Explore Leiston – Loud & Proud

Quietly going about its business, but definitely somewhere to shout about

Leiston is friendly, full of surprises, delightfully down-to-earth and very much undiscovered – just like its beautiful countryside and own secret stretch of shingle beach at Sizewell.

Located midway between market town Saxmundham and the nostalgic seaside vibes of festival-famed Aldeburgh, you’ll find Leiston distinctly different from its near neighbours. Worlds apart in fact. But then that’s all part of what is so wonderful and refreshing about it.

Leiston town sign Suffolk

A Sign of the times

Interested in the backstory? The world famous Garrett Engineering Works was a Victorian enterprise which completely transformed the town of Leiston. At its peak, it employed over 2,000 people.

Today, the population of Leiston is around 6,000 people. Its industrial estates and town centre are home to many local businesses, service providers, independent shops, pubs, eateries and places to stay.

Garrett Works Shop Eat Stay

History in hiding

A manor house, monasteries, historic churches – Leiston has them all, but you might have to head off the beaten track to find them. Why not download and follow the Town Heritage Stroll?   

By the medieval tower of the Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Leiston Hall hides its half-timbered self behind a more ‘fashionable’ brick shell adorned with Dutch-style gables.

Parts of medieval Leiston Abbey – already made with recycled stone from an earlier monastery – were later repurposed into the house we see amidst the ruins today.

Leiston Old Hall in Leiston Suffolk
Visit Leiston

A positive, progressive sort of place

Embracing change, championing new ideas, celebrating personal individuality and success, yet working together for the common good – somehow it all seems to go with the territory in Leiston.

The 1960s saw a Garrett family home ‘recycled’ into the progressive educational establishment – Summerhill School. One of its teachers, the celebrated painter and illustrator Paxton Chadwick, even broke the mould – as a Communist town councillor.

Leiston’s educational facilities now also include nursery, primary and high school provision, Suffolk College on the Coast, Procorda Music School at Leiston Abbey and the Power Plant Training Centre at Sizewell.  

Learning in Leiston


Where community really counts

Leiston has town has an impressive portfolio of community facilities, clubs and events – all steeped in tradition as well as moving with the times. In addition to Leiston Town Council, Leiston’s Community Land Trust and the Leiston Events Group also have the provision of benefits to the community as their goal.

The Waterloo Centre, Leiston

In the heritage heart of the town, the upcoming Waterloo Centre offers meeting and event spaces (complete with interactive monitor and Wi-Fi capabilities) plus a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports facilities,incorporating an impressive gymnasium.

The facility hosts everything from clubs and craft fairs to tournaments and training courses.


Leiston Leisure Centre

Alongside an impressive Olympic-sized swimming pool, Leiston Leisure Centre offers sports and swimming clubs and pay-as-you-go classes with something for everyone.

There are soft play facilities for the little ones and a great programmes of kids holiday activities too. You’ll find the Leiston Leisure Centre adjacent to the Alde Valley Academy (High School).


Leiston Clubs, Events & Support Groups for all

The town’s parks, Church Square, Community Centre, library, heritage quarter and even Sizewell Beach play host regular clubs, activities and special events.

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