Dunwich guide

Known as the lost city of England, this tiny village certainly has a story to tell

In an area as steeped in history as the Suffolk Coast, it takes something special to stand out. Dunwich manages to do just this. Known as the lost city of England, this tiny village certainly has a story to tell.

Today, you can explore the village's expanse of forest, heath and beach, at National Trust Dunwich Heath, learn more about it's fascinating past at Dunwich museum and sample some of The Suffolk Coast's fine fayre at award-winning coast and country pubs and inns.

Did you know?

Hailed by some as Suffolk’s answer to Atlantis, Dunwich was once a thriving medieval port and on a par with London as the capital of the kingdom of East Anglia- with over 3000 residents recorded in 1086. However, the effects of storm surges and the resulting coastal erosion washed away much of the harbour buildings and land. Research has been completed with sonar devices to map out the underwater streets and buildings of Dunwich’s past. Many people say that during storms you can hear the bells of lost churches ringing from below the waves.

The macabre folklore, ‘the dark heart of Dunwich’, tells of a local maiden with a broken heart who haunts the area around the beach searching for her lost love. 

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Dunwich Highlights

1. Learn about Dunwich's eerie history

Towns & Villages - Dunwich - Museum

Dunwich Museum is the perfect history experience for all the family. It tells the amazing story of a city lost to the sea through the narrative of its collection and the knowledge of its welcoming staff. The Dunwich story spans the first millennium to the present day. A detailed model shows you what Dunwich was like at the height of its powers in the 13th Century, and the many exhibits cover Roman, Saxon, Medieval, Elizabethan, Jacobean Georgian and Victorian periods.

2. Walk the dog at Dunwich Heath

National Trust Dunwich Heath

Dunwich is part of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you love nothing more than a long walk beside the sea, a brisk stroll before lunch, cycling through forests, or spending hours quietly watching some of the UK's rarest wildlife, the beautiful landscape of National Trust Dunwich Heath has it all. 

3. Enjoy some of the region's best fish and chips and a pint of local ale

FD - The Ship at Dunwich - fire

The Ship at Dunwich offers views across the marshes and sea, whilst you enjoy a delicious meal of local Suffolk produce and ales. It's dog-friendly too so after a long walk with your pooch you can both enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation.

4. Spot some of the UK's rarest wildlife, birds and plants at RSPB Minsmere

RSPB Minsmere - Red Deer

Just a short drive from Dunwich you will find RSPB Minsmere. Here you can spend a day spotting some the UK's rarest birds and wildlife including the Avocet, Bittern, Otter and Red Deer.

There are many events to take part in too; with guided walks, bird box building workshops, 4x4 safaris and stargazing to name but a few. 

Dunwich Beach Guide

TTDA - Dunwich Beach - beach with boats

Popular with pups and with those wanting to avoid the crowds, Dunwich is one of The Suffolk Coast's popular wild beaches. 

Once a thriving seaport and home to 8 churches, the village of Dunwich has been at the mercy of the North Sea over the years, with stories of church bells ringing from under the sea as parts of the village tumbled over the cliffs. 

Today, the wide shingle beach is perfect for a dog walk, a spot of fishing or a paddle in the sea. Owned by the National Trust, the beach is surrounded by heath and marshes should you wish to continue you walk away from the shore.

For more information and to plan your visit to Dunwich beach, check out our Dunwich Beach Guide.

Useful Information

Public Conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities in Dunwich

Public toilets with disabled access and baby changing facilities are located at the Beach Car Park in Dunwich.



Check out AccessAble's detailed access guides to Suffolk and work out if a place is going to be accessible to you.

The access guides cover multiple locations and venues across Suffolk, including places to stay, attractions, places to eat, stations, shops, trails and more. 

The access guides are 100% facts, figures and photographs, checked by AccessAble's trained surveyors in person, people who know everyone's accessibility needs are different and understand how important it is for information to be detailed and accurate.

How to Get to Dunwich - Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 

By Train:

Darsham is approximately six miles away with train services by Abellio Great Anglia running to Lowestoft and Ipswich and on-going connections to London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.

All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website or the app.

Car Parks in Dunwich

To find parking places in East Suffolk and where parking fees apply, visit the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page.

Beach Car Park, Dunwich, IP17 3DE

Walking in Dunwich

Walking in East Suffolk has just become easier. In partnership with East Suffolk Council, walking app Go Jauntly has launched a collection of East Suffolk walks. 

Go Jauntly is a free community-based app to promote walking, wayfinding and nature connection. You can find local walks created by people who know and love them, discover the greenest walking routes from A to B, create your own jaunts and enjoy outdoor adventures with friends and family. 

Go Jauntly is available to download, for free, on the App Store and the Play Store.

Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times of Eastern Daily Press websites.