RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Minsmere near Saxmundham Suffolk IP17 3BY

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.

The Owner Says

Minsmere is one of UK's most popular nature reserves. As all the wildlife is wild, every visit is different. The countryside walks are mostly level, but can be muddy after heavy rain, and one circuit includes a long section of shingle beach. There are eight birdwatching hides where you can get even closer to nature and maybe spot something unusual. Some of these hides are accessed via steps, but four are fully accessible.

A choice of countryside walks take you through stunning coastal, wetland and woodland scenery. The wildlife is just that - wild - so you never know what you'll see. Perhaps a rare bird, elusive mammal, dazzling butterfly or beautiful flower will attract your attention. The scenery and wildlife changes throughout the seasons, but there is always something to surprise you. Our volunteers guides are around to help you learn more, and our reception team will provide you with a warm welcome. Families and youth groups will simply love the Wild Zone, Wild Wood Adventure and Discovery Centre where you can become part of nature as you explore. There's special events throughout the year to help you discover more.

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