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Orford is a village on the Suffolk coast. It has a fine mediaeval castle, built to dominate the River Ore, and a Grade I listed parish church, St Bartholomew's.


Orford Ness Map

Orford is a small coastal town within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The town is separated from the sea by a 10-mile-long shingle spit known as Orford Ness, the town being mid-way along the spit. The spit is connected to the mainland ay Aldeburgh and the River Alde flows along the coastline between the mainland and the shingle spit. The town is the only means of access to the Orford Ness nature reserve.

Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

The town is 9 miles E of the main A12 road running Ipswich to Lowestoft, connected via quiet B roads.

By train[edit]

The town is not on the rail network. The nearest station is

By ferry[edit]

Butley ferry is an ancient foot ferry to the south of Orford. It runs on weekends and bank holidays from end of April to end of September 11AM-4PM. Call ahead to check it is running, or book for parties travelling on week days: 07913 672499

  • Adults £2.00
  • Children £1.50
  • Bicycle £1.50

By bicycle[edit]

The town in on Regional Cycle Route 41 which connects to National Cycle Route 51 (Colchester to Oxford) at Felixstowe (and then the National Cycle Network) and to National Cycle Route 1 (Shetland Islands to Dover) at Bruisyard 15 miles NW of the town.

Get around[edit]

The town is small enough to see on foot.


Orford Castle
Church of St Bartholomew
  • 1 Orford Castle, Castle Hill, IP12 2ND, +44 1394 450472. Adults £7.30; children £4.40; concessions £6.60. Orford Castle (Q1964047) on Wikidata Orford Castle on Wikipedia
  • 2 Orford Ness Nature Reserve (access by National Trust ferry Octavia from Orford Quay Apr-Oct). No bikes or dogs. Take your own food & drink. Note that Orfordness Lighthouse was dismantled in July 2020. Completed in 1792, it was inactive and stood on a fast-eroding shingle spit; it couldn't be relocated or reinforced against the sea. It's hoped to place some of the structure as a memento on firm ground somewhere nearby. Adult £10; child £5 (including ferry). Orford Ness (Q2029730) on Wikidata Orford Ness on Wikipedia
  • Havergate Island nature reserve (via ferry boat from Orford quay on selected Saturdays).




Orford is famous for its smoked fish, and there is a small smoke house selling it.


It has a few pubs.

  • 1 The Kings Head Inn (Pub & Food), Front St, Orford IP12 2LW, +44 1394 450271, . Pub: M-Th noon-3PM & 5:30-11PM, F Sa noon-11:30PM, Su noon-10:30PM; Food: M-Sa noon-2:30PM & 6-9PM, Su noon-3PM. Dating back to the 16th century, the King's Head Inn adheres to a unique tradition of serving beer straight from the casks of the tap room rather than from a bar
  • 2 The Jolly Sailor (Pub, Restaurant & Rooms), Quay St, Orford IP12 2NU, +44 1394 450243, . Pub: M-F noon-3PM & 6-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM; food: M-F noon-2:30PM & 6-8:30PM, Sa noon-2:30PM & 6-8:30PM, Su noon-2:30PM & 6-8:30PM.



As of Sept 2022, Orford and its main approach road have 4G from EE but no signal from other carriers. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Orford is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.