Suffolk Coast Path
2019 - BAILEY BRIDGE reopened, please see update here.
2018 October - The Bailey Bridge across the River Blyth that connects Southwold and Walberswick has been closed to all traffic due to severe corrosion of the bridge deck supporting structure. A safe alternative route is not available. Negotiations are underway to locate funds for repairs and to see if the Foot Ferry season can be extended. Apologies for any inconvenience. Full details here.
2016 summer - Although not a part of the Suffolk Coast Path please note that Suffolk County Council has closed South Cove Foot Path 8 on Health & Safety grounds. This is due to the poor condition of the boardwalk section and sleeper bridge across Pottersbridge Marshes. It may be some time before repairs are made. For the Latest situation please contact the Area Rights of Way Officer Dee.Chadney@suffolk.gov.uk.
The route that previously crossed Potters Bridge Marshes is no longer the inland route of the Suffolk Coast Path, which now takes a route further inland via South Cove.
2017 ongoing - East Lane to Bawdsey section of Suffolk Coast Path - it is still unsafe to walk on the beach N from Bawdsey Quay or S from East Lane, as described in OS and path guides, due to erosion of the cliff and narrowness of the beach. The alternative route (map link) is to use (with extreme care and hi vis clothing) the road from Bawdsey Quay all the way to East Lane, where you can again pick up the Coast Path. See also additional note at bottom of this page.
Tips for safe walking along the Suffolk Coast Path:
Southwold to Benacre - beach route
It is essential to check the tide tables before walking the beach between Southwold and Benacre. This section should only be walked between mid and low tide.
Easton, Benacre and Covehithe Broads
All three broads can be impassable at low tide as well as high tide, although beach profiles are constantly changing, and the beaches usually 'self repair' when weather conditions and sea processes are favourable.
Breaches are most likely to occur from late autumn to spring. It is possible that the coastal route of the Suffolk Coast Path may be impassable at these points, even at low tide. Always check the tide tables if walking the beach between Southwold and Benacre, this also applies for the beach section between Kessingland and Pakefield (not in the AONB but part of the Suffolk Coast Path route), which can be impassable at Pakefield at high tide.
Southwold to Benacre – new inland route
The new inland route of the Suffolk Coast Path now goes further inland and passes through Frostenden Corner; the new route is marked on the latest Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 231 (Southwold and Bungay).
Low lying sections of the Suffolk Coast Path in the north eastern end of the reed bed can very occasionally be subject to flooding. In such circumstances use the footpath to the north of Hoist Covert as an alternative route (see Ordnance Explorer Map 231).
Paths between Dunwich and Walberswick around the old wind pump were re-surfaced in the September 2013 prior to the tidal surge which badly damaged them. The paths are open but can be pretty lumpy at times.
Beach Route between Dunwich and Walberswick
The shingle bank was breached during winter 2017. The breach has now been repaired, so all ok until the next tidal surge!
At the north end of Thorpeness village, part of the Suffolk Coast Path that was formerly on top of the low cliff has been lost to the sea. This section can be passed by walking along the beach, except for periods when the tide is too high.
At high tide there is an inland alternative which crosses Thorpeness Common, before rejoining the main route of the Suffolk Coast Path midway along Sizewell Cliff. This is now the waymarked route, as it is available at all times. If walking from north to south (Sizewell to Thorpeness), it may be advisable to check tide tables beforehand.
The footpath between Snape Maltings and Iken Cliff can be subject to flooding for a short period of time at high tide.
The Suffolk Coast Path guide tells you to walk on the beach from N from Bawdsey Quay or S from East Lane leaving the beach at a point opposite Bawdsey Hall. Unfortunately, there was considerable erosion over the winter and the steps that take you from the beach onto the Right of Way to Bawdsey Hall were washed away, leaving a sheer cliff face, albeit not very high. The alternative route (map link) is to use (with extreme care and hi vis clothing) the road from Bawdsey Quay all the way to East Lane, where you can again pick up the Coast Path. We hope that the beach will rebuild itself and that would make it more possible for the steps to be replaced. The Coast Path beach route is usable, but note that you will not be able to leave the beach easily in an emergency between Bawdsey Quay and the Martello Tower at East Lane.
For further information please contact our Countryside Officers.