The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Tourist Guide
The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is 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. For more information on things to do, food and drink, the great outdoors and a pet-friendly guide to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths area, click on any of the links on the left.
This town has an incredibly rich and fascinating history. It was the Anglo Saxon capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles and for hundreds of years it was a major trading port and the centre of fishing and shipbuilding in the area. In the 13th Century however, the process of coastal erosion began and now most of the town has fallen into the sea, including eight churches, three chapels and two hospitals. It is one of the most popular destinations on the Suffolk coast and legend has it, when the tide is right, the church bells can be heard tolling from beneath the waves of the North Sea.
The village today is home to a 19th Century church and notably, the Dunwich Museum which resides in a Victorian cottage. It’s perfect for bird watching due to its proximity to the Minsmere nature Reserve and in the autumn, herds of deer can be spotted on the heath.
Dunwich Forest is also a beautiful place to take a stroll when visiting the area. It’s accessible from the village and has circular routes for you to follow. It also links to some areas of wetland and marshland offering a range of incredible views.
The RSPB Reserve at Minsmere has such a vast array of different habitats, from shaded woodlands to marshy wetlands to open coastline. It’s a birdwatchers heaven with well camouflaged hides all over the reserve, you can observe the wildlife without being at all intrusive. There’s plenty to do to spend the whole day here and interesting for all the family. The reserve is highly educational as well as a peaceful place to take a stroll, so both adults and children alike can learn all about the habitats and the creatures that live in them.
The Reserve rose to fame when the BBC’s ‘Springwatch’ started broadcasting from there in 2013 and has since become a popular tourist destination for both nature lovers and those keen to learn and be introduced to the natural beauty of the outside world.
As a peaceful market town in the heart of the Coast and Heaths area, Saxmundham is a perfect base for exploring the surrounding attractions. As well as this benefit, the town is fantastic for those who enjoy a little retail therapy. For example it is famous for holding its exceptional market every Wednesday and there is also an abundance of shops on the high street to investigate: a real mixture of places, some independent, some more well-known and some smaller specialist shops.
Westleton & Wenhaston
Westleton is a charming little village nestled between Aldeburgh and Southwold, typical of the English countryside, it has a village green and a pond with, of course, ducks. Here you will also find the village shop, a unique little book shop and a great couple of pubs. The village may be small, but it has enough to occupy the curious visitor and is perfect to visit after an invigorating stroll in the surrounding Suffolk countryside. Wenhaston is a small village not far from Blythburgh, with a renowned, traditional country pub perfect after a long day out exploring the area.