This lovely circular walk takes you from the coastal town of Southwold to the nearby village of Walberswick in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There's much to enjoy in this area with coastal views, pretty beaches and riverside paths along the River Blyth.
The walk starts by the pier in the popular town of Southwold. The pier is 90 metres (620 ft) long with an adjacent model boat pond. From the pier you follow the Suffolk Coast Path south towards the River Blyth, passing the sand and shingle beach and the Grade II listed lighthouse. You can catch a ferry over the river but this walks follows the river path towards Woodsend Marshes before crossing the bridge and heading to Walberswick. Here you have the option of continuing along the Dunwich River to Dunwich Forest and the lovely Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve. The area around the village makes up the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve, a protected area of 1,340 hectares (3,300 acres) with a range of wetland and heathland habitats. Consequently the area is great for birdwatching with March Harrier, Bearded Tit, Water Rail and Bittern to look out for.
After exploring the village and enjoying refreshments at one of the pubs or cafes you follow the river back to Woodsend Marshes where there is a nice footpath to follow through Busscreek Marshes. You then follow the Buss Creek back to the pier and the finish point.
The Sandlings Walk long distance footpath starts in Southwold so you could pick this up to extend your walking in the area. It takes you through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from the town to Ipswich.
Also nearby is Minsmere Nature Reserve and Dunwich Heath which are great for peaceful walks and wildlife.
You could also try the Kessingland to Southwold Walk which runs along the coast path, passing the village of Covehithe with its interesting ruined church.
Southwold Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Southwold Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Southwold OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Southwold Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The Dunwich to Walberswick Walk is a good option for continuing your exercise around the town. The 7 mile circular walk visits Walberswick before returning to Dunwich along the beach.
The circular Blythburgh Walk starts at the nearby village and visits the Westwood Marshes, Walberswick and Dunwich Forest. The village is located just to the north west of Walberswick and includes trails along the River Blyth and a noteworthy 14th century church which is lit at night. There's also a notable 16th century pub with an excellent garden area overlooking the estuary. If you followed the Blyth river west from the settlement you will soon come to the neighbouring town of Halesworth. This town has some interesting history with a walk down the central Thoroughfare highly recommended. The pedestrianised area includes many buildings dating back to the sixteenth century.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks and the Suffolk Walks pages.