Where to sleep in Dunwich, Suffolk

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While most people prefer to visit the seaside during the summer season, the coast is equally tranquil and idyllic during the slower, colder winter months.

If you fancy a little getaway before Christmas or New Years, have you thought about peaceful Dunwich?

This village was once a thriving medieval port in centuries past, and today is a place of relaxation with fascinating ruins, great places to eat, hiking trails and plenty of natural sights.


A walk on the beach in Dunwich
– Credit: Emma Cabiel Photography

Where to stay in Dunwich

The ship at Dunwich

Close to miles of coastline and Dunwich Moor, this hotel offers the perfect seaside getaway – with families, couples and furry friends all welcome.

The hotel – which is less than a five-minute walk to the beach – features nautical-chic decor throughout its bar and restaurant, dotted with cottagecore touches, making it the ultimate cozy coastal retreat. It consists of 16 bright and characterful rooms, many of which offer spectacular views of the marshes and the great blue sky, and all designed to accommodate doggies.


Inside the ship in Dunwich

Inside the ship in Dunwich
– Credit: Emma Cabiel Photography

Food takes center stage at The Ship, with a menu bursting with locally sourced produce, from salted duck breast with daikon and fresh sea bream marinated kohlrabi with charred greens and garlic aioli. anchovy.


Inside the ship in Dunwich

Inside the ship in Dunwich
– Credit: Emma Cabiel Photography

The hotel even has a dedicated dog menu for four-legged friends to savor after a day of splashing and frolicking along the beach, including Denzel’s Soft Baked Chews, cooked sausage and pig’s ears, to be washed down with Bottom Sniffer beer and Posh Pooch rosé wine (both at 0% alcohol, of course).


Fresh food is always on the menu at The Ship

Fresh food is always on the menu at The Ship
– Credit: Emma Cabiel Photography

As well as being the base for a relaxing getaway, The Ship at Dunwich is also a great place to explore the many attractions Suffolk has to offer and its heritage coast, including the nearby towns of Aldeburgh, Saxmundham and Southwold.

The ship offers package holidays that include Party and Sandy Paws Stays, Romantic Stays, Party Stays and New Years Stays. A Party Stays on the Ship includes a Party Cocktail or Hot Cider to start your stay, a supply of treats and gifts, dinner for two and a restful night’s sleep in one of the bedrooms. Prices start from £ 204.


Dunwich Heath during sunset

Dunwich Heath during sunset
– Credit: Bob Foyers

What to do in Dunwich

Take a stroll through Dunwich Heath: You just can’t visit Dunwich without spending a few hours wandering around Dunwich Heath – weather permitting, of course! Almost otherwise, this coastal lowland moor is in the care of the National Trust and is home to a variety of rare and diverse flora and fauna, making it a must-see for nature lovers.

The moor itself is open from dawn to dusk, and visitors can be sure to spot species such as red deer, muntjac, Dartford’s warbler, nightjar and many more. And while the vast expanses of heather and gorse aren’t as colorful this time of year, it’s certainly worth walking the trails and getting back to nature this winter.

The parking lot is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dogs are free to stay on a leash as long as they are under control and stick to the trails to avoid disturbing wildlife.


One of the bird shelters at RSPB Minsmere

One of the bird shelters at RSPB Minsmere
– Credit: Heather Tanner

Visit RSPB Minsmere: A few miles south of Dunwich is RSPB Minsmere, another nature lover’s paradise. Home to some of the country’s rarest wildlife – even during the winter months – visitors are sure to spot large flocks of ducks in the grazing marshes. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an abundance of bird of prey species such as marsh harriers and harriers, peregrine falcons, and barn or marsh owls. But don’t put your binoculars away yet, as you might spot one or a few otters on the island or in the reed ponds.

Throughout the year there are many events organized in the nature reserve including the ‘Robin Robin’ adventure trail and bird watching for beginners on various dates in December. Or why not jump on a 4×4 safari that will allow you to see hidden parts of Minsmere from the comfort of a vehicle? Alternatively, volunteer guides can be booked for tailor-made half-day guided walks.


Dunwich Ruins

Dunwich Ruins
– Credit: Robert McKenna

Explore the ruins: During Anglo-Saxon times, Dunwich was actually the capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles. Unsurprisingly, this seaside town is therefore rich in history. Due to continued coastal erosion over the years, much of the 13th century settlement now belongs to the sea – but a number can still be seen today. The remains of Greyfrairs, a Franciscan priory, and St James’s Leper Hospital are still visible, and the Dunwich Museum is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the village’s ancient past.

Take part in a pastry class: Just west of Dunwich is The Two Magpies Bake School – the perfect place to experience a masterclass of artisan baking firsthand. Adjacent to its popular bakery, the bakery school offers a number of courses suitable for beginners or more experienced people who wish to enrich their repertoire. Classes available include the pizza masterclass, an introduction to sourdough, European and Scandinavian baking, a variety of cake, macaroon and meringue decorating classes, and seasonal dinners.

The bakery itself is also a great place to grab a bite to eat, serving freshly baked sourdough bread, pastries, savory, treats, and coffee. He also serves his beloved sourdough pizza every Friday from 4:30 p.m.

Browse some antiques: Make your way to Yoxford and spend a day touring Yoxford’s antique center and gardens. Home to more than 70 merchants, they come together to offer a fine selection of antique and vintage treasures – ranging from furniture, clocks, textiles, upholstery, jewelry, books, glassware and other assorted memorabilia. There is also a section devoted to garden and architectural ornaments.

Relax at the spa: Relax this season at Potton Hall Spa in Dunwich – you deserve it! This luxury establishment offers a number of ideal treatments to help you feel rejuvenated during your stay in Suffolk. Why not opt ​​for an Elemis massage, an anti-aging facial treatment, or spend some time in the flotation center? Once you’re done, enjoy some more time for me by having lunch or afternoon tea in the yurt while continuing to watch your worries fade away.

Play sports at the High Lodge: If you are looking to spend your stay doing something a little more adventurous then be sure to take a trip to Darsham’s High Lodge. Activities on offer include clay shooting, air rifle shooting, archery and fishing.

Where to eat in Dunwich

Westleton Crown: If you’re in the mood for a stretch, why not venture out of Dunwich and head to The Westleton Crown Pub for lunch? From Dunwich it is only about an hour’s walk through Westleton Heath Nature Reserve, and upon arrival you will be greeted by a cozy pub tucked away on the edge of the greenery of the village. Perfectly placed for a comforting pint or dinner, its menu is carefully prepared by Chef Kieran Drinkwater and his team, who pride themselves on their varied and imaginative menus using locally grown and responsibly grown produce.


The eel foot inn

The eel foot inn
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The eel foot inn: In nearby Leiston, this pub’s ever-changing menu reflects the seasons and trends, but visitors can guarantee a host of regular pub classics, including its Eels Foot Special Rarebit, Adnams breaded cod, scampi and fries, paninis and a selection of homemade soups. For something a little sweeter, the traditional bread and butter pudding is also always on offer. To whet your appetite, the pub also serves a variety of Adnam beers and bitters on tap all year round. Why not add a dose of Adnams Triple Grain to your coffee on a cold winter’s day?


Southwold Pier in the nearby town of Southwold

Southwold Pier in the nearby town of Southwold
– Credit: Jim Ellis / iWitness

Places to visit near Dunwich

South West : Just a 20 minute drive down the road, head to Southwold if you’re looking for the typical British seaside experience. There are plenty of places to eat including fish and chips, a number of independent shops to browse and of course the pier which is open year round. Be sure to take a look at the Under The Pier Show, an array of interactive and quirky inventions from the brilliant brain of Tim Hunkin.

Saxmundham: Head south-east and head to Saxmundham, a historic market town that exudes Suffolk charm. Places worth visiting include Saxmundham Escape Room and The Walled Garden, a nursery and garden with a history dating back to the 1800s.

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