Winter on the Suffolk coast

8th November 2017

The warm weather may be gone but now is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful winter scenery, cosy scarves and roaring fires. You will never be short on things to do in Suffolk whatever the season. While Suffolk is a popular summer destination, you will get a completely different experience when heading here for a winter break. With the magical countryside, joined by the sparkling frost, the beautiful coast bathed in winter sunshine and with very few people around you will feel like you’re in your very own winter wonderland. We are going to share a few reasons why we love Suffolk in winter. 

The wonderful wildlife

The swallows and nightingales may migrate for the winter but there is still so many amazing wildlife encounters for you to experience during the winter months. Here at The Ship at Dunwich, we are lucky enough to be set just short walk or cycle ride from RSPB Minsmere. Not only does RSPB Minsmere offer a choice of countryside walks with fantastic scenery but also the chance to experience the fascinating wildlife. If you choose to take a walk around the coastal trial you will likely see large flocks of ducks such as teals and wigeons on the Scrape and grazing marshes. Minsmere is often a winter home for Bewick’s swans, smews and goldeneyes, so be sure to look closely for them. Birds of prey that you may see include marsh and hen harriers, peregrine as well as barn and short-eared owls. Take a trip to the Bittern or Island Mere Hides and you will see a glimpse of some of the reedbed wildlife. A bittern may appear above the reeds, or the otters might make a quick appearance. One of our favourite wildlife species, that you must keep your eyes peeled to see, is the red deer rut. You may spot these majestic mammals browsing the woods or resting in the fields alongside the reserve’s entrance roads. RSPB Minsmere offers so much more and we highly recommendation taking a trip so you can see just how wonderful it is for yourself.

Wildlife in Suffolk
Wildlife in Suffolk 

Family friendly activities

The Suffolk coast is full of places to visit that all the family can enjoy all year in Suffolk, even in the winter months! A few of our favourite places to visit are:

Exploring the castles

Exploring Framlingham Castle and Orford Castle makes an exciting day out. While visiting Framlingham Castle you can discover Framlingham’s stories in their exhibition and walk the ramparts of the castle to see beautiful views. Orford Castle allows visitors to explore from the basement, through the halls and to the roof where you will be able to see fantastic views of Orford Ness.

Southwold pier

Southwold pier is a popular attraction during summer, but it is equally as fun during the winter month, just make sure you grab you scarf and gloves. The pier is decked out across the sea in the coastal town of Southwold. There is something for everyone here! There are so many things to do and see such as shows, the arcade and shops, making it an enjoyable family day out.

Africa Alive

At Africa Alive you will be able to discover lions, giraffes, meerkats, hunting dogs and many more animals from the African continent. This is an opportunity for children to explore the sights and sounds of Africa. The spectacular centrepiece of Africa Alive is the “Plains of Africa”, a place where you can spot 5 species of African savannah animals. You can even enjoy a bird's eye view of the magnificent lions from the viewing point ‘Lookout Lodge'. Africa Alive is also home to many other amazing species. The park is set in 100 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside so it also offers the chance to spot a wide range of British wildlife.

Winter in Suffolk
Suffolk in winter

Deserted beaches

During the summer months, it’s hard to find a peaceful spot on any of the Suffolk coast’s beaches. It may be a little chilly during winter, but nothing your warmest coat can’t fix. Enjoy the windswept dunes, the therapeutic sound of crashing waves and embrace this sea winds while enjoying a stroll with your loved ones or some much needed you time.

Dunwich beach
Dunwich beach

It’s a dog’s playground!

The Suffolk coast is known to as a dog-friendly destination all year round, however during the summer months there are restrictions on some beaches. As soon as winter reaches though, your four-legged friend can enjoy every inch of the Suffolk beaches. If a paddle in the sea and a game of fetch isn’t appealing in those sea winds, then take a trip to Rendlesham Forest, Dunwich Heath or a number of the other dog-friendly countryside spots. The Ship at Dunwich is also extremely dog-friendly, we warmly welcome you and your canine companions with open paws to our cosy inn. The four-legged member of your family will be greeted with plenty of fuss from our friendly team, a bowl of water and dog biscuits. Well behaved dogs are also allowed to stay in a number of our bedrooms and dine with you in our cosy bar, conservatory or breakfast room.

Winter walks in Suffolk
Winter walks 

If that isn’t enough to convince you that a trip to Suffolk in winter should be on your bucket list, then maybe our 50% off room offer will! Stay with us from the 1st December 2017 until 9th February 2018, (excluding our Christmas and New Year period) and not only will you have the chance to relish the genuine charm of a traditional village inn but also receive 50% off our published room rates! We have many cosy corners at The Ship for you to enjoy a glass of mulled wine or cider, get cosy by the fire and indulge in hearty dishes from our seasonal menu that will be sure to warm you up on a cold winter’s day.