Insiders A to Z of the Suffolk Coast
Getting to know the undiscovered side of the Suffolk Coast is one of the delights we love to share.
Finding off the beaten track places, great cafes and hide away activities. There is something for everyone here.
So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy.
Aldeburgh – three things not to miss..
Dont worry about booking and there are no bus stops – so just hop on and off. This nostalgic trip is simply a delight.. guess what there is even a Clippie on board to take your money and give you a ticket! The service runs on Wednesdays and Sundays as well as bank holiday Monday in August. Contact: Buckland Coaches on 01728 747093 and 07801 639000
This beautiful Art Deco Cinema has been showing films for almost 100 years, starting by Walter Hill, who originally built the auditorium alongside his shop. The Cinema was rescued from closure in the 1960s by an enthusiastic group, including Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. Who devoted time and money to ensuring that Aldeburgh had its own cinema. Its thanks to these efforts that we have a flourishing cinema today.
Contact: Aldeburgh Cinema
Diner – Delphines
Sticking with the retro theme Delpines is decked out like a 1950s diner, complete with waitresses in matching retro outfits. Delphine’s has three booths, a small bar on one wall, big windows dressed with pretty curtains and bunting, and an open kitchen. So much attention to detail, mirrored ceiling tiles, which reflect the big black and white floor tiles, yellow and red furniture, and retro bits n bobs on every surface. Good honest beef burgers – locally sourced beef are delicious, combined with a milk shake and you are transported back to the 50’s The place looks great, and a Hank Williams soundtrack keeps your toes tapping.
Delphines Diner – 62 High St Aldeburgh
Butley sits on the suffolk coast, its a good walk, during the summer months you can cross the Butley River by the foot ferry. If you have cycled over here you can also take your bike. Closed for the winter months, it will open again at Easter on 31st March 2018. For the serious walker you can take the Stour & Orwell Walk and the Suffolk Coast Path from Harwich to Walberswick. Why not use the four ferries that are available to you and save over 75 miles of congested inland roads.
More information Alde and Ore
Download one of these explorer guides to discover the full extent of cycling in Suffolk and on the coast. An easy ride is Orford – Snape explorer down load the link. You will be well refreshed at Snape, we all know cyclists love cake and coffee.. If you want to go a little further afield take a look at Rendlesham Forest and Shingle St.
Download the maps from the links below:
- Rendlesham Forest and Shingle Street Explorer
- Dunwich and Minsmere Cycle Explorer
- Snape and Orford Cycle Explorer
- Woodbridge and Waldringfield Cycle Explorer
- Alton Water and Pin Mill Cycle Explorer
(Some of the guides are available to purchase from Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB)
The Heath and beach are supported by the National Trust. If you are looking to get closer to nature, this is the place to visit. Dunwich has miles of heath land and beach to explore and you never know what is around the corner. A popular spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike.
It is said that, given a quiet day and a certain tide, the bells of the churches can still be heard echoing from the submerged old town of Dunwich on the Suffolk Coast. This is a tranquil, intriguing place, Dunwich Heath’s wide-open heathlands are ablaze with purple heather and edged with ribbons of silver birch. There’s a great network of fine, peaty trails to follow, nearby beaches and some wonderfully peaceful country lanes. Whilst in this area its worth going to the Sizewell Belts (good bacon sandwich) and Leiston Common.
The name Eyke is thought to have been derived from an earlier word for Oak. Nearby Staverton Forest covered many acres of land in area, and was comprised chiefly of oak trees. Famous for being the most dog friendly pub in Suffolk the Elephant and Castle Inn serves great food and real ale.
More than the home town of Ed Sheran! Although he does have a recording studio there… This is so gloriously Suffolk – with the Castle on the Hill – (yes the one Ed sings about) and a healthy market on a Saturday. It’s well worth a visit and the Station Pub has really good food – do book as they can be busy (dont be put off by the outside!). We also have discount vouchers for 50% off a haircut at CarlyHill – its an offer for Monday to Friday.
When in Dunwich the Grey Friars was a Franciscan friary in Dunwich in the English county of Suffolk. The remains consist of a precinct wall, two gatehouses and some two-storey walls believed to be the remains of a cloister building, possibly a refectory or infirmary building. Interestingly the BBC Time Team surveyed the site in 2011 – they discovered that the church may have been as high as 6 metres!
Hambling – Maggi
Step to one side Tracey Ermin, its Suffolks own Maggi Hambling who is known as Britain’s most straight talking and foul mouthed artist… One of her art installations is on the beach at Aldeburgh, The Scallop conceived by Maggi Hambling and crafted by Sam and Dennis Pegg of Aldeburgh, the 4 metre steel structure flickers as the different light hits it..The structure as aged beautiful giving it a unique patina.
Hire a canoe – May to June at weekends and July and August every day. Boats and kit are supplied by them, so turn up its about 15 mins by car from Orford and discover the Alde waters along the Suffolk Coast…Historically, Iken Cliff had numerous trade routes. As well as being an important fishing village, sailing barges would transport corn from Iken Cliff to London between 1780 and 1868. Sometimes, you can see traditionally rigged sailing barges on the river.
If you are looking for somewhere to go with the children, Jimmys Farm will easily keep them entertained in the Wild Life park for a good half day. The bonus for the grown ups is the restaurant is great too, as is the butchery.
contact: Jimmy’s Farm, Pannington Hall Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP9 2AR
If you are interested in gardening, Katies garden has an interesting range of flowers, shrubs and plants. This independent family run nursery in the main grow their own.
A note – unlike other garden centres they don’t do coffee, furniture, bird stuff… they keep their proposition nice and simple!
More details on Katies Garden
A beautiful medieval village is located in the centre of Suffolk. Perfect for a day trip, where you can stroll down the High St were you will find a number of independent shops along with The Lavenham Hall Gallery and Sculpture garden
RSPB – Minsmere is a nature reserve on the Suffolk coast. The BBC Springwatch was filmed here in 2016 where there was much drama from the local wildlife. Great for adults and kids, as plenty to do and see.
Nacton is a little bit off the beaten track and is BRILLIANT for walks. Its quieter than many places and the view of the water is magnificent. Drive over, park up the car and enjoy the walks. Its also worth popping over to the Suffolk Yacht Harbour – great toilets!
Orfordness National Nature Reserve
Run by the National Trust the Orfordness National Nature Reserve is a must visit if you are a nature lover or interested in 20th century military history – check on line for the ferry run by the National Trust – wrap up well it can be a bit blustery. Pop into the Quayside cafe when you return – great coffee and cake.. and in summer the crab sandwiches are delicious.
Punch – Suffolk
Of all creatures God made at the Creation, there is none more
excellent, or so much to be respected as a horse. – Bedouin Legend
These horses are very much part of Suffolk’s heritage – if you love horses WELL worth a visit. For me its interesting but think its more of a place to swing by when you are on the way to Shingle St which is truly magnificent… see below.
Along with the village square the Quay is a focal point at Orford – here you will see the beautiful Ness the shingle spit and Havergate Island. From the Quay you can pick up the National Trust boat trips, along with trips on the Regardless and the Lady Florence (where you can have supper).
Sit on one of the benches and think about nothing! During summer you will catch Lisa Marie’s homemade ice creams its a lovely treat.
Run by the Forestry Commission – the forest is great to take your bike – would need an off road bike to enjoy the forest the most. Although we have road bikes, and am happy to skirt around the edges!
Its a well known fact that there have been UFO sightings in the forest – there is an easy 3 mile UFO trail – including a model of what was believed to be the sighting!
Firstly shhh… locals dont like tourists to know about this beautiful area! Originally the home for fishermen and river pilots for the river Ore. This coastal hamlet is stunning, its part of Europe’s largest shingle spit.
In 2016 it was voted by the Independent as one of the cool places to visit… the expanse of shingle and the few houses that are there are a little be ‘odd’
Part of the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of outstanding natural beauty.
The forest links up Blaxhall common and Tunstall – Great for bird watching and well known for Nightjar and Woodlark.
Its popular for walkers, cyclists and riders – who drift in and out of the woodland.
If you are visiting in Autumn you do need to be aware of the forestry management and avoid areas where they are working … TIMBERRRRR…
A 16th century Suffolk Inn. It has cosy log burners, original oak beams, sloping ceilings, Wifi and an eclectic mixture of pop and local art –a traditional pub with a contemporary feel and ambience. Only 15 minutes drive from Keep Cottage – or call Castle Cars as we do! Brendan and his team always give a warm welcome.
Featured in ‘5 of the Best: Pubs with Walks’ (The Financial Times). Rendlesham Forest and Sutton Heath are on their doorstep and the hauntingly beautiful, windswept coast at Shingle Street is nearby (dont tell anyone else!).
Who would have thought that Suffolk would have some of the best vineyards in the UK – the region has been producing award winning wines for over 10 years. A floral character is typical of the East Anglian region.
Dedham Vale – Visits and Tours – Dedham 01206 271136
Giffords Hall – Tours, Tastings, shop and events – Bury St Edmunds 01284 830799
Shawsgate – Tours and Tastings Framlingham 01728 724060
Wyken – Cafe, farmers market and gardens -Bury St Edmund 01359 250287
Are quaint coastal villages which as a range of beaches and unspoilt dunes. Explore the harbour and walk along the Blythe river.
The Southwold to Walberswick ferry runs from Easter to October.
There are a couple of pubs in the village, we always enjoy The Anchor as the fish and chips are rather good! Along with a pint of Adnams.
The Anchor – 01502 722112
This is an exceptional quirky show – Hunkins ‘under the pier show’ in Southwold.
This show has appeared on TV a number of times, you can discover the coin operated X-Ray machine or pay for the pleasure of an electric shock!
It’s a great history of arcade machines brought together by the extremely passionate Tim Hunkin.
Under the Pier Show – Southwold www.underthepier.com
Yoxford is a village in between Southwold and Aldeburgh. Its well known for its antiques shops, second hand books and the contemporary art gallery Rowe and Williams
April 1915 was Southwolds first air raid. A zeppelin passed over the town dropping bombs on Hemham Hall occupied by war wounded.
You can see parts of the one of the feted flying machines in the Southwold Museum.