The Suffolk Coast is absolutely teeming with flora and fauna.
That’s what draws so many people to the area. It’s the wide, open beaches, the beautiful countryside and it’s the chance to stand a while and breathe in that fresh sea air…
Try any of these and you’ll be in love with the Suffolk Coast. Hooked. Just counting down the days to your next visit...
1. RSPB Minsmere
One of the RSPB's flagship reserves, RSPB Minsmere is home to some of the UK's most rare and well-loved birds including the Avocet, Bearded Tit, Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Nightingale.
Made up of woodland, wetland and coast; visitors can choose from a variety of walks taking in the scenery and wildlife, which changes throughout the year. During the summer, the reserve showcases a variety of wild flowers, birds and insects but visit during the autumn and you will be treated to one of nature's most spectacular scenes; the Red Deer Rut.
Click here for places to stay near RSPB Minsmere
2. Suffolk Wildlife Trust
The Suffolk Wildlife Trust has nature reserves all the way along the Suffolk Coast. In the north, at Gunton Meadow near Lowestoft, you will find a variety of grassland species, and in the ponds, the endangered gold-crested newt. Carlton from Trimley Marshes at Felixstowe to Gunton Meadow at Lowestoft; some of Suffolk's most inspiring wild places.
Slightly further south at Carlton & Oulton Marshes, you will find a plethora of waterlife along the many footpaths taking in the Angles Way along the River Waveney.
At the southernmost point of Suffolk, sits Trimley Marshes; with views across the Orwell estuary. The circular walk takes you around the 3400 acre estate past Felixstowe Port and Loomlit Lake:
3. Landguard Peninsula
The Landguard Peninsula sits at the southernmost point of Felixstowe and covers 33 hectares; incorporating the Landguard Nature Reserve and Landguard Fort. The reserve is home to rare plants and migrating birds amongst the vegetated shingle coast, with the stunning scenery accessible by foot and bicycle.
A cycle ride will take you along Route 51 of the National Cycle Network where you can spot a number of wild flowers, and in the ponds, colourful dragon and damselflies.
Click here for places to stay near Landguard Peninsula
4. Waveney Valley
Running through the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, the Waveney Valley is a timeless rural landscape, where the pace of life is slow and the folk are friendly.
Each of the Waveney Valley's unique market towns are brimming with individual shops, intriguing heritage and culture and are surrounded by picturesque countryside and meandering rivers.
Following the River Waveney from Diss through to Burgh St Peter, the Waveney Valley includes the towns of Eye, Harleston, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Loddon and surrounding villages. Walk one of the many trails or step on board the Big Dog Ferry to sail the River Waveney from Beccles to Geldeston or the Waveney Princess with Waveney River Tours to gently cruise from Oulton Broad.
5. Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) stretches from the Stour estuary in the south, to Kessingland in the north, taking in shingle beaches, cliffs, marshes, estuaries, heathland forests and farm land.
The variety of habitats include reedbeds, ancient woodland, saltmarshes and sea and have inspired many artists, writers and musicians. A range of walks have been developed, enabling visitors to take in this outstanding landscape in any season!
Be sure to download these handy maps and guides for a memorable day taking in the flora and fauna of The Suffolk Coast:
6. National Trust Orford Ness
Wild, remote and exposed, National Trust Orford Ness contains the ruined remnants of a disturbing past. Ranked among the most important shingle features in the world, rare and fragile wildlife thrives where weapons, including atomic bombs, were once tested and perfected.
Living on the coast is a challenge for any plant but the desert-like conditions of the shingle habitat present additional challenges. Plants have to adapt to survive the wind, extremes of temperature and salt. The spit is made up of grazing marsh and vegetated shingle habitats featuring sea pea, sea kale, yellow horned poppy, sea aster, samphire and sea lavender.
7. Deben Peninsula
Made up of coastal heathlands and undulating farmland the Deben Peninsula includes the coastal and riversie villages of Sutton, Shottisham, Hollesley, Boyton, Alderton, Ramsholt and Bawdsey.
Part of the Suffolk Coast & Heathe AONB, the Deben Peninsula coastline and estuary is further recognised as forming part of the Suffolk Heritage Coast and the upper reaches of the Deben River, which is designated as Special Landscape Areas.
A great way to see the flora, fauna and wildlife of this unique landscape is on board the Oystercatcher with Deben Boat Trips. Trips run through the summer with photography trips, bird watching, painting and other special events.
Click here to download a handy guide to the Deben Peninsula:
8. Market Towns
The historic towns of Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Framlingham boast some of the area's most picturesque walking routes. In Bungay, walk from the Buttercross in the town centre to the castle ruins and along the river, stopping by the Earsham Street Café for a delicious sandwich and cup of coffee.
In Beccles, start your walk in the town centre and head south down Newgate towards the Quay where you can walk along the River Waveney and out across the marshes.
No trip to Framlingham is complete without a visit to the Castle, but afterwards, head to the Mere; a haven for wildlife and popular with walkers throughout the year.
9. Angels and Pinnacles
Although not strictly flora and fauna, a visit to any of the churches on The Suffolk Coast will bring you close to some stunning settings and glorious views.
Take time to explore Woodbridge St Mary, overlooking the beautiful River Deben with its exposed flintwork and battlements. Or All Saints church at Ramsholt, overlooking the estuary where, centuries ago, Richard III’s fleet would have moored.
And for a truly stunning setting you should visit Holy Trinity church at Blythburgh (just off the A12). Rising majestically out of the Blyth Estuary, the church is known to many as ‘The Cathedral of the Marshes’.
10. Beaches on The Suffolk Coast
For many this is the magnet that draws them back to The Suffolk Coast time and time again.
For some it’s the bucket and spade holiday at our delightful seaside resorts. For others it’s the wild remoteness of the beaches where nature is up close and personal.
We’re lucky enough to live just a stone’s throw from the beach. And we never tire of its changing moods, its big skies and that ever-so bracing, fresh sea air. Our beach guide has all you need to know to plan your day out amongst the flora and fauna of our beautiful coastline.