The Suffolk coast is renowned for its beaches. After all, it’s been named an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within this 50-mile stretch, you’ll find a surprising variety of beaches to suit every taste. If you were wondering which beaches to visit while you’re on your coastal Suffolk holiday, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the 9 best beaches in Suffolk, from the hidden gems to the most family-friendly beaches to take your bucket and spade.
South of Claremont Pier, Lowestoft
Best for: Families looking for a bit of everything on their beach break
Sometimes known as South Beach or Victoria Beach, there’s no doubt this lovely stretch of sand, dubbed ‘The Sunrise Coast’ is becoming one of Suffolk’s best. Following efforts to regenerate the Lowestoft seafront, there are exciting things on the horizon, thanks to the creative input of British designer Wayne Hemingway. Expect paddle-perfect water, plenty of family-friendly attractions and a fantastic new summer event, the First Light Festival – find out about it in our top things to do in Suffolk blog.
Best for: Scenic boat trips and a peaceful stroll
A stone’s throw from Walberswick Nature Reserve and backed by sand dunes, the setting of this beach is all part of its appeal. A short walk from Southwold, it sits just south of the picturesque River Blyth where you can enjoy scenic boat trips with skippers who know their local history. It’s a lovely spot for families to enjoy a spot of stone skimming and crabbing, by the harbour. And you may well spot a seal or two.
Southwold Pier Beach
Best for: A nostalgic seaside day out with the kids
With colourful beach huts, a plethora of nearby chippies and a Victorian pier filled with cafes and entertainment, Southwold Pier Beach (also known as Southwold North Beach) is one of Suffolk’s best. Aside from its quintessential seaside vibe, this long sandy beach is great for families. Lifeguards are on duty and you’ll find plenty of places to pick up a bucket and spade.
Best for: Quiet dog walks and romantic strolls
An alternative to Southwold Pier Beach, is Denes Beach, a quiet shingle bay noted for its marshland and idyllic scenery. It’s popular with dog walkers yet is beautifully clean and is perfect for kite-flying and romantic strolls. If you’re looking for a relaxing day out in Suffolk, this is it.
Best for: Families seeking a little thrill
Nicely sheltered and home to an amusement park and two-mile-long promenade, this four-mile crescent of sand is one of the most family-friendly beaches you’ll find in Suffolk. Bordered by two rivers – the River Orwell and River Deben – you’re a stone’s throw away from Suffolk’s finest nature spots, yet within easy reach of cafés, shops and an array of watersports.
Best for: Mornings in a tearoom and an afternoon picnic on the beach
Part of the appeal of Aldeburgh Beach is the characterful town it backs onto, filled with cute independent shops, fantastic restaurants and quirky tearooms. But the beach itself – a long stretch of sand and shingle – has a genuine unspoilt feel. And it’s a fantastic place to fill up on fresh sea air, or perhaps enjoy a picnic or BBQ. Take a refreshing walk along the shore and look out for the ‘The Scallop’, a 15ft steel sculpture designed in honour of Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten.
Best for: Coastal walks and beautiful nature shots
Located right next to the idyllic area known as Dunwich Heath, this protected beach is now looked after by the National Trust, after many years of over-use by holidaymakers. Today, it has more of a wild and untouched quality and regular beach cleans take place to protect the habitat, distinguished by its gorgeous yellow gorse and myriad bird species. The views from this long shingle beach are beautiful and you can take a break in the National Trust tearoom after a long walk.
Best for: Bird-watching and kicking back with a book
One of the lesser-visited beaches in Suffolk, we’d consider Kessingland Beach our hidden gem. Sandwiched in between Lowestoft and Southwold, you won’t find any lifeguards here. But you will find a beautiful arc of shingle, sand and marshland, with plenty of birdlife and an abundance of pretty spots – ideal for kicking back and enjoying some quiet contemplation.
Best for: People looking for a secluded spot
Located just south of Kessingland, Covehithe is another beach that many people like to keep a secret. It’s only accessible by foot, and with no shops or attractions in sight, it’s as secluded as it gets, with some salt-worn tree stumps on the shore adding to its unspoilt appeal. Sadly, this beautiful bay is succumbing to coastal erosion, so if you’re looking for true escapism, visit now rather than later.