Kayak and Wild Camp the Suffolk Coast
Paddle along rugged open coastline, wild camp on a secluded beach next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest, learn new skills and enjoy sundowners on a shingle beach with sunset in the distance. 0 days off work.
The wilderness is closer than you think. Take a quick trip to Suffolk for the chance to explore some of the wildest open coastline in the region. Kayak along rugged shores and estuaries to a remote beach campsite. After a beach clean, venture inland to look for owls and Kestrels, source and filter your own water and build a group fire for the evening.
- 2 days of guided sea kayaking on the Suffolk Coast.
- 1 night of wild camping on a secluded beach with an open wood fire.
- Afternoon hot drinks with treats.
- Choice of quality wines for sundowners.
- Evening dinner and dessert plus evening hot chocolate.
- Breakfast of Granola, Greek yoghurt and honey with morning tea or coffee and fresh juice.
- Kayaking gear (boat, paddle, buoyancy aid).
- Two man geodesic tent, 2 season sleeping bag, sleeping mat, crockery and cutlery.
- A donation to Sea Shepherd
Saturday: Set off from Bawdsey Quay
Arrive on Saturday morning at Bawdsey Quay to meet your guides and get briefed before hitting the water. You’ll be shown around your kayak and issued with all your gear; don't worry, your kayaks have two very large hatches to pack everything in to. After a safety brief you’ll launch into the estuary and begin paddling a few hundred metres to the open coastline. Once you hit the open coast it's time to turn north, and learn the rich, local history of the region from your lead guide. Expect to find out about Second World War ‘D-Day’ preparations, the role played along the coast with the development of radar and the local and the Cold War nuclear test bunkers at Orford Ness.
After 1 to 2 hours of paddling you will arrive at your campsite in the early afternoon. After deciding where to pitch your tents and build your fire pit, it’s time to enjoy a well earned tea/coffee followed by a sweet treat. Once you’ve settled into your tent and familiarised yourself with the campsite, the group will source fresh water and after filtering and filling your water bottles, return to camp and discuss the plan for a late afternoon paddle to the mouth of the River Ore.
This river leads up to Aldeburgh with beautiful views out to sea and north to the lighthouse on Orford Ness, the famous former secret nuclear test site. This is a popular paddle and a great way to round off the day before a nice hot meal and a glass of wine. Relax and let your guides prepare your meal while you finish your wine looking over a beautiful sunset over the sea. You’re free to spend your evening however you like, whether that be around the fire with a drink or walking along the beach in the moonlight.
Sunday: Paddle to Bawdsey Quay and Departure
Waking with the early sunrise, you’ll enjoy a relaxed start and breakfast with tea and coffee provided by your Guides on Sunday morning. Take an early morning walk along the beach or just coffee-watch the passing gulls, then you’ll pack your kayak ready to set off down the coast back towards Felixstowe Ferry. Your launch today is scheduled around the flood tide wherever possible, making for an easier return trip that allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the Suffolk coast whilst paddling.
After 2 hours of paddling you’ll head back up the Deben estuary to your finish point. Leave your gear with your guides and wave goodbye to this stunning coastline. If you have time, why not pop onto the nearby foot ferry and head to the opposite shore of the estuary, for a nice hot meal and a drink in the Ferryman pub before heading home.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
You will wild camp on an open coastline just off a shingle beach on the outskirts of Shingle Street, a small Suffolk hamlet approximately 12 km east of Ipswich. A large Martello tower is visible from camp, and the site backs up to a flat grassland and small saltwater lake filled with marine bird life.
You will stay in geodesic two-man tents with everything you need for a comfortable night camping provided. Your professional guides will be on hand throughout your adventure to take care of your needs so you don’t need to do anything other than turn up for your weekend of adventure and paddle the coast with a big smile and an open heart!
You’ll be paddling along the renowned and beautiful Suffolk Coast and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Visitors come from all around the UK and the world to visit our villages and hamlets along one of the longest coastlines in the country. The area protects a wide range of natural habitats, including woodlands, estuaries, salt marshes, heathlands, mudflats, shingle beaches and low cliffs. Wildlife includes otters, five species of deer, and more than 280 bird species, (including short-eared owls less than 100 metres from our camp), kestrels and marsh harriers. Seals hunt along the shallow shoals for sand eels and often track our progress on the water.
The region is filled with the history of the D-Day preparations, historical Napoleonic fortifications and plentiful wildlife on a scarcely populated coastline. Along the coast you’ll see several Martello Towers. These small forts were built in the 19th Century to protect against attacks from France that never came. The forts are about 40 feet tall, circular, with 2 – 3 floors and walls up to two metres wide. The Martellos that survive today have been preserved and, in some cases, converted into unique homes. One locally can be visited when accessible, showing the remarkable architecture of these wonderful fortresses and offering an all-round view of the Suffolk countryside
Your trip will begin at the beach near Bawdsey Quay around 11:00 on Saturday morning. Launch times vary based on the tides for the day; Your host will always try to ensure your group has the tide behind it making for an easier and more rewarding kayaking experience. They will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.
Your trip will end back in Bawdsey Quay around 15:00 on Sunday. Again times will vary dependant on the tides. Your Lead Guide will always discuss the options for the Sunday with the group on the Saturday night so you’ll know exactly when you’ll be back and in the best weather and sea conditions for that day. This will all be covered in your ‘trip details’ email prior to departure.
Dates & Prices
Bespoke trips only
There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.
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