Leiston guide

A piece of Yorkshire in Suffolk

Check out our handy ‘know before you go’ guide to make your visit a huge success! 

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




Location


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!

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.

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

Check out the Find My Nearest website for helpful information on parking, public toilets, leisure centres, libraries, train stations, cinemas, theatres and museums.

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.


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

The most convenient ways to find parking places in East Suffolk are either via Find My Nearest, and where parking fees apply 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


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.


Covid-19 testing in Suffolk

You can find useful information on Covid-19 testing on the Government website here;

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/

Local information on how and where to get a PCR test if you have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-testing-in-suffolk/

Local information on how and where to get a rapid lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-asymptomatic-testing/


Things to do in Leiston