Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa
Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa
Red House Yards Events  &  Accommodation
Red House Yards Events & Accommodation
Willows Barn Luxury Self Catering, Framlingham
Willows Barn Luxury Self Catering, Framlingham
RSPB Suffolk
RSPB Suffolk
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The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
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Kentwell Hall, Long Melford
Kentwell Hall, Long Melford
Sibton White Horse Inn, Sibton
Sibton White Horse Inn, Sibton
Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich
Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich
Short Courses at Assington Mill, Sudbury
Short Courses at Assington Mill, Sudbury
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The Abbey B & B, Eye
High Lodge Holiday Resort, Saxmundham
High Lodge Holiday Resort, Saxmundham
The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
Best of Suffolk - Self Catering Accommodation
Best of Suffolk - Self Catering Accommodation
Hintlesham Hall, Ipswich
Hintlesham Hall, Ipswich
Fornham Organic Shop  &  Cafe, Bury St Edmunds
Fornham Organic Shop & Cafe, Bury St Edmunds
Pakefield Caravan Park
Pakefield Caravan Park
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The Westleton Crown, Westleton
The Bildeston Crown, Bildeston
The Bildeston Crown, Bildeston
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The Cock Inn, Polstead
The Swan at Lavenham
The Swan at Lavenham
Cottages4you, Suffolk
Cottages4you, Suffolk
The Ship Inn, Blaxhall
The Ship Inn, Blaxhall
Go Ape, Thetford
Go Ape, Thetford
The Anchor, Walberswick
The Anchor, Walberswick
Suffolk Cottage Holidays, Aldeburgh
Suffolk Cottage Holidays, Aldeburgh
Aldeburgh Bay Holidays, Self Catering
Aldeburgh Bay Holidays, Self Catering
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The Amber Shop, Southwold
Broadland Sands Holiday Park, Lowestoft
Broadland Sands Holiday Park, Lowestoft
The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh
The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh
Fynn Valley Golf, Restaurant  &  Luxury Lodges, Ipswich
Fynn Valley Golf, Restaurant & Luxury Lodges, Ipswich
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Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham
Swilland Mill Luxury Self Catering, Woodbridge
Swilland Mill Luxury Self Catering, Woodbridge
Suffolk Coastal Cottages, Southwold
Suffolk Coastal Cottages, Southwold
Felixstowe Leisure Centre
Felixstowe Leisure Centre
Polstead Camping and Caravan Site
Polstead Camping and Caravan Site
The Great House, Lavenham
The Great House, Lavenham
Stonham Barns Leisure  &  Retail Village
Stonham Barns Leisure & Retail Village

Dunwich


It’s hard to believe that the small, sleepy village of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast was once a bustling city with a population of 4,000. However, at one time it was the unofficial capital of East Anglia and a bustling seaport with 8 churches, 5 houses of religious order, and was the port responsible for major trades including the export of wool and grain and the import of fish, fir and timber. Today Dunwich is a small village with a large shingle beach, a Heath & Forest stretching to Westleton in one direction and Walbersick in the other, with RSPB Minsmere alongside. So there's still plenty to see and do!

Settled between Walberswick and Southwold, this is a perfect location to launch a birdwatching expedition, as it is nearby to the birdwatching areas of Dunwich Heath and RSPB Minsmere. Also, during the Autumn months, you can see herds of deer on the Heath engaging in the annual deer rutting season. The sound of the strange groaning and belching sounds echoing across the Heath is unique, and you might also hear the clash of antlers as males show off their virility to potential mates. Like gladiators entering an arena, you can see them parading around showing off their armoury of antler to potential mates! Just come along to the Heath during October and November with your binoculars, or, if you prefer a guided tour see RSPB Minsmere as they offer deer safaris in the area.

Dunwich Heath


However, if you prefer a relaxing day on the beach with the family and pets (dogs allowed all year on the beach), there is a very attractive Coastal Path walk running paralell to the coast which runs for about 3 miles from the village car park to Walberswick. The car park is open all year round and it is free to park. There is also a public toilet open throughout the year situated at the top of the car park.

Walberswick Nature reserve


Dunwich


Dogs are allowed on the Coastal path throughout the year, but must be kept on a lead during the breeding season as it's part of a nature reserve - see Walberswick Nature reserve.

Dunwich heath


After all that exercise you'll need somewhere to recuperate and what better place than The Ship, Dunwich, which also provides accommodation for those too tired to leave. Colin, the chef, has been at The Ship for 17 years now, and is justly famous for his fish and chips - but there's plenty more to enjoy on The Ship's menu: steak and ale pie, lamb, pea and mint casserole, bread and butter pudding, chocolate roly poly and much more which are all accompanied by good wines at sensible prices, or proper beers and ales - including Adnams and a range of guest ales.

The Ship, Dunwich


The Ship also offers accommodation so it's a great base to explore this lovely area of the Suffolk Coast.

Dunwich


From Spring to the end of November the beach cafe at Dunwich is open, offering a full range of refreshements, including fish & chips of course! There is also a large car park and public toilets open all year, so come to Dunwich for an invigorating stroll or even a dip!

Sylvia Speak


dunwich beach

(images courtesy of Sylvia Speak robsyl87@tiscali.co.uk)

A bit of history By 1086, just twelve years after the Norman Conquest, Dunwich was a thriving port, and just under a hundred years later, in 1173, Robert, Earl of Leicester, tried to land 3,000 Flemish troops here in an attempt to overthrow and depose Henry II and replace him with his son. His plot was delayed by the loyal residents of the village who turned the boats away when they tried to disembark. Because of this, the Earl of Leicester was forced to set sail again, finally landing at Orwell, a now long gone port east of Harwich. In appreciation of their actions, Dunwich was granted a royal charter in 1199, becoming a borough and gaining a council, magistrates, and officers.



The village may have still been a much larger town, possibly even a city, if it hadn't been for several severe floods in the 13th & 14th centuries, which destroyed several of the churches and reclaimed portions of the land. Its proximity to the coast worked against it as well, and the sea ate away at it, leading to its almost complete abandonment by the 19th century. You can see from the cliffs today how the sea batters against the shore.

Suffolk


Dunwich


Due to its charter, the area was represented by two MPs, making it for a while one of the infamous 'Rotten Boroughs'. There are still clear reminders of its heyday, including the ruins of a Franciscan priory -

while the natural splendour of Dunwich Heath is still intact (see
Walberswick Nature reserve for more information about these areas)

Have you been to Dunwich? What did you think? Please let us know by Sending us an Email.

Your Comments and Reviews of Dunwich



I LOVED DUNWICH SO MUCH AS MY GRANDMA LIVED THERE. SHE WAS 1 OF 13 CHILDREN, I HAVE A PHOTO OF MY GREAT GRANDMA OUTSIDE HER COTTAGE. ALSO MY UNCLE REGGIE USED TO GO TO THE SHIP EVERYDAY ON HIS BIKE AGED 90, HE ALSO HAD HIS OWN CHAIR JUST INSIDE THE DOOR,
I HOPE ITS STILL THERE. MY FAMILY WERE THE SHEPHARDS.
VERY HAPPY TIMES.

STEPHANIE [WAS BEALES]
About the author - Sarah Quinlan is the owner of the Suffolk Guides. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahinSuffolk or Google+
Suffolk Tourist Guide