Immerse yourself in Nature at Orford Ness in Suffolk

If you’re making a trip to Suffolk, then you’re already on your way to escaping the city, being surrounded by beautiful British countryside. However, if you want to get even further into nature, then look no further than Orford Ness Nature Reserve – this internationally important costal nature reserve is wild, remote and the largest of its kind in Europe with a fascinating military history. Follow peaceful trails through a stunning landscape and an intriguing history that makes for a fantastic trip out in nature!

How can you get to Orford Ness?

A trip to Orford Ness requires careful planning in advance. You must take a National Trust ferry from Quay Bay, which only runs at certain times. You can reach Quay Bay by car, 10 miles east of the A12, or 12 miles north-east of Woodbridge (pay and display parking available at Quay Street). The closest train station is Wickham Market 8 miles away, or you can take the local bus service from Woodbridge (passing Melton train station).

Orford Ness has been host to a fascinating series of historical events. From a home to smugglers to the site of naval with war with the Dutch and French, airfields used in World War I to site of the development of atomic bombs, it has seen a bit of everything! On your walk through the reserve, you’ll encounter a number of buildings and structures that were home to some of this history – explore the Radar Receiver building, which houses an exhibition detailing it’s role in the World Wars, as well as bomb ballistics, beacons, a laboratory and more scattered across the reserve.

Orford Ness in the World Wars

Did you know that Orfordness was one of the only sites in the UK, and across the world, where facilities were purpose-built for testing the components of nuclear weapons?

Choose from a number of waymarked trails through this curious landscape. Whether you’re interested in military history, or just want to immerse yourself in nature, there’s a variety of routes to take throughout the seasons. Orford Ness is home to a range of habitats that are havens for wildlife, from marshes to mud flats and rivers. Admire beautiful and precious plants that are rare to see in Britain, and catch a glimpse of incredible wildlife, from Chinese water deer, birds of prey and owls to hares.

Discover the secrets of Orford Ness, enjoy atmospheric landscape and delve into a fascinating past in a fantastic trip out in Suffolk!

  • Orford Ness is only open on select days, from 10:00-17:00 – check their calendar here for more details.
  • You can only reach Orford Ness via the National Trust ferry Octavia, from Orford Quay (tickets must be booked in advance).
  • Accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Ferry tickets cost £12.


Be one of the first to add a review!

Please register or log in

Your email will never be passed on to anyone else and helps us validate reviews - many thanks!

Only administrators can add new users.

Things to do nearby

4 miles

Visit the Site of ‘Britain’s Roswell’ – Alleged UFO Sightings at Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk

Have you ever seen an Unidentified Flying Object? Perhaps Rendlesham is your best bet to catch a glimpse of something otherworldly. Discover Rendlesham on foot or by bike, a stunning forest in an Area of Outstanding ...
8 miles

Discover one of the Worlds Greatest Archaeological Sites at Sutton Hoo

If you’re a fan a history, you’ll know that Suffolk is famous across the world for it’s range of archaeological sites. If you’re visiting the county, then Sutton Hoo needs to be at the top of ...
11 miles

Connect with Nature at Minsmere Nature Reserve in Suffolk

If you’re looking to escape the city in Suffolk, then we’ve got the perfect trip out to go right to the top of your stack! At Minsmere nature reserve, reconnect with nature and explore miles of ...
12 miles

Explore Towering Walls and Fascinating History at Framlingham Castle

Suffolk has long been one of the centrepieces of English history, from important archaeological finds to medieval power struggles. If you want to get stuck into this history, then Framlingham Castle is the perfect activity to ...
15 miles

The Ipswich Transport Museum

This brilliant accredited museum is a great place to visit and spend a few hours if your in Ipswich or the surrounding areas! They boast a a truly impressive collection of classic, vintage, and retro cars, ...
17 miles

The Ipswich Museum

If you’re looking to get a bit of history and culture when in Ipswich don’t look further than the brilliant, free, Ipswich Museum! It has multiple collections so you learn about lots of areas of history ...
17 miles

Immerse yourself in History at Ipswich Museum

Are you a history buff? Looking for a family day out in Ipswich? Whatever your answer, we’ve got the perfect solution for you to add to your stack – head to Ipswich Museum to travel the ...
19 miles

Oasis Camel Park in Suffolk

The family-run Oasis Camel Park in Halesworth, North Suffolk is proudly the only camel park in the UK! Enjoy a relaxing walk through their 11 acres of beautiful Suffolk countryside, or take a look at the ...
24 miles

Discover the Incredible Animals of Africa in Suffolk at Africa Alive Reserve

Are you an animal lover? Looking for somewhere to go on your family day out? If these sound like you, then we’ve got the perfect activity for your stack! Head to Africa Alive Zoological Reserve to ...
28 miles

Scroby Sands Seal Watching in Suffolk

Embark on a thrilling sightseeing voyage with local family business Jet Adventures! This boat tour of the stunning Suffolk coastline offers you the chance to see Lowestoft, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth from the sea. Once aboard ...
28 miles

Visit a Church that looks like a ‘wedding cake made of brick’

St Mary’s Church, Burgh St Peter: like a wedding cake made of brick Just like the famous student blocks at the University of East Anglia, St Mary’s boasts a ziggurat tower which is thought to have ...
29 miles

Watersports in Essex

Are watersports exactly what you are looking to try? At Curve Water Sports they have all the watersports you could dream of including Wakeboarding, Standup Paddleboarding, Kayaking, Swimming, Ringo Rides, and an Aqua Park. Curve’s Aqua ...