BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

17 September 2014
Accessibility help
Nature's Calendar

BBC Homepage

Contact Us


Sandy beach | Orford

Orford map

BBC copyright

Formerly a secret military test site, Orford Ness Nature Reserve is the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe.

There are a wide range of habitats here including saltmarsh, mudflats, brackish lagoons, reedbeds and grazing marsh.

Sandy beach index (Image: Beach c/o Charlie Phillips)

Return to sandy beaches

Check out wildlife on sea and land along the UK's sandy beaches. Watch sensational Dolphins and get up close to Red Squirrels and Seals.

Sandy beach activities (Image: Seal c/o Charlie Phillips)

Sandy beach activities

  • We're in for a treat at the coast as we explore brilliant springtime wildlife watching experiences.

Orford - Visitor Guide


Orford Ness, Orford Town, Suffolk.

Postcode IP12
Telephone:01394 450900
Ordnance Survey:OS grid reference TM423496
Key attractions:

Children's quiz trail, guided walks and events programme

Essential kit:

Plant and flower identification book.


Walking shoes and wind protective clothing on a blustery day.

Nature watching:

Bird watching. Plants and wild flowers. Small mammals. Chinese Water Deer.


Access around the site is on foot only, with a map of the accessible route available to visitors.


Tractor-drawn trailer tours operate 1st Sat of the month July to Sept - booking essential.

Adapted disabled toilet available at the Warden's office and one wheelchair available on request.

Pushchairs must be able to be carried for boarding and disembarking the ferry.


No dogs or cycles

Getting there:

The only direct access is by boat from Orford Quay, which can only carry 12 passengers at a time.


Regular crossings between 10am and 2pm and the last ferry departing at 5pm.

Orford Quay is 10 miles east of the A12 (B1094/1095) or 12 miles north-east of Woodbridge (B1152/1084). The nearest train station is eight miles away at Wickham Market.

Opening times:

April - July and October - Saturdays only. July to September Tuesday - Saturday. Last admission half an hour before closing.

Charges:Admission prices (including ferry crossing): £4 for National Trust members, £6 for non-members and £3 for children (under 3s free).
Activities (Image: Swan)

Hands on Nature

More nature locations.


Nature's Top 40 logo

Nature's Top 40

Top nature spectacles.

Competition (Image: Swallow(


Your photos of nature.

Breathing Spaces (Image: Logo)

Breathing Places

Make a difference...


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy