Suffolk coast hiking short break

Description of Suffolk coast hiking short break

A short walking break in the footsteps of Benjamin Britten, under the wide Suffolk skies, offering wonderful walks through a landscape full of history, shingle beaches, crumbling cliffs, marshes, estuaries, heathland, forests and farmland. This country is a source of inspiration to many artists, writers and musicians.

We have selected the very best routes that this area has to offer, incorporating many highlights. To achieve this, the walks are linear rather than circular, thus involving the use of 3-4 taxi journeys.

Our aim, is to make your short walking break as memorable as possible in countryside you will never forget, combining fresh air with exercise, tranquility and beauty, and insight into an area’s history and culture. Our carefully-crafted walks will leave you refreshed, relaxed and restored. There are no hills at all on the walks in this break!


• expertly-crafted self-guided walks in some of England’s most beautiful countryside
• a choice of easy 5-mile (8 km) or 9-mile (14.5 km) routes
• peace of mind knowing that routes have been thoroughly researched by the founders of the company, and tested by numerous walkers, so you can be sure you will not get lost! We include a marked-up Ordnance Survey map in your pack with a waterproof map case
• routes through the most tranquil and beautiful scenery, well away from the crowds
• printed commentaries highlighting features of special interest to provide insight into the area’s history, culture and natural environment
• the freedom to walk at your own pace, linger as long as you like over lunch, visit places of interest on the way
• a choice of excellent accommodation
• excellent restaurants in Aldeburgh, with good country pubs for lunch
• an enhanced sense of well-being that a few revitalising days of peace, fresh air, exercise, scenic beauty and close contact with nature will leave you refreshed, relaxed and restored

What to Expect

Grading of Walks: these routes are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk between 5 and 9 miles (8 and 14.5 km) on flat terrain for up to 4 hours with a break for lunch.

Accommodation: The 4-star Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh has been described by Johanssons as 'the epitome of a charming comtemporary seaside hideaway with a light, airy and relaxed ambience'. It's a step away from the beach and offers award-winning food. Or enjoy the pleasures of arty Dunan House for an aesthetic stay amongst colourful interiors. The service is charming, the breakfasts superb and the footpath beyond the front gate leads to the marshes and the river. The high street and beach are less than a 10 minute walk away.

Travel Information

By rail: trains from London Liverpool St to Saxmundham (2 hours); onward travel by taxi or bus 6 miles.

By road: total mileage from central London: 110 miles (2.5 hours). Limited car parking or public car park at the Brudenell; street parking at Dunan House.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrive at your accommodation, perhaps read through your walking pack. Explore the delights of Aldeburgh, from the shore to its picturesque backstreets with our self-guided tour. Finally dine at one of our recommended restaurants.
Day 2:After a short drive, your walk starts at the unique setting of Snape Maltings, home of Benjamin Britten's Aldeburgh Festival and the world-famous concert hall. You join a riverside path, threading through reedbeds, to visit the remote and beautiful church at Iken. Your route takes you inland, through landscapes dominated by the sky and shaped by the power of wind and sea, finally arriving at the charming old port of Orford, seemingly unchanged since Turner painted it in the 19th century. Here you'll admire the impressive castle, a near-perfect example of a Norman keep, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visit Orford's quaint quay with its views over the River Alde to Orford Ness, before returning by bus to Snape Maltings to explore the craft shops and art galleries, and perhaps take tea. (9 miles/14.5 km Moderate) A shortened version of the above walk will provide a relaxing day out with more time for visits. Enjoy all the highlights described above. Instead of walking from The Maltings to Orford via Iken, you'll follow a circular route between Iken and the Maltings and then after lunch, drive to Orford, thus reducing the mileage to 5 miles. (5 miles/8 km Easy)
Day 3:Today you journey a little further up the Suffolk coast - to Southwold - to begin your walk. The route hugs a beautiful, unspoilt stretch of coastal path, past the pier, picturesque lighthouse and colourful beach huts. From the harbour, alive with fishing boats and fishermens' huts, you cross the River Blyth to Walberswick. Here you have the option of exploring the RSPB bird reserve, where you'll be likely to see a varity of marshland birds. We recommend lunch at the delightful tearooms before you reach the lost city of Dunwich, once the capital of East Anglia, now reduced by the advancing sea to a tiny fishing village. Finally, following the coastal path, you cross Dunwich Heath to the National Trust coastguard cottages for tea. (9 miles; Moderate) A shortened version of the above walk will provide a relaxing day out and allow more time for enjoying the highlights described above, apart from Southwold. Your taxi will drop you at the harbour instead of Southwold to reduce the mileage to 5.5 miles
Day 4:If you stay a third night we highly recommend a visit to the RSPB’s flagship reserve, Minsmere.

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Suffolk coast hiking short break


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking clients is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport; if that is unavailable we recommend local transport companies to reach the start of the walk. We aim to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. We accommodate our walkers in a small local B&B, being family run. There is also a privately-owned hotel option. They employ local people and prepare meals from locally grown produce as far as possible.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by keeping thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We keep our customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


We endeavour to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local economy. In choosing to lunch at local restaurants we are patronising establishments which employ staff from the local rural community.

We choose the best walks available which do not always start directly from the accommodation. Therefore provision has to be made to transport people to and from the start of the walks. To achieve this we employ local minibus and taxi companies. Over the years we bring repeat business to them.

Bringing people to a new region, arranging their accommodation and food, transporting them from place to place, walking the ancient footpaths, visiting their pubs and teaching through carefully-researched commentaries something about the area’s rich history, culture and folk law, has the effect of giving people a sense of community with the place. People often return on their own or with friends, visit the same pubs and renew their sense of being at one with the beautiful local countryside.


This carefully-researched and crafted walking vacation in a special landscape of the UK, promotes appreciation, respect and enjoyment of the countryside through informative commentaries. These commentaries relate to history, rural life and traditions, flora and fauna, geology and literature.

We walk in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We describe the views to be seen and our walkers always enjoy seeing the distant route they took earlier in the walk. We always explain something of the history of the area we are visiting and introduce into the walks topics of a literary nature such as poems, references to writers and artists, specifically Benjamin Britten on the Aldeburgh vacation. Such references are associated with the area and focus on examples of the soothing power of nature.

We share knowledge about features of architectural interest and geological interest. For example, we explain about the nature of the marshes and how the land we see today has been shaped by the past. Dunwich is always of interest and we encourage a visit to the local museum. We include a visit to Minsmere RSPB on our routes, encouraging people to visit and learn something of the wildlife of the area.

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