Minsmere Nature Reserve
Enjoy a peaceful walk around this lovely coastal nature reserve near Leiston. Easy walking trails take you through woodland, reed bed, lowland heath, wet grassland and shingle vegetation. The reserve attracts a wide variety of birdlife and is considered one of the best sites in the country for birdwatching. Look out for Avocet, Bittern and Marsh Harriers. Other wildlife in the reserve includes Exmoor Ponies and Konik horses. You may even catch a glimpse of an otter if you are lucky!
The Suffolk Coast Path runs past the site so you could pick this up and continue your walk along the coast. If you head north along the path you will soon come to Dunwich Forest and then Westwood Marshes and Walberswick Nature Reserve where there are more excellent birdwatching opportunities.
Just to the north you'll find the lovely National Trust owned Dunwich Heath. There's miles of footpaths through beautiful purple heathland and coastal views along the pretty Dunwich beach.
Also nearby is the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve at Walberswick.
It's located just north of Minsmere and includes waymarked trails taking you to heathland, reed beds, grassland, woodlands, shingle, lagoons, mudflats and the salt marshes of the Blyth estuary.
PostcodeIP17 3BY - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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Minsmere Nature Reserve Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Minsmere Nature Reserve Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Minsmere Nature Reserve OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Minsmere Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
In Dunwich you could enjoy some post walk refreshments at the Ship Inn. Once a haunt of smugglers, The Ship at Dunwich, is nestled in between Southwold and Aldeburgh. On colder days there's a nice cosy fire indoors, while in the summer there's a nice outdoor area with fruit trees. The pub also does accommodation if you need to stay over. You can find it in the little village on St James's St, with a postoce of IP17 3DT for your sat navs.
Dogs are not allowed at the reserve because of the wildlife and habitats. There are good dog walking trails across the nearby Dunwich Heath and Dunwich Forest though.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The circular Westleton Walk passes the reserve. It visits the adjacent Westleton Heath where there's a number of different footpaths and lots of pretty heather in the late summer.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks and the Suffolk Walks pages.