Designated: September 1979
This is a secret coastline of reed-fringed creeks, tidal marsh and low, heath-backed cliffs. Its changing faces make this a discreet but distinctive landscape.
The sea is always at work here - all but destroying medieval Dunwich, yet building the great shingle spit of Orford Ness. Rivers must wind to the sea through marshes and lagoons which shelter, at the RSPB reserves of Minsmere and Havergate Island, a great variety of coastal birds, many uncommon. The coast's instability protects its isolation. Only winding roads lead down to the shore, to quiet towns such as Georgian Aldeburgh, famous for its music festival.