GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Minsmere Nature Reserve

4 miles (6 km)

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 andshinglevegetation. 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 Konikhorses. 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.


IP17 3BY - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Please click here for more information

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.

Dog Walking

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.
A few miles to the south is the town of Leiston where you can explore the fascinating ruins of Leiston Abbey. The English Heritage owned site dates back to the 12th century and is considered one of the historic highlights of the area. Just to the south of Leiston is the neighbouring village of Aldringham where you can explore the RSPB's Aldringham Walks. The wildlife rich conservation area includes a number of footpaths taking you to heathland, woodland and scrub.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks and the Suffolk Walks pages.


Marsh Ponies at Minsmere - - 126079

Marsh Ponies at Minsmere. Looking north across Minsmere by the 'New Cut' river.

Minsmere Beach - - 1733850

Minsmere Beach

The Sluice at Minsmere - - 185056

The Sluice. The waters from the various scrapes of the RSPB reserve all discharge into the sea at this point.

Minsmere River - - 11144

Minsmere River. View of river from bridge to the north east of the village of Eastbridge.

RSPB Reception Centre at Minsmere, Suffolk - - 1981988

RSPB Reception Centre

View south along Minsmere beach - - 883225

View south along Minsmere beach. This is a relatively remote point, midway between Minsmere cliffs and Sizewell, normally only accessible on foot. In the distance are the two nuclear power stations, Sizewell A and Sizewell B.

Minsmere Bird Sanctuary - - 22574

These Koniks are just a few metres away from the wetland and keep the grass short for plovers and similar birds

Minsmere from the coast - - 1596662

From the coast.


GPS Files

GPX File

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

Memory Map Route

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