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 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.
The town is not on the rail network. The nearest station is
- 1 Wickham Market Train Station, Station Rd, Campsea Ashe IP13 0PT (10 miles NW of Orford). On the East Suffolk line (Ipswich to Lowestoft), station managed by and services operated by Greater Anglia.
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
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 to Dover) at Bruisyard 15 miles NW of the town.
The town is small enough to see on foot.
- 1 Orford Castle, Castle Hill, IP12 2ND, ☏ . Adults £7.30; children £4.40; concessions £6.60.
- 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).
- Havergate Island nature reserve (via ferry boat from Orford quay on selected Saturdays).
- Walk along the sea walls
- Take the ferry to the bird reserve (depending on weather)
- Visit the church
- Try and spot where the ancient harbour used to be
- 1 River Trips, Orford Marine Services, Orford Quay, IP12 2NU, ☏ (mobile), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Adults £10; children £5.
- 2 [dead link] Tunstall Forest (OS grid ref: TM382559), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Dawn-dusk. Parking: off of the B1069 Tunstall to Snape rd. Viking Trail 10-mile red grade mountain bike trail. Forrestry harvesting operations take place so check before visiting
- 3 [dead link] Rendlesham Forest, IP12 3NF (OS grid ref: TM354484), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Walking trails, bike paths, picnic area, children's play area Parking £3.50/day.
- Smoked fish
- 1 Pinney's of Orford (Fish Shop), The Old Warehouse, Quay St, Orford IP12 2NU, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
- 2 Orford General Store, Front St, Orford IP12 2LN, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 8:30AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
Orford is famous for its smoked fish, and there is a small smoke house selling it.
- 1 Butley Orford Oysterage (Restaurant), Market Hill, Orford IP12 2LH, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Seasonal variations. In the town centre. It offers oysters, smoked and fresh fish.
It has a few pubs.
- 1 The Kings Head Inn (Pub & Food), Front St, Orford IP12 2LW, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 1 The Crown and Castle, Market Hill IP12 2LJ, ☏ . Upscale modern restaurant with rooms. No children under 8. B&B double £140.
- 2 Ashanwell B&B, 1 Potkins Lane, Orford IP12 2SS, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.