Dunwich to Eels Foot Inn circular walk

July 19, 2023

Dunwich to Eels Foot Inn circular walk


This is one of the many fabulous walks that crisis cross the National Trust reserve at Dunwich and neighbouring RSPB Minsmere reserve.

It’s one of our family favourites, especially in the summer when you can enjoy the pretty beer garden and if you are lucky have a woodfired pizza! The Eels Foot is an Adnams pub and is very popular with walkers so can become really busy in peak season. During the colder months, you are treated to a roaring fire to go with the hearty home-cooked food.

The walk takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on the number of stops.

The link to a map and more details of this walk can be found  here.

Dunwich to Eels Foot circular walk | luxury dog-friendly holiday homes

Where to Start?

You can start at any point on this route this map starts the walk at The Eels Foot. However, we normally start at Dunwich so that we reach the Eels Foot part way through the walk when we are ready for refreshment.

Our route is slightly longer, taking in the delights of Dunwich heath. To park where we park, follow the brown road signs for Dunwich Heath National Trust.

Shortly after turning into Minsmere road there is a layby where we park. If this is full track back towards Dunwich and find the nearest parking space on the side of the road.

Cross the road and take the footpath going straight ahead. This is part of the Sandlings walk a long distance path that goes from Southwold to Ipswich.

Dunwich to Eels Foot Inn Circular walk | luxury dog friendly holiday cottages

To the Eels Foot Inn

The path takes you through a mixture of heath and woodland. Continue on this footpath until you come to a road that leads to the entrance of RSPB Minsmere.

Cross the road and continue across the heath and down into Hangman wood where you will join a lane. 

Turn right onto the lane and follow it to The Eels Foot Inn.

Eels Foot Inn to Dunwich | quality dog-friendly accommodation

Leaving The Eels Foot Inn

After you have enjoyed a well earned refreshment, leave the pub and continue up the lane past the pub. Take the footpath that leads off to the left, running alongside a cottage.

Follow this track across the fields and alongside a stream/dyke. Eventually, you will reach the marshes before arriving at Minsmere sluice at the beach.

Dunwich Heath National Trust walk | quality dog-friendly accommodation

Minsmere beach

Once at the beach turn left and head north towards Dunwich.

As you walk along the dunes you will pass the RSPB Minsmere reserve on your left. The East Hide can be accessed from the beach. The hide offers the perfect opportunity to take a break and appreciate the beautiful views across the scrape.

Continue along the beach until you reach the foot of Coastguard Cottages’ cliff.

National trust Coastguard Cottages | Circular walk | quality dog-friendly accommodation

National Trust Coastguard Cottages

Follow the footpath up the cliff until you reach the Coastguard cottages. Here you will find a National Trust cafe, shop and information centre. Another perfect spot for a break and a refreshment!

Dunwich Heath national Trust | quality dog-friendly accommodation

The Final Leg

From Coastguard Cottages follow the lane out of the reserve. You will pick up a footpath in the left that weaves across the heath towards the reserve entrance.

When you reach the entrance/exit, take the footpath on the left that runs parallel with Minsmere road. You will pass the Lost Churches holiday park on the right before reaching your parked car. 

Dunwich to Eels Foot Inn Circular walk | luxury dog friendly holiday cottages


This circular walk from Dunwich to The Eels Foot Inn takes you through varied landscapes of heathland, woodland and beach. It also gives you the opportunity to spot the array of wildlife found in this area. From birds of prey such as buzzards and Marsh harriers to the elusive otters that make the waterways their home.

The Eels Foot Inn is a fabulous old pub full of tradition and character and a refreshment stop that compliments this fantastic walk. This adventure takes you away from it all, and immerses you in the wonderful landscapes of the Suffolk coast. Definitely one of the best walks to take during your stay in our holiday cottages.