Leiston guide

A piece of Yorkshire in Suffolk

Leiston is close to RSPB Minsmere, a perfect place for walkers and cyclists to explore the Suffolk coastline as it is situated near Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Saxmundham.

Did you know?

Leiston was well-known for its thriving manufacturing industry during the 19th and 20th centuries with Richard Garrett and Sons boasting the world’s first flow assembly line for the rapid assembly of portable steam engines, tractors and agricultural machinery. Leiston’s Summerhill school is the oldest children’s democracy in the UK- with students placed at the centre of the school’s organisation and every person from the youngest students to the headteacher having an equal say in its running. 

Leiston film theatre opened in 1914 and is Suffolk’s oldest surviving purpose built cinema. Originally named Leiston picture house, it has traded continuously for 106 years. 

Just 2 miles from Leiston, the fishing village of Sizewell is known for its two power stations but it is also infamous for the smuggling activities that occurred on its beaches during the 17th century. Smuggled goods were transported in the tunnels carved out under the marshes. 

things to do in leistonwhere to stay in leistonwhere to eat in leiston


Leiston Highlights

1. Discover Suffolk's engineering history

The Long Shop Museum - Leiston - Suffolk

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Leiston was a manufacturing town dominated by Richard Garrett & Sons, owners of the ‘Leiston Works’. Today you can visit The Long Shop Museum which displays many of the engines manufactured by Garretts.

2. Visit the 14th century Abbey

Leiston Abbey - Suffolk Coast

Take a trip back in time and visit the 14th century remains of Leiston Abbey lying in peaceful open fields just northwest of the town. These striking ruins represent parts of the abbey church and the fairly extensive remains of the buildings around the cloister.

3. Take a dip!

Towns & VIllages - Leiston - Leisure Centre

Combine your country walks and cycle explorations with a dip in the Olympic-size swimming pool at Leiston’s Leisure Centre. If you still have some energy left why not enrol on one the fitness classes on offer while kids can let off steam in the soft play area.

4. Enjoy Suffolk's oldest purpose built cinema

Leiston Film Theatre

Leiston Film Theatre has been lovingly restored and hosts both cinema and stage performances. Why not start or finish a visit with a trip to The White Horse Hotel and sample their delicious seasonal menus and dishes, family friendly garden, contemporary Ingalls Restaurant and spacious Smugglers Bar.

5. Visit the coastal hamlet of Sizewell and experience the sheer size of Sizewell B nuclear power station

Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station

Sizewell is a tranquil hamlet, with access to a beautiful beach, scattered with fishing boats and lobster pots. Experience the juxtaposition of this area of outstanding natural beauty against the backdrop of Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station for a truly James Bondesque film set feeling!

Useful Information

Have a look at this neat little pocket guide to the Leiston to help plan your trip.

Public Conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities

Sizewell Beach Public Toilets, Sizewell Gap, IP16 4UH - Baby changing and disabled facilities available.



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.

Free town wifi

Free WiFi is available within the town's WiFi zone, making it easy for you to get online during your visit.

See maps of where it is available in eleven East Suffolk towns, as well as instructions on how to access the free WiFi here.

How to get to Leiston - 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 Bus: Local services running to Saxmundham, Halesworth and Aldeburgh with onward connections. Timetables and further information can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com

By Rail: Direct services from Saxmundham Rail Station to Lowestoft, Ipswich with connections to London Liverpool Street and Norwich. All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website.

Car Parks in Leiston

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.

Main Street, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4ER

Valley Road, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4AQ

High Street, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4EL

Sizewell Road, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4TX

Sizewell Gap, Sizewell, Suffolk, IP16 4UH

Walking in Leiston

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.