• Top 10 Dog Friendly Things to Do on The Suffolk Coast

Top 10 Dog Friendly Things to Do on The Suffolk Coast

We’re a nation of animal lovers and top of the list has to be our best friend – the family dog…

Where would we be without these faithful companions who stick by us whatever? 

So life is good for you and your dog if you can share some great days out together. And we’ve got that covered for you right here on The Suffolk Coast.

It's always important to consider the local environment, landscape, wildlife, livestock, horses and other people when walking your dog.  Please make sure your dog is 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.  Watch out for other signs and requests from farmers and landowners which relate to dogs so that you can enjoy your walks fully!  You can check out the guidelines set out in the Countryside Code here.

1. History

Landguard Fort in Felixstowe has played a key part in the defense of our shores and dates back over 400 years. You can explore the history and architecture of the fort in the company of your 4-legged companion as dogs (on leads) are welcome and a water bowl is available for their refreshment.

Just up the coast near Woodbridge is National Trust Sutton Hoo where you can discover the story of the Anglo-Saxons at the burial ground of kings. Dogs are allowed to walk around the estate, with two different walks on offer but aren't allowed inside the museum.

Slightly inland and you will find Framlingham Castle. Steeped in nearly 1000 years of history, there’s loads to explore and dogs on leads are allowed in the grounds.

Click here to see all the Dog Friendly Attractions on The Suffolk Coast 

2. Beaches

Dogs are allowed on most of The Suffolk Coast’s beaches, however on many of our most popular stretches, there are restrictions over the summer months so best to look out for signs that give exact dates for a particular beach.

Whilst some stretches don't allow dogs during the summer months, many including Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe have parts to the north and south of the main beaches which do all year round.

One beach that does allow dogs year-round is Dunwich; a haven for canines and owners, you will both love exploring the sand and heathland, and after a long walk, you can enjoy a cold beverage in The Ship Inn whilst your pooch tucks into a dog biscuit.

If seclusion is what you desire, head to Covehithe. Only accessible on foot, you can walk your dog along the quiet lane heading to the sea (best keep the dog on a lead here due to the nearby pig fields!) before letting them loose on the open beach for a game of fetch and a swim in the sea.

For more information on beaches on The Suffolk Coast, check out our Beaches Guide

3. Cafés

FD - The Tea Hut - View across the river

Feeling peckish? These dog-friendly cafés on The Suffolk Coast are the ideal place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a selection of local produce during a jam-packed day of exploring with your dog.

The Tea Hut in Woodbridge sits on the banks of the River Deben and is the perfect place to stop at the end of a walk along the river wall and out along the Deben Estuary with your pooch. 

After a day out at Bawdsey, which is a haven for dogs! Head inland to Shottisham and pay a visit to the Blue Rabbit Cafe; here you can stock up on a range of the small-holding's own produce including vegetables, bacon, sausages, eggs and cakes! The cafe also serves a mouth-watering selection of homemade cakes, lunches and drinks - all made with their own produce!

No trip to The Suffolk Coast would be complete without a visit to Southwold's famous Pier! And after an early morning stroll along the prom, stop by the Beach Café and Clockhouse for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, dinner and ice cream!

Click here to see all the dog friendly cafes on The Suffolk Coast

4. Pubs

If you fancy a swift half while taking your best friend for a walk, head over to The Ramsholt Arms, near Ipswich. The riverside pub and restaurant is dog-friendly with some great dog walks nearby too! After you've walked up an appetite, you can choose from the extensive menu whilst your dog enjoys the treats and water bowls available.

Upon arrival at The Ship at Dunwich, your fluffy friend can chomp away on treat whilst you sample the fish and chips, or find a spot in the garden at The Harbour Inn, Southwold; where you and your pup can take in the outstanding views over The River Blyth and Southwold marshes.

If the weather is less than desirable, dogs are welcome to join you in the bar of The Ufford Crown, near Woodbridge - where water bowls and treats are on offer!

Click here to see all the dog friendly pubs on The Suffolk Coast

5. Family Attractions

The East Anglia Transport Museum near Lowestoft, has a great collection of trams and buses that both children and dogs will love having a ride on! After a trip down memory lane (literally!) you can explore the exhibition halls, period street scenes, 'Tar, Sweat and Steam building' before stopping by the cafeteria serving hot and cold snacks and souvenir shop.

At The Suffolk Punch Trust at Hollesley, near Woodbridge, you can discover how these magnificent horses shaped our local landscape before setting off on one of the three walks around the farm, where dogs on leads are welcome. 

Your dog will feel right at home at Easton Farm Park; with pony rides (for children, not dogs!), train rides and cuddle experiences with baby animals, dogs on leads are welcome.

Click here to see all the Dog Friendly Attractions on The Suffolk Coast 

6. Water

Fancy getting out on the water?

Waveney River Tours at Oulton Broad can help you get afloat with your best friend; step on board the 100 seater passenger boats and enjoy a trip along the River Waveney, discovering the beautiful waterside scenery and looking out for some of the region's rare wildlife.

Suffolk River Trips welcome dogs (and their owners) on board their boats from three locations in Suffolk; Snape Maltings Quay, Orford Town Quay and Woodbridge Town Steps. The trips explore some of the most beautiful stretches, with helpful guides on board to help you spot avocets, curlew, marsh harriers, kingfishers, osprey and even common seals! 

And for something special, private charters of the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant mean you get a happy salty sea dog! Enjoy a delicious meal made from locally sourced produce, with up to 18 guests, it's up to you whether those guests are of the human or canine variety!

7. Walks

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to walks that you are your dog will love!

Explore some of Suffolk's magnificent medieval churches with Angels & Pinnacles; offering a range of walks which taking in the areas in and around the River Deben, Framlingham and Southwold:

Check out our Guide to Walking on The Suffolk Coast features a range of walks, many of which are suitable for your four-legged friend too. There are beach walks, country walks and pub walks to choose from.

Now where’s the lead?

8. Accommodation

There is plenty of dog friendly accommodation on The Suffolk Coast; from B&Bs and hotels, to self-catering cottages and camping!

Winners of the 2017 Visit England Dog Friendly Business Award! - Labradoodles 'Teddy' & 'Amber' invite dogs and their owners to stay! Letheringham Water Mill Cottages have blown away the cobwebs from traditional dog friendly holiday cottages with their award-winning 5* exclusive portfolio. Nestling in the heart of beautiful rural Suffolk, close to the Heritage Suffolk Coast, this is the ideal place to relax with two and four legged friends.

There are 5 magical places to stay - 4 riverside decked cottages and The Mill House - all set beside the River Deben within 7 acres of trees and greenery at this historic Grade II Water Mill.The safe site allows dogs to run free. The cottages are not just dog friendly, they are really dog friendly with no compromise on quality!

Named the Good Hotel Guide's Editor's Choice Dog Friendly Hotel 2016 is The Crown & Castle in Orford. The hotel is very dog-friendly, so a weekend away with your 4-legged friend can be spent in style! Well-behaved dogs and their owners can stay in one of the Best Garden Rooms and are welcome to enjoy a meal at one of the designated doggie tables.

At The Westleton Crown, dogs are welcomed with a bowl of water, dog biscuits and a blanket and can stay with you in one of the dog-friendly rooms and can dine with you in the cosy bar or relax in front of the roaring log fire in the lounge.

There's a range of accommodation to choose from at Cliff House Holiday Park has to offer across The Suffolk Coast, or if you want to indulge in a little luxury, book a stay at Mollett's Farm, where not only are your dogs welcome, other pets can come along too!

Click here to see all the dog friendly accommodation on The Suffolk Coast

9. Nature

The Suffolk Coast is renowned for its wide open spaces whether that’s on the beach or heaths. 

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty gives you and your furry friend the chance to enjoy the fabulous flora and fauna that we’re so lucky to be surrounded by. Offering a range of downloadable maps and guides, perfect for helping you make the most of your doggy holiday on The Suffolk Coast including pub walks, cycle routes and forest maps:

10. Shopping

Top 10 Dog Friendly Things to Do - Dog at Adnams Shop - Credit Adnams

If you’re looking for dog coats and accessories then head to Aldeburgh and O&C Butcher on the High Street, where your fashion conscious pooch is very welcome!

No trip to The Suffolk Coast would be complete without taking home a bottle or two of Adnams finest! The large Adnams store in Southwold is an emporium of everything Adnams from innovative beers, extensive wines and handcrafted spirits, as well as idyllic gifty bits too.  The shop has a friendly tasting bar which offers a broad range of beers, wine and spirits to taste on a daily basis. And bringing your dog (on a lead) is not a problem. This also goes for the shops in Aldeburgh and Woodbridge too.