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Family activities at Orford Ness

A family walking the red route at Orford Ness Nature Reserve, wearing summery clothing with brilliant sunshine
A family enjoying one of the walking routes at Orford Ness | © Chris Lacey/National Trust Images

Enjoy a family day out at Orford Ness, a mysterious landscape that’s been left to nature.

Learn all about the groundbreaking experiments that took place on Orford Ness over the years and then spot the wildlife that now calls it home. Become a ranger for the day, visit the exhibition and then climb to the top of Bomb Ballistics and look out over the Ness’ unique lunar-like landscape.

Family friendly events at Orford Ness

Young Ranger Day | various dates | £5
Help monitor the moths that live on Orford Ness, count and check our flock of rare breed sheep with our sheep dog Sweep and learn how we manage the landscape. Suitable for children aged 5-12 years.

Planning your visit

Here’s some information to help make your family day out at Orford Ness as easy to enjoy as possible.

  • We don’t own the car park in Orford and there is no car parking on Orford Quay itself. Orford’s main car park is located opposite the Jolly Sailors pub and offers Blue Badge parking.

  • Orford Ness is only accessible by our ferry, Octavia, which involves negotiating a set of steps. These can get slippery with the tide.

  • Toilets are available on the Red Route, which is located opposite the Ranger Office, around a 1.2km walk from the jetty.

  • The majority of the paths are level access and therefore pushchair and buggy-friendly, although these will need to be folded up in order to be placed on the ferry.

  • There are a number of benches on site and there is seating in some of our buildings.

  • We don’t have any catering facilities on site so you will need to bring your own food and drink. Self-serve tea and coffee is also available in the second-hand bookshop where we operate a cash-only honesty box.

  • Orford Ness is an exposed shingle spit and the weather can be unpredictable. Please bring lots of layers and sensible footwear, as well as sun cream and hats on sunny days.

  • Orford Ness is open on weekends only between 29 March and 26 May and 21 September and 27 October. It’s also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 28 May and 12 September. Pre-booking is required.