GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Orford Ness

4 miles (6 km)

Follow the walking trails around this beautiful nature reserve on the Suffolk Coast. The reserve is located on a remote shingle spit by the River Ore. It can be accessed by catching the National Trust ferry from Orford Quay (this is show on the google street view link below). You can then pick up the walking trails which take you to theWWI airfield, King's Marsh, Orford Ness lighthouse and Orford beach. There's three colour coded, waymarked trails to try with reserve features including shingle, salt-marsh, mud-flats and brackish lagoons. These areas are a haven for wildlife. Highlights include Orford's brown hares and the wonderful Chinese water deer who swam the river to reach the reserve. Also look out for a wide variety of birds such as avocet and common tern. Marsh harrier's have a nest in King's Marsh and Barn Owls can also been seen nesting in the disused military buildings on the site.
To extend your walking in the area you could pick up the waterside footpath along the River Ore and River Alde and head north towards Aldeburgh Bay. The Suffolk Coast Path also runs near to the reserve. You can pick it up a couple of miles west of Orford where it runs along the Butley River to Boyton Marshes. Just to the north of the reserve you will find the village of Snape and the interesting Snape Maltings. The area also includes an expansive arts complex on the banks of theRiver Alde.
Rendlesham Forest is also nearby and has miles of nice woodland walking trails.

Please click here for more information

Orford Ness OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Orford Ness Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


There's a couple of very nice refreshments options in the little village of Orford. The Jolly Sailor is a pub of some note, dating from the 1600s. It's full of charm with nooks and crannies, log burning fires and sailing memorabilia. There is also a large patio area, garden and orchard with views across the marshes towards the Ness with its fascinating history and a haven for birds and other wildlife. The fine traditional village pub is in close proximity to Orford Quay where you can take a boat trip on the River Ore or over to Havergate Island. A short stroll takes you into the pretty village centre and the historic castle. You can find pub on Quay Street with a postcode of IP12 2NU for your sat navs.
Also of interest are the delightful Riverside Tea Rooms. There's more nice outdoor seating here with nice views over the River Ore. The interior is also very nice with various paintings of Orford and surrounding areas by local artists which are a real joy and asset to the tearoom. The large windows give a wonderful panoramic view of the river and beyond where you can sit and gaze as you enjoy mid-morning coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea and a slice of cake. You can find the tea rooms on the left hand side of Orford Quay.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Wander into the village of Orford and pay a visit to Orford Castle if you have some time. The historic structure was built between 1165 and 1173 byHenry II of Englandto consolidate royal power in the region. The well-preservedkeep, described by historian R. Allen Brown as "one of the most remarkable keeps in England", is of a unique design and probably based onByzantine architecture. From the elevated position of the castle there are fine views back down to the coastal reserve.
The Iken Walk can be picked up just south of the nearby Snape village at the Iken Cliff car park. It will take you east along the river to visit the splendid old St Botolph's Church. The ancient place of worship includes a part thatched roof and an ancient nave dating back to the 12th century.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Random rusting remains, Orford Ness - - 932419

Random rusting remains. Orford Ness is littered with the decaying remnants of over half a century of military occupation. This is near the Bomb Ballistics building. The buildings in the background are the atomic weapons test cells at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) site.

'The Barracks', Orford Ness - - 939014

'The Barracks'. This building dates from 1945 and was originally used by the Photo Section to process film from cameras which recorded weapons trials on Orford Ness. Today it is used as an accommodation block for National Trust volunteers and researchers working on the site.

Plant life on Orford Ness - - 1457131

Plant life on Orford Ness Summer flowering plants growing in shingle near to the Black Beacon (out of shot to the left)

Shingle bank on Orford Ness - - 926611

Shingle bank on Orford Ness Part of the 16 kilometre long shingle spit.

The Black Beacon, Orford Ness - - 939025

The Black Beacon, Orford Ness. The building on the right was built to house an experimental navigation beacon. The building on the left housed the power units for the beacon.

Plant on Orford Ness - - 1457122

Plant on Orford Ness. Small flowering plant very near the Spring Tide mark. Visitors are encouraged to walk as near to the sea as possible to avoid disturbing the shingle as this is a very vulnerable habitat.

Orford Ness footpaths - - 1457404

Orford Ness footpaths. These walkers are on the 'red route', and just where the wooden fences are, to the right of the picture, is a turning for the 'blue route' which goes across the old airfield area.

Lighthouse at Orford Ness - - 927069

Lighthouse at Orford Ness


GPS Files

GPX File

Orford Ness.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Orford Ness.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)