Suffolk Coast and Heath Walks

3 long-distance routes in the AONB

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16 Feb 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm

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Guidebook to 3 long-distance routes exploring the varied landscapes of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. The Suffolk Coast Path covers 55 to 60 miles from Lowestoft to Felixstowe. The Stour and Orwell Walk is 40 miles from Felixstowe to Cattawade near Manningtree, while the Sandlings Walk is 59 miles from Ipswich to Southwold.

Seasons 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 Centres
Lowestoft, Southwold, Felixstowe and Ipswich
Difficulty 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 Must See
Suffolk Coast & 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
16 Feb 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Overview

    The three long-distance walks described in this book - the Suffolk Coast Path, the Stour and Orwell Walk and the Sandlings Walk - link together to provide a comprehensive and varied circuit of the entire Suffolk Heritage Coast. The Suffolk Coast Path stretches along the coast between Lowestoft and Landguard Fort, close to Felixstowe in the south, a total distance of 60 miles (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 40 mile (64km) 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) 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 & Heaths AONB. With a unique landscape of cliffs, marshes, dunes and shingle beaches, and rare plants and birdlife galore, there is much to attract anyone seeking interesting day walks or longer multi-day itineraries.

  • Contents

    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
    Suffolk Coast Path/Stour and Orwell Walk Link
    Stage 1 Trimley St Mary 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 Upper Hollesley Common
    Stage 3 Upper Hollesley 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

  • Updates
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    The Sandlings Walk - Update October 2017

    Thanks to Colin Park for these observations

    Stage 2. Text is fine but map on page 130 is shown slightly wrong. Between TM287503 – TM290501 the path stays along the riverside embankment and does not go via Melton Station as shown. Also between TM292500 – TM294501 the path goes via the boardwalk north of the A1152 and does not go via the A1152 and Common Lane as shown on the map.

    Stage 3. Although the text is fine the map on page 135 is slightly wrong around Tangham House. Between TM352480 and TM354484 the signed path goes north through woods prior to getting to Tangham House then east passing a toilet block and through car park to reach north/south lane. The correct route from here is TM359492 then north via TM359495 then west northwest to TM358495 - not direct in a straight line as shown on the map.

    Stage 6. Text is OK but the maps on pages 150/152 are shown slightly wrong. From the coast through Goose Hill, the signed route from TM475645 goes inland to cross a footbridge at TM473644 then hugs the southern edge of the Goose Hill plantation via TM468645 to TM466646 - it does not go via the track passing the 9-metre trig point. (Note the latest OS 1:25,000 map shows this incorrectly too.)


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Laurence Mitchell

Originally from the West Midlands, Laurence Mitchell has been based in East Anglia for longer than he cares to remember. He worked as a geography teacher for many years before finally reinventing himself as a freelance travel writer and photographer. Laurence is especially interested in off-the-beaten-track destinations like the Balkans, Central Asia and the Caucasus region and has written guidebooks to Serbia, Belgrade and Kyrgyzstan as well as his own backyard of Norfolk and Suffolk, which he enjoys just as much as anywhere else. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

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