The Canine guide to Suffolk holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Suffolk

Kate W 20 April 2023

Your dog will have a ball on a holiday to the wonderfully dog-friendly county of Suffolk. Dog-friendly Suffolk’s sand and shingle coastline awaits four-pawed travellers, this region’s heritage sites hide all kinds of treasures for wet noses to sniff out, and cosy pubs throughout this county are cooking up tasty grub to entice walkers and their waggy-tailed hounds.

There’s so much to do and things to see that we’ve created this Canine guide to Suffolk to help you and your playful pup figure out where to visit during your trip. Enjoy a relaxing break exploring this fantastic county; from coast to country there are many special places that welcome dogs and their human companions too.

Discover all the best dog-friendly destinations throughout Suffolk in this guide. From the natural coastal marshes of Minsmere to the Anglo-Saxon treasure buried at Woodbridge, there’s plenty to keep you guessing in this wide and varied part of the UK. Alternatively, start browsing our pet-friendly holiday cottages in Suffolk and find your ideal retreat for your next UK getaway.


A dog in the woods

Click to fetch Suffolk's...

Best dog-friendly beaches

Felixstowe – race about or walk along the seafront

Felixstowe Beach

The seaside town of Felixstowe, complete with a huge container port welcoming massive ships, has a fantastic stretch of shingle beach complete with wonderful seafront gardens just behind.

Watch the container ships pass by during your dog-friendly walk along the beach but check ahead as there are summer restrictions in place.

Kessingland – splash through waves at this shingle beach

Kessingland beach

Kessingland is a tranquil sand and shingle beach with a touch of historical intrigue – archaeologists have found Palaeolithic and Neolithic tools here! This unspoilt, wild beach is backed by low cliffs and thanks to its size rarely feels crowded even on sunny days.

The beautiful Benacre Nature Reserve sits just behind the beach and dogs on leads are welcome, a perfect opportunity to extend your walk and spot wildlife.

Lowestoft – dig in the sand or explore the harbour

Lowestoft beach

Another beach with summer restrictions when it comes to our four-pawed pals, however, Loewstoft is still a top dog beach during the autumn and winter months.

This seaside spot is right near the centre of town with a few cafés and pubs to pick from and to the north is the South Pier where children in your party can enjoy amusements while you take turns sitting outside with the dog - perhaps enjoying a pint or a box of fish ‘n’ chips.

Best dog-friendly pubs

1. Best for lunch: Sole Bay Inn, Southwold

Sole Bay Inn Southwold

This dog-friendly restaurant bucks the trend of the dark and dingy inn, with tall windows letting in light – creating a bright and stylish atmosphere perfect for a relaxed morning or afternoon meal.

With options like brie wedges, nachos and fish finger sandwiches on the menu - or even a selection of burgers and jacket potatoes to choose from - it’s just the place for a tasty lunch after walking the seafront of Southwold.

2. Best country pub: The Cherry Tree Inn, Woodbridge

The Cherry Tree Inn Woodbridge

A classic country pub where you can hide away after a day’s exploration, this charming 17th-century country establishment boasts roaring open fires, twisting oak beams and a cheery atmosphere, making it just the place to warm up after a bracing dog walk.

The menu boasts a fantastic variety including nachos, burgers, curry, steak and even beer-battered fish and chips.

3. Best for classic pub grub: Dog and Partridge, Bury St Edmunds

Dog and Partridge Bury St Edmunds

In the centre of busy Bury St Edmunds, it’s a good choice if you want to enjoy a little shopping or run around the parkland first.

With several parks, riverside walks and fantastic amenities not just for the humans, you could enjoy a great day out and about in this town before feasting on a well-deserved dinner in this dog-friendly pub.

Best dog-friendly days out

If your dog loves exploring… Thorpeness Meare, Thorpeness

Thorpeness Meare Thorpeness

This intriguing and magical wonderland created by a civil engineer over 100 years ago is a unique family outdoor escape complete with a shallow but wide lake where children can row boats and swim in relative safety.

There are ornamental gardens, wildlife (swans in particular!) and children’s play areas like the Blue Lagoon and treasure islands, all outdoors making it a great dog-friendly place to visit, with your pet welcome to tag along under control with the whole family.

If your dog loves digging up a little history… Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge

Sutton Hoo Woodbridge

An expansive 255-acre National Trust estate with beautiful far-reaching views over the River Deben – you and your four-pawed pal can explore the grounds of this attraction and learn about the incredible story of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at the Royal Burial Ground.

Afterwards, head down to the dog-friendly National Trust Kings River Café for a bite to eat while the dog snoozes at your feet.

If your dog loves pottering around gardens… Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds Abbey Bury St Edmunds

These are huge and ever-popular gardens where your dog can enjoy a game of fetch, sniff the strange perfume of various flora, and share in a family picnic on the grass.

At the heart of this wonderful town attraction is the English Heritage-managed abbey itself, once a powerful Benedictine monastery but now a crumbling old ruin you can explore.

Best dog walks

Best woodland walk: Rendlesham Forest, Woodbridge

Rendlesham Forest Woodbridge

This peculiar attraction is a beautiful forested place for a good dog walk but is also intriguingly known for a series of UFO sightings that took place here during 1980.

Follow the meandering pathways, let your dog chase his tail among the trees and keep an eye out for any unusual sightings – who knows, extra-terrestrials may not be done with this place yet… 

Best coastal walk: Felixstowe and the Deben Estuary, Felixstowe

Felixstowe and Deben estuary

The entire Deben Peninsula offers beautiful walking with far-reaching coastal views everywhere – if you’re a nature lover, you can spot waders, wildfowl and saltmarsh birdlife throughout this estuary which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Pups will enjoy splashing through puddles, sniffing nature trails and getting muddy along this coastal walk.

Best for far-reaching views… National Trust Dunwich Heath, Minsmere

National Trust Dunwich Heath

If you’re searching for beautiful scenery, this coastal heath and beach is just the place – it’s particularly lovely when the heather is in full bloom as the weather cools.

Discover a serene place where you can get close to the natural world with your dog beside you every step of the way through this wonderful walking territory. Self-proclaimed as quiet, wild and dramatic, this sanctuary for nature is an intriguing place for dogs who will enjoy exploring a beautiful natural space.

Dog-friendly cottages in Suffolk

Dog-friendly cottages in Suffolk1, John O' Groats Cottages (top) | The Holiday Barn (bottom left) | Swallows Rest - Suffolk (bottom middle) | Burgate's Old Rectory Cottage (bottom right)

Suffolk offers wonderful walking country, with long coastal footpaths and woodland trails to explore, and is the ideal destination for your next dog-friendly holiday. Delve into nature reserves, visit some of the fantastic attractions like ancient Sutton Hoo or the ever-family-friendly Thorpeness Meare, and hide out in the cosy dog-friendly pubs scattered across this beautiful county.

Discover our full collection of dog-friendly cottages in Suffolk where you and your pup can put your paws up and relax with a welcome UK holiday.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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