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Southwold to Dunwich

There are currently 2 comments and 15 photos online for this walk.

Southwold to Dunwich
Author: Peter Truman, Published: 01 May 2010 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide star1 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide star1 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide star1 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide star0 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide
Suffolk,
Walk Type: Coastal
Southwold to Dunwich
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide boot Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide
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This route from Southwold to Dunwich follows the Suffolk Coast and Heaths path for much of its length. It's an easy walk with no gradients to speak of and easy navigation. It follows a route round Walberswick from Southwold, through the Nature Reserve and out onto marshland and reedbeds before following the line between woodland and marshes to get to Dunwich.

Dunwich is now a mere shadow of its former self. It was once a landing spot for Scandinavian raiders, it became an important port in medieval times and there were lots of fishing and military boats. It became a significant sized port with town to match.
However, in common with much of this coast it was subject to erosion and this is precisely what has happened to Dunwich. Most of the medieval town has simply been washed away - what is left is much more modern and not surprisingly built further back from the coast. The cliffs between Dunwich and Dunwich Heath are still regularly being eroded away and in the years I've visited I can easily remember bits of cliff top that are no longer there.
The museum in Dunwich is well worth visiting to see a model of the twon as it might have been.

The start of the walk is East Street in Southwold where it meets the sea front. There are many car parks in Southwold all of which will allow you to explore the town before you begin. However, if you want to shorten the walk slightly, park in the Harbour Car Park just south of the town. Approximate post code IP18 6ND.

Walk Sections

Southwold to Bailey Bridge
Southwold to Bailey Bridge

Start: OS ref TM509760
End: OS ref TM487753

Start point: 52.3247 lat, 1.6805 long
End point: 52.3194 lat, 1.6478 long

The start of the walk is identified as the corner of East Street where it meets the sea front, but wherever you start from simply make your way to the front and walk south along the promenade in the direction of Walberswick (keep sea to your left) and along the sand dunes or sea shore until you reach the harbour entrance. This marks the end point of the River Blyth.
Turn right and walk up Ferry Road until you get to the Harbour Inn. You will pass the ferry (a rowing boat that takes foot passengers between Southwold Harbour and Walberswick), all sorts of fishing boats and stores, pleasure boats and the home of the Coastal Voyager (great fun if you want a short high speed trip around Sole Bay).
Once at the Inn follow the path alongside the river until you reach the metal bridge that crosses the Blyth. This is the old Southwold Railway bridge, a light railway opened in 1879 that ran from Halesworth to Southwold but closed in 1929.

Walberswick Common
Walberswick Common

Start: OS ref TM487753
End: OS ref TM480742

Start point: 52.3194 lat, 1.6478 long
End point: 52.3099 lat, 1.6368 long

Turn left and walk over the bridge, but do pause to look up river. Tinkers Marshes are on the left and Reydon Marshes on the right. Follow the obvious and well worn path which is the old railway track. The path starts to curve away to the left once through the marshes - there's a small car park and seat here. The old railway track-bed continues straight on so turn off the metalled path and take the path over Walberswick Common. Just imagine yourself going straight on rather than curving away to the left to get directly to Walberswick village.
You can either walk through the old railway cutting (which I prefer) or along the common just to the left of the trackbed. Go through the gate adjacent to the sign welcoming you to Walberswick National Nature Reserve and continue straight on until you reach the road and Eastwoodlodge Farm will be just to your right. Walk along the road briefly until you reach the path on the left that crosses the corner of the field opposite the farm. This takes you to another gate and Walberswick National Nature Reserve sign.
Once through this gate go straight on for a short way until you reach the corner of the woodland. The path goes to the left of the wood, down a slight slope keeping the wood on your right and then curves round to the left, slightly uphill and to the Lodge Road gate.

Marshes to Dingle Great Hill
Marshes to Dingle Great Hill

Start: OS ref TM480742
End: OS ref TM486732

Start point: 52.3099 lat, 1.6368 long
End point: 52.3006 lat, 1.6448 long

Cross Lodge Road and follow the track. Do not take the first path to the left that skirts round the field but get to the gate just ahead and go left. If you go through the gate and straight on you will get to the right place a bit later - just turn left when the track meets the marshes.
This will take you out into the marshes along a broad track. Walk along this following the track past the derelict wind pump base and follow the signs for Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path.

Dingle to Dunwich
Dingle to Dunwich

Start: OS ref TM486732
End: OS ref TM478705

Start point: 52.3006 lat, 1.6448 long
End point: 52.2767 lat, 1.6311 long

Follow the path round the back of Dingle Great Hill, keeping to the Suffolk Coast Path signs. This is not that much of a hill as hills go but is certainly a little higher than the surrounding marshes! Head along the path (going inland) and past Sandymount Covert to get to a well defined track that goes past a chocolate box farm, through a small wooded area and then along a straight track to go past Dingle Stone House, continuing along the track until you go past Bridge Farm at Dunwich. Turn left along the main road until you get into the village centre.

Dunwich to Southwold
Dunwich to Southwold

Start: OS ref TM478705
End: OS ref TM509760

Start point: 52.2767 lat, 1.6311 long
End point: 52.3247 lat, 1.6805 long

The return from Dunwich to Southwold is simply to follow the coast back to Walberswick, head back inland up the path alongside the River Blyth and back through Southwold.
Approximately half way along the coat between Dunwich and Walberswick a path can take you back inland and over the marshes if you would prefer not to walk along the beach as it can be hard going over sand, although there is plenty of path to make it easier.
In Walberswick the ferry across the Blyth can cut out the chunk walking up the river - this service operates daily from June to the end of September but only operates at weekends and some holidays at other times of the year. If you do use the ferry turn right off the ferry and walk along the sand dunes back to Southwold.

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2010 by the author ptruman and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 comments for "Southwold to Dunwich"

Really easy enjoyable walk.

By tissue on 28 May 2015

Nice walk but think it might be a little more than 10 miles

By marc2629 on 29 Apr 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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15 gallery images for "Southwold to Dunwich"

131_0ptruman1272712311 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
From the old railway track in Southwold towards the harbour
131_1ptruman1272712312 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Bailey Bridge over the Blyth
131_2ptruman1272712312 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Moorings in Southwold Harbour from Bailey Bridge
131_3ptruman1272712312 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
The old wind pump in the marshes, Dingle Great Hill visible behind
131_4ptruman1272712312 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Wind pump amongst the reedbeds
131_0ptruman1272712489 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Suffolk coastal path sign
131_1ptruman1272712489 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Looking over the Corporation Marshes
131_2ptruman1272712489 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Farm by Dingle Great Hill
131_3ptruman1272712489 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Woodland near Dingle
131_4ptruman1272712489 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
Path to Dunwich from Lower Dingle
131_0ptruman1272712691 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 01 May 2010
St James church, Dunwich. Built in 1832 after older churches destroyed or lost to the sea.
131_0jct3181422169542 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: jct318
Uploaded: 25 Jan 2015
IMG_2104.JPG
131_0jct3181422180375 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: jct318
Uploaded: 25 Jan 2015
IMG_2103.JPG
131_0jct3181422180532 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: jct318
Uploaded: 25 Jan 2015
IMG_2102.JPG
131_0marc26291493477118 Southwold to Dunwich Walking Guide Image by: marc2629
Uploaded: 29 Apr 2017

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