Don’t leave the dog at home, enjoy a top Suffolk day out with man’s best friend
- Credit: Archant
Looking for a family day out for you and your four-legged friends? See our list of ten top dog-friendly days out in Suffolk.
Dogs are allowed on most of The Suffolk Coast’s beaches. However, on many of our most popular stretches, there are restrictions, so it’s best to look out for signs that give exact dates for a particular beach.
Whilst some stretches don’t allow dogs during the summer, many, including Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, have parts to the north and south of the main beaches which do, all year round.
One beach is Dunwich: a haven for canines and owners. You will both love exploring the sand and heathland, and, after a long walk, you can enjoy a cold beverage in The Ship Inn whilst your pooch tucks into a dog biscuit.
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If seclusion is what you desire, head to Covehithe. It’s accessible only on foot, but you can walk your dog along the quiet lane heading to the sea (best keep the dog on a lead here, due to the nearby pig fields) before letting them loose on the open beach for a game of fetch and a swim in the sea.
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Landguard Fort in Felixstowe has played a key part in the defence of our shores and dates back over 400 years. You can explore the history and architecture of the fort in the company of your four-legged companion as dogs (on leads) are welcome and a water bowl is available for their refreshment.
Just up the coast near Woodbridge is National Trust Sutton Hoo, where you can discover the story of the Anglo-Saxons at the burial ground of kings. Dogs are allowed to walk around the estate, with two different walks on offer, but aren’t allowed inside the museum.
Slightly inland, you will find Framlingham Castle. Steeped in nearly 1,000 years of history, there’s loads to explore, and dogs on leads are allowed in the grounds.
Feeling peckish? These dog-friendly cafés on The Suffolk Coast are the ideal place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a selection of local produce during a jam-packed day of exploring with your dog.
The Firestation Café in Woodbridge welcomes both humans and dogs and invites you to enjoy the coffee (which is roasted on-site) along with a selection of cakes, pastries, lunches and snacks. Come the evening, the cafe transforms into a trendy bar, with DJs and live entertainment, so your pooch can enjoy the nightlife too.
After a walk through Martello Park, be sure to stop by South Kiosk in Felixstowe, where you can tuck into a slice of cake or home-made sausage roll and your dog can slurp on a doggy ice cream (with gravy bone).
No trip to the Suffolk coast would be complete without a visit to Southwold’s famous pier. And after an early-morning stroll along the prom, stop by the Beach Café and Clockhouse for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, dinner and ice cream.
If you fancy a swift half while taking your best friend for a walk, head over to The Ramsholt Arms, near Woodbridge. The riverside pub and restaurant is dog friendly, with some great dog walks nearby too. After you’ve walked up an appetite, you can choose from the extensive menu whilst your dog enjoys the treats and water bowls available.
Upon arrival at The Ship at Dunwich, your fluffy friend can chomp away on a treat whilst you sample the fish and chips; or enjoy panoramic views of the River Orwell as you sit in the gardens of The Ship Inn, Levington, where everyone is welcome, dogs and children included.
If the weather is less than desirable, dogs are welcome to join you in the bar of The Ufford Crown, near Woodbridge ? where water bowls and treats are on offer.
The East Anglia Transport Museum, near Lowestoft, has a great collection of trams and buses that both children and dogs will love having a ride on! After a trip down memory lane (literally!) you can explore the exhibition halls, period street scenes and “Tar, Sweat and Steam building” before stopping by the cafeteria (serving hot and cold snacks) and souvenir shop.
At The Suffolk Punch Trust at Hollesley, near Woodbridge, you can discover how these magnificent horses shaped our local landscape before setting off on one of the three walks around the farm, where dogs on leads are welcome. Dogs on leads are welcome at Easton Farm Park. There are pony rides (for children, not dogs), train rides and cuddle experiences with baby animals.
Fancy getting out on the water? Waveney River Tours, at Oulton Broad and Snape, can help you get afloat with your best friend. Step on board the 100-seater passenger boats and enjoy a trip along the River Waveney or River Alde, taking in the beautiful waterside scenery and looking out for some of the region’s rare wildlife.
And for something special, private charters of the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant mean you get a happy salty sea dog. Enjoy a delicious meal made from locally-sourced produce, with up to 18 guests. It’s up to you if those guests are of the human or canine variety.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walks that you and your dog will love.
Explore some of Suffolk’s magnificent medieval churches with Angels & Pinnacles, offering a range of walks taking in the areas in and around the River Deben, Framlingham and Southwold.
There is plenty of dog-friendly accommodation on the Suffolk coast: from B&Bs and hotels to self-catering cottages and camping.
Named the Good Hotel Guide’s Editor’s Choice Dog Friendly Hotel 2016 is The Crown & Castle in Orford. The hotel is very dog-friendly, so a weekend away with your four-legged friend can be spent in style. Well-behaved dogs and their owners can stay in one of the Best Garden Rooms and are welcome to enjoy a meal at one of the designated doggie tables.
At The Westleton Crown, dogs are welcomed with a bowl of water, dog biscuits and a blanket, and can stay with you in one of the dog-friendly rooms and can dine with you in the cosy bar, or relax in front of the roaring log fire in the lounge.
After a day enjoying the beach at Felixstowe, head to Treacle Pot Cottage (available to rent), where you and your dog can enjoy a relaxing evening in the village of Trimley St Mary, or choose from one of the many dog-friendly cottages that Cliff House Holidays has to offer.
The Suffolk Coast is renowned for its wide open spaces, whether that’s on the beach or heaths.
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty gives you and your furry friend the chance to enjoy the fabulous flora and fauna that we’re so lucky to be surrounded by. There’s a range of downloadable maps and guides, perfect for helping you make the most of your doggy holiday on The Suffolk Coast, including pub walks, cycle routes and forest maps.
Want to indulge in a little luxury? Then book a stay at Mollett’s Farm (off the A12 near Saxmundham), where not only are your dogs welcome, other pets can come along too.
If you’re looking for dog coats and accessories, head to Aldeburgh and O&C Butcher on the High Street, where your fashion-conscious pooch is very welcome!
No trip to The Suffolk Coast would be complete without taking home a bottle or two of Adnams’ finest! The large Adnams store in Southwold is an emporium of everything Adnams: from innovative beers, extensive wines and handcrafted spirits to idyllic gifty bits. The shop has a friendly tasting bar which offers a broad range of beers, wine and spirits to taste on a daily basis. And bringing your dog (on a lead) is not a problem. This also goes for the Adnams shops in Aldeburgh, Felixstowe and Woodbridge.
For more dog-friendly places to stay and things to do, visit The Suffolk Coast See our guide to rainy days on the Suffolk coast here