The best places to visit by the coast within an hour's drive of the resort

We’re not exaggerating when we say that Stoke by Nayland is situated in a fantastic location. Deep in the lush and picturesque Dedham Vale, we’re extremely lucky to be situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with beautiful countryside and nature surrounding us and just one hour and 40 minutes from Central London.

If that’s not enough, we are less than an hour away from so many incredible coastal locations too. We literally have the best of four worlds – small iconic towns, the coast, the big city and the countryside! Each within easy reach.

Many people who visit Stoke by Nayland are keen to head to the beach, whatever the weather, so here is a round-up of just a few of our favourite coastal spots we think you’ll love too, and all within an hour of the hotel – perfect for a day trip.

Frinton Frinton-on-Sea Beach, Essex

49-minutes drive from Stoke by Nayland

Frinton-on-Sea is a Blue Flag beach which boasts a super lovely sandy beach. One of the nice things about it is that it’s a wide beach and a quiet location, perfect for all the family. (If you’d like something a bit livelier then you could try neighbouring Clacton or Walton.) Frinton’s sand is ideal for making sandcastles – nice and firm – and also a good running spot. Nearby there’s a great grassy area, the Greensward, a good picnic spot and place to dust off the sand. It’s shelving beach is divided up by a series of timber groynes – perfect for taking secluded, safe swims.


 BrightlingseaBrightlingsea Beach, Essex

41-minutes drive from Stoke by Nayland

Situated between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea, Brightlingsea is another really pretty sandy beach with a promenade of pastel-coloured beach huts. Formerly an important fishing and shipbuilding area, Brightlingsea is now a popular spot for yachting.


Holland-on-sea Beach, Essex

37-minutes drive from Stoke by Nayland

Just down the coast you’ll find Holland-on-Sea, a much less developed area and a quieter spot to get away from the crowds. Great for long walks, where there is a chance of spotting a variety of migrant birds. The beach is course, grainy sand and there are two promenades that run alongside the beach. Bicycles are permitted only on the upper promenade.



Mersea IslandMersea Island, Essex

40-minutes drive from Stoke by Nayland

A little gem just off the Essex coast, Mersea is famous for its native oysters and thriving fishing port, winding creeks, nature reserves and excellent sailing. Whether you chose to spend the day soaking up the sun or simply strolling down the beachfront, you’ll find the Mersea Island pastel-coloured beach huts a must-snap horizon during your visit. Be sure to check the tides before you visit!


AldeburghAldeburgh, Suffolk

1-hour drive from Stoke by Nayland

Who doesn’t enjoy a spot of beachcombing? Well, you’ll find a somewhat bedazzling shell, the jewel-in-the-crown on beachcombers’ camera rolls, over in Aldeburgh. An hour’s drive from Stoke by Nayland, it’s hard not to stumble upon the iconic scallop shell on the beach between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. Aldeburgh itself is a refined and artsy place with a wide-range of excellent cafes and restaurants.


Walberswick Beach_image source, Suffolk

1 hour and 10-minutes drive from Stoke By Nayland

Walberswick is the kind of place where you catch yourself whistling, as you stroll through the picturesque village and head to the quiet beach. Known as the crabbing capital in the UK, you can take the Row-Boat Crossing from Walberswick to Southwold which is a must-do. There’s something rather romantic about a crossing by rowboat. Stop off at Sole Bay Fish Co over the waters in Southwold for a glass of wine and superior fish, chips, oysters and other seafood delights. Due to the geography of the area, a very short trip across to Southwold would otherwise take 8 miles by car.


SouthwoldSouthwold, Suffolk

1 hour 18 minutes-drive from Stoke by Nayland

Although this is over an hour from Stoke by Nayland, we couldn’t miss Suffolk beauty-spot off our list. Southwold is sophisticated and sociable, and with heaps of charm. With lots of excellent fish and chip shops and eateries, you will find plenty to do in Southwold. From exploring The Under the Pier Show – one of the most unique and eccentric collections of interactive machines in the world to vintage and second-hand shopping in the town centre. Not forgetting to take a tour of Adnams Brewery and a trip to the lighthouse. Two Magpies Bakery is also a must for a coffee and artisan doughnut, including giant cheese straws and a sneaky slice of rose, raspberry and chocolate ganache cake.

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