• Relaxing at Woodbridge Quay -(c) Emily Fae Photography

Best Benches for a Socially Distanced Catch Up

We may not be able to enjoy get big togethers right now, but you can catch up socially distanced, with a family member or friend outside. 

For those of us who are lucky enough to live on the Suffolk Coast we've picked some of our favourite benches, with stunning views of The Suffolk Coast and countryside, which are the perfect spots for a good chinwag!

1. Gun Hill, Southwold

Southwold - Gun Hill - (c) Jon Gibbs

Sit upon a bench on Southwold's Gun Hill and, thanks to it's elevated position, you are treated to views of the Edwardian Pier to your left and the beach as it stretches towards Walberswick to your right. 

On Gun Hill's small green you will also find 6 cannons, installed to commemorate the Battle of Sole Bay in 1672. In previous centuries the cannons were fired regularly, but in 1842, to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Wales, soldier James Martin had his head blown off after he looked down the muzzle to investigate the delay in explosion! 

2. Beccles Quay

Beccles - Beccles Quay

Situated on the banks of the River Waveney, the historic town of Beccles boasts a number of benches to sit upon for a chat. But head to the Quay and feel a sense of calm wash over you, as you watch the boats bob and swans glide on the water.

The cafe here serves a range of hot and cold snacks and drinks, so after a walk along the river path, find a bench and warm up with a hot chocolate.

3. Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft

Kensington Gardens

Just a stone's throw from the glorious beach at Lowestoft, Kensington Gardens sit atop of the upper promenade. The traditional Victorian seafront gardens can be explored by enchanting pathways and bridges which take you round the boating lake and bowling green; where you will also find a cafe serving hot drinks and snacks.

There's a number of benches to choose from; opt for a view of the boating lake, watch the ducks on the pond, or spot squirrels burying their nuts - so find your spot and chat away!

4. Woodbridge Quay

River Deben in winter (c) Gill Moon Photography

There are benches dotted all along the Quay in the riverside town of Woodbridge; from the historic Tide Mill, which has stood on the banks of the river for over 800 years ,out along the River Deben, where you can watch the sail boats bob on the water. 

If you want to extend your catch up, enjoy a walk along the river wall and keep an eye out for Suffolk's rare birdlife and the occasional seal!

5. Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

TTDA - Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

With views of the promenade and out to sea, Felixstowe Seafront Gardens comprises eight interconnected Grade II listed gardens are home to a number of benches, making it an ideal location for a socially distanced catch up. Sit amongst the the beautifully landscaped lawns and sumptuously planted borders and take in the fresh air, which is reputed to have the health giving qualities of the Felixstowe Spa water. 

6. Aldeburgh Beach Shelters

Aldeburgh Beach Shelters - Willey Family

Dotted along Aldeburgh's shingle beach, the charming Victorian shelters are great for keeping out of the blazing sun in the summer and perfect for hiding out of the way of bracing winds in the winter. Each shelter boasts uninterrupted views of the sea. If you look to the left you can also see Maggi Hambling's iconic Scallop and the magical village of Thorpeness in the distance



Things to see and do

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. 

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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!

Read more >

Visit Felixstowe

Visit Felixstowe

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

Read more >

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. 

Read more >

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 >

Discover Landguard

Discover Landguard

The Landguard Peninsula is located at the southerly most point of the town of Felixstowe. 

Read more >

National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.

Read more >
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. 

Read more >