Suffolk Coastal – Dog-Friendly Beaches

Dog-friendly Suffolk beaches

Dog-friendly Suffolk Coast (near Woodfarm)

We are so lucky to be near to to Suffolk Coastal. We have some amazing Dog-friendly Suffolk beaches; some remote, some on the edge of towns. A mix of sand and shingle, all with fabulous views. Some have no restrictions and some do. Much of this information comes from The Beach Guide here

Dog-friendly Suffolk Coastal with no restrictions (that we are aware of!)

Dunwich

  • Type of beach; Shingle
  • Nearest town; Southwold
  • Postcode; IP17 3DE
  • OS grid ref; TM 4794 7055

Facilities;

  • Cafe/ restaurant
  • Toilets
Dunwich; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal
Dunwich heath dog walks

Dunwich Heath

  • Type of beach; Sand and shingle
  • Nearest town; Leiston

A remote beach backed by the dunes, heathland and lagoons of the National Trust owned Dunwich Heath. The area is also home to RSPB Minsmere and is home to a range of interesting wildlife such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, red deer, adders and ant-lion.

Dunwich Heath is more than just a nature reserve though; it is a good family beach. Towards mid tide there is a good deal of sand revealed which is ideal for digging or running around on. As well as all the opportunities for exploring the heath provides there are facilities provided at the National Trust tearooms.

It is also a dog friendly beach with dogs welcome all year. Must be kept on a lead on the heath at certain times of the year.

  • OS grid ref; TM 4780 6773
  • Facilities;
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities
  • Childrens play area
  • Picnic area

Southwold Pier

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle
  • Amusement arcade
  • Good fishing
  • Jet-skiing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Wind surfing

Southwold is one of the Suffolk coastal best known resorts and has a long tradition as such. Perhaps the most obvious link to the seaside town’s seaside credentials is the 800 foot (250m) long pier. Along with a sprinkling of shingle, beach groynes and colourful beach huts there is no mistaking you are at the Great British seaside!

Opened in 1900 the pier has taken a few beatings from the sea over the years, in particular 1934 when the pier head was destroyed by a storm. Further storms damaged the pier up to the point that in 1998 the pier had to be closed for safety reasons.

But there is more to Southwold beach than a pier. The quality of the beach has been recognised over the years by regular Blue Flag awards which demonstrate that the beach is not only clean but provides an excellent array of amenities.

The beach at Southwold is backed by a promenade which runs along the front of the town. It is only a quick walk to the town centre and a short promenade to the harbour area. This is one of my favourite dog-friendly Suffolk beaches.

The beach is cleaned regularly and dogs are banned from certain areas of the beach during the summer season.

Facilities;

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities
  • First aid point
  • Lost child centre
  • Town centre nearby
  • Shop
  • Pub nearby
  • Beach hut hire
  • Promenade
  • Pier
Southwold Pier; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal

Southwold Denes; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal

Southwold Denes

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle 
  • Nearest town; Southwold

Activities;

  • Good fishing 
  • Wind surfing
  • Facilities;
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • OS grid ref; TM 5093 7536
  • Postcode; IP18 6HQ

Walberswick

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle Postcode; IP18 6UA
  • Nearest town; Southwold
  • OS grid ref; TM 5025 7471

Without showing favouritism, this is my favourite slice of dog-friendly Suffolk coastal! Its a lovely little sand dune backed beach is just across the River Blythe from Southwold, which is within easy walking distance.

A walk in the other direction will take you past the Walberswick Nature Reserve with its mix of marsh and heathland.

The beach at Walberswick is just a short walk from the village which means all amenities are close at hand. Even if you don’t need anything it is worth the stroll up to have a look around this pretty little village.

Walberswick is however best known as the home of “The British Open Crabbing Championship”. This takes place in the waterways behind the beach and the person catching the largest crab within 90 minutes is the winner!

Walberswick; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal

Dog-friendly Suffolk Coastal with restrictions

Thorpeness; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal

Thorpeness

  • Type of beach; Shingle
  • Dog ban from 1st May through the 30th September

Thorpeness is a quirky little village just north of Aldeburgh. It is everything an English seaside village should be; there is a golf course, a large boating lake (the Meare) and more mock Tudor buildings than you can shake a stick at! Many of these buildings line the beach front intermingling with equally quirky modern homes.

The beach itself is an expanse of steeply shelving shingle leading down to some sand at low tide. To the south it stretches all the way to Aldeburgh and to the north Dunwich.

Activities;

  • Good fishing

Facilities;

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Town centre nearby
  • Shop
  • Pub nearby
  • Picnic area
  • Nearest town; Aldeburgh
  • OS grid ref; TM 4734 5954

Aldeburgh

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle
  • Dog ban from 1st May through the 30th September on the main town beach

This sand and shingle beach is probably the best known of all Suffolk’s beaches. Backing on to the pretty seaside town of Aldeburgh there are no shortage of facilities either.

Aldeburgh has plenty to explore on and around the beach. Along the beach front are any number of quirky historic buildings. These include the 400 year old Moot Hall, a Martello tower, a converted windmill and a Norman church.

There is cultural heritage here too; composer Benjamin Britten is strongly linked with the town and there is a monument to him on the beach – the Scallop. The art scene remains vibrant in Aldeburgh with a number of galleries, most notably Caroline Wiseman’s housed in the South Lookout right on the beach.

However, the best cultural experience to be had in the town are fish and chips which have been rated as the best on the East coast!

Facilities;

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Town centre nearby
  • Shop
  • Pub nearby
  • Nearest town; Aldeburgh
  • Postcode; IP15 5BD
  • OS grid ref; TM 4660 5679
Aldeburgh; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal
North Felixstowe; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal

Felixstowe North

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle

This is the more remote side and offers some great scenery in ‘Old Felixstowe’, where the River Deben enters the sea after its long journey from Debenham, very close to Woodfarm.

Activities;

  • Good fishing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Wind surfing

Facilities;

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • First aid point
  • Shop
  • Nearest town; Felixstowe
  • Postcode; IP11 2AQ
  • OS grid ref; TM 3071 3447

Felixstowe South

  • Type of beach; Sand & shingle

Activities;

  • Good fishing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Wind surfing
  • Facilities;
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities
  • First aid point
  • Shop
  • Nearest town; Felixstowe
  • Postcode; IP11 2DF
  • OS grid ref; TM 2957 3340

Complete ban on dogs

Orford Ness

  • Type of beach; Shingle

Orford Ness is a nature reserve with fragile habitats so dogs are not allowed (assistance dogs are welcome)

The reason I am including it in this guide though is that Orford is beautiful and you are allowed to visit the harbour with your dogs.

The technical description of Orford Ness as a cuspate foreland shingle spit doesn’t really do much to explain the uniqueness of this atmospheric spot on the Suffolk coast.

Another iconic feature of Orford Ness is the abandoned lighthouse which is sadly set to be swallowed up by the sea in the not too distant future.

The beach, and nature reserve onto which it backs, are now owned by the National Trust. There aren’t much in the way of facilities here but the village of Orford is only around a mile away.

Facilities;

  • Toilets
  • Nearest town; Aldeburgh
  • OS grid ref; TM 4486 4874
Orford Harbour; dog-friendly Suffolk coastal