5 of the best coastal walks in Suffolk with pubs along the way


A lovely day for a walk and a visit to the pub. - Credit: Richard Evans

What better way to spend the day than a leisurely walk discovering Suffolk's beautiful coast and then rewarding yourself with a drink and a bite to eat at a welcoming local pub? 

1. Walberswick & Southwold

Just across the River Blyth from Southwold, Walberswick, its beach and its surrounding marshland have long been popular with those in search of wild beaches and big Suffolk skies. These two walks devised by Suffolk Coast and Heaths take you on a circular route of the village of 3.75-miles or 2.5-miles.

They start at The Bell Inn - a 600-year-old pub with quiet alcoves and a beautiful beer garden - and pass The Anchor, so you have plenty of choice of where to take some well-earned refreshment. Or you can cross the river via the bailey bridge and wander through Southwold Harbour, stopping at the Harbour Inn.

If you're feeling really energetic, you can walk to Southwold, taking the Sandlings walk along the beach for about three miles. There's an excellent choice of pubs and cafes in the town. You can then return across the common to the river and cross over to Walberswick.

Walberswick Beach

Beautiful Walberswick beach. - Credit: Peter Bash

2. Orford

Begin at Orford village car park for this rewarding 5.5-mile circular pub walk. The route takes in the tranquil quayside towards Chantry Point and wanders along the river wall before turning back inland towards Henry II's magnificent 12th century Orford Castle.

The well-preserved keep provides excellent views of the village and coastline. Wander into the village for refreshment at The Jolly Sailor - not far from Orford Quayside, The Kings Head and the Crown and Castle.

READ: A lovely walk around three pretty Suffolk villages

Orford Castle and village

Orford Castle and village - Credit: Cheryl Runnacles

3. Snape-Iken

This short walk (2.2miles/3.6 km) can be challenging in wet weather, but it's well worth the effort for the stunning views over the River Alde as it winds its way through the marshes to the sea and a visit to the ancient church of St Botolph at Iken.

There's also a longer version (3.75 miles/6km) if you want to work up an appetite. As well as the Plough and Sail pub at Snape Maltings, you can also eat and drink at The Crown and the Golden Key in the village.

The River Alde wends its way from Snape to Iken and then out to sea.

The River Alde wends its way from Snape to Iken and then out to sea. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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4. Minsmere and Dunwich

The Eel's Foot Minsmere and Dunwich Walk is a 5 miles/8 km circular pub trail from the Eel's Foot in Eastbridge, a traditional, cosy inn in the heart of Suffolk's Heritage Coast.

The walking route takes you out to the coast and back, alongside RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve, part of the Suffolk Coast Path and Dunwich Heath. It offers beautiful coastal views and lots of wildlife. The going is moderate, and while it's sandy underfoot, it can get muddy in winter.

Dunwich Heath

Dunwich Heath looking towards Minsmere and Sizewell. - Credit: Mick Webb

5. Thorpeness-Aldeburgh

Two walks in Aldeburgh offer you the option of a quick one-mile stroll to Slaughden, with its magnificent Martello tower, along the Ore-Alde estuary, and back via the reclaimed town marshes and back streets of the town to the comforts of the White Hart pub or the Cross Keys.

A longer three-mile route heads north, taking in Moot Hall, the RNLI Lifeboat station, and on to North Warren around Church Farm Marshes where you'll see abundant bird life, and back along the beach past The Scallop, Maggi Hambling's famous sculpture.

Refresh yourself at The Mill Inn, the Railway Inn or one of the bigger hotels, the Brudenell, White Lion or the Wentworth. Alternatively, you could simply stroll north along the beach to Thorpeness for a bite to eat at The Dolphin and return the same way. 

Maggi Hambling's Scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach. 

Maggi Hambling's Scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach. - Credit: David Andrews

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