Explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks
Available as eBook
10 Feb 2012
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
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Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks

3 long-distance routes in the AONB

by Laurence Mitchell
Book published by Cicerone Press

A handy, pocket-sized guide to 3 long-distance walks in Suffolk, 40 to 60 miles long: the Suffolk Coast Path (Lowestoft to Felixstowe), the Stour and Orwell Walk (Felixstowe to Cattawade) and the Sandlings Walk (Ipswich to Southwold). Three weekends of easy walking covering the whole of the Suffolk Heritage Coast, largely in an AONB.

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The three long-distance routes in this guide – the Suffolk Coast Path, the Stour and Orwell Walk and the Sandlings Walk – explore some of the most appealing landscapes in southern England largely within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. Easy for those with moderate fitness levels, they can each be walked in a long weekend or all three combined to complete a circuit of the entire Suffolk Heritage Coast, visiting Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Cattawake, Ipswich and Southwold.

The Suffolk Coast Path stretches along the coast between Lowestoft in the north and Landguard Fort, close to Felixstowe in the south, a total distance of 55-60 miles (89-97km) depending on whether beach walking or inland options are followed.

The Stour and Orwell Walk continues where the Suffolk Coast Path ends, starting at Landguard Point threading for 43 mile (69km) around the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers to finish at Cattawade, close to the Essex border.

The Sandlings Walk (59 miles/94.5km) thoroughly explores the heathland region that lies immediately inland from the Suffolk coast. With the exception of the first stage, between Ipswich and Woodbridge, the route of the Sandlings Walk lies entirely within the confines of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.

The step-by-step route descriptions highlight the many features to be admired among the region’s estuaries, marshes, dunes and sand and shingle beaches and the rich history of the once-key seaports of Southwold, Dunwich and Aldeburgh.

  • much of the Suffolk coastal region is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • routes described in detail and illustrated with OS map extracts
  • includes information on transport to and from the area, including the different ferries used for linking sections of route
  • Seasons
    all the routes can be walked at any time of year; summer is the busiest time and accommodation may be hard to find during the Aldeburgh Festival in June; spring and autumn are best for watching birds; winter has its own charm when you may find that you have the place to yourself
  • Centres
    Lowestoft, Southwold, Felixstowe and Ipswich
  • Difficulty
    all of these coast and heath walks are easy for those of moderate fitness; no special ability or equipment is necessary and the only challenge comes from attempting to complete the long-distance routes in succession as a multi-day itinerary
  • Must See
    Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB; once-great sea ports like Southwold, Dunwich and Aldeburgh; a landscape characterised by estuaries, marshes, dunes, sand and shingle beaches; unique scenery and wildlife

May 2012

1. A new licensed path has been negotiated with Suffolk County Council from Butley Ferry (TM 393 481) along the river defences to Tide Gauge (TM 415 484) permitting the walker to get all the way to Orford Quay along the river defences. Although not waymarked as such, this would be a more coastal route for the Suffolk Coast Path via Butley Ferry than along the minor road, which the reader found to be suprisingly busy.

2. The maps on pages 65 and 67 of your guide show 2 alternatives to pass Iken Hall: Either continue along the road as indicated on the map or take the waymarked footpath next to the river. The waymarked path between TM 412 560 and TM 403 561 is on the river side of Iken Hall. The text for this section is correct.


Three Long-Distance Walks
History of the Landscape
Wildlife and Flowers
Culture and Heritage
Getting There and Back
When to Go
What to Take
Food and Accommodation
Waymarks and Access
Using This Guide
Stage 1 Lowestoft to Covehithe
Stage 2 Covehithe to Southwold
Stage 3 Southwold to Dunwich
Stage 4 Dunwich to Thorpeness
Stage 5 Thorpeness to Snape Maltings
Stage 6 Snape Maltings to Chillesford
Stage 7 Chillesford to Shingle Street
Stage 8 Shingle Street to Landguard Fort, Felixstowe
Stage 1 Landguard Fort, Felixstowe to Nacton
Stage 2 Nacton to Orwell Bridge, Ipswich
Stage 3 Orwell Bridge, Ipswich to Pin Mill
Stage 4 Pin Mill to Lower Holbrook
Stage 5 Lower Holbrook to Cattawade
Stage 1 Ipswich to Woodbridge via Martlesham Heath
Stage 2 Woodbridge to Sutton Common
Stage 3 Sutton Common to Butley via Rendlesham Forest
Stage 4 Butley to Snape Maltings via Tunstall Forest
Stage 5 Snape Maltings to Thorpeness
Stage 6 Thorpeness to Dunwich Heath
Stage 7 Dunwich Heath to Southwold
Appendix A Route Summary Table
Appendix B Useful Contacts
Appendix C Further Reading
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