The Suffolk Coast: our favourite out of the way places

Home » Visit Suffolk in a Motorhome: a tour guide to the best places to see and things to do » suffolk coast

PAGE UPDATED: 19.02.2022

Suffolk is our home county and although it doesn’t have the majesty of mountains it does have big skies, beautiful countryside, and a mesmerising coastline.

On this page we’ll share with you some of the best places to visit along the Suffolk Coast.

And if you’re looking for seclusion, Suffolk has some real gems right close to the sea.

Let’s immerse ourselves in the big skies of the Suffolk Coast…

VW T4 motorhome at Walberswick, Suffolk

Motorhoming around the Suffolk Coast

There certainly is plenty to see and enjoy in Suffolk and, on our days out in the van, we like to think that we’re giving the old girl a rest. The landscape here is much flatter than what we put her through on our longer road trips and pilgrimages.

But despite many people’s misconceptions, the land in Suffolk isn’t entirely flat like it is, say, in the Fens. There are some steepish climbs we wouldn’t fancy doing on a bike and in an old van like ours, it will require some gear changing.

In general though, there are no real problems, and we’ve yet to find a road we’ve had to reverse back down – like we did in the Peak District!

Indeed, our old Cree probably loves her days out around the Suffolk Coast, free-wheeling, taking it easy. It’s a holiday for her as well as us.

Our favourite places around the Suffolk Coast

We’ll start off with one of our favourite places on the Suffolk Coast – Felixstowe.

There is so much to see and do here and miles to walk, from Landguard Point and Felixstowe Docks, right along the seafront promenade and through to Old Felixstowe and the river Deben. We never get bored of visiting the town centre either, with one of the best secondhand bookshops you could ever find.

We’ll often park the van up and walk for several miles and we have wild camped a few times in the van without any bother.

And once a year, we give ourselves a Christmas treat and stay at the Orwell Hotel.

Go to ‘Felixstowe – a motorhome visitors guide’ now.

VW T4 motorhome at Felixstowe Docks
Felixstowe Docks, one of the largest container ports in the world

From Landguard Point, across the river Orwell you’ll see Shotley where you can take a walk along the riverbank all the way to Pin Mill. And slightly inland, on the way to Shotley, at Alton Water, you’ll find an eight-mile circumference, man-made reservoir.

It took us a while to walk all the way around on a hot summer’s day, but we did it.

Wild camping oil leak

From Felixstowe Ferry, across the river Deben you can see Bawdsey Quay. It’s only two minutes across on the little ferryboat. But in the van, back along the A14 then up the A12, it’ll take you the best part of an hour.

Bawdsey Manor is close by. On its grounds is a museum which opens a couple of days a week telling you about the ‘global story of radar’. It’s where radar all began. We visited in 2022 and enjoyed an informative afternoon. Highly recommended!

We have wild-camped here beside the river a few times but many spaces have been blocked.

And on one occasion at Bawdsey, just two weeks before we were due to head to Scotland in the van for our wedding, she leaked out all her gearbox oil. It was late on a Sunday! We had no option but to sleep over and then call Green Flag in the morning. They still took over 7 hours to arrive!

The guys at Last Transmissions near Ipswich did a great job, repairing it in the nick of time, before we headed north. An expensive job but she’s not missed a beat since.

VW motorhome being winched onto breakdown truck
Breakdown at Bawdsey!

Cold War and UFOs

A little bit further up the Suffolk Coast and you come to Orford Ness, a place you must visit!

You can get a boat out to the Ness – basically a ten-mile spit of shingle. And visit some of the buildings left standing from the Cold War. This has been featured in a TV programme and you really do get an ‘other-worldly’ feel here.

There are stories suggesting that the nearby Rendlesham Forest UFO incident in 1980 was something to do with nuclear testing taking place on Orford Ness. We suppose the truth will remain secret for a long time to come.

Have a look at this fascinating video…

The city that succumbed to the sea

The north sea is relentless, stealing land – and people’s property – every year.

Dunwich is one such place. Once a major shipping port, it’s now known locally as the lost city of England. Church bells can be heard coming from the waves, or so the legend goes. There’s also an interesting friary to visit.

Just five miles up the coast you’ll reach Southwold and Walberswick, places full of childhood memories for us Hobos. Both get busy in the summer but are well worth a visit, the latter proving a popular place for crabbing.

Covehithe church
Covehithe, where a smaller church has been built inside the larger old ruins

Desolation and Nazi invasion

For a more quiet place head up to Covehithe, one of Trudi’s childhood haunts, where you’ll see fascinating old church ruins. This is as far as you’ll get the van; the beach and cliffs can only be reached on foot.

It’s a great out of the way place for a beach barbeque, or for some fossil hunting. But watch out for the incoming tide!

And then there is the desolation of Shingle Street. Did the Nazi’s really attempt an invasion here back in 1940? The rumours abound to this day.

We’ll be adding more details about these places soon but, in the meantime, if you have any questions about the Suffolk Coast and campsites we’ve used get in touch with us.

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