Idyllic UK beach known for its orange cliffs and serene sand could disappear

Covehithe Cliffs from Benacre, Suffolk, UK.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Izzy Hutchison/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images))


Covehithe beach in Suffolk, renowned for its tranquil sand and striking orange cliffs, is at risk of being completely eroded away. The Sunday Times has previously named this secluded spot as one of the UK's top beaches.

However, it's currently suffering from the highest rate of erosion of any beach in the country.

Since the 1830s, over 500 metres of cliff-face have been lost, and according to the local Shoreline Management Plan, Covehithe's cliffs erode by approximately 4.5 metres annually.

The Environment Agency has issued a warning that the main part of the Covehithe settlement, which is roughly 250 metres from the shoreline, could be swallowed by the sea by 2110. However, this could happen as soon as 2040.

As a result, the cliffs pose a constant danger to visitors, reports the Mirror.

The eroding orange cliffs of Covehithe, despite their rapid erosion, provide a picturesque landscape that is often less crowded than other locations. You can access the beach via a lane which leads through some fields before abruptly ending at the cliff's edge.

A short walk along the shore will reveal the ruins of St Andrews Church - once a medieval monument left to ruins due to high maintenance costs until a new smaller church was erected on the site.

Worth noting, the beach also plays host to Southwold's vintage Victorian pier and the Benacre Broad Bird Hide, a spot ideal for bird watching enthusiasts.

One happy visitor described the beach as: "My favourite beach in Suffolk. It's so unique, there are broads on the beach so you can be between two bodies if water which is quite surreal if you ask me. Lots of wild life such as birds and the occasional seal. The beach is very sandy with the odd stone/pebble nearer the shore."

Despite the tranquil setting, there isn't much activity on the beach itself. However, just a short distance along the coastline, the town of Lowestoft offers plenty in terms of heritage and culture.

From the Gulliver wind turbine and Marina Theatre to Pleasurewood Hills and Africa-Alive, a sprawling 100-acre zoo. Moving further along the coast, you would encounter Great Yarmouth, famed for its 'Golden Mile' of beaches, both destinations easily accessible by car.

If you're not keen on driving, a further walk south will lead you to the town of Southwold. Situated adjacent to Covehithe beach, Southwold boasts a variety of accommodation options and a range of eateries.

Still Southwold offers accommodation nearest to the beach, with several holiday homes available.

The Listening Station is a bespoke beach house, offering views towards the cliffs and beaches of Covehithe. It can accommodate up to four guests and one small dog.

The Watch Room, which overlooks Southwold Pier, also sleeps up to four people. If it's just the two of you, consider staying in The Easternmost Cabin, constructed on the site of three former Victorian workers' cottages.

For larger groups, The Warren House, originally built as a farmhouse in 1925, sleeps up to eight guests and one dog. A minimum stay of three days is required, with prices starting from around £600.

Covehithe may not be the ideal destination for a family holiday or if you're after the usual seaside attractions. However, it's perfect for those seeking stunning scenery in a tranquil and secluded setting.