If you are a bird or wildlife lover then this is the place to come to keep you informed on what is happening at the RSPB’s Reserve at Minsmere. Our thanks go to Ian for the information.
Minsmere General Information
Welcome to the Suffolk coast. With its wide range of habitats, rich in all kinds of wildlife, there is always something to see here at RSPB Minsmere – from bitterns to butterflies, orchids to otters. One of the best ways of finding out more is to join one of our guided walks. Our experienced guides will show you some of the reserve’s special wildlife, and explain how the reserve is managed.

Important information
Is the walk for me?
The Birdwatching for beginners walks are aimed at newcomers, but most other walks are suitable for everyone. Whatever your knowledge or experience, our friendly and knowledgeable guides will make you feel welcome and help you enjoy your visit. All walks will last between two and three hours. Please note that the weather can be unpredictable on the coast, so you should dress appropriately.

Booking, costs and enquiries

Numbers on each walk are limited so advance booking with payment is essential. Write, call in or telephone the visitor centre on 01728 648281 to avoid disappointment. Unless otherwise stated, all walks start from the Minsmere visitor centre. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time. Costs are: £5 adult (£4 RSPB members), £2.50 child (£2 RSPB Wildlife Explorers).

Opening times

RSPB Minsmere is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm (or dusk if earlier). The visitor centre is open from 9 am to 5 pm. The shop opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm. The tearoom is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm, with last orders 15 minutes before closing. The visitor centre, shop and tearoom close at 4 pm from 1 November to 31 January.


There are two nature trails (each about 1.5 miles) and eight birdwatching hides. Two of the hides are accessed via steps, and two via the beach. The rest of the hides and trails are accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is a charge for non-members to use the nature trails and hides. RSPB and Wildlife Explorers members go free.

Access to the visitor centre is free. At the reception desk you can hire binoculars or an Explorer Backpack, collect a childrenÕs Discovery Trail booklet, and find out more about the reserve and the RSPB. The shop stocks a wide range of books, outdoor clothing, gifts, binoculars and telescopes. You can enjoy a light meal or snack in the tearoom. There are toilets, with baby changing facilities, and a large car park beside the visitor centre.

Disabled access

The visitor centre and adjoining toilet block are wheelchair accessible. Several of the trails and three of the hides are accessible, and work is continuing to improve access to other parts of the reserve. Please call the visitor centre to discuss access arrangements. We may be able to cater for wheelchair users on some walks, with prior notification, but we regret that many of the events are not suitable. We may be able to arrange private tours if booked in advance (see Hire-a-Guide).

The tearoom opens at 10 am daily. Tea, coffee and croissants will be available after several early morning walks, as advertised, for an additional £2 per person. A meal is included on some walks, as mentioned in the programme.

Visiting as a family?
Most of our walks are not suitable for children under eight years old. If youÕre coming as a family, why not borrow one of our popular Wildlife Explorer backpacks, or use our Discovery Trail booklets to learn more about MinsmereÕs wildlife. Alternatively, come along to one of the special family events listed in this leaflet, including our fun-filled family days in August, or book a personalised tour (see Hire-a-guide).
We request that children are always accompanied by an adult.

We request that children are always accompanied by an adult. Cancelled events
Very occasionally, we may need to cancel an event at short notice. We will try to contact everyone who has booked to inform them of this. We reserve the right to cancel an event if we have received no bookings 48 hours before the advertised start time.

Additional events

We may run additional events from time to time. For details of these, please visit www.rspb.org.uk or enquire at the reserve.


If you are unable to attend one of our advertised walks, you could find out about our personalised tours. Our guides will take small groups on a pre-booked guided walk, tailored as closely as possible to your needs. These half-day tours can also cater for families and less mobile visitors. We cannot guarantee to meet all of your requirements, but we will do our best to find a guide. To enquire about availability, please ring the visitor centre on 01728 648281. Tours must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. Costs will be £10 per person, with a minimum charge of £20.


We regret that dogs are not allowed on the nature trails or in the hides, and we cannot accept dogs at any events, except guide dogs. A limited amount of shaded parking is available Ð please enquire at reception.

Getting to Minsmere

It is now possible to visit Minsmere by public transport. Coastlink is a demand-responsive bus service that will meet you at Darsham or Saxmundham railway stations, and can even carry your bike or wheelchair. To book Coastlink, ring 01728 833526 by noon the day before travelling.
There are cycle racks outside the visitor centre.
If travelling by car, follow the brown tourist signs from the A12 at Blythburgh or Yoxford, and from Westleton village.

Contact details
RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, Westleton, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 3BY. Tel: 01728 648281 Fax: 01728 648770 Email: minsmere@rspb.org.uk

As a charity, the RSPB is dependent on the goodwill and financial support of people like you. Please visit www.rspb.org.uk/supporting or call 01767 680551 to find out more.

East Anglia 24 is proud to be associated with Minismere and pleased to publicise the monthly events on our pages. We thank Ian for his regular updates.