Suffolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
As the nearest coast to London, the Suffolk Coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty, famed for its food and produce, it is a popular destination for holidaymakers. The area is teeming with things to do, like visiting historical landmarks, water sports, river trips, spas, golf courses, theatres, galleries and wildlife centres. It also has fantastic coastal walks with routes suitable for all ages that offer amazing views of the beautiful Suffolk coastline.
Header image credit: Visit Britain
Why Visit the Suffolk Coast?
The Suffolk Coast provides natural beauty and heritage along a 50 mile stretch of the English coast, with diverse wildlife, stunning scenery, and fantastic seaside culture. There are villages and towns offering all sorts of local events and amenities, as well as historic sites and beautiful views.
Within easy reach of London, the Suffolk Coast offers the perfect outdoors getaway for any holidaymaker.
Image credit: Olivier Bacquet
The Suffolk Coast is roughly two and a half hours from our port in Dover and can be reached easily by taking the M20 and the A12. If you’re landing in Newhaven then the best way to Suffolk is via the M25 and it’s just an extra half an hour. From whichever port you choose the road network is fast and easily accessible.
What to See on the Suffolk Coast
Aldeburgh is a pretty coastal town on the river Alde. Its name comes from 'Alde Burgh' meaning "old fort" and it was famed for its great shipbuilding industry which was responsible for building Francis Drake’s ‘Golden Hind’. The town has some beautiful historic buildings which you can visit including the 16th-century Moot Hall and the Napoleonic-era Martello Tower. Aldenburgh also has a popular shingle beach where you can buy fresh fish daily from the little fisherman’s huts. The town has two family-run fish and chip shops which are said to be two of the best in England.
The intimate town of Orford, once a bustling port but now separated from the sea by the largest shingle spit in Europe, is a food lover's paradise. There two smokeries in the town: Richardson smokehouse specialises in fish and cheese, and Pinneys specialises in oysters. On Saturdays there's a weekly food market in the town hall where you can buy local produce including truffles, cakes, jams, vegetables and delicious homemade breads.
Budding historians can visit Orford’s impressive castle that looms over the town. Built between 1165 and 1173, the castle’s unique 27 metre polygonal tower keep has five floors and includes kitchens and a chapel, and you get fantastic panoramic views from the top.
If you’re looking for a quintessential English seaside town, then Southwold is the place to go. It’s famed for its iconic lighthouse, pretty Victorian pier, colourful beach huts and soft sandy beach. There’s even a traditional cinema called the Electric Picture Palace that shows classic films as well as new releases and it still has its original organ. A trip to Southwold wouldn’t be complete without climbing to the top of the lighthouse. The views are outstanding and the knowledgeable guides give you a brief history of the area. Southwold is also famous as the home of Adnams Brewery. Take a guided tour through the brewing process, complete with tasting sessions and your choice of beer to take home.
Lavenham is one of the finest examples of a medieval village in England boasting some 320 listed timber framed buildings, many of them protected by English Heritage. You may recognise it more as Godric’s Hollow, as it was used as a backdrop for scenes in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - the beautiful Guildhall building being transformed into Harry Potter’s parents’ derelict house.
Lavenham’s church of St. Peter and St. Paul is well worth a visit and contains rich carvings both inside and out. As well as its many historic buildings, Lavenham is also blessed with good pubs, fine restaurants and antique shops to browse around. To get a real feel for the town you can hire a 90-minute audio tour from the local pharmacy which will take you off the beaten track to view some of Lavenham’s true hidden treasures.
WE'RE AWARD WINNING
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named as Europe's and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator in the 2015 World Travel Awards. We've won these awards for 5 years running.