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Christmas at Dunwich Heath

Coastguard Cottages at Dunwich Heath, with frost-covered heathland in the foreground
Explore Dunwich's wild and rugged landscape this winter | © Daniel Payne/National Trust Images

Christmas at Dunwich Heath and Beach has finished for 2023. Please check back later on in the year for more details about Christmas in 2024.

Enjoy a Christmas with a difference at Dunwich Heath and Beach, where you can get back to nature and explore a very special habitat on the Suffolk coast.

Blow the cobwebs away with a bracing walk through the heath and along one of the region’s most fascinating coastlines, where you can watch the waves crash on the shore and the clouds roll in across the horizon.

See which of the migrating birds you can spot, from hen harriers and merlins to redwings and fieldfares, and then cosy up in the tea room with a hot drink and a warming snack.

Family-friendly events this Christmas

Reindeer trail
Weekends in December and 26 December to 1 January 2024
10am-3pm | Free*

Santa’s reindeer have come to Dunwich for a bit of downtime – but can you find them all? Collect a special trail map from visitor welcome and follow it around the heath to see how many you can find.

A wooden reindeer as part of the reindeer trail at Dunwich Heath, peeking out from behind a tree.
Can you find all of Santa's reindeer on the reindeer trail? Look carefully, they may be hiding like this one! | © Daniel Payne

Dusk at Dunwich
7, 14, 21 and 28 December
3-4pm | Free

Experience Dunwich Heath and Beach ‘after hours’ over the festive season. The car park will remain open until dusk every Thursday evening, inviting visitors to enjoy the famous Suffolk skies at sunset – as well as the chance to spot seasonal wildlife. Lucky visitors may even be able to see the starling murmurations if they roost nearby, so bring your flask of tea or coffee, wrap up warm and enjoy the spectacle.

Folk Tunes in the Tearoom
23 December
1-2.30pm | Free*

For something a bit different, come along and cosy up with some traditional folk tunes in the tearoom – all inspired by the land and seascapes around us.

*Normal parking charges apply.

A couple sitting on a bench with their dog at Dunwich Heath and Beach, Suffolk

Bringing your dog to Dunwich Heath 

Dunwich Heath is a three pawprint rated place. The nature reserve is a wonderful place to explore with your dog. Here’s all you need to know about visiting with your four-legged friend.

Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata) on yellow gorse with Heath moth in its beak at Ibsley Common, New Forest, Hampshire

Things to see at Dunwich Heath 

Discover the different areas to explore, and the variety of wildlife you can spot when you visit Dunwich Heath, with some rarer species highlighted...

A soldier standing in front of the coastal gun battery at Dunwich Heath during the Second World war

Dunwich Heath wartime trail 

A trail taking you on an in-depth dive into the wartime history of Dunwich Heath, stopping at locations around the site that still show evidence of the military activity.

DistanceMiles: 2.75 (km: 4.4)