Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB

Southwold and Walberswick, and many of our holiday cottages are situated within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a beautiful place to explore and enjoy. From striking coastal scenery to picturesque rural countryside, it is a diverse landscape with plenty to offer both people and wildlife. 

The team here at So Southwold are very proud to raise money to help conserve this precious landscape through our customer donation scheme.

155 Square Miles of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Extending from the Stour estuary in the south to Kessingland in the north, the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB incorporates wetlands, forests, ancient heaths, shingle beaches, and historic towns and villages. Visitors staying in Southwold can either explore parts of this wildlife-rich landscape on foot or explore further afield.  Discover breath-taking coastal scenery, picturesque rural countryside or villages and towns such as Dunwich, Westleton and Aldeburgh.

A Wildlife Wonder

Due to the variety of habitats that can be found within the AONB, it attracts a thriving bird population including little tern, curlew, avocet, redshank, plovers,  bitterns, lapwing, sand martin, nightingale, warblers, woodlark, nightjar, skylark, corn bunting, yellowhammer and stonechat. 

The area also attracts a wide variety of butterflies including green and purple hairstreak, white admiral, the silver studded blue in addition to other wildlife including common lizard, adder and deer. It is also a great place to see rare shingle beach plants such as sea campion, sea holly, yellow horned poppy, sea pea and sea kale.

Nature Reserves in Southwold and the surrounding area

For lovers of “all things bright and beautiful”, Southwold has several local wildlife reserves within the AONB.  Walberswick National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a truly beautiful place to visit and is home to a huge variety of insects, birds and butterflies. Other local reserves include the Hen Reedbeds and Reydon Woods - which offers fabulous displays of bluebells every spring time.

Resources – Walking Maps / Guides

All of the following Explorer Maps are handy resources for those wanting to make the most out of their Southwold cottage holiday. Enjoy!