Here are the Top 10 Beaches that are a must visit here on the Suffolk Coast.
The first of the Top 10 Beaches is probably the best known of all Suffolk’s beaches. This sand and shingle beach backs on to the pretty seaside town of Aldeburgh there are no shortage of facilities either.
Aldeburgh has plenty to explore on and around the beach. Along the beach front are any number of quirky historic buildings. These include the 400 year old Moot Hall, a Martello tower, a converted windmill and a Norman church.
There is cultural heritage here too; composer Benjamin Britten is strongly linked with the town and there is a monument to him on the beach – the Scallop. The art scene remains vibrant in Aldeburgh with a number of galleries, most notably Caroline Wiseman’s housed in the South Lookout right on the beach.
However, the best cultural experience to be had in the town are fish and chips which have been rated as the best on the East coast!
The little village of Dunwich was once a thriving seaport; but over the centuries the sea reclaimed the town leaving not much behind except for a wonderful stretch of beach. This expanse of shingle seems to go on forever in both directions, backed by low crumbling cliffs.
Dunwich beach is set in a break between the cliffs where the road literally ends on the beach. Here you will find a number of small boats pulled up on the sand and a National Trust Tearoom. The little village of Dunwich was once a thriving seaport; but over the centuries the sea reclaimed the town leaving not much behind except for a wonderful stretch of beach. This expanse of shingle seems to go on forever in both directions, backed by low crumbling cliffs.
Southwold – Denes beach
A sand and shingle beach, backed by low dunes and marshland, stretches from the north side of the mouth of the River Blyth up to Southwold.
The southern end of the beach has a lifeboat station and a lifeboat museum, behind which is a small caravan park. At the northern end of the beach are a number of beach huts and it is backed by a promenade.
The water quality at The Denes is good and there is lifeguard cover during the summer season. This beach is popular with windsurfers, canoeists and bathers.
Southwold itself has plenty of cafes, restaurants and other facilities. A pay-for car park can be found on Ferry Road and there are public toilets at two locations along this road.
This lovely little sand dune backed beach is just across the River Blythe from Southwold, which is within easy walking distance.
A walk in the other direction will take you past the Walberswick Nature Reserve with its mix of marsh and heathland.
The beach at Walberswick is just a short walk from the village which means all amenities are close at hand. Even if you don\‘t need anything it is worth the stroll up to have a look around this pretty little village.
Walberswick is however best known as the home of “The British Open Crabbing Championship”. This takes place in the waterways behind the beach and the person catching the largest crab within 90 minutes is the winner!
Southwold Pier Beach
Southwold is one of Suffolk’s best known resorts and has a long tradition as such. Perhaps the most obvious link to the seaside town’s seaside credentials is the 800 foot (250m) long pier. Along with a sprinkling of shingle, beach groynes and colourful beach huts there is no mistaking you are at the Great British seaside!
The quality of the beach has been recognised over the years by regular Blue Flag awards which demonstrate that the beach is not only clean but provides an excellent array of amenities.
The beach at Southwold is backed by a promenade which runs along the front of the town. It is only a quick walk to the town centre and a short promenade to the harbour area.
In case the pier and lighthouse look familiar it may be because they were used extensively for the locations in the children’s TV series “Grandpa in My Pocket”.
Lowestoft South Beach
Just south of Great Yarmouth, on Suffolk’s “Sunrise Coast” is Lowestoft South Beach with its fine sand and wealth of local facilities. Also known as Victoria Beach, it is the main resort beach in the area with a Blue Flag award for its clean waters. South Beach also boasts many past awards from the Tourist Board. Something of a classic seaside town, Lowestoft has a refurbished seafront and promenade providing easy access to the sand. A Visitor Centre provides local info in the East Point Pavilion and a pier with amusements and entertainment centre. It’s a popular beach for fishing.
The beach is ideal for a host of watersports such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing and jet-skiing and there is a seasonal lifeguard service.
Fun activities such as Crazy Golf can be found in the Children’s Corner and on the Royal Green adjacent to the beach and promenade. There are public toilets and showers on the beach with local cafés and restaurants nearby.
Dogs are not permitted on South Beach.
Covehithe beach sits on a somewhat forgotten stretch of the Suffolk coast. The beach is set at the end of a lane which runs across fields before abruptly stopping at the cliff edge. The pace at which the coast is eroding here is rapid – something confirmed by a quick look at Google maps, where the lane continues into the sea.
The beach at Covehithe is a peaceful stretch of sand backed by the crumbling golden cliffs. To the south is Benacre Broad, a brackish lagoon and conservation area.
Along the beach are the smooth, blanched sculpture-like tree trunks of trees that once lined the cliff top. A reminder of the constant march of the North Sea.
If you travel a little way back up the lane towards Covehithe you will come across the dramatic ruins of the medieval St Andrews Church. This once impressive church became too expensive for the parish to maintain and was eventually cannibalised to build a much smaller church within the shell.
Thorpness is a quirky little village just north of Aldeburgh. It is everything an English seaside village should be; there is a golf course, a large boating lake (the Meare) and more mock Tudor buildings than you can shake a stick at! Many of these buildings line the beach front intermingling with equally quirky modern homes.
Dunwich Heath Beach
A remote sand and shingle beach backed by the dunes, heathland and lagoons of the National Trust owned Dunwich Heath. The area is also home to RSPB Minsmere and is home to a range of interesting wildlife such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, red deer, adders and ant-lion.
Dunwich Heath is more than just a nature reserve though; it is a good family beach. Towards mid tide there is a good deal of sand revealed which is ideal for digging or running around on. As well as all the opportunities for exploring the heath provides there are facilities provided at the National Trust tearooms.
It is also a dog friendly beach with dogs welcome all year.
Kessingland is a long, wide, sand and shingle beach backed by low cliffs. The beach here is somewhat protected from the erosion which affects this coast thanks to the marram grass that was planted here by the writer and agricultural reformist, Henry Rider Haggard. It was his fictional character, Allan Quatermain, who may well have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Haggard, who owned a holiday home on the beach in the early 1900s, is commemorated today by having a road in the village named after him. The grass, together with the wild lupins to be found here in summer, have successfully protected the beach from erosion ever since.
Kessingland is a relatively unspoilt, wild beach, and thanks to its size and rural location it rarely feels crowded, even during the sunniest summer days, unlike beaches further up the coast at Lowestoft.
Swimming, and water sports such as wind surfing are popular here, and this part of the coastline is a good place to take bracing walks at any time of year. Benacre Nature Reserve can be found at the southern end of the beach and is home to a wide variety of bird life, particularly during spring when many migratory birds land here.