Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Important notice -

Due to boat capacity, tickets for Orford Ness need to be booked in advance to guarantee entry to Orford Ness. Tickets released each Thurs to maintain 2 weeks advance booking.. For details on how to book visit the 'What you need to know' page below

Internationally important coastal nature reserve, with a fascinating 20th-century military history

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

What's on

Landscape at Orford Ness

Be Inspired - Art workshops on Orford Ness 

Release your inner artist on a series of carefully curated art workshops. Led by experienced artists and tutors, these course are perfect for artists of all levels of experience.

You'll need to take the ferry Octavia to Orford Ness

Book your visit 

Orford Ness is accessed by boat and you will need to book your visit in advance. Please check availability and book your tickets here.

Upcoming events

Islands of Secrets Walk

Sat 21 May 2022
Step behind the 'no entry' signs and take a guided walk into the heart of the normally off limits AWRE area.

Suffolk Walking Festival - Walk with a Shepherd and Sheepdog

Tue 24 May 2022
Run as part of The Suffolk Walking Festival, join our shepherd as he manages our flock of rare breed sheep.

Camera Skills Workshop

Fri 10 Jun 2022
Confused by exposure? Flummoxed by focusing? Pictures in your mind don't match the photo you end up with? Learn how to get the best out of your camera in the inspiring landscape of Orford Ness.

Orford Ness Half Day Trailer Tour

Sat 11 Jun 2022
Take a leisurely guided tour of the Ness in our 24 seat passenger trailer, including access to the Cold War Atomic Weapons Research Establishment area, normally 'off-limits' to visitors.

Wildlife Safari

Fri 17 Jun 2022
Join our Countryside Manager to learn about some of the unexpected wildlife that calls Orford Ness home.


Sat 18 Jun 2022
Have you ever wondered how wool from a sheep is turned into clothing? Come and see how the wool from our flock of rare breed sheep is spun, felted, knitted, woven and crocheted into beautiful items of clothing, blankets and shawls.
Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Things to see and do

three mobility vehicles lined up next to each other on a concrete road

Orford Ness Accessibility Vehicles

New for 2022, we have a range of new accessibility vehicles to make travelling around Orford Ness easier. Two manual wheelchairs, a six seater electric vehicle (driven by staff or volunteers) and a self-drive Tramper mobility scooter. Available on a first come, first served basis. Free to use but donations welcome towards their upkeep. Advanced booking essential, please call 01394 450900.

Visitors on Bomb Ballisics Orford Ness

Intriguing structures on Orford Ness 

You will pass many buildings on your walk. Many are open and you can discover and imagine what went on in these historic buildings.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Our work

Sheepdog Sweep at Orford Ness

New sheepdog finding his paws at Orford Ness 

There's a new member of the team at Orford Ness. Sweep is the new sheepdog who helps shepherd Andrew take care of the flock of rare breed sheep, but he needs to find his sea paws first.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve


Early days

History of Orford Ness 

The shifting shingle has altered the landscape over many years and the Ness’s importance as a military site from the days of Napoleon to the Second World War have also left their mark.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve


Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Get involved

 Volunteers restoring high speed camera Orford Ness

Help us care for the Ness 

Get more involved with the work here as a volunteer. Get out and about, make new friends, learn about this special place.

Apple blossom and a honey bee in the fruit orchard at Cotehele, Cornwall

Give back to nature 

More than ever before, nature has been our source of comfort during difficult times. But climate change is accelerating the decline of these green spaces. Nature gives us so much – donate today and help us protect these places and the wildlife that lives there.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve


Group enjoying their visit to Orford Ness

Bring your group 

Share this unique location with others and enjoy a guided group visit. You'll all appreciate discovering the Ness's many secrets as your ranger guide shows you around the atmospheric landscape and the intriguing structures.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Eating and shopping

The Quay Steet in Orford

Perfect for picnics 

There are no catering facilities on the Ness. However Orford is a good place to buy food and the Ness is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic.