Kessingland is a long, wide, sand and shingle beach backed by low cliffs. The beach here is somewhat protected from the erosion which affects this coast thanks to the marram grass that was planted here by the writer and agricultural reformist, Henry Rider Haggard. It was his fictional character, Allan Quatermain, who may well have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Haggard, who owned a holiday home on the beach in the early 1900s, is commemorated today by having a road in the village named after him. The grass, together with the wild lupins to be found here in summer, have successfully protected the beach from erosion ever since.
Kessingland is a relatively unspoilt, wild beach, and thanks to its size and rural location it rarely feels crowded, even during the sunniest summer days, unlike beaches further up the coast at Lowestoft.
Swimming, and water sports such as wind surfing are popular here, and this part of the coastline is a good place to take bracing walks at any time of year. Benacre Nature Reserve can be found at the southern end of the beach and is home to a wide variety of bird life, particularly during spring when many migratory birds land here.
As far as we can tell dogs are allowed on the beach all year round but must be kept on a lead near the adjacent nature reserve. Given the size of the beach there should be plenty of room for dogs to run free away from the reserve.
Parking can be found along Church Road, next to the beach on the outskirts of the village. The beach can be accessed down a very short flight of steps. Alongside the village, a promenade runs behind the beach.
A number of cafes can be found at the beach front as well as a caravan park. Further facilities can be found in the centre of Kessingland, where a settlement has stood since Palaeolithic times, making the village and surrounding area of great interest to archaeologists. The village is also home to Africa Alive, an African-themed wildlife park.
Type of beach
Sand & shingle
Dogs friendly beach?
Dogs are allowed all year round although they may have to be on a lead near the nature reserve
- Wind surfing
OS grid ref.
TM 5373 8666
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