Suffolk Coast Path 4: Aldeburgh to Dunwich

11 August 2013

The latest stage of my walk along the Suffolk coast took me slightly south of the finishing point of the previous walk as poor parking by others meant there was nowhere to leave the car so I had to walk an extra part of the section from Aldeburgh itself before rejoining the Suffolk Coast Path proper as it made its way to Thorpeness.

The boating lake in Thorpeness - not many boats out today despite the sunshine, though it was rather windy.

After taking the inland route across Thorpeness Common, we return to the coast at Sizewell Cliff

Passing Sizewell Hall, now used as a Christian conference centre

The cliffs have gradually diminished as the route north parallels the beach. Ahead Sizewell A nuclear power station starts to loom, together with associated structures in the sea.

Boats on the beach at Sizewell

Sizewell A nearer us, and Sizewell B with its distinctive dome further away

But if you angle the camera or your eyes ahead, the view is glorious

Some of the shingle vegetation on the edge of the beach

A brief diversion to the beach itself for some lunch

Some of the marshes that lie behind the shingle beach between Sizewell and Dunwich

George and Lottie as we make our way along the sandy track next to Minsmere Nature Reserve

The Plastic Palace - it's art (apparently) by Liz McGowan. The palace has been made from plastic collected from the tideline at Minsmere, sorted, disentangled and cleaned. They invite walkers to pick up plastic from the beach and bring it to decorate the palace. There is also a Palace Journal for visitors to write and draw about their experience of the coast. Well, it's one way of getting people to pick up rubbish off the beach.

A short ascent and through the busy area around the coastguard cottages brings us to the delightful Dunwich Heath which I've visited several times.

After Dunwich Heath the path goes through Greyfriars Wood and then brings us to the Greyfriars Dunwich Friary, one of the few bits of the city of Dunwich (once the tenth largest place in England, half the size of London) that hasn't been lost to coastal erosion - the coast is now about two kilometres west of where it was in Roman times. With the harbour, all eight churches and almost all the houses and other buildings lost to the sea, the population of what is still officially a town is now 84. More of what remains will probably go in the next 100 years

From the cliffs near the friary looking down on the beach. A short walk off the north end of the cliff took us to the beach car park where Lucy was waiting to give us a lift back to Aldeburgh.

Total 15.5 km in 3 hours 52 mins (making 14.2 km progress along the Suffolk Coast Path)

Previous Suffolk Coast Path walk - Chillesford to AldeburghSuffolk Coast Path Next Suffolk Coast Path walk - onwards to Southwold


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson