The towns and villages within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have a quiet, unspoilt quality and have retained many fine old buildings, which give them considerable charm. In places, a Dutch influence on the local architecture can be seen, perhaps provided by the same engineers who helped to drain the local marshes. Even the largest towns, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Woodbridge, are quite small, and there are many villages and hamlets within the area.
The coastal towns are popular holiday and day-trip destinations, helping to support the tourism economy in east Suffolk. They are also desirable places to live and many people retire or buy second homes in the area.
The desirability to own property here is perhaps best illustrated by the beach huts at Southwold which have been known to sell for well over £100,000.