11 beaches in Suffolk and Essex you should visit during summer 2017
- Credit: Southwold Pier
Struggling for ideas about which beaches in Suffolk and north-east Essex to visit this summer? Here are 11 of our favourites.
With 350 miles of coastline in Essex, there is plenty of room for paddling, building sandcastles and simply enjoying the views this summer.
And further north along the Suffolk coast you will find 48 miles of golden sands and rolling shingle.
So whether you want to build a sandcastle, take a dip in the sea or enjoy tasty fish and chips, we have the best beach for you.
Maggi Hambling’s Scallop sculpture is synonymous with the coastal town of Aldeburgh, but this beach has more to offer than its controversial artwork, which honours composer Benjamin Britten.
Walking along the beach promenade you can take in many of the town’s distinctive attractions including The Moot Hall, lookout towers and lifeboat station. Fishermen still pull up their boats onto the shingle and sell their catch from nearby huts and there are also sandy areas of the beach which are particularly exposed at low tide.
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Beyond the beach is a row of colourful seaside homes, including that used in the BBC children’s series Grandpa in my Pocket. There are council-operated car parks at either end of the beach.
This area of the Essex coast is relatively untouched, and overlooked by many.
“Beautiful sand, sheltered bays to swim in, and free parking,” one of our reporters, Will Lodge, has previously said, describing his favourite beach location.
He said there is no better place to enjoy the British summer.
This beach has been described as classically English.
Reader Nicola Miller has previously said: “It has to be the Enid Blyton- esque tiny Bawdsey Beach with its ferryboat trip to get there and windswept views.
“And when it all gets too windswept, retire to the cafe, open in the Summer months for a lovely Bawdsey cup of tea.”
A wide expanse of soft golden sand makes this the perfect spot to set up with your bucket and spade.
During the summer months, a host of activities and events are held along the beach, including water sports, volleyball and the traditional summer fair.
There is also a pier with amusements, colourful beach huts, beachside cafes and a lighthouse.
The unofficial crabbing capital of the UK. Try your hand at catching crustaceans before enjoying the unspoilt picturesque sandy beach which stretches for miles and is backed by sand dunes.
There are plenty of cafés and other places to eat and drink within the pretty village of Walberswick as well as craft shops and art galleries.
This is also a great starting point to explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Surf, swim, sail or jetski off the Essex coast at Dovercourt. The gently-shelving sand and shingle beach is ideal for launching small boats. The waters come recommended by the Marine Conservation Society and the beach is recognised with a Blue Flag.
A lifeguard is on duty during high season and the beach is cleaned daily, plus there is excellent parking facilities – including some free spaces, and toilets.
There is a model yacht pond, skate park and boating lake located just behind the beach and just a short stroll along the seawall is a nature reserve with resident seals.
The central beach at Walton is lively and commercialised, with the UK’s third longest pier. It is popular with families in the summer months and has a lifeguard on duty to look over swimmers. Toilets are located along the beach and there is deckchair hire, first aid and pushchair access to the beach.
The waters are again Marine Conservation Society recommended and the beach boasts a Quality Coast Award.
Further along the coast are quieter beaches while Walton-on-the-Naze is a designated site of scientific interest, which is popular with walkers and wildlife enthusiasts. There is a pay car park and toilets here.
Both The Pier and The Denes beaches have earnt their place in the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide. The water quality at The Denes is classed as Good, and at The Pier it is deemed excellent.
Lifeguards are on duty at both during the summer, making it an ideal spot for some open water swimming. The Denes is a quiet shingle beach set amongst the marshes, while The Pier is a more traditional beach resort complete with pier.
The pier is an attraction in its own right, offering traditional penny slot machines, a hall of mirrors, the renowned under the Pier Show and a telesope. It is also home to an angling club. There are free parking spots available in Ferry Road and Harbour Quay West, or try the large car park by The Pier at a cost of £5.65 for the day.
It might be best known for its thriving port, but there is more to Felixstowe than meets the eye. Felixstowe has a vast expanse of beach lined with amusements, beach huts, fast-food outlets and even a sports centre, making it ideal for a day of family fun.
A mix of sand and shingle, the beach at Felixstowe slopes gently towards the sea and is an ideal playground for the bucket and spade brigade. The two-mile promenade is level with the beach and there is plenty of seating, both here and within the gardens behind. The water quality is classed as excellent by the Marine Conservation Society.
Chargeable parking is available right along the seafront, or if you are prepared for a little walk, park closer to the town and avoid fees.
Frinton has one of the widest, flattest and firmest beaches in East Anglia thanks to the timber groynes holding it in place.
The quiet resort is family-friendly and with little to distract from the peaceful seascape, you can turn your full attentions to creating a magnificent sand sculpture.
As well as coming recommended by the Good Beach Guide, the beach also holds a Quality Coast Award from Keep Britain Tidy.
Canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and jet skiing are all popular off the coast of this seafaring town. Beach huts and a promenade line the child-friendly beach, from which dogs are banned.
And there is a slipway for those wanting to venture further along the River Colne or out into the Blackwater Estuary and into the North Sea.
The beach boasts a Blue Flag, although the water quality is not on the recommended list. There is some free parking available close to the beach and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to sample.