Dunwich Heath is a glorious stretch of heathland, nestled away in a quiet corner of Suffolk. Granted you might be worried that there isn’t enough to keep the children entertained but you would be wrong. There is a huge expanse of heathland to explore, a smugglers trail to follow, a sea hut to hide in, a beach to skim pebbles into the sea on and a gorgeous tearoom and shop. The children will love it and they (you included) won’t want to leave.
Cost of Entry:
£5 to park unless you are a National Trust member and then it is free.
- Small play area
- Sea hut from where you can watch the sea and wildlife
We went on a rather overcast and grey day during mid-August. There was plenty of parking and the heath was lovely and quiet. We sampled some cakes in the tearoom (would have been rude not to) and the adults tested the coffee. We found it all to be most satisfactory.
Exploring Dunwich Heath
We then decided to explore the heathland. There are guided walks that you can do and you will find that there are often demonstrations of some sort taking place. We decided to do the smugglers trail. The children picked up a free map and then had to work out the route to find the pointers, where there would be clues to take them to their next point on the trail. The children absolutely loved this and to think that it was completely free! The trail also meant that the children happily walked a couple of miles.
Despite it being a somewhat grey day Dunwich Heath was looking absolutely beautiful. The heather was a glorious mix of pink and purple interspersed with yellow gorse, and it provided a dramatic contrast to the swirling grey sky above it. The paths were really easy to walk along and we enjoyed taking in the view while looking for wildlife.
After completing the trail we decided to go down to the beach. It is a pebbly beach but one that can still be appreciated by children. My two had great fun skimming pebbles into the sea and Oldest was delighted when she found a fossil.
The beach was lovely and peaceful and we enjoyed walking along the beach, crunching pebbles under our feet, and watching the waves crash onto the shore. On this part of the coastline you can’t help but feel a little in awe of your surroundings. The Suffolk skies feel very big and dramatic and then you have the towering cliffs and swirling sea. It’s no wonder that Suffolk has provided inspiration to many writers and poets over the centuries. There is something sublimely beautiful about Suffolk. Children’s author of one my Dad’s favourite books from his childhood, ‘Swallows and Amazons’ – Arthur Ransome, moved to Suffolk so that he could be closer to the sea.
Now if I could only afford a beach hut in Suffolk, and build my own little nook of tranquility, I reckon I would finally finish that novel…