Six of my favourite “things to do” Walberswick & Dunwich, Suffolk
Walberswick is the type of place where you catch yourself whistling, as you stroll through the picturesque village and head to the quiet, wind-swept beach.
Despite being the crabbing capital in the UK, Walberswick is sometimes overshadowed by its big sister, neighbouring Southwold. If Southwold is artistic, charming and wears a feather bower to dinner, then its younger sibling is a romantic, book worm who prefers a glass of red wine in front of the fire.
Last weekend, myself, my fella and his parents decided to venture off in the camper van and head back to this sleepy and secluded village, on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. Once a thriving port trading in cheese, bacon, corn, timber and fish from the 13th Century right up to World War 1. Whenever I’m drawn back here these days, I always find that there’s a soothing atmosphere to the place and an all-year round beauty which leaves a mark on your soul. Nearby Dunwich is always a delight too. We only made a quick pitstop here, so I’ve dedicated my last “thing to do” in Dunwich.
1) Beach Hut & “Dream Home” Spotting. One day my crytoscopophilia will get me into trouble. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, crytoscopophilia is the urge to secretly look through windows of homes as one passes. Or, in my case, it’s less secret and more blatant when I’m standing outside someones house taking pictures, like the below. This might not be to everyone’s cup of tea, but I love this giant beach-hut-cum-house located on the estuary. With a tiled roof and wooden frame, this wondfully wonky building looked very inviting. As we passed, we spotted a lady sitting by the window, a comfortable sofa and guitar in the background, she looked as though she could have been writing a novel or penning some poetry. But it’s back in the village where you’ll find all the traditionally pretty cottages and gardens, which is perfect for a spot of “window shopping”. On many of the homes, you’ll notice the below plaque, which remembers the rather famous local legend, Wally Webb, who built many of the stunning homes in this village, each one is remarkably unique and bursting with character.
NB: For those from the region, Wally Webb is not to be confused with the BBC Radio Norfolk DJ. TOTALLY different person.
2) Play Pebble Coconut Shy (or should that be Pebble Shy?) on Walberswick’s pristine beach. This stunning beach which is a lovely texturous combination of pebbles and sand, spans over a thousand acres of heath and marshland around Walberswick and is protected as an Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB). We found a stray tennis ball and also made our own coconut shy by stacking pebbles on a fence. Hours of fun I tell you, hours!
3) A tinker around Tinkers: This place is an absolute delight. Full of crafty, handmade, high quality shinny things and vintage paraphernalia. This independent little shop on the Green really is full of wonder and includes a mix of old, new & eclectic objects, including Scandinavian designs. It’s run by a very friendly soul. You know when you sometimes go into these independent, high-end craft shops, and you walk around silently gasping at all the amazing things but don’t always end up buying something? Well, in my experience the shop assistant is often a little disappointed (and I don’t blame them really) but when you leave they suddenly seem a little disgruntled. Well, this doesn’t happen here. I think I can safely say, that this super-cool lady was one of the most genuinely friendly and warm shop-keepers I’ve ever encountered. Even when we left empty handed. (We will be back though!). You can find her shop on twitter @SarahWalbers
4) 90p Row-Boat Crossing from Walberswick to Southwold. There’s something rather romantic about a crossing by rowboat. Victorian even. The one at Walberswick reminds me of a modern-day version of Great Expectations, only it’s not situated on the bleak Kent Marshes and Thames estuary, but on the Blythe Estuary. Surprisingly, there’s a lovely-looking lady who skippers the boat (I should imagine many locals are envious of her biceps). Due to the geography of the area, a very short trip across to Southwold would otherwise take 8 miles by car. At 90p each way, it’s well-worth a poodle over to the other side, where you can meet Walberswick’s big sister, Southwold.
5) Peek through the holes in St Andrew, Walberswick. St. Andrews Church is at the top of the village, and the sheer size of the ruins show how wealthy and large the Parish once was. According to the website, this was the village’s third church built at the end of the 15th Century.
6) Retro Fish & Chips at the Beach Cafe in Dunwich. Now, I’m not going to lie, these fish and chips were a little pricy at £8.95, but, what makes them worth the price, is that you’re seated so close to Dunwich beach. And, sucker that I am for anything old-fashioned, they were served up on these green retro plates, which seemed to make them taste like the best fish and chips in the world. The batter was top-notch as were the mushy peas.
Toodle-pip for now! If you have any favourite things about Walberswick or Dunwich, feel free to share them here x