A circular walk around Dunwich village on the Suffolk Coast

February 2, 2024

A circular walk around Dunwich village on the Suffolk Coast

Dunwich Village is another of our go-to places for a walk. There are so many footpaths crisscrossing this beautiful area you are spoilt for choice. Dunwich has it all, including the Forest, a Heath,  Westwood Marshes, and of course the stunning coastline. Dunwich is rich in history dating back to medieval times when it was a city. Most of the city has been lost to the sea leaving behind one of the quaintest villages on the Suffolk coast.

This easy walk of around 1.5 hours, encircles the village and takes in some of the historic sights of Dunwich. It’s perfect for a mid-morning stroll before enjoying a delicious lunch at one of the charming eateries found in Dunwich.

Dunwich parking -Circular walk at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast

Being a circular walk you can park along any point of the route but I tend to park in the village so that the walk finishes near the lunch options! 
Dunwich church markets the point where you enter Dunwich and I try to park somewhere along the road leading from the church to The Ship. However, if it’s busy you can continue past The Ship and turn left down to the large free car park by the beach. 

Dunwich Village circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes
Dunwich circular walk - Sanderling walk - a circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes

1. At the Junction by the Ship, take the footpath that leads up into the wooded area along the cliff.

Follow this path, taking the safer option away from the cliff edge by dropping back down and taking the footpath to the left. You will notice this picks up part of the Sandlings Walk, a long distance trail along the Suffolk coast.

Greyfriars Abbey Dunwich - a circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes
Greyfriars Abbey Dunwich - circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes

2. You will soon come alongside the ruins of the 13th century Greyfriars Abbey. It is well worth taking a few minutes to view the ruins up close and read about the fascinating past of Dunwich.

Greyfriars wood Dunwich footpath - a circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes
Greyfriars wood trust Dunwich - circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes

3. At the end of the Abbey walls continue straight into Greyfriars wood. This is a beautiful part of the walk through ancient woodland where you can hear and glimpse the sea through the trees. In the springtime, the woodland floor is a carpet of snowdrops followed by bluebells.

Greyfriars wood Dunwich bridge - a circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes
Greyfriars wood Dunwich bridge - a circular walk by Suffolk Coastal Escapes

4. Follow the track under this beautiful ancient bridge. Over the years it has become a family tradition of ours to take a picture of the children on top of this bridge!

Continue on this track that takes you past some old cottages before joining a road. Continue straight and you will quickly see a footpath sign on the left.

Dunwich circular walk - footpath Suffolk Coast

5. Turn left off the road and down the track past some lovely houses and back into the woodland. The track eventually brings you out to another road which you cross and take the footpath diagonally on the right, taking the footpath that goes right parallel to the road.

Dunwich circular walk on the Suffolk coast - dog friendly holiday cottages

This part of the walk tracks alongside fields and heathland where you will see lots of birdlife and the fields are alive with rabbits!

Dunwich circular walk - dog friendly holiday homes
Dunwich circular walk - dog friendly holiday homes

6. Eventually, the footpath meets a track, at this point turn right and walk towards where the track meets the road. Cross the road and continue along the track straight ahead until you reach Sandy Lane Farm – see below.

Dunwich Suffolk coast dog friendly walk on the Suffolk coast
Dunwich forest - circular walk - dog friendly holiday cottages

7. This part of the path follows an ancient road that linked Dunwich to Westleton. Some parts of this track can be muddy in wet weather but is generally easy to navigate around the worst parts. The track continues straight and brings you out onto the road by the church. From here you can make your way back to your car.

For a little extra interest, you can take a detour through the ancient graveyard belonging to Dunwich St James church. Just after passing a pair of old cottages, you will come across some steps leading up to the graveyard. It’s well worth taking a moment to in the ancient tombstones and stunning Lych gate that brings you out onto the road.

Dunwich church - circular walk - Suffolk Coast dog friendly holiday homes
Dunwich church - circular walk - Suffolk Coast dog friendly holiday homes

8. From the church, you can follow the road back to your car. It would be remiss of any trip to Dunwich not to go to the beach and take in the panoramic views where you can see all the way to Walberswick and Southwold to the north.

Dunwich beach - a circular walk whilst staying on the Suffolk Coast at one of our dog friendly holiday cottages

And to Finish...

If you want to get a bite to eat before heading back to your car, Dingle Hill Tea Rooms can be found by turning left down the road (check for opening times). It’s dog-friendly and serves delicious home-cooked food with a large outdoor seating area.

Alternatively, you have the gorgeous Ship, which is a beautiful pub full of character that serves great food. Perfect if you are looking for something more substantial. The Ship is also dog-friendly and has a large beer garden to the rear.

Finally, there Flora Tea Room, is a fish and chip shop by the beach car park which has indoor and outdoor seating. 

This walk is a perfect introduction to Dunich during your stay at one of our holiday homes here on the Suffolk coast.

This walk is also perfect for dog walkers as both the route and the eateries are all dog-friendly.