The Suffolk Coast: Our Local Team’s Top 5 Picks
With over 450 Suffolk Coastal Cottages available at Original Cottages, you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to planning a trip to the East Anglian seaside with us. Aside from sandy shores and blue seas, the Suffolk coast is dotted with quintessentially British villages, photogenic fields and busy little towns. However, with over 50 miles of coastline and many, many places to visit, it can be hard to decide exactly where to go on the Suffolk coastline, so we turned to our local team to ask them to pick their top five must-visit spots.
Arguably Suffolk’s most famous coastal town, Aldeburgh is home not only to a lovely sand and shingle beach and clean bathing waters, but also to a vibrant art scene, busy high street and the ‘world’s best fish and chips’!
Originally a Tudor port town, the name Aldeburgh translates from the Old English term for ‘Old Port’. Aldeburgh has changed significantly since the Tudor era, but it definitely retains a sense of old charm. Nowadays, the town enjoys a distinctly artsy feel, helped by its ties to composer Benjamin Britten, who established the Aldeburgh Music Club in 1952 and spent much of his life there. Britten even has a sculpture dedicated to him on the beach, called The Scallop, designed by local artist Maggi Hambling in 2003. The walk from King’s Street Car Park up to the landmark is a great way to take in the views along Aldeburgh beach and takes approximately 15 minutes.
After you’ve been on a stroll, or for a dip in the sea, be sure to visit Aldeburgh’s most famous institution, Aldeburgh Fish and Chips. Run by the Cooney family since 1967, this chippy has become world-famous and is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling! If you want to prolong your stay in Aldeburgh beyond a day trip, we have over 50 holiday cottages in the town for you to explore.
Another staple of the Suffolk coast, Southwold is a hit with everyone who visits. Denes Beach is filled with soft sand and really comes into its own in summer, when the waters are warm, clear and perfect for a cooling splash in the waves. Although it can get busy, there are plenty of car parks in Southwold for you to find a spot to park. Alternatively, you could book one of our Southwold holiday cottages, from our collection of over 200!
After a day relaxing on the shore, Southwold centre has an array of independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes for you to grab a bite to eat or a special souvenir. Enjoy a cold pint, cocktail or OJ on the town green from The Red Lion, The Crown or The Lord Nelson - or all three if you’re feeling adventurous! If it’s fish and chips, scampi or seafood you’re after, be sure to walk up to Southwold Pier and Boardwalk, where there is a multitude of local eateries to choose from. Perching on the Boardwalk with a bite to eat as you watch the sunset is the perfect way to end the day in Southwold, we promise.
Just across the way from Southwold is its lesser known sister beach, Walberswick. Just a half-hour walk via Blyth Bridge from Southwold, Walberswick can be visited as part of your day trip to the area, but if you prefer somewhere a little quieter, a day in Walberswick may be the perfect option. Walberswick beach is dog-friendly all year round and is backed up by a nature reserve and marshland, offering an alternative landscape for you and your four-legged friend to explore.
Kessingland is just south of Lowestoft and is home to a small selection of our Suffolk holiday cottages. Here you’ll find one of the county’s largest sandy beaches, with plenty of space to set up camp on a summer’s day, or enjoy a bracing beach walk during the colder months. What many don’t realise is that Kessingland has a rich prehistoric past and both Paleolithic and Neolithic artefacts have been discovered on the beach by archaeologists. There are also remains of an ancient forest lurking on the sea bed in the waters of Kessingland beach, so this truly is a place that has been at the forefront of changing Britain for centuries.
The Waterfront Restaurant in Kessingland is a local favourite and serves some gorgeous, fresh seafood dishes, accompanied by a lovely sea view. Kessingland retains a sense of traditional seaside charm, complete with Punch and Judy Stall on Church Road. For something a little more on the edge, visit Africa Alive!, Kessingland’s zoo.
Dunwich is known as the ‘Lost City of East Anglia’, because in the eleventh century this small coastal town had a population one-sixth the size of London and had previously been the capital of a Saxon kingdom, which was considered one of England’s most important ports. However, bad luck would shadow the town and most of it was lost to the North Sea, leaving it as it stands today, with a population of just over 100 people! The community-run Dunwich Museum is a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of this unassuming Suffolk village, so be sure to stop by during your visit.
Dunwich Beach is a sprawling pebble beach with some of Suffolk’s best views. The beach is backed by Dunwich Heath, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is owned by the National Trust and is not just a wonderful landscape to explore, but also has plenty of family-friendly activities going on throughout the year. Try out the NT kid’s trails on their website and print one out for your little ones to have some fun whilst you take in the scenes of blossoming purple heather and the buzz of insects and wildlife - you may even spot a deer! Combining nature and the seaside, Dunwich is a truly enchanting place and if you want to extend your time there, be sure to take a look at our Dunwich Cottages.
Right on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk is Lowestoft. Lowestoft is home to a lovely sandy beach of its own and a promenade which is backed by multicoloured beach houses, creating a truly British seaside scene! Aside from the beach, Lowestoft has many other local attractions, including the very pretty Nicholas Everitt Park, located on the Oulton Broad. Take a picnic along with you on a sunny day and watch the boats bob along the water - how relaxing! Alternatively, if you’d rather get out on the water for yourself, pop down to Waveney River Tours and enjoy a cruise along the broad, or hire a boat directly from the park.
Just over twenty-minutes south of Lowestoft, by foot, is Pakefield Beach. Often much quieter than Lowestoft, Pakefield Beach is also slightly more rugged, with sand dunes, marram grass and pebbles dotted in and amongst its sandy shores. But people love Pakefield. From horse riders, to kite-flyers, dogs to ramblers, Pakefield is the perfect place to enjoy the bracing sea air.