The Suffolk coast is one of the big draws for people visiting this beautiful county. Popular destinations Felixstowe and Lowestoft, or quaint seaside towns like Aldeburgh and Southwold draw crowds all year round. So if you’re thinking of visiting the Suffolk coast this summer, but don’t fancy mingling with hoards of people; these hidden gems will provide spectacular scenery and a great day out, all in perfect peace and quiet.
Described as ‘the beach at the end of the world’ visiting Covehithe really can make you feel as if you’re the only person for miles around. This stunning beach is one of Suffolk’s best kept secrets! Only accessible on foot or by bicycle; it’s sheer rugged remoteness is one of the most magical things about it. Those who take on the challenge of seeking out this secluded spot are rewarded with wild, unspoilt views, a peaceful walk or paddle and the chance to explore the mystifying remains of what was clearly once an ENORMOUS church.
Part of Covehithe’s charm is that it is a constantly changing wilderness. Due to coastal erosion much of the village that was here has been lost to the sea. Be sure to steer clear of walking directly under the cliffs, as they are likely very unstable.
On the coast between Felixstowe and Aldeburgh, and much, much quieter is Shingle Street. This remote little spot has a stony beach just over a mile long where seals can often be spotted basking. There is a small, free car park and the beach is perfect for walking or a dip in the sea, or lagoons created by the tide.
Dunwich was once an enormous port. An important city for trade in Suffolk and affluent too with some estimates matching it to London for size in the 14th Century. Nowadays the sea has claimed almost all that once stood here, leaving only a tiny village behind.
There is a large carpark down by the beach, which can get busy at times, but once you’ve struck out along the beach, or across the heath you can enjoy the tranquillity that makes Dunwich so charming.
Sizewell boasts a long stretch of shingle & sandy beach. Unlike some of the other secluded beaches listed, visitors to Sizewell are well catered for with a large carpark, a small café and a toilet facilities. Popular with dog walkers, it’s unlikely you’ll have the whole beach to yourself, but there’s plenty of space and sand dunes to make you feel perfectly peaceful.
Head out in one direction and you’ll soon be in the shadow of two enormous nuclear power stations, or step in the opposite direction for unspoilt coastline.
Just a short journey out from bustling Aldeburgh, you’ll find Slaughden, a shingle spit perfect for secluded walks by the sea. With the River Alde, and the marshes beyond, on one side, and the sea on the other; this is a wonderfully wild place to spend a few hours.
Orfordness Nature Reserve
The pretty village of Orford is worth a visit, though in good weather it can be quite busy. Head out into the marshes and quiet lanes for some crowd-free walks and you won’t be disappointed.
But if you plan your visit well you can enjoy one of the most interesting coastal sites in Suffolk. Orford Ness, now a nature reserve owned by the National Trust, is a shingle spit separated from the mainland but the River Alde. Once used as a top-secret military testing ground, this site is both beautiful and mysterious in equal measure.
The reserve can only be accessed by ferry from Orford Quay – check the opening times and book your journey here.