The Power of Nature on the Shotley Peninsula

POSTED ON: 26/08/2021

Get back to nature and experience its restorative powers. The Shotley Peninsula is the perfect place to unwind on a walk, pedal through country lanes, paddle up a creek or sail off into the sunset.

Just a short journey from Ipswich, the beautiful Shotley Peninsula is an area of lush countryside and ancient woodland sandwiched between two Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB): Suffolk Coast & Heaths and the Dedham Vale.

Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying for a week, recharge your batteries and experience the joy of nature on the Shotley Peninsula; Suffolk's most surprising destination.

Walkers are Welcome, and so are cyclists...

Walkers are Welcome, and so are cyclists...
Shotley Marina. Photo: Cathy Shelbourne

Shotley, at the tip of the Peninsula, was the first place in Suffolk to receive this national accolade, and Shotley Open Spaces have some wonderful walks, including activities for families, and a maritime history trail.

The whole Shotley peninsula shoreline is part of the 42-mile Stour and Orwell Path. It includes the 6-mile Arthur Ransome Trail from Shotley Pier to Pin Mill, with information boards featuring scenes from the author’s books. The Trail takes in the National Trust’s Cliff Plantation, with lovely views over the River Orwell.

For shorter rambles, and cycle routes, visit Alton Water Park in Stutton, where watersports and bird watching opportunities are also available.

Visit 'Shotley Open Spaces' for more info.

We are sailing!

We are sailing!
Neptune Sailing. Photo: Anthony Cullen

All the sailing and yacht clubs, and sailing schools, on the Orwell, Stour, and Alton Water, welcome visitors and new members. River cruises start in Ipswich; choose from Sailing Barge Victor, Orwell Lady or Allen Gardiner.

Tap for more info about sailing and river trips.

Leave nothing but footprints...

Leave nothing but footprints...
Pin Mill. Photo: Anthony Cullen

Much of the Shotley Peninsula lies within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the estuaries, beaches, wetlands, woodland and farmland that are home to a diversity of wildlife – and to keep to marked paths. Respect those who live and work there, and leave nothing behind!

Drink in the views...

Drink in the views...
Cookhouse Restaurant. Photo: Suffolk Food Hall

Just taking time to be still and at one with the landscape can be a peaceful pastime. Bounded by two beautiful estuarine rivers, you can’t go far on the Shotley Peninsula without spying a stunning view of the Orwell or the Stour.

Easily-accessible viewpoints include: Suffolk Food Hall, where the Orwell bridge is framed by the windows of the Cookhouse Restaurant; Pin Mill Studio, overlooking the boatyards and barges of the hamlet and home to an exhibition of photos taken by Arthur Ransome in 1938; and Shotley Marina, with its benches well-positioned to absorb the huge skies and open waters of Harwich Haven.

For walkers, the footpath from the shore at Holbrook Creek gives you a gradual panorama of sky and river, heightened by the splendour of the Royal Hospital School on the horizon. And for a dramatic transition of light and landscape, plunge out of the wooded walks fringing Alton Water into rolling farmland and meadows full of wildflowers.

Refreshing the mind and body...

Refreshing the mind and body...
Little Cake Box. Photo: Amanda Groom

If after all that exercise and/or reflection, you find yourself in need of refreshment, the Shotley Peninsula is well-equipped with charming country pubs (including the Freston Boot, just named 'Suffolk Pub of the Year'), cafes and restaurants.

On the move, and wanting to eat in a lovely spot later? The Suffolk Food Hall does a meal deal takeaway which includes their pies and Scotch eggs, plus tasty salads, all made on site, and a drink. Loch and Quay at Woolverstone Marina are adding an ice cream servery and barbecue to their all-day food offering; and the Sunshine Store at Pin Mill sells delicious homemade cakes.

Shotley Vineyard run Pizza in the Vines and Forage Walks with a Fork, and also sell coffee and cake – and of course, their own wine! Down by the Shotley Pier (opening soon for promenaders) there’s a handy food truck at week-ends.

Don’t miss the Little Cake Box, packed full of delicious homemade cakes, if you’re walking down to the shore from Harkstead. And in Stutton, the community shop is open daily for local produce, and the café at Alton Water stocks pre-cycle snacks.

Designated picnic sites can be found at Pin Mill, Shotley Heritage Park, and Alton Water.

Plan your route...

BUS: routes 92, 94, 97 and 98 from Ipswich
TRAIN: leave at Ipswich from London, Norwich or Cambridge.

Make the most of your time on the Shotley Peninsula! Explorer Guides and leaflets are available online:

Information about many more activities, accommodation and places to eat, can be found in The Shotley Peninsula guide:


This compilation of this information has been part funded by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund.


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