Explore Leiston and its Suffolk Coast Villages

The little crop of quirky Suffolk villages around Leiston and its coast make for delightful days out whether you’re staying close by, just visiting or live locally.

Set out on foot. Go for a spin on two wheels. Enjoy a short drive and park up for a wander. But take your time to look at the detail, share their secrets and make the connections. You won’t be disappointed.


Friendly, full of surprises, practical, proud and with a real sense of community at its heart – that’s Leiston.

Discover independent shops, eateries and a big helping of history around almost every corner; the latest films in the smart surroundings of Suffolk’s oldest purpose-built cinema; fun steam heritage events at the impressive Long Shop Museum; sports and leisure opportunities; well-kept green spaces – just perfect for picnics, playtime or an awesome spin at the skate park… or a wildly beautiful beach just down the road! Come & See!

Enjoy Leiston
St Margarets Church Leiston
Sizewell beach near Leiston Suffolk - bathing and fishing

Sizewell & Sizewell Beach (IP16 4UH)

Only two miles from Leiston by road or cycle path, Sizewell is a little fishing village with a wonderful wide beach to enjoy in the Suffolk Coasts & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Explore the tufty dunes and shingle banks or follow the historic footpaths which lead up the cliff side for some fantastic North Sea views.

It’s great for a splash with the body board, a walk with the dog, time-out birdwatching, fishing or spotting unusual plants… not only rare flora like the Yellow Horned poppy, but Sizewell’s power plant (station) too, the heart of Suffolk’s green revolution towards Net Zero.

Explore Sizewell Coast & Heaths

Aldringham for Thorpeness

Located on Leiston’s south-eastern edge, by the sandy heaths which stretch to Thorpeness, tiny Aldringham is full of smuggling history, tales of inspiration from inventors to poet-architects, plus quirky connections to the coast.

Track down its beautiful Norman church isolated on the heathlands, its famous ‘Parrot’, Richard the Lionheart and Leiston Abbey connections, not to mention its windmill which weirdly moved elsewhere. Don’t forget to top up on coffee, cake and backstories in the tearooms at the old Blacksmiths!

Explore Aldringham
Aldringham church on the heath near Leiston Suffolk
Thorpeness House in the Clouds

Thorpeness Village & Beach

A fairytale House-in-the-Clouds, half-timbered cottages and a colourful beach-side crescent; brick-built gatehouses and buildings topped with turrets; swans a-swimming on a Meare, dotted with islands and just made for messing about in boats; an iconic white windmill; garden cafés and an emporium to graze in; heathland walks, golf, tennis… Oh, and miles of shingle beach.

Quirky, Edwardian, enigmatic and the stuff of fairy stories – all just 3 miles from Leiston.

Explore Thorpeness

Theberton near Leiston Abbey

Sandwiched between sites associated with Leiston Abbey for nearly 900 years, Theberton is a picturesque village complete with a fine thatched church topped with an unusual octagonal tower.

Today, it’s an ideal place to explore on a walk or cycle ride down its quiet lanes, combined with a visit to the fascinating ruins of Leiston Abbey, the nature haven of Wild Aldhurst or the wildlife rich coast of RSPB Minsmere and NT Dunwich Heath. But stop off, delve a little deeper and there are some surprising wartime tales to discover here too…

Explore Theberton Coast & Heaths
Leiston Abbey Ruins and Lady Chapel Concert Hall
Eastbridge village and marshes Suffolk Coast near Leiston

Eastbridge for Minsmere & Dunwich Heath

It’s only a tiny, off-the-beaten track village just yet folk flock here in their thousands and winter sees visitors fly in from across the globe. So what makes the low-lying marshlands, once home to monks and the stomping ground of smugglers, such a draw?

Wonderful for cycling, walking, enjoying the world of nature or sitting back and appreciating tradition at the historic Eels Foot Inn, visit Eastbridge – gateway to the famed RSPB Minsmere Reserve and NT Dunwich Heath –  for a real ‘tweet’.

Explore Eastbridge

How to get to the coast and villages near me in Leiston?

Interested in visiting Leiston’s coast, countryside and villages, but want to know how best to reach them? Walking, cycling and travelling by public transport are generally all options, if you fancy a little independent adventure – or you may prefer to travel to Leiston by car, then park up and go explore?

From car parks to long distance paths and mileage guidance, maps and more to help you plan your outings, check out our quick getting about guide.

getting about