Project Description

The Shotley Peninsula falls within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

AONBs are designated as such because they are considered to be: “an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them” as defined by the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the organisation who has designated the 46 AONBs in Britain.

These areas cover 18% of the British countryside and have been designated as AONBs to ensure that their character and qualities are protected for future generations to enjoy.

One of the best ways to explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area is on foot or bicycle. The countryside team who look after the area, with support from the Adnams brewery, the European Union and local councils, have produced a number of guides to enable visitors to get the most of their trip to the area.

Walking at Alton Water Park, Suffolk

The guides are available to download from the AONB’s website and include:

  • The Shotley Explorer Guide which describes two walks that pass through Harwich Haven, the best natural harbour on the East coast. The routes include potential stops at the HMS Ganges Museum, telling the story of the world famous Royal Navy training establishment; the Stour and Orwell estuaries that are a haven for up to 40,000 wading birds every autumn and Shotley Heritage Park, some seven areas of community owned woodland and foreshore.
  • The Wherstead Explorer which includes the lovely bluebell woods at Freston
  • The Alton Water Explorer which includes Alton Water, Holbrook Creek and the ‘Tattingstone Wonder’.

Further publications are available to download or purchase, including more walks and cycle routes and a bi-annual newspaper. To find out more about the rest of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB area, which stretches along Suffolk’s beautiful coast up to Kessingland, between Southwold and Lowestoft, please visit the AONB website:

We are lucky enough to have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Heart of Suffolk. In addition to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths, we also have the Dedham Vale AONB, which covers the area known as Constable Country, where the artist John Constable was born and lived and painted many of his most famous paintings. Please browse our website for further details.