Published: 06.07.2023

Guide to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Southwold beach along the Suffolk Coast AONBThinking of taking a cottage break to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?  Read our guide to find out what this unspoilt and beautiful part of Suffolk has to offer visitors.  If you’re searching for accommodation to rent in this area of Suffolk we can help with that too:

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Introducing the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB for Holidays

Benacre Coastline Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONBThe Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB has lots to offer holidaymakers.  Stretching from Felixstowe Ferry in the south all the way up past Aldeburgh and Southwold, northwards all the way up to around Benacre and Benacre National Nature Reserve in the north.  This stretch of the Suffolk coast is renowned for its nature reserves, its bird watching opportunities, beaches and pretty seaside towns.  All in all, it’s a very beautiful place.  Visit and you’ll clearly see why the area is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.


Pretty Seaside Towns and Villages to Discover along the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB

Aldeburgh beach with shell sculptureAldeburgh – one of Suffolk’s best known seaside towns and with good reason; Aldeburgh has plenty of seaside appeal.  With beautiful colourful historic seaside houses, a shingle beach and a good choice of shops and eateries, Aldeburgh has plenty to offer holidaymakers.  Walk by the traditional fisherman’s shacks, the historic Martello tower and meander along the north beach and see the famous Scallop sculpture.

Felixstowe Ferry – this pretty fishing village is small but perfectly formed with a pub, church, boatyard and a scattering of cottages.  Soak up the coastal appeal and meander along one of the footpaths by the sea wall that will guide you to this part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.   Of interest nearby are two historic Martello towers.

Southwold – Elegant and with historic architecture galore, along with a traditional pier offering seaside fun with its restaurant, arcade style games, and air hockey machines, colourful beach huts and a long stretch of sandy beach that goes on and on, Southwold is well worth a visit.

Thorpeness – small but charming, Thorpeness is a small village which is best known for its boating lake and for being home to the ‘House in the Clouds’; an iconic building which is a tall and thin self-catering holiday rental which offers exceptional views over Suffolk.

Walberswick – picture perfect, the inviting village of Walberswick offers a taste of traditional England with its traditional green.  The village is also home to an unspoilt sandy beach and dunes.  There are also tea rooms, restaurants, a couple of pubs and a few shops.


Nature Reserves and Bird Watching Opportunities along the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is an area rich in nature reserves and keen birdwatchers in particular will be in their element.  Nature reserves dotted along the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB include:

•    Benacre National Nature Reserve with its coastal lagoons, reed beds and sandy areas includes a Site of Special Scientific interest and attracts a wide range of breeding birds,

•    RSPB Boyton and Hollesley Marshes; this Royal Society for the Protection of Birds site covers two coastal reserves and includes wetlands, grasslands, marshlands and a freshwater lagoon.  Birds you may spot here include avocets, lapwing and even barn owls!

•    RSPB Dingle Marshes – home to reedbeds, shingle coast, marshlands and salt lagoons, the Dingle Marshes are another great location for birdwatching on holiday.

•    RSPB Minsmere; one of the RSPB’s best known sites with nature trails where there are coastal lagoons, reedbed pools, lots of birdlife and even otters!

•    RSPB North Warren – with marshlands, grasslands, heathlands and reedbeds, this is an attractive nature reserve where you may see a variety of interesting birds.

•    Orford Ness National Nature Reserve; another well known nature reserve, this National Trust site was originally a military site and airfields at the time of the WWI.  The site was also used by the military in WWII and used by them for various purposes after that time.  Orford Ness was acquired by the National Trust in the 1990s and transformed in to a fascinating coastal nature reserve.

With so very much to discover in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; from coastal towns to pretty villages and nature reserves, it’s easy to see why this area is so popular with holidaymakers.  Whether you rent a log cabin in the nearby countryside or a coastal holiday home, we hope you find the perfect self-catering rental for your Suffolk holiday on Country Cottages Online.

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