The coast near Dunwich draws ranks of birdwatchers, thanks to RSPB Minsmere. The reserve is home to one of England's rarest birds, the bittern, with hundreds of migrant birds dropping by in the autumn. Year-round, binoculars are available for rent from the visitor centre, while the hides along the reserve's trails are prime species-spotting sites.

Minsmere is 8 miles north of Aldeburgh by car. With public transport lacking you'll need to drive, cycle or walk.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Scallop

5.92 MILES

Maggi Hambling's sculpture commemorates Aldeburgh’s links with the 20th-century composer Benjamin Britten, who spent much of his life in the town. It…

2. Adnams

6.02 MILES

Spend an hour touring the high-tech kit inside this Victorian brewery, indulge in a 30-minute tutored tasting, then select a free bottle of beer to take…

3. St Edmund's

6.13 MILES

Worth a peek for its fabulous medieval screen and 15th-century, bloodshot-eyed 'Southwold Jack' effigy (believed to be part of a clock), grumpily…

4. Seafront & Pier

6.41 MILES

Southwold's shore-front is its main attraction. Amble along the promenade, admire the squat 19th-century lighthouse, then drop by the 190m-long pier,…

5. Moot Hall

6.43 MILES

Displays on fishing, shipbuilding, coastal defences and Regency-era tourism in an intricately carved, timber-framed, 16th-century house.

6. Orford Castle

11.23 MILES

The three square turrets and 18-sided drum design of this slender 12th-century structure not only make it highly unusual, but also very beautiful. It's…

7. Orford Ness

11.34 MILES

Wind-whipped, remote Orford Ness is the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe and was once used as a secret military testing ground; now it's a nature…

8. Sutton Hoo

15.85 MILES

Somehow missed by plundering robbers and left undisturbed for 1300 years, the hull of an enormous Anglo-Saxon ship was discovered here in 1939, buried…