Greentraveller Guide to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
A source of inspiration to countless artists, writers and musicians, this unspoilt 150 square mile stretch of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths is a landscape of subtle contrasts, combining shingle beaches, crumbling cliffs, wild heath land, forests, estuaries and rolling farmland.
This AONB is packed with history, culture and natural beauty yet still manages to retain a tranquil, laid-back atmosphere. In this latest Greentraveller Guide, we'll help you make the most of your time in this stunning part of England. We’ve scoured the region looking for the best places to stay, from lavish four star hotels to cosy B&Bs and luxury yurts, as well the best restaurants, cafes and inns serving delicious locally sourced food.
We’ll also tell you how best to get around on public transport, using services like the Coast Link bus that links the main train stations with some of this AONB’s most popular tourist hot spots.
Less Carbon, More Fun!
Browse by section
From a converted Victorian coach house to a romantic gypsy caravan tucked away in an apple orchard, here is our list of great places to stay.
Savour the best produce this region has to offer, whether it’s at an award winning restaurant, browsing at the local deli or attending one of Suffolk’s top food festivals.
Scenic wildlife reserves, Saxon forts, and fascinating museums are just some of the natural and cultural delights of this part of the Suffolk Coast.
Interactive map of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
- Nearest national cycle network
A word from the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB is an outstanding landscape, located on the most eastern coast of England and a short train ride away from London. The area has long attracted visitors – both the human and migratory kind! There are large numbers of migratory wildfowl to be seen, most notably at the RSPB reserves including Minsmere, and other visitors include Stone-curlews and Wheatear. These join nature’s residents such as Red Deer, bitterns, avocets and little egrets.
Human visitors also make their way here, and the Heritage Coast towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold began enticing visitors from before Victorian times to “take in” the waters and fresh air. With them and after came a very wide range of development throughout the area, such as accommodation, piers, walks, restaurants and an appreciation of the special-ness of the landscape and the need to care for it. Despite the millions of visitors the area receives it always feels tranquil; a place where you can get away from the bustle. Now people come for great bird watching in a superb landscape, and to relax in or be energetic around the easy-going towns and villages on the coast.
Many artists come to the area to capture its unique beauty, from JMW Turner, Charles Dickens and Benjamin Britten, to George Ewart Evans and Maggi Hambling. Many stayed on, and the cultural landscape of the area is now dotted with numerous festivals of music, literature, food and art.
Nature is on your doorstep in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths and the landscape is here for all to enjoy. Our visitor businesses and organisations understand how much being part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty helps them maintain their attractiveness to visitors, and those that become AONB Supporters fund community conservation projects to keep the area special for years to come!
It’s not hard to understand why the area is so attractive to visitors, many returning over and over again. I moved to Suffolk ‘temporarily’ over twenty years ago… maybe it’s the people, the culture or undoubtedly it’s the scenery, but I haven’t left yet!
Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
Did you know?
- 30% of the AONB is registered as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and is nationally protected
- There are approx. 300km of marked routes through some of Suffolk's best scenery
- The AONB has five river estuaries making it a rich haven for sailing and wildfowl
- 25% of the AONB is registered as Special Protection Area
- Uniquely, there are three long-distance footpaths in this one AONB - the Stour & Orwell Path, Sandlings Path and the Suffolk Coast Path
- 16% of the AONB is classed as Wetlands of International Significance
Videos from the Suffolk Coast & Heaths
'Seafood in a day' - getting to know how seafood is sourced: