Kayak and Wildcamp the Suffolk Coast

Paddle along rugged coastline, wildcamp on a secluded beach, and enjoy sundowners on a scenic Martello tower. 0 days off work.

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REF: 08831

Kayak and Wildcamp the Suffolk Coast

Paddle along rugged coastline, wildcamp on a secluded beach, and enjoy sundowners on a scenic Martello tower. 0 days off work.

  • United Kingdom
  • July, September

The wilderness is closer than you think. Take a quick trip to Suffolk for the chance to explore some of the wildest coastline in the region. Kayak along rugged cliffs and estuaries to a remote beach campsite. Venture inland to look for owls and kestrels, and enjoy sundowners on top of a 19th Century Martello tower (optional with meals). Your hassle-free getaway includes:

  • 2 days of guided sea kayaking on the Suffolk Coast
  • 1 night of wildcamping on a secluded beach
  • Guided wildlife tour
  • Evening drinks in a Martello tower (optional with meals)
  • Kayaking equipment (kayak, paddle & buoyancy aid)
  • Lots of room to customise your trip with optional extras (tents, meals and evening drinks)

Perfect for:
Active adventurers who are looking for the quick nature camping escape close-by with bits of kayaking and relaxation. This is a great opportunity to blow the dust off your camping gear and get out. Equipment is also available to hire if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

For the basic kayak wild camping trip; 1) Sit-on-top kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid. 2) Guided paddling on both days 3) Wild camping in the evening with a wood fire.

Optional Extras 1) Optional 2 person tent and sleeping mattress 2) Meals; Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast with wine on the Saturday evening for sundowners

These are OPTIONAL extras and you can opt to bring and pitch your own tents and prepare your own meals. Alcohol is permitted but limited for obvious reasons.

Perfect for

No particular skills are needed but a good attitude towards the outdoors and an adventurous spirit goes a long way. Couch potatoes need not apply; this is kayaking and wild camping and every guest has a responsibility for themselves i.e. Guides are present to guide and provide reasonable assistance but we cant paddle for you.

What to Expect

Wild camping with optional ‘luxury’ added to the mix! With your tent, sleeping mat, evening wine and dinner, breakfast (all optional) as well as your kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid provided, just turn up and enjoy your guided Kayaking adventure. This is wild camping without the hassle when you choose the optional extras.

Arrive on Saturday morning at Bawdsey Quay (Suffolk) to meet your Guides and brief for your guided Kayaking Trip. We launch off the shingle beach with a ‘seal launch’, sliding down the shingle slope straight into the sea and paddle north up the coast enjoying the deserted and quiet coastline with the rich history of the Second World War ‘D Day’ preparations and the Cold War nuclear test bunkers at Orford Ness. Conditions provide for flat calm to rolling swells to play on the swells and your Guide will stop from time to time to tell you about the area you’re in and the local wildlife. The area is rich in bird life with Kestrels hunting over the grass and bush verges of the beaches so binoculars are recommended. We will always try to paddle with a following tide but mother nature dictates that this may not always be possible.

Arrive at our camp site in the early afternoon and we’ll be met by Kes, our specialist camp cook; you’ll be allocated your optional tent (with sleeping mat) and some time to relax and settle in with a cup of tea/coffee. Once you’ve settled in to your tent and had a look around the camp site we have the option of paddling out again in the afternoon. This time visiting the mouth of the River Ore which leads up to Aldeburgh with beautiful views out to sea and north to the light house on Orford Ness, the famous former secret nuclear test site.

It doesn’t end there; once back to our camp, we’ll visit the local Martello Tower and enjoy a (optional)glass of wine sun-downer at the very top, enjoying the beautiful views and the history of the old coastal defenses. Back at camp our (optional meals) stew awaits with fresh bread and the last of the wine, all prepared on site fresh and over a wood fire. Then free time to enjoy your surroundings with a walk, bird watching, contemplating life or just having a snooze outside your tent. We even have a screened chemical toilet with a seat and toilet paper for our guests who have opted for provision of tents. The evening is spent around the fire with a drink or walking along the beach in the moonlight which is particularly stunning on a full moon.

Breakfast on the Sunday morning(optional Meals), not too early and after a coffee/ tea, we’ll enjoy a brioche with egg and sausage/bacon, relaxed and informal around the campfire. All of our ingredients are locally sourced and organic wherever possible and the eggs are from our own free range hens and organic, again cooked on our own wood camp fire.

There’s no breaking camp as that is all done for you (for those who have opted for the provision of tents) so just pack your kayak ready to set off down the coast to Felixstowe Ferry, around two hours paddle and finish the day with a snack and drink at the local cafe before setting off home. A great adventure without the hassle, cost and worry of tents, food and toilet not to mention the hard work getting everything erected and breaking the camp down again!

No experience needed just a good positive attitude to the outdoors. Over sixteen years only.

Note The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

You’ll wild camp on a wild and desolate shingle beach on the outskirts of Shingle Street, an isolated coastal village 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. There are no facilities, this is a wild camp. But for those guests who choose, your tents are supplied (optional) including sleeping mats for each guest, a chemical screened latrine and breakfast and dinner provided (optional Meals) with all fresh, local ingredients, cooked over an open fire in camp. Of course you can choose to bring your own tent and gear and prepare your own meals OR you can pick and choose and we’ll provide a geodesic tent with a sleeping mat and erect it for you as well as break camp for you on the final day (this is an optional extra). You can also choose to have us serve your evening meal and breakfast the following day which includes your evening wine (this is an optional extra). so you don’t need to do anything other than turn up for your weekend of paddling and wild camping - flexibility is provided and it is your choice.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Guide
  • Routes & Maps

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Sorry, no private trips are currently available for this product. Try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Tent hire (including air beds, sleeps 2) Payable Before Departure
Tent hire (including air bed) £40.00
Dinner and breakfast (including red or white wine) Payable Before Departure
Dinner and breakfast (including red or white wine) £30.00

Trip Photos

Location

View map

You’ll be paddling along the Suffolk Coast and Heath Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 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, kestrels and marsh harriers.

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. The Martellos that survive today have been preserved and, in some cases, converted into unique homes.

Start point?
Your trip will begin at the beach near Bawdsey Quay around 11:00 on Saturday morning. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your trip will end back in Bawdsey Quay around 15:00 on Sunday. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
You can travel to Bawdsey by car (2 hours from London), or you can take the train to Ipswich and arrange a transfer through your host (optional extra). There are several trains from London departing between 08:00 and 09:00 on Saturday that will get you to Ipswich in time for the trip.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are NOT included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from launch location of Bawdsey Quay *
  • Lunch on the first and second day (Meals i.e. Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast are OPTIONAL)
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

Remember, you can either provide all of your own wild camping gear and provide all of your own meals OR select the OPTIONAL extras of; 1) Two man geodesic tent with your comfort sleeping mattress, erected for you prior to arrival and removed for you after you departure. guests who opt for the the provision of a tent also have use of the on site chemical toilet. 2) Meals option including Saturday evening dinner with tea/coffee and evening glass of wine (red or white) plus Sunday breakfast with tea/coffee.

For a truly effortless adventure, items marked with * can be added on through our concierge service which is booked through muchbetteradventures.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

This trip will run with a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 12.

Please note, if there are not 6 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

You’ll kayak out and back along the same route. Conditions are quite mellow and flat, making for easy, fun kayaking. When there are swells you can take advantage of them for an even easier paddle. Wind can occur at any time making the paddling a bit more challenging. Guides will always plan to paddle with the tide behind the group but mother nature sometimes dictates otherwise.

There are two planned paddling routes on the Saturday and one planned kayaking route on the Sunday. The minimum paddling distance is 6km to get from the launch point to the campsite, but can easily be extended to as much as 15km if you’re feeling feisty.

A basic level of fitness is needed to enjoy 2 hours of paddling each day. No previous experience is needed—your guide will help you get the hang of it.

Save money by bringing a camp stove and cooking your own meals.

Optional Extra Alternatively, your host can provide hot, wholesome camp food as an optional extra. Dinner is typically stew and fresh bread cooked over the fire, and brioche organic bacon OR sausage butty with tea/coffee for breakfast is served in the morning. Both are delicious and well worth the small charge; remember, this is wild camping and everything is cooked on site over an open wood fire. This isn’t an easy exercise and not an experience readily open to most people when wild camping so well worth taking this option up.

Yes, within reason. This is wildcamping, and facilities are limited, but basic dietary needs can be met. Please contact NOMAD Sea Kayaking at least two weeks prior to your event launch date to ensure we can meet your needs (or not).

Summers on the Suffolk coast are pleasant. Daytime temperatures range from 16 - 21°C and cool down to 9 – 13 °C at night. Weather conditions can quickly change on the coast, so pack accordingly a packing list will be provided by NOMAD Sea Kayaking, please read through this carefully and take the advice of your Guides.

Your host will provide your single kayak (sit-on-top or touring depending on your experience), paddle and buoyancy aid. A geodesic tent and sleeping mattress can be provided per guest and this is an OPTIONAL EXTRA. Guests who don’t want us to provide and erect their tents can bring their own tents and camping equipment.

Your host will send a detailed list after you book. The basics include:

  • Lightweight, breathable athletic tops and trousers (no denim or cotton)
  • Runners or sandals that can get wet
  • Thermal top and trousers
  • Wool, fleece or down/synthetic jacket
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunblock)
  • Head torch
  • Water (1L per day, minimum)

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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