Discover Dunwich: A Complete Guide To England’s Lost City

I don’t know why I haven’t written about Dunwich before now. Maybe I secretly wanted to keep it a secret. The truth is, Dunwich is one of my most favourite places in the UK but unbelievably, it is still relatively undiscovered. It is a little gem on the Suffolk Coast and if you are looking to escape the crowds and enjoy the British countryside at its best, it could be the place for you.

Growing up in nearby Framlingham (famous for Framlingham Castle and Ed Sheeran) and having holiday accommodation in Dunwich, I have spent a lot of time there. I never grow tired of it and now it is also one of the kid’s favourite places. This is a local’s guide to the best things to do in Dunwich including recommendations on where to stay and where to eat.

Dunwich is a tiny little village on the Suffolk Coast. Blink and you’ll miss it. But it wasn’t always this way. It has a fascinating history and despite being barely a village now, it used to be the capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles (in Anglo Saxon times).

In 1286, a great storm struck the coast of East Anglia and then another one in 1287. The coastal erosion suffered due to the storms was huge. During the 14th century there were a succession of similar storms and the end came in 1362 when an enormous storm tide swept across the British Isles and wiped out what was still remaining of Dunwich. There were originally 8 churches in the city but all that remains today of the once great city are the ruins of the 13th century Fransiscan Friary that you can see sitting on top of the cliff on the outskirts of the village.

There is a legend that during certain tides at midnight, the bells of the lost churches can be heard. I’ve spent many a night walking back along the beach from the Ship Inn to our Dunwich campsite and have yet to hear them, but I will always keep an ear out for them! If you want to learn more about what happened to Dunwich and its fascinating history, we would recommend popping into the Dunwich Museum.