The county of Suffolk has an excellent seashore that stretches from Felixstowe to Norfolk and Shotley, including sandy cliffs, inlets, dunes, and creeks. There’s something for everyone on the Suffolk coast, from sandy to shingle, from fishing port to reed bed, and from estuaries abundant in wildlife to everything in between.
Despite the fact that much of the Suffolk coast is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as you can see in the photo, Suffolk’s beaches aren’t particularly busy. Suffolk beaches provide a variety of inexpensive day-out options, whether you want to brave the North Sea, lose yourself in a good book, spot a tern hover, or catch some sprats. Find some of the best beaches in Suffolk in this guide –
The town of Lowestoft is the UK’s easternmost point, and its Edwardian magnificence along the shoreline is a good explanation for why it is at the forefront of the country’s wind energy industry. Lowestoft, dubbed the sunrise coast of Suffolk, is a very family-friendly destination, with miles of some of the best beaches in Suffolk, traditional seaside entertainment, plenty of fish and chip shops, and some good old-fashioned Lowestoft fun. Having a direct train from London to Liverpool Street, Lowestoft beach, also known as Victoria beach, is a good choice when the sun is beaming.
There are two wonderful, unspoiled beaches near Lowestoft: Kessingland and Pakefield. This secluded spot is one of Suffolk’s best-kept hidden gems, and people who know about it are unlikely to divulge the information. The beach is composed of marshland, shingle, and sand, extending for miles in the direction of Lowestoft north and Southwold down south. If you desire some serene time on an untouched shore, Kessingland Beach is a must-see (and your dog may accompany you).
There is one more remote beach, Covehithe, further south, where you can walk or pedal to get to a tranquil sandy beach and admire the mesmerising remains of St Andrews Church. There is no toilet at the beach, but there is ample parking and a well-marked footpath leading from the church to the shore. Unfortunately, this beautiful Suffolk beach is gradually succumbing to coastal erosion, but that only contributes to its serene isolation. The beach is clothing-optional for those who desire to escape society entirely!
Southwold is an esteemed village on the Suffolk seashore that provides excellent lodging, a magnificent pier, and both sandy and shingle beaches, which was named one of the six finest beaches by the Sunday Times travel section. These days, you can usually hire colourful beach huts (contact 01502 723292). However, if you’re considering buying one, expect to spend a lot of money!
There are plenty of family fun activities in Southwold, a charming port town. Walk the streets, enjoy the boating ponds and putting greens, and don’t miss a trip to the beautiful Southwold Pier Beach. Families will enjoy their stay here, and the beach features a 250m long pier abundant in attractions for both children and adults. It’s popular to sit on the pier shingle beach, but when high tide comes, you may have to move on. On windy days, you can seek shelter among the sand dunes and sandy shorelines near Walberswick and Southwold Harbour. During warm summer months and on holidays throughout the year, several lovely beach cafes are open.
A dog-walking paradise, Denes Beach is a serene shingle beach renowned for its marshland and picturesque scenery. It’s dog-friendly but maintains a clean environment and is great for kite-flying and romantic walks. This is where you’ll find a fun day out in Suffolk. Denes Beach is a wonderful alternative to the busier Southwold Pier Beach and features long stretches of beautiful shingle running from the north of the River Blyth mouth to Southwold.
You can cross to Walberswick, renowned for its sand dunes, crabbing, and miles of unblemished marshes, excellent for birding and walking, from Southwold Harbour. There are more unspoiled sandy beaches here as well as The Anchor, where you can get a great meal and accommodation if you’re hungry. Find more information on Walberswick here.
Dunwich Beach, which once boasted a populous and active port, is 2 miles south of here. You may either stroll down the shore or through the Walberswick Nature Reserve to reach it. Dunwich is the ideal location for a long or short walk with views of the stunning beach and Dunwich Heath.
There are no dog restrictions on this beautiful shingle beach throughout the year, so this is certainly a dog walkers’ paradise, and the population is now closer to 40. The Ship Inn, located just off the beach, serves a delicious variety of local fish and chips and many other lovely pub fares all year round. Great food is served at this pub, come rain or shine. Discover other Dog-Friendly Suffolk Beaches here.
As you approach RSPB Minsmere, RSPB’s most well-known nature preserve, from Dunwich, you will see the cliffs on the right. Dogs are not allowed into the preserve at any time, but you may view the marshes and bird towers from the shore.
Sizewell, with its famous egg-shaped dome, is the next beach resort in Suffolk after Thorpeness, which is famous for the Peter Pan Meare, its distinct living architecture, and being a smugglers’ route into East Anglia in the past. An eccentric Scottish barrister built the village at the beginning of the 20th century, adorning it with Tudor and Jacobean-style structures. Architectural additions, including the Art Deco Thorpeness Hotel from the 1930s and the very contemporary Dune House, make this location an intriguing place to visit at any time of year. A visit to The Dolphin Inn in Thorpeness, where you can have a nice meal and local beer (and stay, too), is a good place to stop on the beach, which is mainly shingle.
Walk along Aldeburgh Beach, and you will come across Maggie Hamblings’ famous Scallop – a homage to local musician Benjamin Britton – on your way. The shingled Aldeburgh beach near the town, which is ranked third in the Sunday Times Top Ten of cultural beaches, is very wide, but it is not an easy walk. There are multiple restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques in Aldeburgh, as well as a summer theatre and impressive cinema, to name a few. Going north takes you to the picturesque hamlet of Thorpeness (captured below). Going south takes you to Orford Ness.
In the 19th century, people began seeking the health benefits of sea air as a result of the English craze for beaches. Because the majority of beaches in Suffolk remain as they were first visited—unspoiled and fresh—visitors can experience the past in the present.
Going to Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, a nature preserve maintained by the National Trust, might make you feel like you are the only one between the sand and the sky in the world. You can visit it at specific times, but it will be preserved for wildlife and visitors for all time. Even if you prefer to get naked in nature, Corton has a naturist beach!
There are also fantastic family beaches in Suffolk, particularly in Lowestoft and Felixstowe, where there are special activities and amusements for children. Felixstowe, whose northern boundary is the River Deben and whose southern boundary is the River Orwell, is a well-loved resort where visitors can enjoy a world-class quality sand and shingle beach, Mannings Amusement Park, a long promenade, seaside attractions, and impeccably maintained seafront gardens. Make a pit stop to enjoy some delicious food at The Alex Cafe and Brasserie or Cafe Bencotto.
All you can have a BBQ at The Dip on Cliff Road in Felixstowe.
The Orwell and Stour’s riverbanks offer excellent walks and views, whether you want to enjoy a picnic, rent a boat, or just take in the scenery.
See Dog-Friendly Suffolk Beaches for more information on when and where you can take your dog.
In May 2012, the Good Beach Guide gave the top award for water quality in Suffolk to the following beaches – Felixstowe North and South, Lowestoft, North and South of Claremont Pier but the only way to see if we are right about the variety and beauty of Suffolk beaches is to come and see for yourself.