Dunwich Heath and Westleton circular walk, Suffolk

Walk distance: about 7 miles

Difficulty: moderate- difficult (the beach is shingles so can make for some hard walking)

Pub stop: two! The Crown Inn at Westleton and The Ship Inn at Dunwich

Starting point: Dunwich Beach car park

Download the route map here.


Dunwich beach is a great dog friendly beach, with acres of space for them to run around. This walk also goes through the beautiful Dunwich Heath owned by the National Trust.

Starting at Dunwich Beach car park, follow the path down on to the beach.

Walk along the beach for a reasonable distance until you reach the signs for Dunwich Heath. Follow the track until you reach Minsmere Way. This is a road used by cars so watch out for traffic and remember to keep your dog on a lead.


Follow the road until it becomes Mill Road and continue walking, eventually bearing to the left down Mill Street. At the top of this road you will come to a T junction, turn right on to Reckford Road. Follow the road round on to The Street where you will pass a garage on your left. Keep walking until you come to The Crown Inn.

The Crown Inn is a great pub and extremely dog friendly. Dogs are more than welcome in the bar area and they have water bowls. There is also a lovely open fire to sit by.

When you have refreshed, carry on down The Street until you reach the Westleton sign. Carry on down the main road (B1125). Just before the bus shelter, turn right down the signposted footpath through to an open grassy heath. Turn left and then bear right on to the second path leading into woodland. This should be signposted Dunwich Forest.

At the forestry track, turn right and then immediately left down a slight slope. After about 50 m, follow the footpath bearing right off track. Turn right on to the cross track opposite the fenced area marked as private land. This is also signposted as The Sandlings Walk.


The path will then become more of a broad track leading to Westleton Nature Reserve. Enter the reserve and follow the path. At the “no entry” sign, turn left out of the reserve and follow the Sandlings Walk signs.

Ignore the first crossing track, then at the next junction turn left on to a bridleway, past Sandy Lane Farm on your left and then some cottages on your right. When you reach the crossroads take the road straight across in to Dunwich.

Follow the main road down until you reach The Ship Inn on your right.

The Ship Inn is also a very dog friendly pub, but can get very busy if you go at lunchtime.

Follow the road as it bends left, following the signs to the car park to return to the start point.

Watch my video of my holiday to Suffolk (including this walk)



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