Watching, Photography Workshops and Hide Hire at their private nature reserve at Bawdsey Hall on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. 

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National Trust Dunwich Heath

National Trust Dunwich Heath

Dunwich Heath and Beach is a precious landscape on the Suffolk coast where you can experience a true sense of being at one with nature. 

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Visit Waveney Valley

Visit Waveney Valley

Running through the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, it's hard not to fall in love with the Waveney Valley. Discover a timeless rural landscape, where the pace of life is slow and the folk are friendly.

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Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard is one of England's most exciting new wineries. Winemaker, Ben Witchell, combines cutting-edge technology with traditional winemaking techniques to produce elegant and refined English wines. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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WHERE TO EAT

The Food Hub Cookery School

The Food Hub Cookery School

Framlingham

Whether you are an amateur cook or a food enthusiast let these courses inspire you!

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Free wifi

The Unruly Pig

The Unruly Pig

The Unruly Pig is a 16th century Suffolk Inn offering exceptional food, great wines, craft beers and really friendly service in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

Pinney's of Orford 

Pinney's of Orford

Established in 1959, Pinney's of Orford are a 3rd generation family run business that specialise in producing fine quality smoked products due to the experience and understanding that they have gained over the years in both fishing and smoking.

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The Ufford Crown

The Ufford Crown

Woodbridge

The Ufford Crown is a Michelin recommended, family run pub and restaurant in the village of Ufford, near Woodbridge, run by Polly and Max Durrant and Head Chef Will Hardiman.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich

Dunwich

There's plenty to enjoy on The Ship's menu from: pie of the day, slow-cooked pork belly, or roast red onion tart through to traditional English puddings like sticky toffee, pear and blackberry crumble and much more, accompanied by good wines at sensible prices, or proper beers and ales - including Adnams and a range of guest ales.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Sorrel Horse

The Sorrel Horse

The Sorrel Horse is a community-owned quintessential English country pub with tap drawn cask ales, thatched roof, tiled floors and an original bar billiards table.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Westleton Crown

The Westleton Crown

Dunwich

Head Chef at The Westleton Crown restaurant, James Finch, and his highly skilled team pride themselves on their imaginative and varied menus which have earned them an AA 2 Rosette restaurant award, as well as a considerable reputation.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

where to stay

Bawdsey Hall

Bawdsey Hall

Bawdsey Hall is situated on a small nature reserve providing opportunities for photographers, birders, entomologists, lepidopterists, wildlife enthusiasts and anyone wanting to relax in quiet surroundings.

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Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel

Situated on the sunny Suffolk Heritage Coast within walking distance to the sea, Thorpeness 3 star Hotel offers modern accommodation with picturesque views of the golf course. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible