Visiting Orford Ness: What you need to know

Orford Ness is now fully open, but please check this page regularly as the situation may change. Below is the latest information to help you plan your visit.

Booking

Due to boat capacity you'll need to book your visit to Orford Ness in advance. If you arrive without a booking, you'll unfortunately be turned away. Tickets go on sale via our website on a two week rolling basis. Tickets are currently in very high demand and are selling out quickly and so we recommend you book early to avoid disappointment.


Tickets are for a timed outbound ferry from Orford Quay to Orford Ness but once on the island you are free to stay as long as you like as long as you don’t miss the last ferry back to the mainland at 5pm. Tickets are to book the ferry fare and for admission to Orford Ness.
National Trust Members will only pay the ferry fare.

  • Please book one ticket per person including a free ticket for under 5s to allow us to accommodate the correct  number of passengers on our ferry. You’ll need to choose your ferry time when booking for the day you want to visit.
  • Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale.
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

To make a booking, please follow the link below.

On arrival

There is no parking on Orford Quay, please use the main Riverside car park. The car park is not owned by the National Trust and therefore you will need to buy a ticket. The pay and display machines only accept coins (£4 for up to 8 hours).


Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ferry and check in at our office on Orford Quay. Please have your booked ticket ready to show our staff, either on your phone or a printed copy. If you’re a member, you’ll also need to show your membership card.

In order to manage capacity, please arrive within your timeslot. Sadly, if you arrive after the departure time of your ferry, we won’t be able to guarantee your entry.

We recommend allowing 3-4 hours for your visit.

Full details of our facilities and access can be found on our Home page.

What's open?

The Red, Blue and Green visitor routes are now open, as are all the public buildings including the Island of Secrets exhibition in the NAAFI. Face coverings are not compulsory but we recommend that you wear one in any area on your visit which is enclosed and crowded and while on our ferry.


Our toilets will be open and are being regularly cleaned throughout the day.


Your ticket also includes admission to Artangel’s Afterness exhibition, which is housed in various buildings across the site. Please visit the Artangel reception inside the Information Building to pick up an exhibition guide as well as headsets for an immersive poetry tour of Orford Ness.

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our priority.  Please respect other’s wishes should they wish for more space during their visit and please check signage on site for any changes that may have been put in place since your last visit.


We can’t currently hand out maps, but you can purchase a trail guide at our office when checking in (£2.50) or you can download a map from our website to bring with you.


If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact
with anyone that has the virus in the last 10 days, please don’t visit.

Accessibility

  • Accessible toilet available in the Rangers’ Office.
  • The main visitor (Red) route is for the most part flat and on tarmacked surfaces, although there are small uneven patches.
  • Crossing to Orford Ness is via our ferry Octavia and does involve negotiating steep, sometimes slippery steps, the number of which will depend on the level of the tide.

Weather

Orford Ness is an exposed coastal location and your safety is important to us. We monitor the weather forecasts and if weather conditions mean it would be unsafe to operate our ferry, we close our site. Please check for any emergency notices on our website before travelling.

Changing your booking


If your plans change and you can’t make it to visit us, you can easily change or cancel your booking. We really appreciate you doing this as soon as possible so the tickets can be made available for other visitors. 

If you set up an account when you made your booking, you will be able to amend the date or time of your booking online up to 24 hours before the date of your visit, or by calling 0344 249 1895.

If you are a member and can no longer attend, please let us know by giving us a call on 0344 249 1895.