Visiting the Suffolk Coast

The cottage is ideally located for sightseeing around the Suffolk coast, being just 1/4 mile from the A12 and 1/2 mile from Darsham railway station (Ipswich-Norwich line).

Southwold Beach and Pier
Southwold Beach and Pier
Walberswick-Southwold Ferry
Walberswick-Southwold Ferry

At the cottage there is a file full of information on places to go.  Here’s a sample.

Walks

There are many lovely places to walk and cycle. The closest beaches on the Suffolk Coast are at Dunwich, Minsmere (both 5 miles), Walberswick and Leiston (10 mins), Southwold and Aldeburgh (15 mins). There is also lots of heathland and woodland nearby – you’ll never need to walk in the same place twice.  We provide lots of maps, including leaflets showing circular pub walks.

We often walk in and around Southwold, one of the jewels of the Suffolk Coast. It has a mainly sandy beach, plus heathland and marshland. At the north end of the main beach are the boating lake and pier, with cafes and shops. In the pretty town itself, there are lots of independent food, clothing and gift shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and pubs.  We especially like The Nelson and The Red Lion for Broadside, Aspalls cider, good food, log fires and friendly people. There’s also the Adnams brewery and shop, and you can book a fascinating tour of the brewery, which hides in the centre of town, mainly hidden behind old house frontages. Just south of the town, across heathland, is the Blyth estuary with huts selling fish, and fish and chip cafes. You can also take the rowing boat ferry across to pretty Walberswick (people £1, dogs free).

RSPB Minsmere is about 5 miles from Hidden Well, as is the beach at Dunwich and Minsmere. 

Shopping

Southwold and Aldeburgh have lots of independent, upmarket shops.

Framlingham, Halesworth and Lowestoft are good for food and general shopping. There’s a farm shop round the corner at Emmerdales, and a co-op local (with some local produce) a mile up the A12. Saxmundham has a small Waitrose and a Tesco Express.

Food

If you’re coeliac or gluten intolerant, please ask for our latest list of the many pubs, cafes and restaurants near the Suffolk coast that are happy to serve gluten free food. Most of them are places that cook from scratch, so they are great for ‘normal’ eaters too.

The Fox Inn has good pub grub, and is 3 doors away. It’s very much a diners’ pub, and goes quiet about 10pm. Booking recommended – the steaks are especially recommended.

There are wonderful pubs in Walberswick (The Anchor is our favourite – scallops to die for!), Southwold (e.g. The Nelson), Aldeburgh, Westleton and various nearby villages. 

There’s a Waitrose at Saxmundham, and other supermarkets at nearby Halesworth and at Lowestoft. Emmerdale Farm Shop and its tea room are 2 minutes away, and the Darsham Hamper is a Co-op/farm shop.cafe just up the A12 towards Southwold.

Sightseeing and Things To Do

They include beaches, gardens, golf courses, woodland walks, cycling, as well as wonderful pubs and restaurants.

RSPB Minsmere and Dunwich Cliffs (NT) are about 5 miles away.

History

Castles – Orford used to be right on the Suffolk coast but is now some way inland. Framlingham is on the top of a hill, with its town next to it.  We love the pub just outside the gates – they do amazing hot chocolate, with or without brandy!

Southwold Wesleyan Chapel near Darsham
Southwold Wesleyan Chapel
Southwold Church on Suffolk Coast near darsham
Southwold Church

Churches – there are lots of historic churches nearby, including Darsham, Blythburgh Abbey, Southwold and Bramfield (with a circular tower made of flint and a wonderful tombstone in the floor of the church).

Museums – the closest are at Dunwich (the town that disappeared into the sea), Leiston, Southwold (Lifeboats; Amber), Woodbridge, Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, Lowestoft (RN Patrol Service; Transport), but there are many more within easy reach.

Our Top Five (in no particular order)

Dunwich/Minsmere/Westleton Heath for walks, cafes, pubs, Museum

Southwold – shops, eating out, walks, fish, brewery tour, lighthouse tour, Tim Hunkin’s silly games place on the pier; ferry to Walberswick.

Suffolk Coast Darsham Hidden Well
Southwold Lighthouse

Food – The Fox, Darsham; The Anchor, Walberswick; The Nelson, The Red Lion, Coasters, Sutherland House, Southwold;  The Black Olive Deli, Southwold; The Adnams Shop, Southwold. Emmerdale Farm Shop for local bacon.

Framlingham – lovely small town, beautiful church and castle; weekly market

Suffolk Coast Darsham
Maggi Hambling’s scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach

Aldeburgh – pebble beach, but famous fish and chip shop (queues along the pavement are common), pretty shops, arts cinema, old Moot House.  Clam shell sculpture on the beach. Boating lake at nearly Thorpeness.

Links to Useful Information

Suffolk Tourist Guide

Suffolk Things to Do

Suffolk Events

Suffolk Towns to Visit