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Suffolk beaches really do offer something special, with amazing views of the North Sea, near-deserted stretches of sand and good old fashioned family fun.
Despite Suffolk's only Blue Flag beach, Southwold, losing its status last year, the Suffolk coast delivers up some of the best beaches in the UK. There are beaches for all occasion from wide expanses where you'll have be joined by over sun worshippers, to tiny coves where you'll likely only meet a passing seal. So if you're visiting Suffolk make sure you pack your bucket and spade and sun cream and hit these beautiful beaches.
We've done the hard work rounding up the best beaches. Suffolk is full of them, so read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
Aldeburgh is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Suffolk and part of its appeal is that it backs on to the artsy town of Aldeburgh. Aldeburgh beaches are long stretches of sand and shingle ripe for picnicking families, yet it maintains an unspoiled atmosphere. Composer Benjamin Britten is honoured here with a 15-ft steel sculpture on the shore 'The Scallop'. Make a day of it by visiting some of the local historic sites including 400-year-old Moot Hall and a converted windmill.
Where: Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5BD
Drive from London: Two hours 20 minutes drive (109 miles)
Type of beach and size: Large sand and shingle beach
Toilets: Public toilets on Crag Park (IP15 5DS) and Fort Green Car Park (IP15 5DD) - currently closed. The latter also has baby change facilities.
Dog friendly: Dogs are banned on the beach from 1st May through to 30 September
Amenities: The best cod and chips come from Aldeburgh Fish and Chips Shop - it's currently serving a reduced menu check the Facebook page for opening times.
Parking: Free parking at Slaughden Quay (IP15 5DE) 12 minutes' walk from the beach
Access: There's a beachside prom which dogs can use. Beach is at street-level with easy access - a few sections involve steps up.
Additional Information: No lifeguard service. You can walk along the beach and reach the equally-lovely Thorpeness beach (2.1 miles approx one hour).
As beaches in Suffolk go this small stretch of coastline is a beauty for its stark bleakness and popular with dog walkers. Out of towners tend to head to the bigger, better-known spots leaving Shingle Street free for the few who know it exists. If you want an isolated spot then this is your beach, and the lack of visitors makes it a top place to spot local wildlife - lookout for nesting terns and the odd seal. Kids can also search for the Shingle Street Shell Line - a 15-year project - and add to it.
Where: Shingle Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3BE
Drive from London: Two hours, 10 minutes (102 miles)
Type of beach and size: This shingle beach stretches for around six miles.
Toilets: No, go before you go
Dog friendly: Yes
Amenities: None so bring your own refreshments and picnic. Hollesley is the closest spot but most amenities are closed here
Parking: Shingle Street Car Park, Hollesley, IP12
Access: Easy on foot
Additional Information: The shingle leads on to lagoons and marshy areas so do take care on your visit
Nestled between the more popular sites of Lowestoft and Southwold there are miles of sand, shingle and marshland here on the Suffolk coast and it's a real unspoiled beauty. At the southern end of Kessingland beach there's Benacre Nature Reserve, so bring the binoculars and see what birdlife you can spot. While it may not have a coveted Blue Flag, this beach does have a Seaside Award for its cleanliness and facilities.
Where: Kessingland, Suffolk, NR33 7NU
Drive from London: Two and a half hours (130 miles)
Type of beach and size: Large sand and shingle space
Toilets: Toilets on Church Road (NR33 7SB) including baby change, no changing facilities
Dog friendly: Yes, but should be kept on a lead near the Nature Reserve
Amenities: The beach-side cafes are currently closed
Parking: At Church Road
Access: Short flight of steps down to the beach, with a promenade running between the village and the beach
Additional Information: No lifeguard service. It's a good spot for windsurfing and other water sports
Not only is this a picturesque little Suffolk beach but it's also known as the home of crabbing - so don't visit without bringing your line and bait. It's no surprise it's one of the best beaches in Suffolk - it's backed by sand dunes and is bordered by the Walberswick Nature Reserve too. Close by is the River Blyth where you can take the kids for a boat trip to explore the area. Look for the iconic black beach huts on this part of the Suffolk coast too.
Where: Walberswick Beach, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6ND
Drive from London: Two and a half hours (123 miles)
Type of beach and size: Sand and shingle small beach
Toilets: Find public toilets at The Green (IP18 6TT), including baby change and Ferry Road (IP18 6TZ)
Dog friendly: Yes
Amenities: The village of Walberswick is a short stroll from the beach
Parking: Ferry Road (IP18 6TJ) or Cliff Field (IP18 6TY). Both pay and display from £1 an hour.
Access: From the car parks you will have to walk 5-10 minutes to reach the beach, often over bridges full of people crabbing
Additional Information: No lifeguards
Dunwich Heath Beach
One of the best beaches in Suffolk is found at Dunwich - it's a riot of colour thanks to the yellow gorse and purple heather on the next-door heathland. It has a wild feel to it and lots of rare plants and wildlife to discover. We couldn't round up the best beaches in Suffolk without including this one.
Where: Minsmere Road, Dunwich, Suffolk, IP17 3DJ
Drive from London: Two and a half hours (120 miles)
Type of beach and size: Expansive shingle beach
Toilets: Yes - currently open
Dog friendly: Yes
Amenities: The National Trust's Dunwich Heath tea room is currently closed
Parking: Pre-booked parking at the National trust site, 150 yards from the beach. Free for National Trust members, £5 for others.
Access: The beach is accessed via a break of two cliffs opening out to the road
Additional Information: No lifeguard service
Yes - The Suffolk coast does have at least one sandy beach! South Beach in Lowestoft could easily be mistaken for the Med on a sunny day with crystal clear waters and miles of golden sands. It's popular with families who will love the pier which is packed with traditional arcade games, restaurants and attractions. For a full day out, beaches in Suffolk don't come much better than this.
Where: Lowestoft South Beach, NR33 0BY
Drive from London: Two hours 40 minutes (132 miles)
Type of beach and size: Large sandy beach
Toilets: Public toilets and showers available on the seafront
Dog friendly: No dogs between May and September
Amenities: The popular Perry's Fish and Chips is currently offering collection service plus delivery via Uber Eats
Parking: Pay and display next to Claremont Pier (NR33 0BS), 90p an hour
Access: There's a ramp for beach access
Additional Information: Lifeguard station operating between June and August
Make sure this stunning Suffolk beach is on your must-visit lift - but get there sooner rather than later. Coastal erosion means it won't be around forever. Salt-worn tree stumps litter the shore, and it's about as wild and beautiful as Suffolk beaches come. Challenge the kids to collect the driftwood that litters the sand, and explore the fascinating church-inside-a-church.
Where: Covehithe, Beccles NR34 7JW
Drive from London: Two and a half hours (125 miles)
Type of beach and size: Sandy, large and remote
Toilets: None, go before you go
Dog friendly: Yes
Amenities: None, bring your own refreshments
Parking: Parking near the church (NR34 7JJ).
Access: This beach is remote so you'll have to head through fields and scramble over sand dunes with a 20-minute walk to reach the shoreline
Additional Information: This is a wonderfully remote spot so prepare well for your trip
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).