With so many areas of natural beauty, including woodlands, marshes and coastal stretches, the autumn season on the Suffolk Coast beckons you to spend even more quality time outdoors. And what better companion is there for these outdoor exploits than your trusty canine friend. So put your best foot (or paw!) forward and enjoy a dog friendly day out on the Suffolk coast.
National Trust Dunwich Heath
Tucked away on the Suffolk Coast, Dunwich Heath is an outstanding reserve that will leave you and your doggy pal feeling at one with nature. The landscape is at once wild and dramatic and serene and peaceful, with its pink and purple heather and fragrant gorse providing a sensory experience to remember.
Dogs are well catered for, with the dedicated ‘Woof walk’ allowing an area where well-behaved dogs can roam freely off the lead. Other areas of the site ask you to observe the ‘canine code’ and be aware of the rare and protected wildlife who call Dunwich Heath their home.
Along with the many winding walks of the Heath there is also a vast and expansive beach just below the cliff- providing ample space for your dog to run around and blow off steam. Even the tea room is dog friendly, with specially selected paw-print tables for dogs and their owners. The visitor information centre provides spare leads, poo bags, treats and even tennis balls to make this the perfect doggy day out.
To plan your visit go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/suffolk/dunwich-heath-and-beach/bringing-your-dog-to-dunwich-heath
Situated at the southernmost tip of the Broads National park, Carlton Marshes is a winding maze of grazing marsh, peat pools, fenland, scrub, meadows and pools, with surprises around every corner. These habitats are home to a plethora of wildlife including 28 species of dragonfly, water vole, Marsh Harrier, Teal and Snipe.
Dogs are most welcome to peruse the many sights, sniffs and sounds of this abundant landscape, whilst staying on-lead in the red, orange and black trails, for the safety of the many creatures who share the space. You are invited to let your dog off the lead on the blue trails and will find that the picnic area is very welcoming to well-behaved dogs, with access to drinking water and sunny spots to relax in while you have a cup of tea and slice of cake from the visitor centre and cafe.
To plan your visit go to https://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/carlton
Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park
One of only two wildlife parks in the country where dogs are welcome, Jimmy's Farm is a fantastic day out for the whole family!
Owned by Farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty, Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park is a truly unique place where you are invited to 'Share the Good Life'. There's lots for all ages to enjoy, the farm is home to100 species and breeds from capybara to crocodiles, pigs to pelicans and even monkeys!
A fantastic outdoor play area will keep little ones entertained, plus there's shopping, great food and drink (dogs are welcome in the snug area of the restaurant), and a woodland walk through the 100 acre wood.
Plan your visit at https://jimmysfarm.com/
Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Rendlesham Forest is an exciting doggy day out, with copious walking and biking trails, picnicking areas and even a mysterious UFO trail for you to discover. Its 1,500 hectare mixed woodland offers a range of terrain, and flora and fauna- perfect for sniffing noses and wagging tails to explore. There’s even a pond for a quick dip if your dog is so inclined. Take a packed lunch or purchase something from the cafe trailer to rest weary legs after a day of hiking.
To plan your visit go to https://www.forestryengland.uk/rendlesham-forest
The Suffolk Punch Trust
As the name suggests, The Suffolk Punch Trust exists primarily to preserve and protect the critically endangered Suffolk Punch horse; a unique breed of heavy horse with a distinctive shape and ‘chesnut’ (traditionally spelled without the t) colour.
The Trust comprises a huge area of farmland on the Deben Peninsula in Hollesley- a glorious 120 acres of circular trails, popular with walkers and dog walkers alike. The walks take you around the farm, as you and your doggy companion take in the day-to-day of busy rural life, and allowing your well-behaved pooch to observe the gentle giants and other livestock up close - a stimulating experience for any dog. The cafe sells hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and an all day cooked breakfast.
To plan your visit go to https://www.thesuffolkpunchtrust.co.uk/walkers-dog-walkers
History buffs and their dogs should visit the fascinating Landguard Fort; a grade 1 listed fort built in the 1740’s and one of England’s best preserved coastal defences. Take your pooch with you as you discover the maze of passageways, tunnels and rooms and find out about the story of this dramatic fortification.
In addition, the fort is situated on the Landguard nature reserve which is home to a plethora of wildlife as well as a selection of dog-friendly walks and trails along the stunning coastline. When your legs are weary, make your way to the View Point Cafe and find a spot on the terrace to enjoy a delicious selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals as you watch the big ships come into port.
To plan your visit go to https://www.landguard.com/
Nestled on the banks of the River Alde, the impressive Snape Maltings is a hub of creativity, with its converted Victorian buildings housing shops, galleries and workshop spaces as well as a stunning concert hall. The area of outstanding natural beauty is perfect for a day out with your four-legged friend, with well-behaved dogs being granted access to selected indoor areas including the Malt cafe, The Shed, Craft Shop and Antiques centre as well as the Plough and Sail Pub.
There are several walks that set off from the Maltings, including a circular ramble through Snape Warren and the riverside walk to Iken Church. River trips depart from the historic quay and offer stunning views across the mudflats and reeds, dogs are welcome on board- offering them an enriching experience on the water.
To plan your visit go to https://brittenpearsarts.org/visit-us/snape-maltings
Suffolk River Trips
Well behaved dogs and their owners are welcome to step on board with Suffolk River Trips.
Join them on one of their boats from Orford Quay, Snape Maltings Quay or Woodbridge Town Steps to experience and learn more about these areas which are abundant and rich in both wildlife and history. All river trips are with commentary and last between 45-60 minutes. Trips from Orford are run at regular times most days between May and October. Trips from Snape Maltings and Woodbridge are governed by the tide so times of trips will vary.
To plan your trip go to https://www.suffolkrivertrips.com/
For fantastic dog walks on The Suffolk Coast, take a look at our walking guide!