\\\ Dog Walks
\\\ updated December 2021
Dunwich – Thorpeness – Aldeburgh
What Are The Best Dog Walks In Suffolk?
Image National Trust
Beautiful walks along UKs coastal routes and sandy beaches
Suffolk is part of East Anglia, East England facing the North Sea, about 100 miles from London, and a perfect rural location for a holiday break with your family and best friend.
Dunwich is worth a mention as the beach and heath are owned by the National Trust Organisation caring for this part of the Suffolk coastline.
The beach is actually shingle, but long, wide and continuous and makes a dog walk possible with the backshore being low crumbling cliffs and the start of the heath area being home to much wildlife.
Dogs are welcome on the beach, all year round, however, there are car parking time restrictions to the area for access to the beach, much shorter opening and closing hours during wintertime, so do check the National Trust website before making a special journey.
Thorpeness beach is situated in between, about 4 miles from Dunwich to the north and 1.5 miles to Aldeburgh to the south, with beaches running the length of the coast between the small villages. There are restrictions for beach dog walking in the central part of Thorpeness beach during summer, 1 May to 30 September each year, but other parts do not have restrictions. The beach has steep shelving from the backshore when at low tide exposes some excellent sandy beaches and you can walk between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh on the coastal walk route with your dog.
Featuring dog walking around the UK
Image of quaint Aldeburgh
Aldeburgh is situated right on the coastline and close to the beach which is flat, with access straight onto the beach. The beach is shingle and does have dog walking restrictions between 1 May and 30 September, but perfect out of season. Famed for its Grade II listed Beach Lookout which you can’t miss, along with a Martello Tower, one of the coastal fortifications built against Napoleon in the 19th century.
There’s even a fish and chip shop but this isn’t a bucket and spade type destination. It really is a quaint old place, kept immaculate, the beach is backed by a number of historic buildings having some small shops to visit and noticeably galleries, a golf course, and hotels making it a perfect location for a holiday break or staycation weekend jaunt.
One would really call Aldeburgh a village with a small population of just about 2,500 people but it has famous roots and sees a flow of summer visitors, visiting the parish church of St Peter and St Paul’s, where Sir Benjamin Britain is buried, UKs famous 20th Century composer, which also has a stained-glass window designed in his memory and the Red House, now the Britten-Pears Foundation, so Aldeburgh becomes classified as a ‘town’.
There is a local vet’s practice at Aldeburgh and several 5 miles or so, just in case of any pet emergency at Thorpeness and Dunwich.
Rural Retreats offers a number of luxury holiday cottages and houses across Suffolk, particularly dog-friendly comfortable properties at Aldeburgh being just a few minutes walk to the beach. Ideal renting out of season to take advantage of those dog walks on the local beach between 1st October and 30 April.
Best beach doggie tips –
- To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog.
- Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
- Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on, rather than the sand, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
- A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, in summer months, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can. Check out Pet Check Shop for supplies.
- You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times. Dogs can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious, so take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches
- Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times.
To get the very best out of a special day trip – plan in advance –
- Pre-book your car park space if necessary.
- Check all local social media before setting out including if there are traffic build-ups in the area so you are not wasting time sitting in a hot (or very cold) car.
- Check tide times for the best times to be on the beach. We recommend two hours after high tide allows the tide to be going out, sand and shingle drying out and gives more space on the beach.
- Remember to buy sun block for you and your pet before its too hot weather, apply before leaving home.
- Ensure your dog has ventilated space in your vehicle and also sunshades protecting them from direct sunlight whilst travelling.
Click here for the Dog walking restrictions information is available from the East Suffolk council website.
The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the ways we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read the latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys. You may find that you are required to pre-book vehicle entry into popular beaches during the summer months.
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