Walk the trails

Visitor Trails

Orford Ness visitor trails August 2014 

Orford Ness visitor trails August 2014

You can follow waymarked trails through salt-marsh, mud-flats, brackish lagoons and the internationally rare and protected vegetated shingle. (Numbers in triangles on the map are distances in km from the jetty.) The blue and green routes open after the breeding season. This is usually by mid-August but please call to check before visiting.

Choose your route

Red route

Visitors to Orford Ness walking up the lighthouse track © National Trust

The red route is open whenever the site is open to visitors. It passes through the airfield site, home to marshland birds. It then crosses the Bailey bridge to the shingle habitat.

The red route gives access to all the buildings you can look inside, including Laboratory One of the Atomic Weapons Reasearch Establishment. Approximately 9km.

Blue route

Visitors to Orford Ness walking up the lighthouse track © National Trust

Open seasonally once young birds have fledged from the airfield site, the Blue route is a peaceful extension of the red route.

It will get you closer to some of the military structures used from the First World War, including those associated with radar. Approximately 1km extension to red route. Call to check if open before visiting.

Green route

Visitors to Orford Ness walking up the lighthouse track © Simon Bradford

Open once the breeding season is over, the green route will take you out into King's Marsh. This peaceful and remote trail will also take you close to the Cobra Mist site.

There's no access to the Cobra Mist site itself as it's not cared for by us, but still lots to see. Approximately 5km extension to the red route. Call to check if open before visiting.

These strange buildings were used as laboratories by the AWRE © National Trust

These strange buildings were used as laboratories by the AWRE

Visiting the Pagodas

The Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) site is dangerous and so access is restricted. Because of the unstable state of the structures and the presence of deep pits and drops only escorted access is possible.

You can visit the Pagodas on a guided tour, when you'll also learn why they were built and what they were used for.

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