• The Suffolk Coast - Guide to Walking

The Suffolk Coast - Guide to Walking

As an area of outstanding natural beauty, The Suffolk Coast is an area rich in coastal and countryside walks.

Whether you're an experienced rambler or just enjoy exploring on foot, the Suffolk Coast has a walk for you.

Walking is one of the best ways to appreciate the full beauty of every season on the coast - a guaranteed way to lift the spirits, spot rare wildlife and find those perfect photo opportunity locations.

Please take great care when out walking along the coast and estuaries. The low-lying coast is subject to changeable conditions, so please be aware of hidden dangers, changes in tides, cliff erosion, soft mud/sand which can be dangerous. Please make sure you follow all footpath diversions as they'll help to navigate you away from tricky areas.

Please consider the environment, landscape, wildlife, livestock, horses and other people when walking, especially if you've got your dog with you.  Please make sure dogs are under control and on a lead where requested to make sure nesting birds and other wildlife are not disturbed. The nesting season is between 1st March and 31 July and the Countryside Code recommends that dogs are kept on short leads during this time on open access land to make sure birds are not disturbed during this hugely important season.  There are restrictions on some beaches as to when dogs can and can't be walked on them, check out our dog friendly guide here. Watch out for other signs and requests from farmers and landowners so that you can enjoy your walks fully!  You can check out the guidelines set out in the Countryside Code here.

For more information on walking in Suffolk, see the information below or visit www.discoversuffolk.org.uk

We want everyone to enjoy the wonderful walks on offer along the coast, if you spot any problems on public rights of way please report them to Suffolk County Council here.  

Beach Walks

Beaches - Covehithe - drone

Take advantage during the winter months of the miles of deserted award winning beaches that stretch along the coast, enjoy the sand and shingle landscapes all with that fabulous Suffolk backdrop - the wide open sky. From rural coast to seaside promenades, take your pick!

Whether it’s a romantic stroll for two or a fun day out with the family, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as a beach walk!  Most beaches welcome dogs out of season (October to April) but it’s always worth checking beforehand.  During the summer months they can still accompany you on a lead.

Beach Walk Guides:

Aldeburgh and Thorpeness Walk Guide

Kessingland Explorer Guide

Southwold Explorer Guide

Thorpeness Explorer Guide

Walberswick Walk Guide

Walberswick Explorer Guide

The Four Foot Ferries of The Suffolk Coast

Felixstowe Ferry - (c) Emily Fae Photography

When exploring Suffolk's coastline you may find yourself needing to cross one of the many rivers or waterways. The unique network of foot ferries that operate in Walberswick, Butley, Bawdsey and Felixstowe mean that your journey can continue. These ferries have impressive histories dating back hundreds of years, there's nothing quite like adding a boat trip to your walk to make it stand out!

For more information on the ferries, check out our guide: The Four Foot Ferries of The Suffolk Coast

The timetable for the ferries is available here, please note this is 2019 information for contact details only, please make sure you contact each ferry provider before planning a trip to make sure they are running and to get up to date information on operations:


Countryside Walks

Children walking at Rendlesham - Emily Fae Photography

The Suffolk countryside is home to a fantastic array of nature and wildlife, with first class conservation organisations on hand to give you all the advice and guidance you need to get the most from your walk.

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve runs regular guided walks, introducing you to the wildlife and rare plant species whilst the National Trust reserves of Dunwich Heath, Sutton Hoo and Orford Ness host a range of guided walks, talks, nature sessions and photography workshops for walkers young and old. 

Countryside Walk Guides:


Heritage Walk Guides & Town Trails:

Easy Access/Easy Going Trails

Dunwich Heath - The Suffolk Coast

Discover Suffolk have developed 18 easy to follow trails to help everyone get close to nature in Suffolk’s countryside. Each trail is designed to be straightforward to follow and on generally level ground.  

The trails have been carefully assessed by a team of disabled volunteers and are divided into Easy Access Trails which are suitable for all, and Easy Going Trails which follow slightly rougher ground and are a bit more challenging. Each walk starts at a car park, most have accessible toilet facilities, and many have cafes or tea rooms. There are a few trails in really wild destinations with no facilities, although you should still find facilities fairly close by.

Whilst every care has been taken to provide accurate information, please be aware that accessibility is liable to be influenced by the weather. Most of the trails are low-level walks on firm ground with occasional gentle slopes. Only some of the paths have all weather surfaces and care should be taken if there has been a particularly wet, frosty or snowy period of poor weather, when the surfaces of grassy paths cold be more difficult to negotiate.

Here are a selection of easy going/access trails on the Suffolk Coast:

Outstanding Landscapes Walks

TTDA - Dunwich Heath - Heather

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the support of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Community Fund have launched 4 new guides for walking routes on The Suffolk Coast.

The guides, themed around the Outstanding Landscapes on the Suffolk Coast,  are designed to allow users to see some of the best areas in the nationally designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

The routes take walkers through habitats such as Woodland, Heathland, Farmland and Coastal areas.  The routes are based around some of the finest villages on The Suffolk Coast, that boast many fine eating and drinking establishments to refresh or bolster the energy of these using the routes.  

The walks pass through the villages of Aldeburgh & Thorpeness; Rendlesham & Staverton; Sutton & Hollesley Heaths and Walberswick.

Down the guides here: www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/visiting/visitor-guides

Hard copies are also available from the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team who can be contacted on 01394 445225.

Long Distance Walks

Southwold Pier - (c) Gill Moon Photography

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB have created a handy, pocket-sized guide to the 3 long-distance walks in Suffolk; the Suffolk Coast Path (Lowestoft to Felixstowe), the Stour and Orwell Walk (Felixstowe to Cattawade) and the Sandlings Walk (Ipswich to Southwold). 

The guide is available to buy from www.cicerone.co.uk/suffolk-coast-and-heath-walks

Suffolk Coast Path - 60 miles

A walk along the beautiful Suffolk coast from Felixstowe to Lowestoft. The walk passes through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers 150 square miles in East Anglia and includes wildlife-rich wetlands, ancient heaths, shingle beaches and historic towns and villages. You will pass through Bawdsey, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, North Warren, Thorpeness, Minsmere, Dunwich Forest, Southwold and Kessingland.

Highlights on the route include the section around Leiston where you will pass the delightful Minsmere Nature Reserve - one of the UK's premier birdwatching sites. This section also takes you through the peaceful Dunwich Forest, the Walberswick Nature Reserve and the lovely National Trust owned Dunwich Heath. There's miles of footpaths through beautiful purple heathland and coastal views along the pretty Dunwich beach on this section.

Near Ipswich you'll pass the delightful Pin Mill where you can see lots of little boats in the River Orwell and enjoy refreshments at the 17th century Butt and Oyster pub.

Find out more on the GPS Cycle and Walking Routes website here: www.gps-routes.co.uk

Sandlings Walk - 59 miles

A walk through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Southwold to Ipswich via Woodbridge.  The walk begins on the coast at Southwold before passing through the countryside and a series of forests. Long, peaceful wooded sections through Dunwich Forest, Tunstall Forest and Rendlesham Forest are major highlights of the walk. At Leiston you'll pass the delightful Minsmere Nature Reserve - one of the UK's premier birdwatching sites. There is also a pleasant waterside section along the River Deben in Woodbridge and views of the River Alde to enjoy.

Find out more on the GPS Cycle and Walking Routes website here: www.gps-routes.co.uk

Stour and Orwell Walk - 40 miles

Follow the Rivers Orwell and the Stour on this walk through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The walk begins on the Suffolk Coast at Felixstowe and soon turns north along the River Orwell for a waterside stretch towards Ipswich, passing the riverside Orwell Country Park, the lovely beach at Nacton Shores and Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve on the way. You then turn south along the western side of the Orwell towards Shotley Gate where you join the River Stour for the final stretch to Cattawade. This section passes the delightful Pin Mill where you can see lots of little boats in the river and enjoy refreshments at the 17th century Butt and Oyster pub.

Find out more on the GPS Cycle and Walking Routes website here: www.gps-routes.co.uk