SUFFOLK TOURIST GUIDE

RSPB Minsmere

Westleton
Minsmere
Saxmundham
Dunwich
Suffolk
United Kingdom
IP17 3BY
Geocoding service

RSPB Minsmere

RSPB Minsmere is more than just a Nature Reserve, it's a great day out for everyone, young and old.

Families will love the Wild Zone, complete with den building, child-sized sand martin tunnels and a willow-woven nest.
Children can play whilst parents can relax on comfortable sculpted sky-watching seats.

The Discovery Centre is a great venue for school groups or birthday parties, and is also used for many of our family events.

In our Visitor Centre, families can borrow an Explorer Backpack for self-guided wildlife discovery. These packs contain binoculars, a bugbox and a wildlife checklist.

You can choose from a variety of countryside walks through stunning coastal, wetland, woodland and heathland scenery, with 8 wildlife watching hides throughout the Reserve to sit and relax as you watch the wide variety of wildlife. Volunteer guides are often on hand to help, or book a guided walk before you visit if you prefer.

The views and wildlife change throughout the seasons, but theres always a variety of birds on the feeders outside the cafe.

In the Cafe much of the food is homemade using locally-sourced ingredients and the shop sells everything from wildlife homes to binoculars, cards to childrens gifts.

In spring, Minsmere is alive with birdsong, displaying birds and migrants passing through. Summer sees insects flitting among a variety of flowers, and breeding birds busily feeding their young. As the colours change in autumn, the red deer rut takes centre stage and winter migrants begin to return to the marshes and lagoons. The golden reedbeds and flocks of ducks dominate a winter visit.

For local information please see:Saxmundham Guide
Dunwich Guide
and for Accommodation near Minsemere click here

Special Offers and Events

Events May 2017, by date

Events at North Warren *
(all other events at RSPB Minsmere)
Family events **
Free events ***

May:
***Mon 1 – Swarovski European launch tour: 10 am – 4 pm
Tue 2 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
Sat 6 – Dawn chorus and breakfast: 4.00 am
Sun 7 – Minsmere@70 wildlife walk: 9.15 am
Tue 9 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
* Wed 10 – Health walk at North Warren: 10.45 am
Sat 13 – Minsmere@70 wildlife walk: 9.15 am
Sun 14 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
Tue 16 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
Wed 17 – Birds for beginners: 1.30 pm
Sun 21 – Minsmere@70 wildlife walk: 9.15 am
Tue 23 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
***Tues 23 – Health walk at Minsmere: 11 am
Wed 24 – Celebrating 70 years at Minsmere with the Suffolk Walking Festival: 10 am
Sat 27 – Minsmere@70 wildlife walk: 9.15 am
***Sat 27 – Binocular and telescope open day: 10 am – 4 pm
***Sun 28 – Binocular and telescope open day: 10 am – 4 pm
Sun 28 – Birds for beginners: 10.30 am
***Mon 29 – Binocular and telescope open day: 10 am – 4 pm
**Mon 29 – #Minsmerebioblitz: 10 am – 4 pm
Tue 30 – Sounds of spring (with breakfast): 7.30 am
**Tue 30 – #Minsmerebioblitz: 10 am – 4 pm
**Wed 31 – #Minsmerebioblitz: 10 am – 4 pm
Wed 31 – Birds for beginners: 1.30 pm
car park, where there is a limited amount of shaded parking.

Guided walks at Minsmere
Costs : Adults £8, children £4, plus usual reserve entry fees.
Places limited. Unless stated, booking is essential. Call 01728 648281 or email Minsmere@rspb.org.uk

Minsmere @70 wildlife walk
May: Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 21, Sat 27
Start at 9.15 am (3-4 hours)
Explore the seasonal sights and sounds at Minsmere, discover some of our amazing wildlife and learn about key moments in Minsmere’s 70 year history during this guided walk with our friendly and knowledgeable guides.

Birdwatching for beginners
May: Sun 28
Start at 10.30 am (2.5 hours)

May: Wed 17, Wed 31
Start at 1.30 pm (2.5 hours)
Many people have begun birdwatching at Minsmere over the last 70 years. Our RSPB guides will take you through all the steps for bird identification as well as showing you how to use binoculars and which field guides are best for you. They’ll then help you to spot some the reserve’s seasonal highlights. No previous experience needed. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars or ask at reception about loaning a pair for the day.

Health walks
May: Tues 23
Start: 11.00am – 12.30pm
Meet at 10.45am outside the visitor centre. The walk starts at 11.00am. A walk around the lovely RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, right by the sea, home to some of Suffolk’s greatest wildlife. Depending on the weather and walkers’ abilities and preferences, we will take a coastal, woodland, or reedbed route. During the Health Walk you'll get free access to the reserve, but normal entry fees apply at other times.No dogs are allowed because of breeding birds, except assistance dogs kept on a short lead. Grade: 2 or 3. 1.5 - 2 miles / 1 - 1.5hrs. Led by RSPB volunteers trained as Health Walk Leaders.

Dawn chorus and breakfast
May: Sat 6
Start at 4 am (2.5 hours, plus breakfast)
It’s an early start but definitely worth it! Join our guides as you take a walk around the reserve to enjoy the bird chorus as the sun starts to rise. Booming bitterns, the delights of Cetti’s warblers and the melodic nightingales are just a few sounds to enjoy. Followed by a hearty full English breakfast this will be one of the most memorable morning experiences you will have.
These are our most popular walks, so please book early.
Costs: Adults £28; children £23; RSPB member adult £19; RSPB Wildlife Explorers £14

Sounds of Spring (and breakfast)
May: Tue 2, Tue 9, Sun 14, Tue 16, Tue 23, Tue 30
Start: 7.30 am (plus breakfast at 9.30 am)
Spring is a fantastic time of year to enjoy the sights and sounds of Minsmere. From booming bitterns, warbling warblers to the delight of the nightingale’s song, our guides will take you on a sound tour you won’t forget. Suitable for beginners, these walks are a great opportunity to learn birdsong. The walk will end with a light breakfast and hot drink in the cafe.
Places are strictly limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Costs, including breakfast:  RSPB members £17, non member adults £25, Wildlife Explorers £11, non member children £19

Suffolk Walking Festival: Celebrating 70 years at RSPB Minsmere
May: Wed 24
Start: 10 am (3 hours)
Minsmere became an RSPB nature reserve in April 1947 and is now one of the UK's premier nature reserves. Unlock 70 years of history and discover some of the amazing wildlife that calls Minsmere home. Tickets available from 28 February at www.suffolkwalkingfestival.co.uk and www.ticketsource.co.uk/suffolkwalkingfestival


Special events at Minsmere
(www.rspb.org.uk/minsmere)

Places limited. Booking essential. See details for costs.

Binocular and telescope open days
May: Mon 1, Sat 27, Sun 28, Mon 29
10am to 4pm
Our expert staff, volunteers and suppliers, Viking Optical, will be here to give practical and unbiased advice on choosing the right binoculars, telescopes and accessories.

Swarovski European launch tour
May: Mon 1
Binocular and telescope specialists Swarovski Optik are launching their exciting new BTX binocular-telescope range this spring, with Minsmere one of the destinations for their European tour. Be one of the first to try it at Minsmere. There will be a wide range of binoculars and telescopes to try, and expert advice on choosing the best one for you.

#Minsmerebioblitz
May: Sat 27 – Wed 31
June: Thurs 1 – Sun 4
10 am – 4 pm
How many of Minsmere’s 5700 species can we find in a week? Our guides will be on hand to help you to spot many of Minsmere’s birds, bugs and plants. Partners from other conservation organisations will help us to identify some of our trickier species. Keep uptodate with how we get on via #Minsmerebioblitz on Facebook and Twitter. Free event, normal entry fees apply

4x4 Safaris
Monthly: dates and times by request
Start times: 9.30 am and 1 pm
A great way to explore the hidden treasures that Minsmere has to offer in the comfort of a 4x4 vehicle. Our 2-3 hour tours take you behind the scenes to parts not normally accessible to visitors. A great treat for a small group or as a gift for a loved one.
Cost: £155 per vehicle (maximum of 4 passengers), or £90 for RSPB members. Booking essential
If any of the above dates are not convenient please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.

Hire a Guide
Monthly: dates and times by request
Explore and discover more about Minsmere with our tailor made walks to suit your needs. Walks last 2-3 hours and are great for those wishing to focus on specific wildlife, just starting to bird watch or wishing too understand the basic of wildlife photography and for people with limited mobility.
Please call at least two weeks in advance to allow us time to allocate a guide to your preferred date.
Cost: £80 for up to 4 participants, plus normal reserve entry fees for non-members


Special events for families

#Minsmerebioblitz
May: Sat 27 – Wed 31
June: Thurs 1 – Sun 4
10 am – 4 pm
How many of Minsmere’s 5700 species can we find in a week? Our guides will be on hand to help you to spot many of Minsmere’s birds, bugs and plants. Partners from other conservation organisations will help us to identify some of our trickier species. Keep uptodate with how we get on via #Minsmerebioblitz on Facebook and Twitter. Free event, normal entry fees apply


Guided walks at RSPB North Warren

Health walks at North Warren
May: Wed 10
Start at 10.45 am (1.5-2 hours)
Meet at 10.30am at Thorpeness Meare – meet on the village green next to the Meare, adjacent to the public toilets. Pay and Display car parking available in public car park opposite the village green. Walks starts at 10.45am. A beautiful circular walk from Thorpeness taking in the RSPB North Warren nature reserve. The walk includes a mixture of woodland, heathland and boardwalk through a reedbed. Short stretch of footpath that is steep and narrow. Approx 3.5 miles. Approx 1.5 hours. Opportunity for lunch at end of walk. Grade 2. Led by RSPB volunteers trained as Health Walk Leaders.


Events at RSPB Havergate Island

The next available trips to Havergate Island are on 22/23 July



Visiting arrangements at Minsmere

Entry charges to the reserve:
adult £9,
child £9 (under 5s free),
families one child free,
students £6.00
Free for RSPB and Wildlife Explorer members.
Your entry fee will be refunded if you become a member on the day of your visit.

Opening times
Nature trails and hides open daily.
From 1 February to 31 October:
Visitor centre and shop open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Cafe open 9.30 am to 4.45 pm.
Hot food served 11.30 am to 2.30 pm.
From 1 November to 31 January:​
Visitor centre, shop and cafe open 10 am to 3.30 pm
Reserve and all facilities closed 25 and 26 December.

Facilities at Minsmere
Access to the visitor centre is free. At the reception desk, you can hire binoculars or a children’s Explorer Backpack. You can also find out more about the reserve and the RSPB. The shop stocks a wide range of books, outdoor clothing, gifts, binoculars and telescopes. You can enjoy a light meal or snack in the cafe. There are toilets, with baby changing facilities, and a large car park beside the visitor centre.
Families can explore the Discovery Centre, Wild Zone and Wild Wood Adventure to find out about Minsmere’s wildlife. A permit is needed for the three nature trails, which are each about 1.5 miles long. Two of the eight birdwatching hides are accessed via steps, and two via the beach. The rest of the hides and trails are accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs. A free trail guide is available from reception. Sorry, no dogs on the nature trails, but they are welcome around the visitor centre and car park, where there is a limited amount of shaded parking.

Show other hot offers in Minsmere

Additional Features

Fun for the Whole Family
Kids Love It!
Nature Lover's Paradise
Rare Species
Talks and Events Held
Visitor Centre
Outdoor Activities
Unique Day Out
Home made food
Freshly prepared food
Suitable for all
Disabled Toilets
No dogs except assistance dogs
Guided tours available
Nature Courses
Photography Courses
Activities for all the family


See What's on in Suffolk


Find out more about Saxmundham

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