Popular nature reserve with a wide range of wildlife and habitats.
Minsmere near Saxmundham Suffolk IP17 3BY 01728 648 281
There used to be a village at Minsmere; these days it's the preserve of birds and the RSPB, and the odd otter or two – an unusual and popular mix of woods, heath and marshland that is truly one of the most glorious spots along the whole coast. It can get crowded on summer weekends, but out of season, or even just on a quiet weekday, its wet woodland and marsh can feel supremely untouched by anything except nature. The birds you'll see very much depends on the time of the year but you can expect to see marsh harriers, avocets, little terns, and, if you're very very lucky, even bitterns (Minsmere is one of the few places in Britain these very rare birds breed). There are seven hides in total, and a large viewing platform, overlooking either woodland or reedbed habitats and various trails take in these in various combinations. There's a café for warming up in – they do teas, hot and cold lunches, etc – as well as a shop well-stocked with all manner of birding books and equipment.
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- Nature Reserve
From the south follow brown tourist signs from the A12 at Yoxford, via Westleton village. From the north follow brown tourist signs from the A12 at Blythburgh, via B1125 to Westleton. leave Westleton on Dunwich road, then take first right and follow signs for a further two miles.
By public transport, use the demand-responsive Suffolk Link bus, which will collect you from Saxmundham or Darshan stations. Suffolk Link must be booked a day before travelling on 01728 833526
Easy access by bike from nearby villages. A covered cycle shelter is provided.
Reserve daily dawn till dusk, except 25 and 26 December.
Visitor centre and shop daily 9am–5pm, (Nov–Jan till 4pm). Café closes 30 minutes before visitor centre.